Arthur and Ena Grist Scholarship Fund


The Arthur and Ena Grist Scholarship Fund is generously funded by Reri Grist. Grist was born in New York City and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Music from Queens College. She started her career as a teenager, singing on Broadway in small roles. Grist sang in the original production of West Side Story as Consuelo after which Bernstein invited her to sing the soprano part in Mahler's 4th Symphony with the New York Philharmonic. She would sing with the NY Phil many more times under the direction of Bernstein, Nadia Boulanger, Pierre Boulez, and Michael Gielen singing works by Stravinsky, Faure, Nono, and Berg.

Her operatic career began with her debut in 1959 as Blondchen in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail and as Adele in Die Fledermaus with the Santa Fe Opera. When Stravinsky heard her sing there, he invited her to perform his Le Rossignol under his baton in 1963 with the Washington Opera Society. Grist's European debut in 1960 was as Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at Opernhaus Köln after which the director of the Zürich Oper invited her to be a permanent member of the company, becoming the first female, African-American singer to be in such a position in a European opera house. Since then, she has performed as Rosina in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Gilda in Rigoletto, Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Sophie in Rigoletto, Norina in Don Pasquale, and Manon in Manon.

Grist has taught voice at the Jacobs School of Music as well as the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich.

The Arthur and Ena Grist Scholarship Fund is awarded to minority students at the Jacobs School of Music who are vocalists, pianists, or instrumentalists between 21-30 years of age.