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Press

Christopher Cerrone "In a Grove" recording on In a Circle Records

“...the captivating “Scene 6: The Missing Woman,” which highlights Kesselman’s gorgeous singing that suits the cryptic intimacy."

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Take Effect (December 2023)

David Biedenbender "All We Are Given We Cannot Hold" album on Blue Griffin 

"Composer David Biedenbender might want to consider signing Lindsay Kesselman to some kind of long-term contract when the soprano delivers a performance in Shell and Wing (2018) so spectacular it would be hard to imagine another equaling it—how telling that the work was written for her (plus the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble) by Biedenbender and his collaborator, poet Robert Fanning. In the piece, she sings with a searing intensity that calls to mind Dawn Upshaw's performance of Górecki's third symphony on the 1992 Nonesuch release."

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—Textura (December 2023)

David Biedenbender "All We Are Given We Cannot Hold" album on Blue Griffin 

"All We Are Given We Cannot Hold presents a terrific sampling of Biedenbender's work and Kesselman's exceptional vocal artistry."

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—Textura (October 2023)

David Biedenbender "All We Are Given We Cannot Hold" album on Blue Griffin 

"(Lindsay Kesselman’s) shimmering timbre, emotional acuity and ability to render words clear in every register can only be termed mesmerising."

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Gramophone (October 2023)

David Biedenbender "All We Are Given We Cannot Hold" album on Blue Griffin 

“If a composer is able to find a poet who is a muse, they are fortunate indeed; a living poet, doubly so. David Biedenbender engaged in close collaboration with Robert Fanning in creating two vocal pieces that are programmed on his Blue Griffin CD All We Are Given We Cannot Hold. Soprano Lindsay Kesselman has bonded with these works in a special way as well, imparting both words and music assuredly, her beautiful voice, dynamic control, and impressive upper register making her an ideal advocate for Biedenbender’s work. 

 

Shell and Wing is for soprano and chamber group, here the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. Kesselman treats Fanning’s poetry sensitively, delivering a rousing performance in “Shell” and imparting “Wing” with touching delicacy. The use of pitched percussion and piano is noteworthy here and elsewhere in Biedenbender’s music, with Ian Rosenbaum’s vibraphone and pianist Oscar Mikaelsson performing overlapping rhythms. Strings and winds create corresponding passages, with multiple strands of activity yet a strong sense of support for the vocal line. The piece ends in a hushed fashion, Kesselman’s singing down to a whisper.

 

[...]

 

Kesselman is part of the group Haven Trio. Joined by clarinetist Kimberly Cole Luevano and pianist Midori Koga, the soprano performs all we are given we cannot hold, a song cycle with settings of Fanning. “The Darkness, Literal and Figurative” features an oscillating two chord pattern in the piano, descending lines in the clarinet, and a delicately delivered yet rangy vocal line. “One and a half miles away” is declamatory, with repeated piano bass notes. “Watching my Daughter through the One Way Mirror of a Preschool Observation Window” is one of the most touching of Fanning’s poems, analogizing the view of his young child with the view he hopes to get of his grown children from the beyond. A duet between Kesselman and Luevano alternates segments of the main melody, while Koga plays swaths of harmony. The distant thunder of bass octaves and a clarinet cadenza accompany a recitative from Kesselman in “Model Nation,” ultimately replaced by piano ostinatos and scalar mirroring from the clarinet to reframe the high-lying singing into flowing melody. The cycle’s final song begins with dissonances from piano and clarinet; upon Kesselman’s entry these are filled in with pantonal harmonies. There is a winsome character present, with the narrator observing the clippings from his children’s haircuts; rather than sweeping them up, allowing the wind to take them. “The wind will take what we forget to sweep. And cannot keep.” An allied sentiment to watching his daughter in preschool, the sense of impermanence delivered with seamless line from Kesselman and lyrical rejoinders from Luevano and Koga. all we are given we cannot hold is one of the finest song cycles I have heard this year. Biedendbender’s music should gain wider currency. Recommended.” 

