Humanity Rising: Notre-Dame Reborn

Glenn Close

Seven-time Academy Award-nominated actress Glenn Close is an acclaimed performer whose work has graced stage, screen, and television. For her most recent film role in The Wife, Close won Golden Globe, SAG, Independent Spirit and Critics Choice Awards as “Best Actress,” as well as nominations from BAFTA, the Gotham Awards, and the London Film Critics, along with that seventh Oscar nomination. 

Close has completed filming on Hillbilly Elegy, directed by Ron Howard from Vanessa Taylor’s screenplay, based on J.D. Vance’s bestselling memoir and co-starring Amy Adams and Gabriel Basso.  Additionally, she has also completed filming on Four Good Days with co-star Mila Kunis, for writer/director Rodrigo Garcia.

Close made her feature film debut in George Roy Hill’s The World According to Garp, earning her awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review as well as her first Academy Award nomination. She was subsequently Oscar-nominated for The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction and Stephen Frears’ Dangerous Liaisons (for which she was also a BAFTA Award nominee).

Close received her sixth Academy Award nomination in 2012, along with Golden Globe and SAG nominations, for Albert Nobbs. She wrote the screenplay with (Man Booker prize-winning novelist) John Banville. Close was also a producer on the film and composed the lyrics for the Golden Globe and World Soundtrack-nominated song, “Lay Your Head Down.” For Albert Nobbs, she received the Irish Film and Television Award (IFTA) as “Best Foreign Actress,” was voted “Best Actress” at the 2011 Tokyo International Film Festival, and was honored for her performance by the San Sebastian Film Festival (Donostia Award), Hollywood Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival and the Palm Springs Film Festival.

Her additional film credits include Richard Marquand’s Jagged Edge, Barbet Schroeder’s Reversal of Fortune, Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet, István Szabó’s Meeting Venus, Ron Howard’s The Paper, Stephen Herek’s 101 Dalmatians, Kevin Lima’s 102 Dalmatians, Wolfgang Petersen’s Air Force One, Robert Altman’s Cookie’s Fortune, Rose Troche’s The Safety of Objects, Merchant Ivory’s Le Divorce, Chris Terrio’s Heights, Rodrigo García’s Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her and Nine Lives, Evening, Low Down, 5 to 7, Anesthesia, The Great Gilly Hopkins, Guardians of the Galaxy,  Julian Fellow’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Crooked House, What Happened to Monday and The Girl With All the Gifts.

In 2012, Close headlined the fifth and final season of the critically-acclaimed original legal thriller, Damages. For her riveting portrayal of high-stakes litigator ‘Patty Hewes’, Close won two consecutive Emmys as “Best Actress in a Drama Series” and two subsequent Emmy nominations, along with a Golden Globe Award and three SAG Award nominations. 

Close’s twelve Golden Globe nominations include a Best Actress win for Andrei Konchalovsky’s adaptation of The Lion in Winter (which also earned her a SAG Award). Among the television projects that have brought her twelve Emmy nominations, is an Emmy Award for her performance as Margarethe Cammermeyer in Serving in Silence: the Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (for which she also received a Peabody Award as executive producer).

Other television credits include The Shield, The Elephant Man, Something About Amelia, Stones for Ibarra, The Ballad of Lucy Whipple and In the Gloaming, for which she won a CableACE Award. She executive produced and starred in Richard Pearce’s musical remake of South Pacific for ABC TV. She also executive produced the Sarah, Plain and Tall trilogy for the Hallmark Hall of Fame, starring in all three opposite Christopher Walken.

Close made her Public Theater debut to rave reviews in the fall of 2018 in the New York premiere of Jane Anderson’s Mother of the Maid, starring as the mother of Joan of Arc. Directed by Matthew Penn, the production ran as a limited engagement at the Public’s Anspacher Theater from September 25 through December 23, 2018.

