Baritone William Sharp is a consummate artist possessing the rare combination of vocal beauty, sensitivity and charisma. Praised by the New York Times as a “sensitive and subtle singer” who is able to evoke “the special character of every song that he sings,” Mr. Sharp has earned a reputation as a singer of great versatility and continues to garner critical acclaim for his work in concerts, recitals, operas and recordings.
In the summer of 2017, William Sharp joined Brevard Festival in a recital of music by Weill and Schoenberg. Mr. Sharp’s recent engagements included a return to the Bethlehem Bach Festival for a series of Bach Cantatas and his Mass in B Minor; joining the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in works by Charles Ives; singing Bach’s Cantatas No. 32 and 49 with the Dryden Ensemble; and an evening of songs by John Musto with New York Festival of Song.
His recent career highlights include singing as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, under Marin Alsop, in Copland’s “Old American Songs”; creating the role of Cosimo in the world premiere of John Musto’s The Inspector with Wolf Trap Opera to rave reviews; performing as soloist in the world premiere of “Amichai Songs” by David Froom for the River Concert Series (Maryland); and singing Bach, Bernstein, Britten and Paulus compositions with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem.
Past highlights include a return to New York Festival of Song in a concert titled “Where We Came From”; “A Bernstein & Bolcom Celebration”, also with New York Festival of Song; Bach Cantata 21, Mass in B Minor, and Paulus’ A Dream of Time in a return to the Bethlehem Bach Festival; an appearance with Boston Early Music Festival in the modern world premiere of Graupner’s Antiochus und Stratonica; return engagements to Caramoor, singing Schumann’s Liederkreis with pianist Vladimir Feltsman, to New York Festival of Song in a program called “No Song is Safe from Us”, and to the Bethlehem Bach Festival in St. Matthew Passion, Cantatas 198 and 74, also Mass in B Minor (with the Washington Bach Consort and Cathedral Choral Society, as well); singing as soloist in St. Matthew Passion with Music of the Baroque; and as soloist at the Washington National Cathedral in Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s St. John Passion. In Germany, with Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, he performed Scott Wheeler’s The Palace at Four A. M.
Mr. Sharp was nominated for a 1989 Grammy award for Best Classical Vocal Performance for his recording featuring the works of American composers such as Virgil Thomson and Lee Hoiby on the New World Records label. He can also be heard on the 1990 Grammy award-winning, world premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles on the Koch International label. Other recordings include the songs of Marc Blitzstein with The New York Festival of Song (Koch), J.S. Bach solo cantatas with the American Bach Soloists (Koch), and in collaboration with soprano Judith Kaye and pianist Steven Blier on Gershwin’s Songs and Duets. Mr. Sharp has also recorded for Vox-Turnabout, Newport Classics, Columbia Records, Nonesuch and CRI.
William Sharp made his New York recital debut at the 92nd St. Y in 1983 and his Kennedy Center debut, followed by his Carnegie Hall recital debut, in 1989. The Carnegie debut earned critical praise including that of Bill Zakariasen of the Daily News, who wrote that Mr. Sharp’s “musicianship is right on the button, his knowledge of styles seems infinite, and he has an infectious sense of humor.” Mr. Sharp is the winner of the 1987 Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition.