Image of Photograph of Jesse Norman
Photo: Newnham College

Jessye Norman (1945-2019)

It is with much sadness that the College notes the death of Honorary Fellow Jessye Norman on 30 September 2019.

A world-renowned American opera singer, Ms Norman was celebrated for her dramatic soprano voice. Winner of four Grammy Awards and the National Medal of Arts, she found acclaim not only on the operatic stage, but also as a recitalist and concert singer. Ms Norman performed the works of many composers, including Schubert, Strauss, Wagner and Berlioz, and after her debut performance in 1969, soon became one of the leading sopranos in the world. In 2003, she partnered with the Rachel Longstreet Foundation to open the Jessye Norman School of Arts, a performing arts program for economically-disadvantaged students.

In 1989, Ms Norman became an Honorary Fellow at Jesus College and at Newnham College, and received an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Cambridge. She received many other honours and awards from Universities such as the Manhattan School of Music and Yale University. In October 1996 she performed in the Quincentenary Concert, which celebrated the 500th anniversary of Jesus College's foundation.