Kelley Nassief Soprano

Represented by Dispeker Artists / Dispeker.com 

 
 
 

 

Biography

“If the angels in heaven really sing, please let them do it like Nassief. Her voice combines the best of two worlds: It has bel canto size, warmth and height, and yet is svelte, with a youthful sparkle.”  So wrote the Leipziger Volkszeitung when Kelley Nassief sang Elijah with the Gewandhausorchester and Kurt Masur on the occasion of the sesquicentennial of Mendelssohn's death. Her critically acclaimed and exquisite performances on symphonic stages across the globe have established her as one of the world’s leading concert artists. In the 2015-16 season Kelley Nassief is soloist in Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the Louisville Orchestra.

Miss Nassief's 2017-18 season include Four Last Songs of Strauss and Mahler Symphony No. 4 with the Adelphi Orchestra, Beethoven Symphony No.9 with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Boca del Rio, Bernstein Kaddish Symphony No. 3 with the Tuscon Symphony, and Bernstein Kaddish Symphony No. 3 with Radio France in Paris.  

Nassief's 2015-16 season engagements included soloist in Kaddish Symphony No. 3 by Bernstein with the La Verdi Symphony Orchestra in Milan, Italy, Verdi Requiem with the Duke Chapel Choir, and Bernstein Kaddish Symphony No. 3 with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic.

Her 2014-15 season engagements included soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Grand Rapids Symphony and in Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony in her Dallas Symphony Orchestra debut. Recent engagements included singing as soprano soloist in Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony at Konzerthaus Berlin; with Richmond Symphony in Verdi’s Requiem, also with Portland Symphonic Choir; with Rochester Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; and with Nashville Symphony in Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony. In season 2012-13 she reprised Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony in her debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. 

Recent season highlights include singing as featured soloist in Brahms’ Requiem with the New Bedford Symphony; in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 (“Kaddish”) with Fundaçao Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Saõ Paulo (Brazil) under Marin Alsop; in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in a return to the Pacific Symphony, also in her debut with Fort Worth Symphony; Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 with both the National Symphony Orchestra and the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw, through the Fundacja Shalom of Poland; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica; Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony with Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra; and Ravel’s Shéhérazade, plus selected opera arias, with the Richmond Symphony. Other highlights include singing as soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with Louisville, Grand Rapids and Modesto symphony orchestras; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra; Mozart’s Requiem with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra; Wagner’s “Wesendonck Lieder” with Da Camera of Houston; and Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 (“Kaddish”) with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.

Her extensive concert appearances have included appearing with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Vaughan Williams' A Sea Symphony; the Florida West Coast Symphony in Mahler's Symphony No. 4; the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in Elijah; the Eugene Symphony in Strauss' Vier letzte Lieder; with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in Bernstein's Symphony No. 3 ("Kaddish") at London's Barbican Centre, a work which she also performed with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra and L'Orchestre de Paris; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra; Mozart's Requiem with both the Jacksonville and Nashville symphony orchestras; Brahms' Requiem with the Long Island Philharmonic; and with Choral Arts Society of Washington DC in a Christmas concert.

Other highlights include her debut with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, and her returns to the Philadelphia Orchestra in Bernstein's Symphony No. 3, to the Grand Rapids Symphony to sing Brahms' Requiem, and to the Choral Arts Society in Dvorák's Stabat Mater. She also sang Mendelssohn's Elijah with Washington's Cathedral Choral Society; Verdi's Requiem with Winston-Salem and Pasadena symphonies; returned to the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Mozart's Mass in C Minor; performed Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Choral Arts Society at the Kennedy Center and Mexico's Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria; and appeared with Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Mahler's Symphony No. 2.

Ms. Nassief's prolific career as a gifted concert artist has seen her appear with the world's leading conductors and symphonies. She has performed Beethoven's Ah, perfido! with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, Peer Gynt with Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Seiji Ozawa at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Brahms' Requiem with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra under Neemi Järvi, and several appearances with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic to sing Peer Gynt, Elijah, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.

Other concert hall successes include Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Verdi's Requiem with Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa, Baltimore Choral Arts, and Spokane Symphony Orchestra; Bernstein's Symphony No. 3 with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia, and Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra; Philip Glass's Symphony No. 5 with the Ruhr Triennale Festival; Haydn's Die Jahreszeiten with the Orchestre Poitou Charentes; Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915with the East Texas Symphony; Fauré's Requiem with the Pacific Symphony; Britten's War Requiemwith the Sioux City Symphony; Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2 with the Jacksonville Symphony; and Mozart's Requiem with both the Saint Louis and Richmond symphony orchestras. She has performed Strauss's Vier letzte Lieder with the Mexico City Philharmonic and Naples Philharmonic, Chausson's Poème de l'amour et de la mer with the Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, and Einhorn's Voices of Light at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony. She also performs recitals regularly in North America and Europe, and has appeared in recital on Japanese television.