Prior to that, Close last appeared on the stage in 2017, reprising her Tony Award-winning role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard, in an all new production that premiered at the London Coliseum in the Spring of 2016.  For that performance she won a London Evening Standard Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award. 

Close made her theatre, and Broadway, debut in Harold Prince’s revival of Love for Love. Her theater credits include The Crucifer of Blood, The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs (Obie Award), Barnum (Tony nomination) and Tony Awards for her performances in The Real Thing and Death and the Maiden, both directed by Mike Nichols. In London, she reteamed with the director of the original Sunset Boulevard stage production, Trevor Nunn, in his Royal National Theatre revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. She returned to Broadway for the 2014 revival production of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance. 

In 2010, Glenn Close co-founded Bring Change to Mind, a charity dedicated to confronting, head-on, the stigma associated with mental illness.  The organization works to normalize mental health conversations and build the awareness, understanding and empathy necessary to inspire action, structural change, and the creation of new norms which will end stigma and discrimination. The idea for the organization came about following Close’s first-hand observation of battles with mental illness within her family. For more information, please visit

Close actively supports Puppies Behind Bars and their program Dog Tags: Service Dogs for Those Who’ve Served Us. She is a trustee emeritus of The Sundance Institute, having served as a board member for 16 years.

Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age four, and three years later moved with his family to New York City. There, he continued his studies at the Juilliard School. After his conservatory training, he sought out a liberal arts education and graduated from Harvard with a degree in anthropology. Yo-Yo’s career is testament to his faith in culture’s power to generate the trust and understanding essential to a strong society. This belief inspired Yo-Yo to establish the global cultural collective Silkroad, and, more recently, to set out on the Bach Project — a six-continent tour of J. S. Bach’s suites for solo cello and an invitation to a larger conversation about culture, society, and the themes that connect us all.

Ken Burns

Ken Burns has been making documentary films for over forty years. Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Ken has gone one to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; The War; The National Parks; America’s Best Idea; The Roosevelts; An Intimate History; Jackie Robinson; The Vietnam War; and Country Music. Future film projects include Ernest Hemingway, Muhammad Ali, The Holocaust and the United States, Benjamin Frank, Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society, The American Buffalo, Leonardo da Vinci, The American Revolution, and The History of Reconstruction, among others. Ken’s films have been honors with dozens of major awards, including sixteen Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards and two Oscar nominations; and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Ken was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Scott Simon

Scott Simon is one of America’s most admired writers and broadcasters. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy. Simon’s weekly show, Weekend Edition Saturday, has been called by the Washington Post, “the most literate, witty, moving, and just plain interesting news show on any dial.” He has won every major award in broadcasting, including the Peabody, the Emmy, the Columbia-DuPont, the Ohio State Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the Sidney Hillman Award. Simon is a native of Chicago and is married to Caroline Richard Simon, a native of Rouen, France having studied in Paris at SciencesPo University. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Elise and Paulina.

Bill Kurtis

Bill Kurtis is an acclaimed television documentary producer and host, and former CBS news anchor. He runs his own multimedia production company, having traveled the world for the Peabody Award-winning PBS series The New Explorers.

Bill is currently co-host on the weekly news quiz, “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me,” on NPR radio and the host of THROUGH THE DECADES on the DECADES Channel.

Using his journalistic skills and his background as a lawyer, Bill authored The Death Penalty on Trial: Crisis in American Justice. And his book Bill Kurtis: On Assignment, offers deeper insights into the news stories he has covered around the world and features his photographs.

He provided the satirical narration for the feature film comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

Olivier Latry

Established as the leading worldwide ambassador for his instrument, French organist Olivier Latry has performed in the world’s most prestigious venues, been the guest of leading orchestras under renowned conductors, recorded for major labels and premiered an impressive number of works. Named titular organist at Notre-Dame in Paris at the age of 23 and organist Emeritus at the Orchestre National de Montréal since 2012, Olivier Latry is first and foremost an accomplished, thoughtful and adventurous musician, exploring all possible fields of the organ music, with an exceptional talent as an improviser.

