Courtenay Budd’s shimmering and high-flying soprano (“a voice for connoisseurs”) is comfortable in music ranging from Handel and Bach to the bel canto opera repertoire and music of today’s composers. Last spring the intrepid Ms. Budd joined Boston Modern Orchestra Project, simultaneously recording and performing David Del Tredici’s 2 1/2-hour epic Child Alice, a piece which required three sopranos at its premiere thirty years prior. Allan Kozinn wrote for The Wall Street Journal that Child Alice “requires a huge orchestra. It has a central, rather gymnastic soprano line, which Ms. Budd rendered with alluring subtlety at times and ecstatic energy elsewhere.”
Following her NYC Symphony Space all-Del Tredici concert with the composer at the piano, the New York Times raved, “Ms. Budd brought gleaming sound, complete involvement and impressive stamina to both cycles, which she sang from memory. The audience gave a standing ovation to Ms. Budd and Mr. Del Tredici.” Ms. Budd, “a champion of Del Tredici’s work” has performed his music at the Guggenheim Museum, Bard Music Festival, Zankel Hall, 92nd Street ‘Y’, Le Poisson Rouge, and Bargemusic. Her recording of his Field Manual with Fireworks Ensemble and conductor Steven Mercurio is available on eOne Records.
A Metropolitan Opera National Finalist, Ms. Budd’s operatic performances include Ilia in Idomeneo at Alice Tully Hall, Baby Doe, Zerbinetta, Zerlina, Pamina, Laurie in The Tenderland, and Marie in La fille du régiment, with such companies as Central City, Opera Omaha, Atlanta Opera, Sugar Creek Festival, and the Colorado and Charleston Symphonies. She is a favorite of audiences of the Symphony of the Americas, who have enjoyed years of her characterizations of Gilda, Norina, Adina, Lakmé, Cunegonde, Juliette, Elvira, and Mimi, to name a few.
A First Prize Winner of Young Concert Artists Auditions, Ms. Budd has been heard with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the National Symphony, Colorado Symphony, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum, Kennedy Center, and the Grand Teton Festival.
Ms. Budd, long an avid recitalist and chamber musician, is now taking an increasingly active role as a concert programmer. She is serving a forth season as Artistic Director of a celebrated yearly chamber music concert in Newnan, Georgia, and has added a fall vocal concert. The “Friends of Wadsworth” spring concert continues the legacy of her mentor Charles Wadsworth, with whom Ms. Budd performed extensively, most notably for seven seasons on the Spoleto USA Dock Street Chamber Music Series.
Metropolitan Museum of Art audiences enjoyed her performances of Rachmaninoff songs on Ruth Laredo’s Concerts with Commentary series. Her recital performances with Del Tredici at Bargemusic, were praised by New Music Connoisseur as “not only beautifully expressive but impeccable in her delivery of every word and note.” She collaborated with the Bard Festival String Quartet in Schönberg’s String Quartet #2 and Del Tredici’s I Hear an Army, and with the Saint Lawrence String Quartet in the world premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s Tenebrae.
Ms. Budd has appeared with symphony orchestras across the United States in the Requiems of Brahms and Mozart, Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Poulenc’s Gloria, Honegger’s King David, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, Strauss’ Brentanolieder, Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras, Handel’s Samson, Beethoven’s Symphony #9, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bach’s Cantatas 51, 201 and 199, and Haydn’s Creation. This spring she appears at Alice Tully Hall for Schubert’s Mass in E flat with Riverside Choral Society.
Her CD Sleep is Behind the Door was named “Lullaby Album of the year” by CDBaby.com, and has raised thousands in aid for victims of natural disasters. The recording was the generous collaboration of numerous artists including soprano Sylvia McNair and cellist Alisa Weilerstein. Additionally, Ms. Budd appears on the VMS recording Korngold’s Hollywood Songbook with pianist Dalton Baldwin.
A Georgia native, Courtenay Budd was honored with the 2004 Distinguished Young Alumnus Award from and the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. She also holds a Master’s degree from Westminster Choir College and resides in New York’s Hudson Valley.