Kelley Nassief is a 2001 winner of the Sullivan Foundation Grant, a 1996 Laureate of the Leonard Bernstein Jerusalem International Oratorio and Song Competition, a 1997 winner of a Richard Tucker Career Grant, and a winner of the 1995 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Miss Nassief holds a Bachelors in Music Performance from Portland State University and a Masters in Vocal Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College.

Acclaim
NAXOS Review - Kaddish Symphony No. 3
 Soprano Kelley Nassief will melt your heart in her “Kaddish 2” movement solo
-Jerry Dubbins, Fanfare
RPO concert a triumph of moods
“Soprano Kelley Nassief … sparkled with vibrancy.”
— Daniel J. Kushner, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
RPO's Beethoven's Ninth
“Four soloists were featured [including] Kelley Nassief, soprano.... Each one deserved the audience's applause, and I would welcome an opportunity hear each one in a solo recital so that I could sit back and enjoy the clear, warm sounds of each voice.”
— Paloma Capanna, Rochester City Newspaper
Verdi Requiem
“Nassief is a first-class artist, vital and assured. Her singing in the ‘Libera Me,’ coming at the Requiem’s close, managed to blend the smooth with the raw: an expert, yet aching, plea for deliverance.”
— Anne Timberlake, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Marin Alsop, BSO peform Bernstein's 'Kaddish' featuring Claire Bloom
“Soprano Kelley Nassief, alone in a balcony above the stage, began her second movement solo with an exquisite pianissimo and proceeded to shape the rising phrases most tenderly.”
— Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun
Carol Tollefsen-Hoaglund
"Soprano soloist Kelley Nassief gave a heart-wrenching performance during the fifth movement, 'Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit,' (John 16:22, 'You now have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice') Her soprano voice was pristine and mesmerizing as she expressed passages from John, Ecclesiasticus and Isaiah that offer comfort and promise."
— NBSO, singers give Brahms his due, South Coast Today
 
Music review: NSO highlights Bernstein
"And Nassief - dark-toned ... was a rich and tender presence."
— Anne Midgette, Washington Post
Sounds of the ocean soothe, soar as Grand Rapids Symphony and chorus bring 'Sea Symphony' to life
"Nassief brought an impassioned, spiritual commitment to the music that elevated not only her voice but the spirit of the work."
— John Phipps, Grand Rapids Press
 
Review: Richard Symphony
"Kelley Nassief ... is smartly cast in Ravel's song cycle 'Schéhérazade' and arias from operas by Dvorák, Puccini and Francesco Cilea, all of which display her voice's melding of soprano brilliance with mezzo warmth and heft. The Ravel is a showcase of the tonal nuance that the French language brings to vocal music, and Nassief luxuriated in all those luscious and piquant vowels in the first of two weekend concerts.... Nassief was no less fluent and characterful in her three solo arias, 'O Silver Moon' from Dvo?ák's 'Rusalka' (which shivers my timbers like no other opera aria), 'O mio bambino caro' from Puccini's 'Gianni Schicchi' and 'Io son l'umine Ancella' from Cilea's 'Adriana Lecouvreur.' All three are bittersweet and yearning in character, and Nassief showed that this point on the vocal-emotional spectrum is one to which she is finely attuned."
— Clarke Bustard, Letter V
 
Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with Kelley Nassief, soprano
"Nassief and the musicians delivered a performance that was both immediate in its expression of that yearning and tempered by restraint, like the sepia glow of an old photograph. Nassief revealed how shapely the sung consonants and vowels of Czech can be."
— Angela Lehman-Rios, Richmond-Times Dispatch
 
In its season finale, Da Camera sues for peace
"Soprano Kelley Nassief, sounding more like a mezzo-soprano, sang gloriously even and unmarred sound, enveloping warmth and that special ability to make drama solely through her voice."
— Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle
 
"Nassief, whose awards include winning the 1995 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, projected a voice of beauty and power, easily able to ride the symphonic waves." Read More...
— Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer
 
"Soprano Kelly Nassief is a real find. With pin-point focus, her clear, bright intonation is radiant. Her aria 'Hear ye, Israel,' which begins the second half, is one of the highlights of the evening." Read More...
— D. S. Crafts, Albuquerque Journal
"Kelley Nassief successfully essayed Donna Anna's full range of emotions through her exceptionally fine soprano - bell-like in its clarity at the top, richly textured in its mid-range." [DON GIOVANNI - Atlanta Opera]
— Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Nassief's intonation was rock-solid, her voice big and limber with plenty of dramatic color and flair. But the crowd was won over as much by her acting as her lush sound. One felt her pain and humiliation as her husband plotted to seduce Figaro's fiancee, Susanna." [LE NOZZE DI FIGARO - Arizona Opera]
— Tucson Citizen
"Yet just when one was willing to blame every singer's vocal problems on the 4,500 seat Fox, an acoustical black hole, along appeared soprano Kelley Nassief as the selfless slave girl Liu. Nassief projected cleanly, in radiant, endearing tones, the ideal match between singer and role." [LA TURANDOT - Atlanta Opera]
— Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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