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Helen Boatwright, soprano known for Charles Ives performances, dies at 94

December 2, 2010 | 11:48 am

Helen Boatwright, a soprano famed for her pioneering performances of the songs of American composer Charles Ives, died Wednesday at a nursing home near Jamesville, N.Y., the Syracuse Post-Standard newspaper reported. She was 94.

Her family said Boatwright was still teaching until three weeks before her death, and the final piece of music she listened to was the last soprano aria of Handel's "The Messiah."

Boatwright was celebrated for singing the music of American composers such as Ives, as well as her husband, Howard Boatwright. In 1954, she became the first person to record a full-length album of the songs of Ives, "24 Songs" with pianist John Kirkpatrick.

She worked during her career with luminaries in the world of music, including conductors Leopold Stokowski, Erich Leinsdorf, Seiji Ozawa and Zubin Mehta.

-- Associated Press