by Joanne Uniatowski
At the crossroads of music and words, one finds inspiration in song. Meeting George Vassos in 1992 at the Cleveland Institute of Music was for me the beginning of an incredible journey into a life filled with song. As I began my doctoral studies at CIM, George not only became my teacher, but also my mentor, and most significantly, my friend.
George’s number one gift to his students was an infectious love for words and music, whether in art song, opera, or oratorio. He continually encouraged us to honor the words, infuse them with meaning, and share them with our audience. He encouraged us to soar. He allowed us to fail. And in all things he opened his heart to each one of us.
Over the years, I know that George saw in me far more than I saw in myself. He provided opportunities for me to teach his younger students, to teach young artists in the Lyric Opera Cleveland summer season, and eventually to serve as executive director of the Art Song Festival from 2001-2016. [Read more…]