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.

20 hours ago

It was special for us, as well!! https://t.co/CRE1u1r0ix

14 Jul

Can we have a shout-out for brilliance, please? #shoutoutforbrilliance https://t.co/k85WeodIlx

12 Jul

Thank you!!! https://t.co/ROYLl0BESD

FOLLOW Joyce DiDonato

Sunday Paella a la brasa! #howtosummer #howtopaella #howtoseafood #howtospain #famiglia #summerlovin #hadmeablast #howtosiesta

So looking forward to this tonight!!

#Howtomarket #howtosummer #freshfreshfresh #natureinallherglory #backtobasics #summerlovin

📺 Watch "In War & Peace - Harmony though Music” on @arteconcert at 5:30pm London time / 6:30pm CET today. 👉 🔗link in bio. @ilpdo @warner_classics @liceu_opera_barcelona 🕊🎶 #TalkPeace #DoPeace 📷: @brookeshaden

🌈 50 years ago. So much progress. So far to go. While I wish I could be there in person to help ring in this momentous occasion, through music, memories, commitment, and connection we can all actually be united across the miles for this day! Hope everyone on the @metopera float sings out loud and clear for me, reminding us all that it’s not about tolerance, or acceptance - it’s about LOVE and EQUALITY FOR ALL! Pride on, People - PRIDE ON! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 watch the entire clip: 🔗link in bio.

#SummerLovin #GekkoGusto #TwilightLovin

#SummerLovin #LovinLavender #LavenderLovin

I arrive (nearly) to the end of this very full season, and it’s good moment to remind each of you reading this that YOU are the reason I travel the world, away from home for months at a time, working towards an unattainable perfection, exposed in ways very few people can imagine, singing the stories of characters searching for enlightenment/redemption/hope/relief/joy, and why I dedicate a large part of my life to this century’s old art form. I do it to entertain you at a minimum, but mostly to offer you comfort, to help us all join in a communal “event” that connects us across time and space despite our perceived differences, and I do it because I truly believe it makes the world a better place. I know you feel this most of the time as well. It’s likely what keeps bringing you back! I hope that after this season, perhaps you feel a bit more inspired to take what you receive as an audience member and activate that sensation in your own life, to bring hope and joy to the world around you. Don’t ever underestimate your power to do that - one doesn’t need the spotlight to bring transformation. #Songplay #Winterreise #Agrippina #Didon ✨

If this girl can do it, you can too!!!!!!! #belikeanant #heavyload #yourenevergivenanythingyoucanthandle #antsruletheworld #summerlovin

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

~ Joyce DiDonato