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Kathleen Battle was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, on August 13, 1948. She studied music education at the College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, and earned both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Rather than pursue a professional singing career, she chose to teach music at a Cincinnati inner-city public school.
Although she postponed her professional career in favor of teaching, Battle did occasionally compete in auditions. In 1972, she won the soprano solo in Brahm's Ein Deutsches Requiem, which was performed at the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds. In 1974, conductor James Levine chose her to sing the "Mater Glorioso" in Mahler's Symphony No. 8 at the Cincinnati Symphony's May Festival. Battle made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1977, as the Shepherd in Wagner's Tannhauser.
Battle has since appeared at the opera houses of Vienna, Paris, San Francisco, Chicago, London, etc., and performed with some of the world's greatest orchestras, including Vienna, Berlin, Paris, New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Los Angeles. A five-time Grammy winner, she was inducted into the NAACP Image Hall of Fame in 1999.
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This page was last updated on 08/13/2018.