Performing from New York City, pianist Peter Dugan and mezzo-soprano Kara Dugan make their ECM debut on our casual Wine Down Monday series.
Mezzo soprano Kara Dugan has been praised by The New York Times for her “vocal warmth and rich character.” Her diverse career ranges from baroque oratorio to world premieres. Her work with living composers has included the world premiere of Michael Tilson Thomas’ Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind, a production of John Musto’s Bastianello at Festival Napa Valley with the composer at the piano, and an appearance with the Albany Symphony performing Michael Daugherty’s This Land Sings, a multi-genre tribute to Woody Guthrie. Recently, she won first place in the Rochester International Vocal Competition and was selected to be a member of WQXR’s Artist Propulsion Lab.Her work as a baroque concert soloist began during her studies at The Juilliard School and has taken her on three international tours with Juilliard415 and conductors Ton Koopman, Masaaki Suzuki, and Nicholas McGegan, culminating in a performance as the Soprano II soloist in Bach’s Mass in B minor at the Boston Early Music Festival. Operatic highlights include Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Zaida in Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia, and Nireno in Handel’s Giulio Cesare. She has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Steans Institute, Aspen Music Festival, Wolf Trap Opera, and at venues ranging from National Sawdust to Alice Tully Hall. As a passionate recitalist she performs often with her husband Peter Dugan, pianist and host of NPR’s From the Top. The husband and wife duo were recently featured on PBS Great Performances’ “Now Hear This” and have performed across the United States, including at the Joye in Aiken Festival, Charles Ives Concert Series, Moab Music Festival, Portland Chamber Music Festival, and most recently at WQXR’s Greene Space. The duo’s eclectic repertoire has brought them to a wide range of venues including Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, where they joined genre-defying string group Time for Three. Ms. Dugan received her Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from The Juilliard School. She is a proud recipient of the Novick Career Advancement Grant.
Pianist Peter Dugan’s debut performances with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony were described by the Los Angeles Times as “stunning” and by the SF Chronicle as “fearlessly athletic.” He is heard across America as the host of NPR’s beloved program From the Top. He has appeared as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician across North America and abroad, and can be heard as the piano soloist on a new release of Ives’ Fourth Symphony from Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. In 2020, he joined violinist Joshua Bell for At Home With Music, a national PBS broadcast and live album release on Sony Classical. Prizing stylistic versatility as the hallmark of a 21st century musician, Mr. Dugan is equally at home in classical, jazz, and pop idioms. A sought-after multi-genre artist, Mr. Dugan has performed in duos and trios with artists ranging from Itzhak Perlman and Renee Fleming to Jesse Colin Young and Glenn Close. The Wall Street Journal described Mr. Dugan’s collaboration with violinist Charles Yang as a “classical-meets-rockstar duo.” This season Yang and Dugan are Artists in Residence at New York’s Kaufman Music Center and the Cali School of Music at Montclair State University.. His latest album with baritone John Brancy – The Journey Home: Live from the Kennedy Center – was released on Avie Records in 2021 along with an accompanying documentary film from WNET’s AllArts. Together Brancy and Dugan won first prize at the 2018 Montreal International Music Competition and second prize at the 2017 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. As a founding creator of Operation Superpower, a superhero opera for children, he has traveled to dozens of schools in the greater New York area, performing for students and encouraging them to use their talents – their superpowers – for good. He is head of the Artist in Residence program at pianoSonoma and a founding faculty member of the Resonance and Soundboard Institutes at Honeywell Arts Academy. Mr. Dugan holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where he studied under Matti Raekallio. He resides in New York City with his wife, mezzo-soprano Kara Dugan, and serves on the piano faculty at The Juilliard School Extension. Mr. Dugan is a Yamaha Artist.