Maestro David Jones
Maestro David Jones

The Voice Teacher

Alan Lindquest

La Version Française

Alan Lindquest (1891-1984) was born in Chicago of Swedish immigrant parents. His first two teachers were students of Manuel Garcia. It was at age 19 that he made his concert and opera debut which led to a tour with the Minnesota Symphony. He was a solo singer from the time he was 15 years of age. His excellent training at this young age laid the groundwork for his singing and teaching career.

  In 1914, he traveled to Paris to study with Jean de Reszke. Two weeks after he arrived, World War I broke out and he returned to New York where he established himself as Thomas Edison's favorite recording tenor. He also became quite a starring tenor in the Vaudeville circuit making a minimum of $1000 dollars per week. His solo career flourished and he was one of the two most famous tenors in New York at the time. In 1917, he sang for Enrico Caruso. Caruso wanted him to go to Italy to study, however, his career interfered with such plans.

 Alan Linquest
Alan Lindquest as a young man

Alan Lindquest, the Teacher

  He also sang on radio under the name of Alan Rogers, his stage name in films in 1934 in Hollywood. Lindquest also had a regular radio concert program at the time. In 1938, he traveled to Stockholm, Sweden to study with Inge Borg Isene, a student of Dr. Gillis Bratt. Kirsten Flagstad gave Dr. Bratt credit for building her voice from a small weak voice to what was to become a world famous Dramatic Soprano voice. Mme. Isene taught Flagstad after Dr. Bratt's death. It was during this time that Lindquest coached the young Birgit Nilsson and became friends with the then not so famous Jussi Bjoerling. They shared many times together sharing vocal ideas and making comparisons. Lindquest stayed in Europe until Hitler invaded Poland at which time he returned to the United States.

Alan Lindquest became one of the foremost vocal researchers of his time. During 1955, he taught the famous vocal teacher William Vennard (teacher of Marilyn Horne). Lindquest's contributions to the world of vocal technique have still not been fully realized, however, his work is more and more recognized as some of the most important in the world of vocal teaching. He single-handedly helped to save a school of training which otherwise might have been lost. Alan Lindquest passed away in California in 1984.

Alan Lindquest

Alan Lindquest with the young David Jones
after one of their sessions

It was fortunate indeed that I met and studied with Alan Lindquest in 1979. He was a generous and kind man who offered all the vocal treasures of his almost 90 years. At times I could not believe I was in the room with a man who had coached the young Birgit Nilsson in Stockholm in 1938, and had himself studied with the great teachers of the world, not to mention his coaching with Enrico Caruso himself. Alan Lindquest played a major role in saving this school of singing from extinction. Few singers and teachers today know of this technique which adopts the beauty of color of the Swedish language and the brilliance of the Italian School.