The internationally renowned opera singer will serve as a visiting DMACC professor
Iowa native and internationally renowned bass-baritone Dr. Simon Estes will be a Visiting Professor of Music at the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Ankeny Campus beginning in the fall of 2016.
Dr. Estes has appeared at the world's major opera houses, at international festivals, and with 115 orchestras under 90 of the world's greatest conductors, including Leonard Bernstein, Erich Leinsdorf, Eugene Ormandy, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Loren Maazel, Carlo Giulini, and Georg Solti. He has performed at 84 of the most famous opera houses in the world, including the Vienna State Opera, the Zurich Opera, La Scala in Italy, houses in Paris, London, Berlin, Barcelona, Spain, and others, including several seasons at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
“We are extremely honored to have a professional of his caliber work with our students. Sharing of his world-wide experiences through lectures, performances, and voice lessons will offer a priceless opportunity to our students to learn from one of the world's greatest opera stars,” said DMACC President Rob Denson. “Dr. Estes is a true friend of DMACC. We're excited about this wonderful opportunity for our students.”
Dr. Estes has given performances for six U.S. Presidents, two Popes, a number of European royalties, at the opening of the Munich Olympic games, and for world leaders, including the late Nelson Mandela. He has performed with Ray Charles, Barry Manilow, Johnny Cash, Whitney Houston and several other notable artists, including Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.
Estes has given classes and lectures around the world, including in Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, and at Harvard University, Duke University, and Russian Music Society in Moscow and at the University of Iowa.
Dr. Estes serves as a Visiting Professor at Iowa State University, and served as a faculty member at Julliard School of Music, Boston University for five years and Wartburg College for fourteen years.
“I believe in what DMACC is doing to support and help all students achieve their dreams. I have been blessed in so many ways and have benefitted from the advice and encouragement of many others. Helping students enriches my life,” said Estes.
“Our music students will enjoy and greatly benefit from Simon's knowledge, experience, and tremendous musical talent,” said Jim Stick, Dean of DMACC's Liberal Arts and Sciences Department. “This is a unique opportunity and we're all looking forward to his arrival.”
Growing up in Centerville, Dr. Estes first sang in his church choir at age eight. While attending the University of Iowa, he sang with the Old Gold Singers and earned a scholarship to the prestigious Julliard School of Music in New York City. Dr. Estes also possesses seven honorary doctorate degrees.
Dr. Estes still performs all over the world, often appearing at benefits and fundraisers. As a Humanitarian, Educator and Philanthropist, he provides college scholarships for high school graduates through his Roots and Wings program; in which he regularly performs in all 99 Iowa counties, offering 185 scholarships to deserving high school seniors since 2010. Dr. Estes has raised more than $200,000 for the Eliminate Malaria Campaign through the Simon Estes Foundation, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation.
Dr. Estes remains active in the international opera world, recently returning from performances and competitions in Barcelona, Spain. He will judge an international competition in Moscow in June, and will perform in Zurich in September, as well as in a number of performances around the United States in the next several months.