All Press Releases for September 28, 2020

Elizabeth Margaret Hastings Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who

Ms. Hastings has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in the fields of music and education

    NEW YORK, NY, September 28, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Elizabeth Margaret Hastings with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Ms. Hastings celebrates many years' experience in her professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes she has accrued in her field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Ms. Hastings is a talented conductor, stage director, vocal coach and educator whose career in music spans more than 50 years. She made her New York conducting debut at the age of five, leading the rhythm band in "The Syncopated Clock" in Mrs. Erdberg's kindergarten class at P.S. 98. Born into a long line of musicians, she was never without piano music to explore or a singer to play for. She was always involved in music. She wanted to be an accompanist long before she comprehended that one could actually do such a thing as a career. She studied at the Mannes College of Music, acquiring a Bachelor of Science degree in theory in 1973. As a student at Mannes, she learned a lot of repertoire, aggressively seeking out every singer or instrumentalist who might need an accompanist, be it for a lesson, recital, or just to read through something new. She subsequently attended Queens College, where she obtained her Master of Arts degree in musicology in 1975.

Having completed her formal education, Ms. Hastings crossed her fingers and sent her resume out into the ether, hoping for employment teaching theory or ear training. For a time she did just that, as a faculty member of the Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division, but it was New York's smaller opera companies, always seeking pianists, that responded with the most enthusiasm.

Her career in opera began in earnest at the legendary Amato Opera in New York where, as Tony Amato's assistant, she learned the staples of the repertoire and conducted her first twenty-five operas. She gained additional experience at Wolf Trap and Central City Opera. After her "apprenticeship" she worked for several years as Music Administrator of the Opera Music Theatre Institute (OMTI) in Newark (NJ). That affiliation provided her with many occasions to concertize with its founder, the eminent American basso Jerome Hines. Under OMTI's auspices, she conducted a performance of the rarely done Bilby's Doll, and was honored that its composer, Carlisle Floyd, was in attendance.

One of the benefits of her profession is the opportunity for collegial encounters with the creators of the works being performed. Ms. Hastings has been privileged to work with Seymour Barab (who wrote Savoir-Faire for her to premiere), Dominick Argento, Mark Hollmann, Richard Hundley, Gershon Kingsley, Gian Carlo Menotti, Henry Mollicone, Jerome Moross, Stephen Paulus, Ned Rorem, John Rutter, Jonathan Sheffer, Charles Strousse, Virgil Thomson and Robert Ward, to name a few.

In 1989 she stepped in to replace an ailing colleague, conducting a double bill of Mozart's The Impresario and Weber's Abu Hassan, becoming the first woman to conduct at the Washington Opera [now the Washington National Opera]. This led to her conducting a production of Amahl and the Night Visitors at the Kennedy Center, directed by Gian Carlo Menotti. The Merry Widow with Toledo Opera and The New York City Opera's national tour of "The Marriage of Figaro" followed. She seized a proffered opportunity to conduct Die Zauberflöte for the Sarasota Opera, and served for three seasons as Chorus Master and head of the Apprentice Program.

Ms. Hastings has worked with a variety organizations around the country, including American Opera Projects, Annapolis Opera, Augusta Opera, Berkshire Opera, Boston Lyric, Connecticut Grand, Handel Society of New York, Harrisburg Opera, Mid-America Productions, Natchez Opera Festival, New Rochelle Opera, Opera Northeast, Palm Beach Opera, Tulsa Opera, University of Colorado at Boulder and Whitewater Opera, in addition to the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. Over the course of 25 summers she conducted more than 60 musicals and operettas for the College Light Opera Company on Cape Cod.

From 2005 to 2013, Ms. Hastings distinguished herself as the Music Director of the Liederkranz Foundation in New York City, where she oversaw their prestigious vocal competition, and accompanied the annual winners' concert. In charge of the Liederkranz Opera Theatre, she found a venue in which to produce challenging works such as Marschner's Der Vampyr, Thuille's Lobetanz and Wagner's Das Rheingold. Two years later she went to Austria, where she served as Musikdirektorin of the Tyrolean Opera Program (TOP), coaching accompanists in addition to singers.

Ms. Hastings has performed frequently at Carnegie Hall. Under the auspices of Mid-America Productions she played piano for Orff's Carmina Burana several times, as well as harpsichord or portative organ for a great many masses, Messiahs and Magnificats, often under the baton of composer, John Rutter. She was even once unexpectedly drafted into service to play the massive Rodgers organ for Mascagni's "Regina Coeli" for an Easter concert. It was at Carnegie that she had the honor of serving as harpsichordist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for their first operatic venture, Rossini's Il Signor Bruschino.

She has about a dozen "singing" translations of operas to her credit, including Bizet's Le Docteur Miracle, Flotow's Martha, Puccini's Le Villi and Verdi's Oberto. Among the companies that have made use of her work are Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia (VA), Orchestra of St. Luke's (NY) and State Repertory Opera (NJ). David Shengold of Opera News wrote, "Elizabeth M. Hastings…did quite well in finding equivalents for the Gamberetto family's lexical pretensions" in his review of the Bronx Opera production of Rossini's rarely performed L'Equivoco Stravagante.

Among her most personally fulfilling conducting engagements were Hansel and Gretel for Opera Theatre of Montclair (NJ), La Cenerentola and La Bohème for the innovative Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis (MO), and Gianni Schicchi for the Regina Opera Company (NY) as part of their fiftieth season gala.

Ms. Hastings has been on the coaching faculty of New York University since 2018, and an adjunct assistant professor at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (City University of New York) since 2014. As Director of the Opera Studio there, she has served as conductor/director for Die Fledermaus, The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute.

Throughout her career she has maintained affiliations with several professional organizations, including the Conductors Guild, the National Opera Association, the New York Opera Alliance and OPERA America.

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