One of the top baritones working in classical music today is William Sharp, who is noted for his expressivity, clarity, and ability to "sell" a song in one of the most difficult and demanding realms, that of art song. He first made his bow in 1982 singing at the 92nd Street Y in New York, and Sharp's reputation grew so quickly that within two years he was singing at Lincoln Center. Sharp made his recording debut in 1989 on the New World labelRead more with a recital of American composers such as Virgil Thomson, Lee Hoiby, Paul Bowles, and others. Simply titled William Sharp, the album earned Sharp a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Vocal Performance. In 1990 he was one of the singers tapped to appear on the debut recording of Leonard Bernstein's valedictory work, Arias & Barcarolles, and this disc did take the Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition. Among his other two-dozen recordings is a disc of songs by Marc Blitzstein, in addition to recitals of works by Ernst Bacon and George Gershwin. Sharp also participated in the four-disc Albany Records series of the Complete Songs of Charles Ives. Sharp is in particular a strong advocate of the vocal works of American composers, and has sung their works with symphony orchestras and in recitals the world around.
Sharp is a frequent performer in various festivals all over the United States, having been heard at the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Aspen Music Festival, the Marlboro Music Festival, and countless others. Sharp is also well known for his work as an interpreter of Baroque music, and is a member of the American Bach Soloists. Sharp joined the voice faculty at Boston University in 1993, and in the early 2000s he joined the faculty at Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory. Read less