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A. Jess Shenson Recital Series

The A. Jess Shenson Recital Series has brought extraordinary singers, pianists, and other collaborative partners to Stanford since its first season in 2005. This recital series offers Bay Area audiences the opportunity to experience live vocal performances in the intimate setting of the recital hall, conveniently located in the heart of Stanford campus. In addition to their recital appearances, the artists give free masterclasses and question-and-answer sessions for Stanford students, enabling personal student and artist interaction. The public is welcome to attend these masterclasses. 

All Shenson recitals and masterclasses take place in Campbell Recital Hall.

The Shenson Recital Series is generously funded by the Ben and A. Jess Shenson Funds at Stanford University.

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Brian Thorsett, tenor
Laura Dahl, faculty pianist
Program: Works by Mozart, Britten, Brahms, Massenet, and Dove
Sunday, March 10 at 2:30 PM


Brian Thorsett has been hailed as “a strikingly gifted tenor, with a deeply moving, unblemished voice” (, excelling in opera, oratorio, and recital across the world. Since taking to the operatic stage, he has been seen and heard in over 100 diverse operatic roles, ranging from Monteverdi to Britten, back to Rameau and ahead again to works composed specifically for his talents.

Closely associated with expanding the vocal-chamber genre, he has been involved in premieres and commissions of Ian Venables, Peter Josheff, David Conte, Shinji Eshima, Scott Gendel, Gordon Getty, Michel Bosc, Noah Luna, Laurence Lowe, Brian Holmes, Eric Choate, Eric Davis, Michael Scherperel, Robert Conrad, and Nicholas Carlozzi. His voice has been featured in film and commercials, being the artist for Soundiron studio's Voice of Rapture: The Tenor. He also makes many concert appearances with SF Opera & Ballet Principal horn Kevin Rivard. Their interpretations of Britten's Serenade and Cancticle III have been called “impressive, captivating, transporting” (, “lifted to greatness” (, “arresting, fervent and eerie” (, and “so striking it managed to efface the original recording... a great rendition, sad and poetic” ( Other projects include working with Theatre Comique, which specializes in historically informed performances of early Broadway music. Brian's first solo album was released in 2016, featuring works of Frank Tours, Idabelle Firestone, Guy d'Hardelot, and their contemporaries arranged for salon orchestra. He is a graduate of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Glimmerglass Opera’s Young American Artist program, American Bach Soloists' Academy, and the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme at Aldeburgh, England; additionally, he spent two summers at the Music Academy of the West. Brian is currently Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech and previously served on faculty at Santa Clara University and University of California at Berkeley.

Stanford Faculty Pianist Laura Dahl is an active international performer and educator, having appeared in venues including Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall and Stern Grove Festival, Bing Concert Hall at Stanford University, the Carmel Bach Festival, and the Henley Festival in Great Britain. A specialist in collaborative performance and chamber music, Dahl is the founder and artistic director of Music by the Mountain, a chamber music festival in Northern California, and the A. Jess Shenson Recital Series at Stanford University. Dahl is a member of the Department of Music faculty at Stanford University, where she teaches collaborative and solo piano, chamber music, art song interpretation, and diction. The first musician to be named a German Chancellor’s Scholar of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany), Dahl holds degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Michigan School of Music.

Voice Masterclass with Brian Thorsett
Monday, March 11 at 4:30 PM


This masterclass for Stanford voice students is free and open to the public.


Last modified on: 
Wednesday, December 7, 2016