Julia Bullock, soprano
Bretton Brown, piano
Union College


786 in stock


Sunday, January 7, 2024 - 3:00 PM

Making her highly-anticipated debut, Bullock’s enchanting voice has catapulted her to the forefront of the classical music world, resulting in engagements with the NY and LA Philharmonics and residencies at the Met Museum and San Francisco Symphony.

Songs by Strauss, Barber, Weill, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and more

Sponsored by Margery G. & Michael Whiteman


Union College
Memorial Chapel
Schenectady, NY

General Admission seating – doors open 45 minutes before concert.
All kids and college students admitted free at door.

Ticket information and policies

Julia Bullock is an American classical singer who “communicates intense, authentic feeling, as if she were singing right from her soul” (Opera News). Combining versatile artistry with a probing intellect and commanding stage presence, she has headlined productions and concerts at preeminent arts institutions around the world. An innovative curator in high demand from a diverse group of arts presenters, museums and schools, her notable positions have included collaborative partner of Esa-Pekka Salonen and 2019/20 Artist-in-Residence at the San Francisco Symphony, 2020/22 Artist-in-Residence of London’s Guildhall School, and 2018/19 Artist-in-Residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Chosen as a 2021 “Artist of the Year” by Musical America, which hailed her as an “agent of change,” Julia is also a prominent voice of social consciousness. As Vanity Fair notes, she is “young, highly successful, [and] politically engaged,” with the “ability to inject each note she sings with a sense of grace and urgency, lending her performances the feel of being both of the moment and incredibly timeless.”

Julia has made key operatic debuts at San Francisco Opera in the world premiere of Girls of the Golden West; Santa Fe Opera in Doctor Atomic; Royal Opera House in Theodora; Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Dutch National Opera in The Rake’s Progress; the English National Opera, Spain’s Teatro Real, and Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre in the title role of The Indian Queen; and Dutch National Opera, Bregenzer Festspiele, and Park Avenue Armory in the premiere of Michel van der Aa’s Upload.

In concert, she has collaborated with Berlin’s Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Roderick Cox, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and Salonen, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, the San Francisco Symphony and both Salonen and Michael Tilson Thomas, the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons, Japan’s NHK Symphony and Paavo Järvi, and both the London Symphony Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic’s Karajan Academy with Sir Simon Rattle.

Her recital highlights include appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, Boston’s Celebrity Series, Washington’s Kennedy Center, and the Mostly Mozart and Ojai Music festivals, where she joined Roomful of Teeth and the International Contemporary Ensemble for the world premiere of Josephine Baker: A Portrait. This was the original prototype for Perle Noire: Meditations for Joséphine, a work conceived by Julia in collaboration with Peter Sellars, and written for her by Tyshawn Sorey and Claudia Rankine.

Bullock’s growing discography includes Doctor Atomic, recorded with the composer conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and West Side Story, captured live with Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, both of which were nominated for Grammy Awards. She will release her debut solo album on Nonesuch in 2022 and appears on the soundtrack of Amazon Prime Video’s 2021 The Underground Railroad composed by Nicholas Britell.

Julia was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Bard College’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program, and New York’s Juilliard School. She lives with her husband, conductor Christian Reif, in Munich, and the couple is expecting their first child in Autumn 2022.

Japanese American pianist Bretton Brown enjoys a diverse career as song accompanist, chamber musician, and coach. His UK debut was at Wigmore Hall in 2016, where he played for Renée Fleming. He has also performed with Mark Padmore and Julia Bullock, as well as rising young artists throughout Europe and the United States. He has toured as a guest member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, performing at the BBC Proms, the Berliner Philharmonie, and the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, and has accompanied Ms. Bullock in recitals at Wigmore Hall and the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. In 2023, he performs alongside Ms. Bullock at the Concertgebouw and returns to the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence as répétiteur/coach for the world premiere of Sir George Benjamin's latest opera with Martin Crimp, Picture a Day like this. 

He has also been répétiteur/coach for world premieres at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Lessons in Love and Violence), the Dutch National Opera (Caruso a Cuba), and le Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris (Zauberland). He also assisted in the preparation of André Previn's final work, Penelope, written for Ms. Fleming and first performed at the Tanglewood Music Festival. At Tanglewood in 2013, Brown worked with George Benjamin for the first time, preparing the American premiere of Written on Skin and later serving as répétiteur for the Canadian premiere of that work at the composer's request. His collaboration with Benjamin now also includes productions of Lessons in Love and Violence with Dutch National Opera and Opéra national de Lyon, among others.

He has prepared singers for principal roles at the Royal Opera House, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Salzburg Festival, the Glyndebourne Festival, and San Francisco Opera, and for concert performances at the Venice Biennale and the Proms. Committed to the development of younger artists, he has held multiple residencies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, was visiting professor of collaborative piano at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in the United States, and is on the faculty of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Raised in Kentucky, he was educated at Yale, the New England Conservatory, and Juilliard. He won prizes for poetry and music at Yale and received Juilliard's Richard F. French Doctoral Prize for his dissertation on the life and music of Gustav Holst.