Performing for the first time in his home state of Florida and on the Festival Miami stage, multi Grammy and Emmy Award-winning performer John Easterlin, B.M. ’84, was named the 2015 University of Miami Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music Distinguished Alumnus. Easterlin was honored during his October 24 Festival Miami concert, “What a Character! The Many Faces of John Easterlin.”
A Miami native, Easterlin travels the world to perform in major venues and productions. One of international opera’s most compelling artists, he has turned 2015 into his year of debuts, performing for the first time at the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice, with the Palm Beach Opera in their new production of Ariadne auf Naxos, and with the Nashville Opera in Die Fledermaus.
During his Festival Miami performance, Easterlin thrilled Festival Miami concert goers with a variety of Broadway, gospel, folk, operetta, and opera favorites. New York-based pianist Mitchell Cirker accompanied Easterlin throughout the evening’s concert. Shelly Berg, dean of the Frost School of Music, appeared as a special guest on piano and also presented Easterlin with the Distinguished Alumnus plaque during the show.
Easterlin traces his singing success to the early 1980s, when he performed with the UM Chamber Singers under the direction of late music professor Lee “Doc” Kjelson. Easterlin has appeared on PBS’s Great Performances and Live from Lincoln Center, as well as a telecast, CD, and DVD of Los Angeles Opera’s acclaimed production of Kurt Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, for which he received 2008 Emmy and Peabody Awards and two 2009 Grammy Awards for Opera Recording of the Year and Classical Album of the Year.
Throughout his career, Easterlin has worked with famous conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Andrew Davis, Antonio Pappano, James Conlon, Valery Gergiev, and Dennis Russell Davies, and eminent stage directors like Diane Paulus, Richard Jones, Phelim McDermott, Francesca Zambello, and Robert Wilson.
Read more on Easterlin’s success here: The Art of Comprimario.