Olivier Latry regularly appears in venues like the Berlin Philharmonie, Philharmonie de Paris, Disney Hall, San Francisco’s Davies Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Vienna’s Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Budapest’s Palace of Arts, Royal Festival Hall, KKL Lucerne, Royal Albert Hall, Suntory Hall, Mariinsky, Moscow’s new Zaryadye Hall, Rotterdam’s de Doelen, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, and as a soloist with leading orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Münchner Philharmoniker, Philharmonia Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, RSO Wien, Hong-Kong Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre National de France, under conductors like Myung-Whun Chung, Andris Nelsons, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Stéphane Denève, Fabien Gabel, Christoph Eschenbach, Alain Altinoglu, Kent Nagano, Edo de Waart, and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.
During the 2017 – 2019 seasons, Olivier was artist in residence at the Dresdner Philharmonie.

Next season’s highlights include the Belgian, French and North American premieres of Pascal Dusapin’s Waves for organ and orchestra with the Orchestre Symphonique de la Monnaie, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal.
Other premieres also include Kaija Saariaho’s Maan Varjot for organ and orchestra with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre National de Lyon and Philharmonia Orchestra in 2014, and Michael Gandolfi’s concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2015. He also premiered Benoît Mernier’s organ concerto for the inauguration of Brussels’ BOZAR new organ in 2017. 

His strong attachment to the French organ repertoire led him to record Olivier Messiaen’s complete works for organ for Deutsche Grammophon which he also performed in recitals in Paris, London and New York. In 2005, he also recorded a César Franck album for Deutsche Grammophon. Among several other recordings, Olivier also recorded Saint-Saëns’ organ concerto with Christoph Eschenbach and the Philadelphia Orchestra for Ondine. In 2013, he released Trois Siècles d’Orgue à Notre-Dame de Paris on the Naïve label, which features music composed by past and current organists of Notre-Dame Cathedral. In 2016 he recorded for Warner Music at the Philharmonie de Paris’ Rieger organ, which he had inaugurated earlier in the year. In March 2019, he started a collaboration with La Dolce Volta label with an album called “Bach to the Future”. Recorded on Notre Dame de Paris’ organ, the project features Bach’s transcriptions and original works adapted to this extraordinary instrument.

A former student of Gaston Litaize, Olivier Latry now teaches at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, and is a recipient of numerous international distinctions and awards worldwide, including the Prix de la Fondation Cino et Simone Del Duca (Institut de France–Académie des Beaux-Arts) in 2000, and “Honoris Causa” Fellowships from the North and Midlands School of Music (UK) in 2006, and from the Royal College of Organists (UK) in 2007. He was also named International Performer of the Year by the American Guild of Organists in April 2009, and received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from McGill University in Montreal Canada in 2010.
From 2019 to 2022, he is William T. Kemper Artist-in-Residence at the University of Kansas at Lawrence.

William Harvey

Concertmaster of Mexico’s premier orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, and violin faculty at the Universidad Panamericana, violinist, conductor, and composer William Harvey has appeared as violin soloist at Carnegie Hall with the New York Youth Symphony and has performed concerti with orchestras in Argentina, the Philippines, Mexico, and USA. For 4 years, he served as the Violin and Viola Teacher at Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM). At the request of ANIM founder, Dr. Ahmad Sarmast, he founded the Afghan Youth Orchestra, which he conducted 8 times for President Hamid Karzai and led on a historic tour of the USA that he also coordinated and for which he raised the funding. On that tour, he conducted AYO in his own arrangements at sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. The tour was featured extensively in major media including the New York Times, CNN, ABC, and NBC.

