Westminster Choir College mourns the passing of Dalton Baldwin


The music world lost another giant with the passing of Dalton Baldwin on December 12, at the age of 87.

The name Dalton Baldwin has been synonymous with the finest performances of Art Song.  He was the collaborator of choice for many of the great song interpreters, including Jessye Norman, Gerard Souzay, Elly Ameling, José Van Dam and Frederica von Stade. 

His enormous discography of more than 100 recordings includes the first complete song recordings of Ravel, Fauré, Debussy and Poulenc as well as countless other disks.  Talbott Library has more than 20 entries in his name.

Baldwin served as an adjunct member of Westminster’s voice faculty for over 40 years. His comprehensive knowledge of song literature and incomparable sense of style and taste inspired generations of Westminster students, singers and pianists.  His excitement about young talent and his eagerness to encourage gifted students helped to launch many performing careers. He worked deeply with faculty members J.J. Penna, Akiko Hosaki and Margaret Cusack, among others. Additionally, for many summers he brought some of the most famous interpreters of the art to campus for Art Song Festivals.

“Dalton Baldwin’s career and professional relationships were a paradigmatic example of the collaborative pianist,” says Dean Marshall Onofrio.  “He brought a comprehensive knowledge of the vocal repertoire and diverse experiences with chamber musicians to his teaching and performing and helped establish contemporary expectations for collaborative pianists.” 

Westminster recognized Dalton Baldwin’s extraordinary career and commitment to the College and its students by honoring him as a Fellow of Westminster Choir College during the 2012 Commencement ceremony.