The American soprano, Kendra Colton, began her musical training as a pianist at age 5, and remained faithful to the piano through her years of study at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik, Oberlin College and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Master of Music degrees in both piano and voice. When she won first place in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in Cincinnati, she began to take singing seriously.
Kendra Colton has enjoyed a musical career of varied experience, and she is a versatile and highly praised artist. She has worked with conductors Helmuth Rilling, Seiji Ozawa, Nicholas McGegan, John Nelson, Harry Bicket, Neal Gittleman, Paul Goodwin, and Bruno Weil, and directors Jonathan Miller, Stephen Wadsworth, Francesca Zambello, and Colin Graham.
In the USA, Kendra Colton has performed St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Messiah with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony and National Symphony Orchestra, B Minor Mass (BWV 232) with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony, Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light, Nielsen Symphony No. 3 and Bach Magnificat in D (BWV 243) with the Milwaukee Symphony, Mozart Requiem and J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with the Dayton Philharmonic, Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Mozart opera arias with the Albany Symphony, and J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) and St. John Passion (BWV 245), George Frideric Handel's Solomon, and Mozart Mass in C Minor with the Washington Bach Consort. Following her world premier performances and recording of Tomiko Kohjiba's Transmigration of the Soul at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, she has sung the piece with the Women's Philharmonic, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. Emmanuel Music in Boston has presented Kendra Colton in several venues including their weekly Bach cantata series, recitals, G.F. Handel's Solomon and Admeto, J.S. Bach's B Minor Mass (BWV 232), and the Passions of St. Matthew (BWV 244) and St. John (BWV 245). The Bank Boston Emerging Artists series sponsored her in recital in December 1998.
January 1997 marked Kendra Colton's debut with the Boston Lyric Opera singing the principal role of Aminta in Mozart's Il Re Pastore. The Brooklyn Academy of Music presented her in their acclaimed staged production of the St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) directed by Jonathan Miller. In Milwaukee she has appeared at the Skylight Opera Theatre in Postcard from Morocco, The Marriage of Figaro, Sweeney Todd, and the Monteverdi cycle directed by Stephen Wadsworth.
Overseas she has performed in Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and England where she has sung the role of Seleuce in Tolomeo at the Göttingen Händel Festival, G.F. Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Internationale Bach Akademie Stuttgart, G.F. Handel’s The Triumph of Time and Truth on tour with Aston Magna, Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem, Bach's Johannes Passion (BWV 245), Mozart's Exsultate, Jubilate and Bach's Cantata BWV 51 Jauchzet Gott among numerous additional oratorio works and recitals. In addition to her many concert appearances, Kendra Colton also sang two seasons at the Opernhaus Zürich.
Festival engagements have taken Kendra Colton across North America with appearances at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, the Bach Aria Group, Bethlehem Bach Festival, Santa Fe Bach Festival, Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival, Harbison's Token Creek Festival, the Banff Centre Opera, Portland Chamber Music Festival, and concerts in Chicago at Ravinia-Stean's Institute.
Kendra Colton has recorded Bach arias for Boston Records with Boston Symphony Orchestra oboist Wayne Rapier. Also available are a recording of the world premier performance of Transmigration of the Soul by Tomiko Kohjiba for the Stereophile label at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, He Brought Me Roses, 25 Lieder by Joseph Marx and Le Charme, a solo CD of French art songs. Most recently she has recorded the St. John Passion (BWV 245) and Cantata BWV 133 with Emmanuel Music for Koch International Records.