Boston Conservatory at Berklee to Honor Sutton Foster, Leontyne Price at Commencement Ceremony
Boston Conservatory at Berklee Executive Director Cathy Young will present an honorary doctorate to Tony Award–winning actress, singer, and dancer Sutton Foster at Boston Conservatory’s commencement ceremony on May 11. She will deliver commencement remarks for the Boston Conservatory at Berklee class of 2019 at the ceremony. Legendary American soprano Leontyne Price will be honored at the ceremony, where Dr. Laura Kafka-Price, a close relative, will accept an honorary doctorate on Price’s behalf.
Foster and Price will be recognized for their achievements and influences in music, television, film, theater, and opera. Past honorary degree recipients for Boston Conservatory at Berklee include Betty Buckley, Debbie Allen, Nicholas Paleologos, Barbara Cook, Billy Porter, Victoria Livengood (M.M. '85, voice), and Mary Rogers.
“It is an absolute honor to welcome Sutton Foster to Boston Conservatory at Berklee as part of this year’s commencement festivities. She has shared her extraordinary talents with audiences across the globe on both stage and screen, and I am delighted to present her with an honorary doctorate,” said Boston Conservatory at Berklee Executive Director Cathy Young. “Leontyne Price has been a beloved and boundary-breaking performer in the arts world since the 1950s, and we are beyond thrilled to honor such a legendary artist at our commencement ceremony, and within the Boston Conservatory at Berklee community,” added Young.
Sutton Foster is an award-winning actor, singer, and dancer who has performed in 11 Broadway shows, most recently the revival of Violet. She also originated roles in the Broadway productions of The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women, Young Frankenstein, Shrek The Musical, and her Tony Award–winning performances for Best Actress in a Musical for Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie. She recently announced her return to Broadway to costar alongside Hugh Jackman in the upcoming revival of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man.
Foster currently stars as Liza in the critically acclaimed TV Land series Younger. She has appeared in a number of television programs, including the Amy Sherman-Palladino series Bunheads on ABC Family, for which she received a 2013 Critics’ Choice Television Award nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy Series.
As a solo artist, she has toured the country with her hit solo concert featuring songs from her albums Wish and An Evening with Sutton Foster: Live at the Cafe Carlyle. She has also graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Feinstein's, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, and other notable performance venues. She released her third solo album, Take Me to the World, in 2018.
American soprano Leontyne Price is one of the greatest artists and opera performers of our time. After garnering international accolades in the 1950s for performances throughout Europe and the United States, Price made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1961 as Leonora in Il Trovatore to one of the longest standing ovations in Met history. She was the first African American to become a prima donna at the Met, where she went on to perform in the company debuts of Madama Butterfly, Turandot, La fanciulla del West, and played a host of roles in many other productions.
Price has been featured in countless publications for her talents, including Life’s bicentennial issue, Time magazine, and a variety of international outlets. In 1978, she performed a televised recital at the White House at the request of President Jimmy Carter, for which she won an Emmy Award. She would go on to perform at the Reagan White House for the Prince and Princess of Wales.
She has received international and domestic accolades aplenty with 19 Grammy Awards, three Emmy Awards, 16 honorary doctorates, the National Medal of the Arts, the Kennedy Center Honors, the NAACP Spingarn Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous others.