In March 2012, Harvey conducted AYO on the season finale of Afghan Star, which was the most-watched TV event in Afghan history, with 15 million viewers; he did so again for the season finale in March 2013. He subsequently conducted AYO at the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman, in February 2014. In 2011, he was a guest judge and performer on Afghan Star. His guest appearances on this show and on the popular interview program Bamdad-e Khosh made him instantly recognizable on the street to most residents of Kabul. He also edited and arranged the Anthologies of Afghan Songs for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass, intended to supplement the pedagogy of all of those string instruments. As an experiment in audience perception, he recorded all four solo violin pieces by Elliott Carter for live audiences in Afghanistan in a project called “Playing Carter in Afghanistan.”

He has previously served as concertmaster of the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa Las Artes (Mexico), Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad Nacional de San Juan (Argentina) and the Spokane Symphony (USA), faculty at Indiana University’s Summer String Academy, a Fellow at Carnegie Hall’s Academy, and a guest artist at the Myanmar Music Festival (where he performed for Aung San Suu Kyi), Mehli Mehta Music Foundation (to which he was invited by Zubin Mehta), and Iguazu en Concierto (where he conducted an orchestra of hundreds of children from around the world in front of Iguazu Falls). William plays on a violin made by Joseph Curtin in 2001.

As a conductor, he has led youth orchestras in Argentina, Qatar, Mexico, Tunisia, the Philippines, and the USA. Mr. Harvey’s compositions have received over a hundred performances. In 2006, his Cuerpo Garrido won Columbia University’s Bearns Prize. Mr. Harvey earned his M.M. from The Juilliard School, where he studied violin with Ronald Copes and composition with Samuel Adler, and B.M. from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied violin with Mimi Zweig and composition with Sven-David Sandström.

In 2005, Mr. Harvey founded Cultures in Harmony (CiH). In 2010, CiH was named a Best Practice in International Cultural Engagement (along with the Kennedy Center & Library of Congress) by the US Center for Citizen Diplomacy. CiH workshops in Pakistan, Qatar, Egypt, the Philippines, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, and Mexico have benefited thousands of young musicians. Mr. Harvey has lectured about CiH at the British Parliament; at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, Germany; at the Escuela Superior de Música in Mexico; at Boston University, Georgetown University, and Oberlin Conservatory in the USA; and at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. In 2017, he gave the keynote speech at the ASTA convention in Pittsburgh.

Argentina Duran

Pianist of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico) she is the youngest piano teacher of the bachelor of music at Facultad de Música de la UNAM (UNAM Music University). She studied with professor Trinidad Sanchís and has been awarded in contests such as: “National Piano Competition Angelica Morales-Yamaha” in Mexico City and the “International Piano Competition Irina Samodaeva”. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in 2015 by the Facultad de Música de la UV (Music University of Veracruz) and got a scholarship through FONCA-CONACYT and “Chicago College of Performing Arts” in Chicago, IL, for piano performance studies with Jorge Federico Osorio. She played as soloist of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa (Symphony Orchestra of Xalapa), Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (National Symphony Orchestra), Orquesta Sinfónica de San Luis Potosí (Symphony Orchestra of San Luis Potosi), Orquesta Sinfónica del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (Symphony Orchestra of the National Polytechnic Institute) among other orchestras. She has been invited to play as a soloist in Granade, Spain and Baku, Azerbaijan. She has played in the most importants halls in Mexico such as the  Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) and Auditorio Nacional (National Auditorium). She is currently studying the Master’s Degree in Mexican Classical Music Performance at Conservatorio Nacional de Música (National Conservatory of Music) in Mexico, city.

