Woman emerging from a curtain onto a brightly lit stage.

Alfred Hook Lecture Series: Audra McDonald with Andy Einhorn and Narelle Yeo

Friday 10 May 2024
Famed singer and actress Audra McDonald joins music director Andy Einhorn and the Conservatorium's Narelle Yeo for an intimate discussion about her diverse artistic interests, philosophy of artistic practice, and views on American culture and the arts.

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music is honoured to welcome Audra McDonald as our guest for an Alfred Hook Lecture Series event on May 10, 2024. This event will be a unique discussion in the style of the New Yorker festival, curated by her long-time music director Andy Einhorn and Associate Professor Narelle Yeo, who will interview Audra about her diverse musical and acting interests, her philosophy of artistic practice, and her powerful and lasting influence on American culture and the arts.

About the artists

Woman wearing a grey knitted jumper

Audra McDonald © Autumn de Wilde

Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actor. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards and an Emmy, in 2015 she received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. She won Tonys for her performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, which also served as the vehicle for her Olivier-nominated 2017 West End debut. On television, McDonald won an Emmy as the official host of PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center, and is known for recurring roles on Private Practice (ABC), The Good Wife (CBS), The Good Fight (Paramount+) and The Gilded Age (HBO). Her film credits include Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast and MGM’s 2021 Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect. A Juilliard-trained soprano, McDonald maintains a major career as a Grammy-winning recording and concert artist. Her latest solo album, Sing Happy, was recorded live with the New York Philharmonic for Decca Gold. She is a founding member of Black Theatre United, board member of Covenant House International, and prominent advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, whose favourite roles are those performed offstage, as an activist, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother.

Man wearing a suit and bowtie, holding a conductor's baton

Andy Einhorn

Leading Broadway music director and conductor, Andy Einhorn, most recently served as the music supervisor and musical director for the Broadway productions of Hello, Dolly! Starring Bette Midler (Grammy nom, OBCR) and Carousel starring Renée Fleming (Grammy nom, OBCR.). Einhorn’s previous Broadway music directing and conducting credits include Holiday Inn, Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Brief Encounter, and Sondheim on Sondheim. Other Broadway work includes Evita and The Light in the Piazza.

Since 2011, Einhorn has served as music director and pianist for six-time Tony Award winner, Audra McDonald, performing with her at such prestigious orchestras and venues including The New York Philharmonic, Boston Pops at Tanglewood, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, Cincinnati Pops, Chicago Symphony at Ravinia, Los Angeles Opera, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall and a series of recorded concerts with Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He most recently made his debut at New York City Center. They have recorded two albums together: “Sing Happy: Live with the New York Philharmonic” and “Go Back Home.

Event information

Venue: Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Time: Friday 10th May, 7pm

Bookings: This is a free ticketed event. Bookings are essential. Register to attend in-person via the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Box Office.

Hero image: © Autumn de Wilde