Audra McDonald

The New York Philharmonic

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Biography
Audra McDonald

Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actress. Recipient of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015. In addition to her Tony-winning performances in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel, Terrence McNally’s play Master Class, Stephen Flaherty’s Ragtime, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, her Broadway appearances include Lucy Simon’s The Secret Garden, Michael John LaChiusa’s Marie Christine (Tony nomination), Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Harvey Schmidt’s 110 in the Shade (Tony nomination), and George C. Wolfe’s Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. The Juilliard-trained soprano’s opera credits include Poulenc’s La Voix humaine and LaChiusa’s Send at Houston Grand Opera, and Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Los Angeles Opera. On television, she was seen by millions as the Mother Abbess in NBC’s The Sound of Music Live!, and she played Dr. Naomi Bennett on ABC’s Private Practice. She won an Emmy Award for her role as host of PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center and has received nominations for Wit, A Raisin in the Sun, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. Her recent film appearances include Ricki and the Flash, opposite Meryl Streep, and Disney’s upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast, as the Garderobe. An exclusive recording artist for Nonesuch Records, Ms. McDonald has released five solo albums for the label. She also maintains a major career as a concert artist, regularly appearing on the great stages of the world and with leading international orchestras. Of all her many roles, her favorites are the ones performed offstage: passionate advocate for equal rights and homeless youth, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother to her growing family.

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