The Well-Tempered Ear

Soprano and UW-Madison graduate student Sarah Brailey wins a Grammy Award | March 15, 2021

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By Jacob Stockinger

Soprano Sarah Brailey (below), a native of Wisconsin — who now lives, works and studies in Madison — won a Grammy Award last night.

Brailey received the prestigious award (below) in the category “Best Classical Solo Album” category. It was for her role in the long-neglected, opera-like choral symphony “The Prison” by English composer Dame Ethel Smyth on the Chandos label. (You can hear an excerpt from the Brailey recording in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

Brailey’s win is especially noteworthy because it comes early in her career.

Although she has toured nationally and internationally, and has established herself as a professional singer of note, Brailey is a busy graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Mead Witter School of Music, where she is finishing her doctoral degree.

Here is a link to her website: https://sarahbrailey.com

Brailey is also one of the city’s busiest and most respected musicians.

During the pandemic year, she explained and help spark benefit concerts and fundraising for musicians whose livelihoods suffered due to cancelled performances. Here is a link: https://welltempered.wordpress.com/?s=sarah+brailey

She also hosts the Sunday morning radio show “Musica Antiqua” – which features early music — on WORT-FM 89.9.

Recently, Brailey became the artistic director of “Grace Presents,” a series of free concerts at the downtown Grace Episcopal Church across from the state  Capitol.

An avid early music performer, Brailey — who won and now directs the annual Handel Aria Competition — also co-founded and co-directs the free monthly series of Just Bach concerts (below, second from right), the lastest of which takes place this Wednesday, March 17. She sings solos, greets listeners and viewers, and often leads the final sing-along chorale from a Bach cantata.

You can hear many of her performances duing the Just Bach concerts on the Just Bach channel on YouTube.

Leave your own congratulations and thoughts about her performances in the Coment section.

The Ear will post a complete list of the classical music Grammy Award nominees and winners later this week.

PS: Another native of the Madison area was nominated for a non-classical Grammy is Bill Rahko, who co-produced the album “Everyday Life” for the rock band Coldplay. The album was nominated for Album of the Year, but lost to Taylor Swift’s “Folklore.”

Here is a link to a story on NBC 15 about Rahko, who attended Middleton High School: https://www.nbc15.com/2021/03/14/madison-area-native-up-for-grammy-award-for-album-of-the-year/


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6 Comments »

  1. OMG, Sarah, amazing achievement! Highest congratulations to you!! XOXO

    Comment by Sam Crownover — March 17, 2021 @ 5:47 pm

  2. Sarah -congratulations from your old friends on NYC xo Peter and Fritz

    Comment by Fritz Beshar — March 17, 2021 @ 7:44 am

  3. Thanks for this report on Sarah’s very busy year (following very busy earlier years!) that includes her work last October in a strong cast for David Ronis’s production of “I Wish It So” on the life and songs of Marc Blitzstein.

    Comment by Dan Shea — March 15, 2021 @ 4:07 pm

  4. Congratulations on your award, Sarah, and on your dedication to sharing music and singing.

    Comment by Peter Bradley — March 15, 2021 @ 10:30 am

  5. Congratulations to Sarah!! We are so ecstatic to have you here in Madison!!

    Comment by Rebecca Forbes Wank — March 15, 2021 @ 9:25 am

  6. We are delighted with Sarah’s good news, and amazed by all she has achieved already. She is also a kind and generous person who shares her many talents with the world. Dean and I are proud to have her as the enthusiastic artistic director of the Handel Aria Competition!

    Comment by Orange Schroeder — March 15, 2021 @ 7:35 am


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