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Sequenza 21/ (September 24, 2023)

Christopher Cerrone "In a Grove" recording on In a Circle Records

“Here we also discover how pivotal Kesselman’s towering performance is to the work - consider, as a representative example, how powerful the passage is where she sings “Her eyes?” and “What has happened to her?” as the mother. The soprano’s later confession as the bride (the sixth scene, “The Missing Woman”) is as strong in its expressions of vulnerability and inner turmoil.” 

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Textura (July 2023)

Christopher Cerrone "In a Grove" recording on In a Circle Records

"The scrupulously produced album goes one step further than the well-received 2022 Pittsburgh Opera premiere in its use of vocal processing, reverb, and multi-layering. The result is an immersive and deeply hypnotic piece of sonic storytelling. Andrew Cyr leads the Metropolis Ensemble in a seamless reading with excellent performances by Andrew Turner as the murdered settler, Lindsay Kesselman as his wife, John Taylor Ward as the outlaw, and countertenor Chuanyuan Liu as the medium. Cerrone was Pulitzer-nominated for his opera Invisible Cities in 2014. In a Grove is a more than fitting successor."

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Musical America (July 7, 2023)

Christopher Cerrone "In a Grove" recording on In a Circle Records

"Finally, Lindsay Kesselman is immaculate as both Leona and the Mother. There is an innate clarity to her voice which not only accords well with the modernism of the score but also stands out in the ensembles."

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OperaWire (June 5, 2023)

To love and Be Loved, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble

"Week 3 of Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble's 2018 season was graced by the practically perfect performance entitled To love and be loved, a collection of art songs compiled to create the story of a woman's journey into and out of love. All of the artists involved in To love gave passionate, precise performances, but the concert really served as a showcase for Ms. Kesselman's astounding voice. Her soprano is the picture of perfect intonation and general mastery of vocal technique...thee evening ended with the simultaneously mournful and hopeful The Country Wife by Kieren MacMillan. As Ms. Kesselman's voice floated and soared, whispered and shouted, as she sang Dana Giola's text – "The night reflected on the lake, The fire of stars changed into water,: the world of the stage slowly darkened and filled with the reflection of stars,, until Ms. Kesselman was simply alone, in the dark, moving through the stars into the unknown. It was a beautiful final moment."

 

Pittsburgh in the Round (July 24, 2018)

Louis Andriessen "Theatre of the World" recording on Nonesuch with the Los Angeles Philharmonic

"There are superb performances from Cristina Zavalloni as Jana Inés de la Cruz, the Mexican nun in whom Kircher thought he had discovered a soul-mate, and Lindsay Kesselman as the boy who guides him on this surreal journey through his memories."

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The Guardian (September 28, 2017)

Louis Andriessen "Theatre of the World" recording on Nonesuch with the Los Angeles Philharmonic

"Premiered in 2016 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall by the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Reinbert de Leeuw, Theatre of the World takes the 16th-century German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher as its unlikely starting point, although his life and work is only one strand in a complex dramatic scenario. Possessed by a need to become recognised as the foremost thinker of his age, Kircher (vividly characterised in the baritone Leigh Melrose's performance) arrives at the Vatican, where he meets Pope Innocent XI. Accompanied by a young boy with magical powers (excellently portrayed by the lyric soprano Lindsay Kesselman), the three are transported through time and space to various locations including ancient Egypt, the Tower of Babel and Dutch-colonialist China."

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Gramophone (November 2017)

Chris Cerrone "The Pieces That Fall to Earth" with Present Music, Milwaukee

"Soprano Lindsay Kesselman gave the music heartfelt presence in exciting singing that roused the audience to spontaneous ovation."

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Shepherd Express (November 21, 2017)

John Mackey "Songs from the End of the World" on "Antique Violences" album on Blue Griffin, released summer 2017, with Michigan State University, Kevin Sedatole, conductor

"Kesselman, an artist of growing reputation for her artistry and intelligence, sings the uncommonly beautiful songs with heartbreaking restraint and a voice of goddess-like splendor. I predict great things for her career."

—Fanfare Magazine

 

"Theatre of the World" by Louis Andriessen​

"Theater of the World" finds Kircher near the end of his life, guided through a stylized journey by a boy (sung with creepy precision by the soprano Lindsay Kesselman) who seems harmlessly curious at first but eventually begins to act savagely, even satanically. (Is he angel or devil?)" 

