Andrew McKinley Background, Career, Net Worth, Wife, Death

Andrew McKinley Background, Career, Net Worth, Wife, Death 2

Who is Andrew McKinley?

Andrew McKinley was an American operatic tenor, violinist, arts administrator, music educator, and school administrator who was born in 1903. From the 1940s to the 1960s, he had an active international singing career with major opera companies and symphony orchestras, despite primarily performing in the United States. His repertoire ranged from leading tenor roles to character roles.

McKinley is best known as a performer for his roles in the world premieres of two Gian Carlo Menotti operas: Nika Magadoff in the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Consul (1950) and King Kaspar in the Peabody Award-winning Amahl and the Night Visitors. The latter opera was produced by the NBC Opera Theatre, and McKinley worked on several more operas with them throughout his career. He also spent nearly four decades teaching violin at the Juilliard School of Music, and in 1968 he founded the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts in Wheatley Heights, Long Island.

Background and Career

McKinley, who was born in Pittsburgh, enrolled as a violin major at the Institute of Musical Art (now the Juilliard School) in 1922. In the early 1930s, he joined the violin faculty of Juilliard’s pre-college division, where he remained until 1970. He began performing as a violinist while a student at Juilliard, primarily in orchestras and chamber ensembles. He played the violin for the rest of his life.

McKinley’s performance career began and ended as a violinist, but he became more well-known to audiences worldwide for his work as a singer. He began his singing career as a concert singer in the United States, but his breakthrough came when he ventured into opera in the 1940s.

During his career, he appeared with several leading opera houses in both the United States and Europe, including the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, where he played Malcolm in Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth in 1947.

Andrew McKinley

McKinley made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in 1946 as the tenor soloist in performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, with Frances Yeend as the soprano soloist. He later sang Verdi’s Requiem with Yeend again for his Philadelphia Orchestra debut under conductor Eugene Ormandy in 1951.

In 1946, he also performed in radio broadcasts with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Arturo Toscanini. In 1946-1947, he was signed to the Philadelphia La Scala Opera Company, where he made his debut as Turiddu in Cavalleria rusticana, with Elda Ercole and Herva Nelli alternating as Santuzza. In 1950, he returned to Philadelphia to play Nika Magadoff in Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consult, and stayed with the production when it moved to Broadway later that year. In 1951, he also performed the role at La Scala in Milan.

McKinley made his Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut in 1952 as the tenor soloist in Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at the Ravinia Festival, alongside fellow soloists Eileen Farrell, Jane Hobson, and Mack Harrell. At the Tanglewood Festival that same year, he performed as the tenor soloist in Hector Berlioz’s Requiem with conductor Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. At the Metropolitan Opera in 1953, he played Prince Shuisky in George London’s Boris Godunov. That same year, he returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra to reprise his role as Nika Magadoff.

McKinley debuted as Grumio in Vittorio Giannini’s The Taming of the Shrew in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s inaugural season in 1954. He also sang in concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra that year, including Prince Shuisky to Jerome Hines’ Boris and the title role in Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust. In 1956, he returned to Baltimore to perform as Camille in Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow. In 1957, he appeared as the tenor soloist in the world premiere of Cecil Effinger’s oratorio The Invisible Fire, conducted by Thor Johnson, at Hoch Auditorium in Lawrence, Kansas.

 and other work for the NBC Opera Theatre

Following the critical success of The Consul, NBC commissioned Menotti to write an opera for television that would be performed by the newly formed NBC Opera Theatre (NBCOT). The result was the hugely successful Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, which premiered on Christmas Eve 1951 in front of millions of people on national television. Menotti enlisted the help of many of the singers from The Consul for this production, including McKinley, who played King Kaspar.

Menotti’s story depicted Kaspar as deaf, and he once joked that he wrote it that way because his brother “had always believed one of the kings was deaf because he never got all the presents he’d asked for.”McKinley continued to play Kaspar, along with the other original adult cast members, for annual live television broadcasts until 1964. They also gave Amahl annual national tours, performing with symphony orchestras in concerts across the country.

The NBC Opera Theatre’s production of Amahl and the Night Visitors was a success, and McKinley was soon hired by NBC to perform in several other opera broadcasts on the television program NBC Television Opera Theatre. He sang in two more NBCOT world premieres: Anuchkin in Bohuslav Martin’s The Marriage (1953) and “The Voice of the Letterbox” in Lukas Foss’ Griffelkin (1955). He also played Captain Vere in Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd (1952), Herodes in Richard Strauss’ Salome (1954), Monostatos in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute (1956), and Prince Shuisky in Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (1957). (1957).

Andrew McKinley post-music career

McKinley continued to perform on the violin as an ensemble player after retiring from singing in the mid-1960s. In 1958, he resigned as director of the Bronx House Music School (a position he had held since 1923). That same year, he established the Suzanne and Nathaniel Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts in Wheatley Heights, Long Island, as a summer music camp. He stayed involved with the camp until the end of his life. He was instrumental in establishing a 40-concert summer festival sponsored by the Center.

Marriage and Death

Andrew McKinley died at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan at the age of 92. He was married to Lily Miki McKinley, a concert pianist and academic.

Net Worth

Andrew McKinkey net worth is not available online. However, it is expected that he just have acquired a decent amount of featuring his career.

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