Prairie Performances

William Warfield: His Life and His Music


Roger Cooper looks at the acclaimed bass-baritone’s life and work, examining the events that led to Warfield’s success in the world of classical music--as a concert artist, stage and screen actor, narrator and teacher.

Roger talks with Warfield, former music professor at the University of Illinois, about his early years with his family in Rochester, New York; his studies at Eastman; and performances on Broadway, in film and on the operatic, concert and recital stage. The music includes recordings of Warfield and also of singers who influenced him. Those influences include Roland Hayes, Paul Robeson, Rosa Ponselle, Marian Anderson, and Leontyne Price.

The second hour will feature rarely heard performances by Professor Warfield including Schumann’s Liederkreis and Brahms’ Four Serious Songs.