Jean Carlton



Competition Winner

Born: January 29, 1918, Des Moines, Iowa

Died: April 3, 2008, Van Nuys, CA

Jean Carlton, soprano, was born into a musical family and began her musical studies on the violin at age 5. At 16, she won a scholarship to study at the National Music Camp (Interlochen) where she sang the leading role in an opera production that led her to a scholarship to study voice at Drake University. Burl Ives, the American folk singer, heard her sing and recommended that she study with Mme. Ella Toedt. Two years later she won a scholarship to study at the Juilliard Graduate School. In 1945, she created the role of Rachel in the premiere of "Scarecrow" opera fantasy by Normand Lockwood that took place at Columbia University conducted by Otto Luening. Ms. Carlton won the Naumburg Vocal Award in 1945 giving a Town Hall concert. The New York Times described her singing as "an example of taste, perfection, exquisite modeling of phrase and effortlessness." Following, she received a phone call from Arthur Judson's Columbia Artists asking her to sign a contract.

Jean Carlton appeared as soloist with leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra. She won acclaim with the Bach Circle of New York, The Cantata Singers and the Dessoff Choirs. She was one of the five original members in the Bach Aria Group, a group of New York musicians brought together in 1946 by the American Bach scholar William H. Scheide to perform arias from J.S. Bach's cantatas and other works. In addition to Ms. Carlton, the group was comprised of: soprano Ellen Osborn, alto Margaret Tobias, tenor Robert Harmon and bass-baritone Norman Farrow, as well as Maurice Welk, violin; Robert Bloom, oboe; Julius Baker, flute; David Soyer, cello; and Sergius Kagen, keyboard.


1944 Naumburg Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

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Naumburg Performances

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Recording Awards

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