Pianista de la Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México y profesora en la Facultad de música de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Estudió con la Maestra Trinidad Sanchís, ha sido galardonada en: “Concurso Nacional de Piano Angélica Morales-Yamaha“del INBA y “Concurso Internacional de Piano Irina Samodaeva”. En 2015, obtuvo su Licenciatura, y fue becada por FONCA-CONACyT, y “Chicago College of Performing Arts” de Roosevelt University en Chicago, IL, para realizar estudios de piano performance con el Maestro Jorge Federico Osorio. Ha sido solista con: Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, Orquesta Sinfónica de San Luis Potosí, Orquesta Sinfónica del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, entre otras y ha colaborado con Orquesta Internacional de las Artes en Auditorio Nacional, y Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería. Ha ofrecido conciertos en Palacio de Bellas Artes, Auditorio Blas Galindo CNA y en las salas más importantes del País. Ha sido artista invitada para tocar como solista en Granada, España y por la Embajada mexicana en Bakú, Azerbaiyán en el Teatro Rashid Behdudov y en la Academia de música de Bakú en mayo 2018. Actualmente cursa la Maestría en Interpretación de Música Mexicana en el Conservatorio Nacional de Música de México.

Rodrick Dixon

Rodrick Dixon possesses a tenor voice of extraordinary range and versatility that has – earned him the respect and attention of leading conductors, orchestras and opera companies throughout North America. 

Mr. Dixon’s 2019-2020 season includes the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale RAI as Erik in Der Fliegender Hollander, conducted by James Conlon broadcast on BBC Radio 3; the role of the Shaman in the premiere of Healing Tones composed by Hannibal Lokumbe, conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin of the Philadelphia Orchestra; a debut with the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo conducted by Marin Alsop; and a return to Cincinnati Symphony in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Louis Langree. Mr. Dixon’s other debuts include the Charleston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ken Lam, the Greensboro Symphony and South Dakota Symphony performing Beethoven’s gth Symphony. He received invitations to perform for the Glen Gould Foundation Gala honoring Jessye Norman in Toronto and a private event with the Royal Philharmonic in London. Upcoming appearances in 2020 include Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. 

Rodrick Dixon recently made his St. Louis Symphony Orchestra debut in Wagner’s Der Fliegende Hollander as Erik under the baton of David Robertson. Other notable opera credits include Los Angeles Opera in the title role of Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg, filmed to DVD; and Walther von der Vogelweide in Wagner’s Tannhauser. Additional credits include Michigan Opera Theater and Todi Music Festival productions of Donizetti’s La Fille Du Regiment as Tonio; Todi Music Festival production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin as Lenski; Portland Opera in the title role of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Cincinnati Opera as the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto; and Opera Southwest in the title role of Rossini’s Otello. He played the role of Sportin’ Life in the Virginia Opera’s tour of Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess

On the concert stage, Mr. Dixon is a regular guest of the Cincinnati May Festival, where he has performed Orff’s Carmina Burana, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, Mahler’s Das Klagende Lied, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses performed also at New York’s Carnegie Hall. He made his Philadelphia Orchestra debut in the title role of Der Zwerg conducted by James Conlon and was tenor soloist for the world premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s One Land, One River, One People, conducted by Yannick Séguin. For the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Sydney Arts Festival in Australia, Dixon played the title role of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and directed by Peter Sellars. Mr. Dixon made his Ravinia Festival debut singing Rossini Arias under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach; Rachmaninoff’s The Bells and Mahler’s Das Klagende Lied under the baton of Maestro Conlon. He appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center as Sportin’ Life in Bennett’s suites of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess; Atlanta Symphony’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, conducted by Robert Spano; Vail Music Festival in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Bernstein program, conducted by Marin Alsop. Mr. Dixon filmed, recorded and concertized works by composer Samuel 

ColeridgeTaylor with the Longfellow Chorus. Other notable performances include: the Choral Arts Society of Music as the Celebrant in Bernsteins Mass at the Kennedy Center; a return to Carnegie Hall to debut with the American Symphony Orchestra in Frederick Delius’ A Mass of Life; Cincinnati May Festival as featured soloist in a new work by Alvin Singleton; Philadelphia Orchestra at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Beethovens 9th Symphony, under the baton of Stéphane Denève; Trilogy Opera, role of Loge in Das Rheingold and Odinga in Kenyatta; Hannibal Lokumbe’s world premiere of Crucifixion Resurrection at Mother Bethel AME Church, commissioned by Philadelphia Orchestra