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The New York Times (May 8, 2016)

HAVEN recording of Atonement

"...Kesselman is captivating in her selections, rendering them with her gorgeous voice, crisp diction, and a compelling tragic character. Her singing and enunciation in the English language are so good that one scarcely needs the text; it rolls off her tongue with perfect strength and clarity. Moreover, her wordless chant in the final movement of the Chambers is both vivid and haunting."

American Record Guide (September 1, 2015)

La commedia by Louis Andriessen, with Great Noise Ensemble

"The limpid soprano Lindsay Kesselman, as Beatrice, shone in her few appearances."

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The New York Times (April 8, 2014)

HAVEN Bright Angel recording

"She has a fully loaded palette of tone color... the real star of this offering is the soprano, Lindsay Kesselman. Her singing is simply gorgeous."

Fanfare Magazine (November 3, 2013)

Mr. Tambourine Man at Carnegie Hall

"Soprano soloist Lindsay Kesselman made (Corigliano's Mr. Tambourine Man) her own in a performance filled with passion. Her diction was excellent and the colors of her voice really brought out the meanings of Dylan's lyrics. There were countless moments of excellence, but I will mention just one that caught me off guard. The last line of Masters of War ('Til I'm sure you're dead) was delivered with a bone-chilling, angry hiss that I was not expecting from such a radiant voice! She was a joy to watch and hear, and when she finished Forever Young, the audience gave her a richly deserved and prolonged ovation. Mr. Corigliano came to the stage and shared his enthusiasm for the superlative performance the amazing Ms. Kesselman gave of his work."

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New York Concert Review

From the composer:

"Lindsay Kesselman possesses a marvelous voice which she uses in an incredibly musical way. She is unafraid of taking chances, and that puts her in a special category of artist. I think she is wonderful."

—John Corigliano (2013)

HAVEN Bright Angel recording

"Luevano has great energy, a pleasant tone and solid fingers... Koga is solid at the keyboard, granting each score the essential character and rhythmic intensity... Kesselman steals the show with exceptional color and clarity, superb diction and heartfelt phrasing; her command of both traditional lyricism and Sprechstimme is breathtaking... important contribution to the repertoire."

American Record Guide (September 30, 2013)

Mirage Trio Performance at Atlas Performing Arts

"The Mirage players — Nicholas Photinos on cello and Yasuko Oura on piano, as well as soprano Kesselman — played with virtuosity and conviction all afternoon, and those qualities were on full display in perhaps the most accomplished work on the program, Kaija Saariaho's shimmering, otherworldy "Mirage" — a piece that inspired the group's name. It's a work of ravishing sonic beauty and imagination, rich in both complexity and poetry, and the trio gave it a vivid and completely assured reading — a memorable performance in every way."

—The Washington Post (September 24, 2013)

Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble

"Amy Kirsten's "L'Ange Pale" (The Pale Angel) was magnificently sung by soprano Lindsay Kesselman. Kesselman reached heights of ecstatic virtuosity while always maintaining remarkable accuracy."

Pittsburgh Tribune (July 25, 2012)

Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble

"The cornerstone was a work of haunting beauty, Joseph Schwantner's "Sparrows" for full ensemble. Set to haiku by the eighteenth-century Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa, stark strains gave way to swirling neo-romanticism. Soprano Lindsay Kesselman intoned the text with simple, radiant expression."

Pittsburgh Post Gazette (July 25, 2011)

From Phyllis Look, Director of Marketing, Hawai'i Public Radio

"Hawai'i Public Radio was honored to present the Honolulu premiere of Twinge in our Atherton Performing Arts Studio on January 21, 2017. This new music concert had all the elements we look to bring HPR's discerning audiences: the celebration of a creative work by a Hawai'i resident (the composer John Magnussen), inspiration from artists from beyond our shores (the Haven Trio), quality storytelling and social relevance (from the source material by Barry Bearak for the NY Times Magazine on the 2004 Indonesian tsunami). I found the performance deeply moving as well as technically thrilling, and others in the audience were evidently equally engaged, as the majority of them remained for the post-performance discussion with the composer, performers, and author."

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