Haleh Abghari

Haleh Abghari
Vocal Faculty

Haleh Abghari is a native of Iran and has performed internationally as a singer and actor. The NY Times hailed her work as “a virtuoso and winning performance,” and the Washington Post described her voice as “high, dry, sweet and piercingly pure soprano.”

Her performances include appearances at the Montalvo Center for the Arts, Live at The Whitney Museum, Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum (NYC), Music on the Edge Series at the Andy Warhol Museum, Joe’s Pub (NYC), the Monadnock Music Festival, the Staunton Music Festival, Sonic Boom, the IFCP Festival, and the CrossSound Festival (Alaska), as well as EtnaFest, Teatro Manzoni, and SoundRes in Italy. She has appeared as guest soloist and/or recorded with numerous ensembles including The New York New Music Ensemble, Cygnus Ensemble, Sequitur Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, Bent Frequency, Empyrean Ensemble, Thamyris, and Fred Ho’s Afro Asian Music Ensemble at various notable venues.

Her portrayal of King George III in Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell has won critical acclaim. She has taken on the role multiple times with various ensembles and she is the only woman to perform this demanding part. She presented the work for the composer at a festival celebrating his music at James Madison University in Virginia.

In addition to working with numerous living composers and premiering new works, Abghari has created original music, and collaborated on many projects and installation-performance pieces with artists from other disciplines. Her original works include setting classical Persian poetry to music in collaborations involving music, theatre, animation, and dance. She is a featured soloist on several albums recorded by composer and baritone saxophone player Fred Ho and The Afro- Asian Music Ensemble, and with Cygnus Ensemble among others.

Abghari has received numerous awards and grants. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholar Grant to work on the vocal music of György Kurtág in Budapest. She has been a member of the faculty at the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs since 2015, and she has conducted master-classes and workshops at universities and schools in the US and abroad. In her creative projects and teaching, Abghari continues to promote active citizenship, civic dialogue, and social justice through the arts. She is an original member of Mouths Wide Open (MWO), a collective of artists and volunteers based in New York City, dedicated to fostering open dialogue, community organizing and finding new forms of political expression through the arts. The organization is committed to fighting for a sustainable, equitable and creative world. She previously worked as a music programmer and host, broadcasting for WNYC and WQXR (NYC’s public radio stations).

Abghari pursued her studies in music at The University of California at Davis, Peabody Conservatory, The Mannes College of Music, and the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. Her major teachers include Phyllis Bryn-Julson, Adrienne Csengery, Paul Hillier, and John Shirley- Quirk, and her vocal repertoire ranges from early music to art songs, opera, cabaret songs, and contemporary music.

More info: www.halehabghari.com