A gifted recitalist, Mr. Dixon earned rave reviews for his Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert broadcast, honoring Roland Hayes on WFMT-FM/Chicago. He has also presented pre-concert recitals at the Cincinnati May Festival for multiple years; he completed a 30 city tour for Community Concerts and a duet concert Following in the Footsteps at Hampton University with his wife, Soprano Alfreda Burke; with whom he has also appeared in duet recitals for the Umbria Music Festival in Italy. The couple performed and participated in Chief Mandela, Miss World Delegation and Rise Against Hunger events and gala, honoring the legacy of President Nelson Mandela. Mr. Dixons notable concerts with tenors Victor Cook and Thomas Young include: Kodak Theatre with Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow; Aretha Franklins dedication concert renaming a Detroit Park after her father, Pastor C. L. Franklin; the Atlanta Symphony, LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl with the Irish Tenors, Cincinnati Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Millennium Park, Elgin Symphony, Rackham Symphony Chorus and the Concordia Orchestra at Lincoln Center

Alfreda Burke

Alfreda Burke’s vocal artistry has been described as “voluptuous, creamy and luxuriant” (Chicago Tribune).  She has appeared in concert throughout North America and in Europe.  Ms. Burke made her Carnegie and Orchestra Hall debuts in Strauss’ Elektra with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra led by Daniel Barenboim.  Highlighted performances include the Chicago Symphony  at Ravinia under Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Opera Theatre/DSO/Rackham Choir, Royal Philharmonic (London), Prague Philharmonic, Umbria Music Festival (Italy), TodiMusicFest (US), Miss World 2012, 2014, 2016 (China, UK, US); Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, Miss World Beauty With A Purpose and Rise Against Hunger events, Gala (South Africa 2017); Holders Season Gala (Barbados), Lancaster Festival, Corrales Cultural Arts Council (New Mexico), Grant Park Music Festival, Millennium Park Gala, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Kennedy Center, Auditorium Theatre, Auditorium Theatre 125 Living the History, Orpheum Theatre (Memphis), Chicago Opera Theater, Chorus Angelorum, Chicagoland Pops Orchestra, Siamsa na nGael and NATO Chicago Summit, among others.  Ms. Burke filmed Prague PBS special, Hallelujah Broadway (Mind the Gap Films, Dublin) and recorded it on EMI/Manhattan Records label (Czech National Symphony Orchestra Studios, Prague).  Alfreda Burke and Rodrick Dixon sang in the historical Mayoral Inauguration of The Honorable Lori E. Lightfoot (Chicago’s Wintrust Arena, 2019).  She is honored to be a HistoryMaker and a permanent part of their collection at the Library of Congress.  

Ms. Burke’s oratorio, opera, concert and musical theater engagements include the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts broadcast on WFMT-FM; Mozart Requiem, Mass in C Minor, Coronation Mass in C Major; Handel’s Messiah; Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Beethoven’s Mass in C; Poulenc Gloria; Schubert’s Mass in G; Mahler 2nd & 8th Symphonies; Strauss’ Elektra; Puccini’s Turandot (Liu); Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta; Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915; Menotti’s Amahl & the Night Visitors; Rutter Requiem; Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem; Boulez’s Le Visage Nuptial under baton of Pierre Boulez; Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess; Bernstein’s West Side Story; Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary Magdalene); Christianson & Anderson’s Too Hot to Handel; Kern’s Show Boat (Kennedy Center/National Tour, Auditorium Theatre with her son, Dean),directed by Harold ‘Hal’ Prince.  A cycle of Paul Laurence Dunbar songs was written for Ms. Burke by Dr. Edward Hart, College of Charleston (2015); and spiritual settings arranged for her by Belford Hernandez (2017).  She was featured in Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony Center Inaugural Festival and Radiothon.  She sang for Francis Cardinal George, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich and the Office for Immigrant Affairs’ Keep Hope Alive Benefit. 

