Soprano Kathryn Hearden completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music, where she was a winner of the Concerto Competition and the Performer’s Certificate. Among the last students of the renowned mezzo soprano, Jan DeGaetani, Hearden has also studied with Chlöe Owen, William Sharp, Masako Toribara and George Gibson. A finalist in the Washington International Competition for Voice, Kathryn's repertoire spans seven centuries and reflects her love of chamber music as well as oratorio and operatic literature. Of her work in the latter genre, critic Scott Cantrell observed: “As Lady Billows, Kathryn Hearden very nearly stole the show. She had the imperious deportment down to the tiniest flick of the eyebrow, and the high-cholesterol voice to match…” [Times-Union, Rochester; Britten, Albert Herring]. An advocate of new music, Hearden has premiered dozens of works, including those by composers Samuel Adler, Robert Morris, Ray Ricker, Judith Shatin, Lawrence Moss, Jeffrey Mumford, Kamran Ince and John Hilliard, and has served on the board of directors of the Capital Composers Alliance. She is featured on a 2-CD Innova recording of the works of Lawrence Moss, released earlier this year. In a review of Moss’s “Either/Or” for solo soprano and percussion, Gramophone magazine praised the piece and Hearden’s performance as a “tour de force.” She currently sings recent American works with VERGEnsemble of The Contemporary Music Forum, in residence at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Hearden appears in recital throughout the mid-Atlantic region, notably at the National Gallery of Art, with former gallery Music Director George Manos at the piano. She has been featured on several concerts with the National Gallery Orchestra, with whom area audiences have heard her on the radio program, "Music in Washington," as well as on National Public Radio. In spring 2008, Hearden teamed with cellist Marcio Botelho and pianist Patricia Parker for a recital of French chamber music at The National Gallery of Art. The recital program was designed to coincide with the Gallery’s exhibit of Impressionist artists, “In the forest of Fontainebleau: photographers and painters from Corot to Monet.” In recent seasons, Hearden performed “A Mirror on Which to Dwell,” by Elliott Carter, with VERGEnsemble, conducted by James Stern, in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress. The concert was one in a series produced by our national Library in honor of the 100th birthday of the estimable American composer. Hearden sang the east coast premiere of the soprano role in “Beatitude Mass,” July 2009, in a concert conducted by its composer, Henry Mollicone, at The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC. At the Mason Center for the Arts, her solo performance in the world premiere of Don McCullough’s “Song of the Shulamite,” in November 2012—for soprano, percussion and harp soli, with chorus—was met with wide acclaim.
Hearden has enjoyed the honor of performing as civilian guest artist with “The President’s Own” Chamber Orchestra of the United States Marine Band, conducted by Col. Timothy Foley; first, in a rare performance of Arnold Schönberg’s arrangement for string orchestra of his String Quartet No. 2. A return engagement with “The President’s Own” featured Hearden with the orchestra for “Knoxville: Summer of 1915,” by Samuel Barber. Other performances in the region include oratorio, symphonic song, recitals and chamber works at the Kennedy Center, La Maison Française (the French Embassy), The National Museum for Women in the Arts, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Phillips Collection, the Hylton Performing Arts Center, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the World Bank, and with the Alexandria Symphony, Millbrook Orchestra, American Festival Pops Orchestra, The Washington Camerata, Arlington Metropolitan Chorus, New Dominion Chorale, Choralis, “Pershing’s Own” U.S. Army Strings, and Concert Artists of Baltimore, to name a few. Of her chamber music recital at the French Embassy, The Washington Post raved: "soprano Kathryn Hearden was an absolute knockout...her dramatic interpretation could rival anything seen on the operatic stage. Hearden's voice is a first-rate instrument and she used it to the fullest effect.” [Ravel, Chansons madécasses]
With Dr. Jeanne Barr, Professor Emerita of Accompanying at Eastman, and Dr. Mark Lawson, of the Munich Staatsoper, Dr. Hearden has presented at a national conference of the Music Teachers National Association, on the subject of art song collaboration. As Professor of Voice and Associate Director of Vocal Studies at George Mason University, Dr. Hearden has appeared in numerous concert collaborations in the Center for the Arts, including a production of the Fauré Requiem with guest conductor Leonard Slatkin. Hearden is an active adjudicator for the Virginia Music Educators Association, as well as the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). In April of 2012, she represented the commonwealth of Virginia as Adjudicator in the Mid-Atlantic Regional NATSAA Competition, held at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Hearden’s students are regular winners of the state and regional NATS contests, and have sung in music festivals on five continents. Graduates of her studio have gone on to perform with Vienna Volksoper, Wiener Kammerchor, Oper Klosterneuburg, Opera Australia, Opera Fairbanks, New York Lyric Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Tampa Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Virginia Opera, the U.S. Air Force “Singing Sergeants,” and on Broadway, at Sadler’s Wells, Théâtre du Chatelet, and The New York Musical Theater Festival. While continuing to renew her own artistic study, Hearden has performed in master classes with Elly Ameling, Håkan Hagegåard, and Gerard Souzay, and in the Joy of Singing recitals with tenor Paul Sperry at Lincoln Center.