Audra McDonald

2017-2018 Spotlight Events

Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle

November 4, 2017

Concert Time: 8:00 pm

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Andy Einhorn, conductor
Audra McDonald, guest artist

Star of Broadway, ABC’s hit medical drama Private Practice, and Disney’s new live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, Tony and Grammy-winning performer Audra McDonald brings her sumptuous voice to the lush orchestrations of the Toledo Symphony for a special evening of show tunes and songs from her latest solo album, Go Back Home.

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Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as a singer and actress. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015 and received a 2015 National Medal of Arts — America’s highest honor for achievement in the arts — from President Barack Obama.

In addition to her Tony-winning performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill — the role that also served as the vehicle for her 2017 debut on London’s West End — she has appeared on Broadway in The Secret Garden, Marie Christine (Tony nomination), Henry IV, 110 in the Shade (Tony nomination), and Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed.

The Juilliard-trained soprano’s opera credits include La voix humaine and Send at Houston Grand Opera, and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Los Angeles Opera.

On television, she was seen by millions as the Mother Abbess in NBC’s The Sound of Music Live! and played Dr. Naomi Bennett on ABC’s Private Practice. She won an Emmy Award for her role as host of PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center and has received nominations for Wit, A Raisin in the Sun, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.

On film, she has appeared in Seven Servants, The Object of My Affection, Cradle Will Rock, It Runs in the Family, The Best Thief in the World, She Got Problems, Rampart, Ricki and the Flash, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, and the movie-musical Hello Again.

An exclusive recording artist for Nonesuch Records, she has released five solo albums for the label. McDonald also maintains a major career as a concert artist, regularly appearing on the great stages of the world and with leading international orchestras.

Of all her many roles, her favorites are the ones performed offstage: passionate advocate for equal rights and homeless youth, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother to her children.

In the 2016–17 season, Broadway music director and conductor Andy Einhorn leads the Indianapolis Symphony, Houston Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, and Fresno Philharmonic orchestras. Beginning in April 2017 he conducts Bette Midler in the Broadway revival of Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman’s Hello Dolly!, for which he serves as music director. Mr. Einhorn’s other Broadway credits include Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway,Rodgers  + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Evita, Stu Barker’s music for Brief Encounter, Adam Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza, and Sondheim on Sondheim. He recently served as music director and conductor for the Theatre du Châtelet’s production of Sondheim’s Passion in Paris.

Since 2011 Mr. Einhorn has served as music director and pianist for six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, performing with ensembles including The Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, and Los Angeles Opera, and at venues including David Geffen Hall, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Teatro Real, Madrid. The two recently recorded performances for an upcoming telecast with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Mr. Einhorn has also served as music director for Barbara Cook at Feinstein’s and Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music.

His tour work includes Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, The Light in the Piazza, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’s Mamma Mia!, and Elton John’s The Lion King. Mr. Einhorn’s work can be heard on the current touring production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. He has worked at Goodspeed Opera House, Signature Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and PaperMill Playhouse. He was principal vocal coach and pianist for Houston Grand Opera’s An Evening with Audra McDonald, a double-bill of Poulenc’s La Voix humaine and LaChiusa’s Send.

Andy Einhorn is an honors graduate of Rice University in Houston, Texas. His recording credits include Bullets Over Broadway, Cinderella, Evita, Sondheim on Sondheim (Grammy nomination), Stage Door Canteen, and Ms. McDonald’s newest release, Go Back Home. He served as the music director for HBO’s Peabody Award–winning documentary Six by Sondheim and music supervisor for Great Performances’ Peabody Award–winning special Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy on PBS.

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