Dann Coakwell, tenor, has been praised as a “clear-voiced and eloquent … vivid storyteller” (The New York Times), with “a gorgeous lyric tenor that could threaten or caress on the turn of a dime" (The Dallas Morning News). He can be heard as a soloist on the Grammy-winning The Sacred Spirit of Russia (2014), Grammy-nominated Considering Matthew Shephard by composer/director Craig Hella Johnson (2016), which peaked at number three on the Billboard Classical chart, among other Grammy-nominated albums on the Harmonia Mundi and Delos record labels. He also appeared on the critically acclaimed Naxos 2016 release of composer Mohammed Fairouz’s Zabur (as Jibreel), with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and Orchestra, and most recently, with Masaaki Suzuki on Nicolas Bruhns: Cantatas and Organ Works, Vol. 1 (2022, BIS records). He has performed as a soloist internationally under such acclaimed conductors as Helmuth Rilling, Masaaki Suzuki, William Christie, María Guinand, Nicholas McGegan, Matthew Halls, and the late John Scott.
Coakwell has performed many times at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center's Alice Tully and David Geffen halls, as well as Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and Trinity Church Wall Street in New York. He has appeared as a soloist with organizations such as Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart in Germany, Bach Collegium Japan (across Europe, Mexico, and Japan), Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, Oregon Bach Festival, and Conspirare.
Specializing in the Evangelist and tenor roles of J.S. Bach, Coakwell frequently performs the composer’s major oratorios—St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, Christmas Oratorio, and Mass in B-Minor—as well as many of Bach’s cantatas. An enthusiast of Benjamin Britten, Coakwell has appeared in several productions of Britten’s Canticles, Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, and St. Nicolas. Other prominent solo and titular roles performed also include: Rameau’s Pigmalion; Handel’s Samson, Judas Maccabaeus, Israel in Egypt, Alexander’s Feast, and Messiah; Haydn’s Creation and Missa in Angustiis; Mozart Requiem and Mass in c (Levin, Beyer, and Süssmayr completions); Medelssohn’s Elijah; and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.
Coakwell also serves on the voice faculty at Ithaca College, and has enjoyed guest teaching artist residencies at institutions such as El Teatro Teresa Carreño in Venezuela, Yale University, University of Missouri Kansas City, Dartmouth College, Texas State University, and University of Idaho. He holds an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music/Institute of Sacred Music, a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degree from Texas Tech University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin.