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Susan Graham

Kennedy funeral: Susan Graham “Ave Maria”

Moving Schubert version of “Ave Maria“ performed by American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, accompanied by American organist James David Christie. Pictures and video below...


Susan Graham (born July 23, 1960, Roswell, New Mexico) is an American mezzo-soprano.

Raised in Midland, Texas, she is a graduate of Texas Tech University and the Manhattan School of Music. She studied the piano for 13 years. She was a winner in the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions, and also a recipient of the Schwabacher Award from the Merola Program of San Francisco Opera.

Graham made her international début at Covent Garden in 1994, playing Massenet's Chérubin. She has also premièred several roles in contemporary operas, including John Harbison's The Great Gatsby (Jordan Baker), Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking (Sister Helen Prejean), and Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy (Sondra Finchley).
Graham is a noted champion of the French song repertoire and of songs by contemporary American composers, including Ned Rorem and Lowell Liebermann. Graham made her Carnegie Hall recital debut in April 2003, and a recording of this recital was later released.

Graham sang "Bless This House" at George W. Bush's second inauguration on 20 January 2005, and Schubert's "Ave Maria" at the nationally televised funeral mass for Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts on 29 August 2009. She is a US delegate for UNESCO.

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