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Jan DeGaetani (Mezzo-Soprano)

Born: 10th July 1933, Massillon, Ohio

Died: 15th September 1989, Rochester, New York

Nationality: American

Jan (Janice) DeGaetani was an American mezzo-soprano known for her performances of contemporary classical vocal compositions.

DeGaetani was born in Massillon, Ohio. Educated at The Juilliard School with Sergius Kagen, she was best known for her wide range, precise pitch, clear tone, and command of extended techniques that made her voice perfectly suited to the demanding style of modern and avant-garde vocal composition. Her recording of Schoenberg's song cycle Pierrot lunaire is one of the classic recordings of the piece. (Due to its use of atonality, wide range, and virtuoso techniques such as sprechstimme, all while requiring a lyrical sensibility, it is exceptionally difficult to sing.) Her collaboration with George Crumb was also a fruitful one; she premiered his song cycle Ancient Voices of Children, and many of his other works were written for her.