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Phone: 812-855-9846
E-mail: musicpub[at]indiana [dot] edu

Sylvia McNair

Senior Lecturer in Music (Voice)

Contact Information:
East Studio Building, JS322



  • D.M., Doctor of Music, Westminster College, 1997
  • D.M., Doctor of Music, Indiana University, 1998
  • M.M., Master of Music, Indiana University, 1983
  • B.A., Bachelor of Arts, Wheaton College, 0

Two-time Grammy Award-winner Sylvia McNair is equally at home on the stages of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and in the intimate environs of the Rainbow Room and the Algonquin's legendary Oak Room, performing both classical and cabaret, opera and Broadway musicals. Her more than 70 recordings range from Mozart arias with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St.-Martin-in-the-Fields to CDs with Andre Previn of music by Jerome Kern and Harold Arlen.

McNair was awarded a 1993 Grammy for a recording of Handel's Semele and a 1996 Grammy for The Echoing Air: The Music of Henry Purcell. Her career highlights include performances for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican and for Hillary Clinton, as well as a recital at the U.S. Supreme Court by special invitation from Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

McNair has been a regular guest soloist with the major American and European orchestras and opera houses, working with an array of today's most prominent conductors, including Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Masur, Leonard Slatkin, and Robert Shaw, the musician she credits with giving her the early and important opportunities that started her career.

A native of Mansfield, OH, she has received honorary doctorates from Westminster College (1997) and Indiana University (1998). In 1999, she received the Governor's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Entertainment from Ohio Governor Bob Taft.

In 2001, she was named the Jacobs School's executive adviser for outreach and, since, has lent her time and talents to fundraising and attracting outstanding faculty to her alma mater.