Sylvia Olden Lee

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Sylvia Olden Lee (29 June 1917 – 10 April 2004) was a renowned vocal coach and accompanist, and the first African-American to be employed by the Metropolitan Opera. She was a master of all aspects of European classical music as well as the Negro Spiritual.

Lee was born into the very musical Olden family in Meridian, Mississippi. Her father, James Clarence Olden, was a member of the Fisk Quartet, which included Roland Hayes. She studied piano and organ at Howard University and Oberlin Conservatory.

Among the highlights of her career:

Olden Lee taught at a number of universities, including the Curtis Institute of Music.

Her brother was the prominent African-American graphic designer Georg Olden.

Further reading[edit]

  • Sylvia Olden Lee & Elizabeth Nash. The Memoirs of Sylvia Olden Lee: Premier African-American Vocal Coach. Edwin Mellen Press, 2001.

External links[edit]