Pulitzer-winning composer and UCSD music professor Anthony Davis joins Opera Hall of Fame

Composer and UC San Diego music professor Anthony Davis has been inducted to the Opera Hall of Fame.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

His eight operas include ‘The Central Park Five’ and ‘X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X.’


Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and UC San Diego music professor Anthony Davis, whose operas include “The Central Park Five” and “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X,” is one of seven inductees to the Opera Hall of Fame’s class of 2023.

The Opera Hall of Fame, founded in 2020 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the industry service organization Opera America, recognizes opera industry members who have exhibited extraordinary leadership, advocacy and creativity and have expanded the modern opera repertoire and helped the industry overcome obstacles. This year’s honorees were chosen from among 166 nominees.

Davis is an internationally recognized composer of operatic, symphonic, choral and chamber works who has been on the cutting edge of improvised music and jazz for more than 40 years.

“The Central Park Five,” which premiered at Long Beach Opera in 2019, received the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Music. In 2021, Davis was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and he is a board member of Opera America.

His eight operas also include “Under the Double Moon,” “Amistad” and “Wakonda’s Dream.”

Besides Davis, this year’s inductees are mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, baritone Sherrill Milnes, producer and administrator Michael Bronson, soon-to-retire Detroit Opera General Director Wayne Brown, philanthropist and Metropolitan Opera President Emeritus Frayda Lindemann and Andrew Mellon Foundation arts funder Susan Feder.

“The contributions to the field of the 2023 Opera Hall of Fame recipients cannot be overstated,” Opera America President and Chief Executive Marc Scorca said in a statement. “We look forward to saluting these remarkable individuals who have shaped the field through their talent, dedication and generosity. They have paved the way to a bright future for opera.”

Scorca will interview Davis onstage at Opera America’s National Opera Center in New York City at 4 p.m. PDT Thursday, Oct. 19. The conversation will be livestreamed; tickets are $25 for non-members of Opera America. To register, visit ◆