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2011 Adjudicator

Classical voice
Donald Bell

Donald Bell is a Professor in the Department of Music, University of Calgary, specializing in singing and vocal performance. His international career began in 1958 with his concert debut at the Wigmore Hall, London, England. Overwhelmingly enthusiastic reviews from the international press including The London Times, The Telegraph, The Observer, and The Manchester Guardian set the stage for an international career, leading to concert performances in Europe, Australia and the U.S.A. At the invitation of Wieland Wagner (Richard Wagner's grandson) Mr. Bell appeared in the Bayreuth Opera Festival in Bayreuth, Germany that same year. In the following three years, Mr. Bell sang important roles in Die Meistersinger von Nuremburg, Parsifal, Lohengrin (the Herald), and in Tristan und Isolde with Birgit Nielson and Wolfgang Windgassen. Among the world-class conductors at this festival with whom he sang were Hans Knappertsbusch, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Lorin Maazel, and Eric Leinsdorf.

Donald Bell's engagements with such leading conductors as Sir Thomas Beecham, Sir John Pritchard, Leonard Bernstein and George Szell lent his career an enviable international flavor. During his globetrotting career he recorded for CBS (now Sony) and HMV, recording Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Leonard Bernstein and Beethoven's 9th Symphony with Mr. Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra for the Sony label. Mr. Bell was also active in the contemporary field and sang with such famous composers as Benjamin Britten (debuted the War Requiem in Ireland and Italy), Sir Michael Tippett (A Child of Our Time) and Sir Peter Maxwell Davis (Eight Songs for a Mad King). He appeared at some of the world's most prestigious music festivals including the Luzern Music Festival, the Glyndebourne Opera Festival, the Tanglewood Festival, the Ann Arbor May Festival, the Three Choirs Festival and the Ottawa Festival.

After 25 years of performing in a total of 23 countries, Mr. Bell returned to Canada and began a teaching career, first in Ottawa and later in Calgary, where he currently lives. Donald Bell has researched and published extensively in the field of vocal pedagogy and his students benefit from his international associations in this field. Many are now voice teachers and perform internationally.

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