Dr. Margaret Astrup
Professor of Music
Dr. Margaret Astrup is well known for her interpretations of contemporary American music. She has premiered works by Seymour Barab, Otto Luening, Ruth Schonthal, Judith Zaimont, Richard Auldon Clark, David Sampson, Jorge Martin, and numerous other contemporary composers. With the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, she has performed Knoxville, Summer of 1915 by Samuel Barber (also broadcast on WNYC), Collages by Ruth Schonthal , Cosmos Cantata by Seymour Barab and Kurt Vonnegut and songs by Otto Luening, William Grant Still, Seymour Barab and Richard Auldon Clark. In New York she has appeared in many contemporary American operas for which she has received critical acclaim in publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, The London Financial Times and the New York Daily News.
In addition to contemporary American repertoire, Dr. Astrup has also been featured in Hums and Songs of Winnie-the Pooh, by Oliver Knussen (Manhattan Chamber Orchestra), Schonberg 2nd String Quartet (Manhattan String Quartet) and Kammermusik, by Finn Høffding (Vinland Ensemble) with whom she was awarded an American Scandinavian Foundation Award for the Advancement of Scandinavian Culture in America. Dr. Astrup has also performed opera and operetta standards extensively with regional opera companies throughout the country as well as with several music festivals and educational touring companies.
Dr. Astrup has performed solo recitals and solo works with orchestras in most of the New York concert venues and overseas. Her recordings include songs by Otto Luening (Elegy for Lonesome Ones), William Grant Still (An American Scene), and Alec Wilder (Such a Tender Night) with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra on the Newport Classic label and Cosmos Cantata (Cosmos Cantata) by Seymour Barab for the Kelios/Helicon label and Songs by Ruth Schonthal on Albany Records. Together with violinist Eric Lewis (WCSU string faculty) she is currently recording works for violin and voice, including works by Holst, Vaughan Williams and Rebecca Clarke based on the folk music tradition of the British Isles for Centaur Records.
Dr. Astrup earned her ME and Ed.D degrees in vocal pedagogy at Columbia University Teachers College. She also has an MM in vocal performance from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a BM in vocal performance from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN where she also received certification in music education and earned a second major degree in English. Dr. Astrup also did doctoral studies at Indiana University where she taught in the Department of Music Education. She is currently head of the voice and opera programs at Western Connecticut State University. Former president of Connecticut chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), she currently serves the national organization as NATS Connecticut District Governor.