Upshaw '82 Wins Fifth Grammy

Upshaw and Schneider
Soprano Dawn Upshaw '82 (left) and Winter Morning Walks composer Maria Schneider

Jan. 27, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Soprano Dawn Upshaw has won her fifth Grammy Award. Upshaw, a 1982 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan, won in the Best Classical Vocal Solo category for her performance on composer Maria Schneider’s album, Winter Morning Walks.

The album was recorded this past year in New York City after Upshaw and the Australian Chamber Orchestra gave acclaimed live performances in the United States. During the month of February, Upshaw will tour with the group and perform some of the nominated pieces in Australia in the wake of the album’s success. Upshaw’s rendition of an additional work by Schneider is included on the double-disk album, which also features the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Upshaw has previously received Grammy Awards in 2006 for Best Opera Recording with The Atlanta Symphony for Golijov: Ainadamar; in 2003 for Best Chamber Music Performance with The Kronos Quartet for Berg; in 1991 for Best Classical Vocal Soloist for The Girl with Orange Lips and in 1989 for Best Classical Vocal Soloist for Knoxville: Summer of 1915.

In 2008, Upshaw was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and in 2007, she became the first vocal artist to be named to the MacArthur Foundation Fellows Program, which provides a five-year grant for recipients to pursue their creative, intellectual and professional interests. 

Upshaw has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Lincoln Center, Disney Hall and the Metropolitan Opera. In addition to her undergraduate degree from Illinois Wesleyan, she holds honorary doctorate degrees from Yale, the Manhattan School of Music and Allegheny College.     

Contact: Hannah Dhue, ’15, (309) 556-3181,