Ms. Burke’s work in recordings, music video, television, radio, film and commercials includes:  soprano vocalist in Dawa movies (LA) soundtrack featuring Ramsey Lewis, Maestro James Mack and members of the CSO; Bobby Lewis release; Celine Dion and R. Kelly’s I’m Your Angel video; numerous classical/crossover, sacred/secular profiles and broadcasts; films include The Visit, The Visitors, Unconditional Love, U.S. Marshals.  Ms. Burke has made guest soloist appearances on the WTTW/Odyssey broadcast of 30 Good Minutes.  She has performed the National Anthem for the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Fire.

Alfreda Burke received rave reviews for Community Concerts national tour and Following in the Footsteps concert with tenor Rodrick Dixon. Ms. Burke’s discography includes solo debut CD, From the Heart; Hallelujah Broadway (EMI/Manhattan Records).  She recorded, performed the Chicago Olympic 2016 Bid Anthem, I Will Stand (Millennium Park Gala) and served on the Arts & Culture Advisory Council.  Burke’s Negro Mother performance with the Michael Teolis Singers is archived in the Margaret Herrick Library (main repository of print, graphic, research materials of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences).  Recent and upcoming engagements include productions of Too Hot to Handel at the Michigan Opera Theatre/Rackham Choir (18 yrs.) and Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre (15 yrs,), where the production will be livestreamed to prisons across the country, thanks to Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church and Auditorium Theatre; Orpheum Theatre (Memphis); City Lights Orchestra; Variety Children’s Charity Telethon; Hannibal Lokumbe’s Crucifixion Resurrection; Tuba Bach Festival; the Royal Philharmonic (London); Auditorium Theatre & DiBurke, Inc. co-produced duo show and CD release; At Home with the Auditorium, Chicago Shakespeare In the Parks virtual tour 2020, Ravinia TV.  Ms. Burke received Master and Bachelor of Music degrees from Roosevelt University; served as Alumna Ambassador for RU’s 60th Anniversary; serves on the RU CCPA Advisory Board, Community Engagement Committee Chair; and served on the Auditorium Theatre 125th Anniversary Season Committee.  Visit, YouTube and FacebookFollow Ms. Burke on Twitter @AlfredaBurke17

The talent, support and encouragement of Alfreda Burke’s beloved parents ignited her passion for music.  Her performances are dedicated to the life, love, legacy and cherished memory of Pastor John H. Burke Jr. and First Lady Mamie R. Burke.

Work in Education:

Wheaton College Conservatory, Guest Lecturer in Voice  (1998-2009); Chicago State University, Voice Faculty  (2007-2008); Carl Sandburg HS, Individual Voice Teacher  (2004-2007); Chicago Symphony Orchestra Musicians Residency/South Shore Cultural Center, Voice Instructor (1996-1998); Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Experimental Laboratory Schools (K-8), Evanston-Skokie Dist. 65, General Music & Choral Teacher  (1985-1996).  Young Musicians Choral Orchestra (YMCO) Artist Residency, CA (Summer 2009-2015); Too Hot to Handel Education Outreach, Michigan Opera Theatre (2002-Present) and Auditorium Theatre (2006-Present); Wright State University Music & Medicine Symposium (2009-2013) Performer,  Presenter, Clinician; The HistoryMakers Back to School (2013, 2016); Tennessee State University Camera Class (2017); NANM 2019 Centennial National Convention Chicago, Camera Class

Interesting Facts:

Ms. Burke is the Goddaughter of Roberta Martin, internationally acclaimed Gospel singer, pianist, composer, arranger, choral organizer and publisher.  

Ms. Burke was taught and inspired by Anne Greaney to pursue her talents in visual art, as well as music.  


