Royal Irish Academy of Music honours Joyce DiDonato with a fellowship Honoris Causa

Ireland’s leading music conservatoire, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, last night [Tues 4 Sep] awarded the distinguished American mezzo-soprano, Joyce DiDonato, with the
Fellowship Honoris Causa, the highest artistic and academic accolade the institution can bestow. Since the RIAM’s foundation in 1848, only 58 individuals have received the honour for their outstanding services to music, including the internationally renowned composers Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Olivier Messiaen, mezzo-soprano Ann Murray DBE, flautist, Sir James Galway, and the Director of London’s Wigmore Hall, John Gilhooly OBE.

Universally acknowledged as one of the foremost singers of our time, Kansas-born Joyce DiDonato of Irish extraction, has been dubbed by the New Yorker as “perhaps the most potent female singer of her generation”. She has soared to the top of the industry, both as a performer and as a fierce advocate for the arts, gaining international prominence and entrancing audiences worldwide in operas from Mozart and Handel to Rossini, Donizetti and Jake Heggie, as well as through her wide-ranging, acclaimed discography.

Speaking on receiving the award of Fellowship Honoris Causa Ms DiDonato said: “It’s difficult to express how deeply touched I am by this extraordinary gesture from the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Of course, while I recognize the historical significance of such an honour, I’m afraid the overwhelming response is the wish that my parents could have been present to share this event with me. They passed on a fierce pride in our Irish heritage to all seven of us Flaherty children, and I can only imagine how their Irish eyes are smiling and beaming today. My gratitude is profound.

Recognising Ms Di Donato’s extraordinary career and contribution to the arts at the Fellowship Ceremony which was held at the Reform Club in London last night, RIAM Director, Deborah Kelleher stated: “One of the ways in which we at the RIAM are refreshed, inspired and challenged is to look outside ourselves and at any moment in time, find out what is the best in the world in music performance. Who is setting the agenda, who is the thought leader, the innovator, the artist that makes us question ourselves and lifts our spirits?  Joyce DiDonato with her technical and musical mastery; her passion for music as an art form; her ability to tap into the zeitgeist of the time and her awareness of how important the arts are to the human soul, is one of those agenda setters. By honouring her with the Fellowship Honoris Causa, we form a link to an artist who will be remembered forever. RIAM’s history is Ms DiDonato’s history – we opened our doors as her ancestors were leaving Ireland in the 19th century and we welcome her back today, so that the national conservatoire in the country of her ancestors might be inspired by who she is and what she has achieved, to reach ever higher, ever better.

13 hours ago

Please join the Brentano String Quartet and me for this live-streamed event, and discover this haunting, evocative… https://t.co/J7ze3ixGe0

17 hours ago

You are welcome......most welcome https://t.co/uo8AmJnLnu

21 hours ago

Ich auch .... https://t.co/6ePrU4wBLo

FOLLOW Joyce DiDonato

Please join the Brentano String Quartet and me for this live-streamed event, and discover this haunting, evocative cycle by Jake Heggie, "Into the Fire”. Photo: @chrissingerme @wqxr_classical @medici.tv @warner_classics @greenespacenyc

The joy and privilege of bringing this program with this orchestra and this maestro to @carnegiehall is immeasurable! Hope you can be there!! @philorch @nezetseguin #Chausson #DeadLeaves #Roses #Lilacs #Love #Loss #PainfulBeauty #SublimePartnership @nkodamusic

Thanks to all who came out to catch the @sonyclassics film #MariaByCallas! It was thrilling to experience her story with you all in this city that she so loved - and which loved her so!

It is so special to be back in #Philly and to be making music with the #INCREDIBLE @philorch and the divine @nezetseguin. The splendid fall leaves and colors are the perfect inspiration and backdrop for our concerts this weekend of Chausson’s “Poemes de l’amour et de la mer”, exploring the loss of love and life, dead leaves, general despair. I hope you’ll be able to join if you’re in the neighborhood this weekend, or at @carnegiehall on Tuesday!! #deadleavesarestillravishing

It shouldn’t take #Einstein to convince you to get out and #vote...but in case it does....voilà!

For the record . . .

It has been a wonderful experience giving voice to the letters of Maria Callas for this highly acclaimed film. Hope to see you in NY for these special viewings! @mariabycallas #mariacallas @tomvolf @angelikafilmcenterny

Heartfelt thanks to all of you for joining in for the experience of Les Troyens tonight, and throughout the run. It has been a pivotal experience of my artistic life to arrive here with this beautiful role and extraordinary opera. I shall never forget it. Thank you to the lovely @catecool for the photo.

Coming to you, LIVE, from the @wienerstaatsoper today with Berlioz’s epic telling of “Les Troyens”. Singing the Queen Didon has been an enormous gift, and I hope to be able to share it with you today on the livestream (available for an additional 72 hours). Where will YOU be watching from? Link: https://bit.ly/2qpSdza *Qui connut la souffrance ne pourrait voir en vain souffrir ... *

Follow Joyce on Instagram

There will always be more freedom to acquire and more truth to uncover.

~ Joyce DiDonato