Baritone Kelly Markgraf, respected as a singing actor of depth and versatility, has performed music from the Baroque to that composed expressly for him. In the summer of 2017 he creates the role of Paul Jobs in Mason Bates’ premiere The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at the Santa Fe Opera. He also created the role of Hannah-Before in Laura Kaminsky’s transgender opera As One, one of the most frequently performed new operas in the United States today. Since its widely acclaimed premiere at BAM, Mr Markgraf has thrice reprised the role including a recent production with Opera Colorado.

Mr. Markgraf has enjoyed collaboration with some of the world’s most esteemed conductors, including Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Giancarlo Guerrero, Michael Tilson Thomas, David Robertson, Robert Spano, and Edo de Waart. He has performed with the nation’s leading symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, he made his San Francisco Symphony debut as Bernardo in a live concert recording of West Side Story which was later nominated for a GRAMMY Award. 

The baritone’s upcoming season features his debut with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo for concerts of West Side Story under Paavo Jarvi, encore productions of As One with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Chautauqua Opera, Hawaii Opera, and San Diego Opera, and performances of Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti with the Tucson Symphony. The 2018-19 season will also mark the release of his recent world premiere recording with Giancarlo Guerrero and The Nashville Symphony of John Harrison’s Requiem.

As a frequent chamber music collaborator, Mr. Markgraf has appeared at Alice Tully Hall with with the The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and acclaimed pianist Wu Han, as well as the OK Mozart, Chamber Music Northwest, and Music@Menlo festivals. He has twice performed in recital with the Marilyn Horne Foundation at Carnegie Hall, and has collaborated in recital with pianists Gil Kalish and Ken Noda.

Committed to unique collaborations and creating new works, Mr. Markgraf gave the US Premiere of Shostakovich’s War Front Songs at Symphony Space, presented rare songs of Holocaust composer Viktor Ullmann at Alice Tully Hall, portrayed the role of Allazim in Mozart’s unfinished opera Zaide at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, and bowed as Mamoud in John Adams's The Death of Klinghoffer, conducted by the composer. 

An artist of unusual versatility, Mr. Markgraf was lauded for his agile dancing in his portrayal of Dick McGann in Street Scene at Opera Theater of St. Louis, and can be seen on DVD with the San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall in choreographed excerpts from West Side Story, along side Thomas Hampson and Yo-Yo Ma. 

His discography includes the world-premiere recordings of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath and Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights, the new definitive recording of West Side Story with the San Francisco Symphony, two albums of chamber music from the Music@Menlo Festival, and the forthcoming release of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs which will be recorded live during its premiere at The Santa Fe Opera. Mr. Markgraf has been seen on PBS's nationally televised Great Performances and heard on NPR’s Performance Today. He hold degrees from Boston University, the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, and the Juilliard School.