Praised for his “nobility and rich tone,” (The New York Times) and his “enormous, thrilling voice seemingly capable … [of] raising the dead;” (Wall Street Journal), bass-baritone Dashon Burton brought home a 2nd prize (no 1st prizes awarded) from the 2012 ARD International Music Competition in Munich, plus the first prize in Oratorio from the 49th International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. These awards follow his First Place wins last spring in both the 2012 Oratorio Society of New York Competition and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s Competition for Young American Singers.
The 2013/2014 season will find him making his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen led by Franz Welser-Möst, returning to the Charlotte Symphony for the St. Matthew Passion which he also sings on tour in the Netherlands, debuting with Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society in Handel’s Samson, and returning to Carnegie Hall twice with the Oratorio Society of New York for Handel’s Messiah, as well as Arvo Pärt’s Passion with Ensemble ACJW.
Among his highlights in the 2012/2013 season, Burton sang performances of Handel’s Messiah with Philharmonia Baroque, Maasaki Suzuki conducting; Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 with the Charlotte Symphony; Bach’s St. John Passion with Le Concert Lorrain in Copenhagen and Budapest with Christoph Prégardien; and the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, in Bethlehem, PA and at the Strathmore Center in Bethesda, MD.
Burton appears frequently with Trinity Church Wall Street and music director Julian Wachner, with whom he has sung Bach’s St. John Passion and Handel’s Messiah at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. The New York Times wrote, “the bass-baritone Dashon Burton…. is possessed of a clarion D that served him well in ‘The trumpet shall sound.’” He also sang the Fauré Requiem in a Trinity Wall Street 9/11 Memorial Concert and, with the Yale Schola Cantorum, the St. Matthew Passion with Maasaki Suzuki in New York and Rome.
Mr. Burton began his professional studies at Case Western Reserve University and graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. Immediately upon graduation, he was invited to join Cantus, a professional men’s classical vocal ensemble based in Minneapolis and known for its concerts and collaborations with renowned organizations and artists such as the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Boston Pops, James Sewell Ballet and Bobby McFerrin.
After his tenure with Cantus ended in 2009, Burton entered Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music, where he studied vocal literature including Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah under tenor James Taylor. He received his Master of Music degree in 2011.
In addition to his work in early music, Mr. Burton is an avid performer of new music and has premiered works by Edie Hill and William Brittelle. He is a founding member of the GRAMMY award-winning Roomful of Teeth (under the direction of Brad Wells), an ensemble devoted to new compositions using the fullest possible range of vocal techniques.