Parents, Alice Dutcher Thornton, Dr. Corinne Schumacher, Margaret Hillis, Jennifer Ringo Conlon, George & Gladys Shirley, Dr./Sr. Marion Etzel, Maestro James Mack, Jeffrey Horvath, Dr. Edna Williams, Dr. Robert Eckstrom, Anne M. Greaney, Dr. Sydonia M. Brooks



LISA KRISTINA has earned music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and DePaul University, where she served on the faculty for several years. Her career has taken her around the world, performing and coaching in German theaters, playing jazz in China, and giving chamber music concerts in Lithuania. She has worked on major professional productions of such shows as Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Sunset Boulevard and Cats, and has been musical director for many more productions around Chicago. Lisa has been heard live on WFMT radio, and has appeared as an accompanist on Chicago Tonight. With the New Philharmonic, she has worked in various capacities, from rehearsal pianist to solo vocalist, on many opera productions. She has also been a keyboardist for Chicago Opera Theater, including for A Flowering Tree by John Adams, with the composer himself conducting, and normally keeps quite busy working, even after winning some money in late 2017 as a two-time Jeopardy! champion. 

Stephen Murray

Stephen Murray is the Lisa and Bernard Selz Professor Emeritus of Medieval Art at Columbia University.  He was educated at Keble College Oxford and the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. His teaching career spanned five decades: he held positions at Morley College, University of London, Indiana University, Bloomington (where he was the founding director of the School of Fine Arts), Harvard University, and, since 1986, Columbia University. His field of teaching included Romanesque and Gothic art, particularly involving the integrated understanding of art and architecture within a broader framework of economic and cultural history.  At Columbia he established and directed (1993-2003) the Media Center for Art History and served as Departmental Chair (1997-2000).  His publications include books on the cathedrals of Amiens, Beauvais, and Troyes as well as books on medieval preaching and the role of storytelling and plotting in the comprehension of “Gothic.”  His current book, Notre-Dame of Amiens: The Life of the Gothic Cathedral, published by Columbia University Press, will appear in December 2020.

Murray, a former Guggenheim Fellow (1987-8), holds honorary citizenship of Amiens (1998) and an honorary doctorate from the University of Picardy, Jules Verne, Amiens (2019).

Guillaume Lacroix

Guillaume Lacroix became Consul General of France in Chicago on August 29th, 2017. He oversees the relations between France and 13 U.S. Midwestern States.

He holds diplomas from the Institute of Political Studies and the Law School of Assas (pron. ah-sass) University in Paris. He speaks Swahili, a language he studied at the Institute of Oriental Languages in Paris and in the field, on the islands of Zanzibar, East Africa.

He started his diplomatic career in 1997. He was assigned to the Bureau of African Affairs at the Headquarters in France, then to the French Embassy in Tanzania. In 2005, he joined the French Embassy in Washington DC.

He was also posted in two other diplomatic institutions: at the U.S. State Department as part of an exchange program and at the European External Action Service in Brussels.

From 2013 until 2017, he served in the cabinets of French Foreign Affairs Ministers as Counselor for African Affairs.

Guillaume Lacroix was born in 1971 in Auxerre (pron. oh-sair), in Burgundy. He is married and has two children.

This is a picture of Michel Picaud, President of Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris

Michel Picaud

Michel Picaud is President of Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds to accelerate the restoration of the iconic Paris cathedral, a position he has held since its incorporation in October 2016.

Prior to that Michel served as COO for International Markets of the Demos Group, one of the main European learning and development companies, and as President and CEO of HR Access Solutions, a leading Human Resources software provider part of Fidelity Investments.

Michel was also SVP for Orange Business Services/Equant, CEO of Alcatel Réseaux d’Entreprise. He worked for the Bosch Telecom Group in France and in Germany. 

He is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique Paris, Mines ParisTech and Telecom ParisTech.

He is married and is the proud father of four sons and two daughters and grandfather of one granddaughter.