Regular coaches’ biographies—spring 2016 Pianist nobuko amemiya

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Pianist NOBUKO AMEMIYA has built a reputation as a dynamic and versatile collaborator; her playing is described as “soaring with a thrilling panache, and then with great warmth and suppleness.” (Valley News, VT)  Equally committed to vocal and instrumental chamber music, she traveled three continents to give recitals and concerts with numerous renowned conductors and soloists such as Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon, Brian Priestman, James Dunham, Colin Carr, Yuhuda Hanani, Lucy Shelton, Raphael Popper-Keizer and Judith Kellock.  An enthusiastic advocate of new music, Ms. Amemiya has worked with and performed music by many of today’s leading composers, including John Harbison, George Crumb, Bright Sheng, Robert Cogan, Oliver Knussen, George Benjamin, and John Heiss.  Ms. Amemiya participated in various music festivals throughout the world, including Festival de Música da Figueira da Foz in Portugal, Britten-Pears Institute at Aldeburgh Music Festival, International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy, Festival de Musique Lausanne in Switzerland, Aspen Music Festival, and Tanglewood Music Center where she was awarded Tanglewood Hooton Prize, acknowledging the “extraordinary commitment of talent and energy.” She earned prizes and awards at international competitions, including “Vittorio Gui” in Florence, Italy, the Munich International Music Competition, Aspen Music Festival Piano Concerto Competition, Manhattan School of Music President’s Award, Aldeburgh Music Festival travel grant, SongFest Faculty Scholarship Award and OperaNorth Special Recognition Award.  Ms. Amemiya studied at the New England Conservatory, the University of Kansas, and Toho School of Music in Tokyo, and holds double DMA degrees in Solo Piano and Collaborative Piano Performances.  Her teachers and coaches include such distinguished pianists as Claude Frank, John Perry, Margo Garrett, Rita Sloan, Abbey Simon, and Emmanuel Ax.  Also active as a coach and educator, she has worked at OperaNorth Company, Garden State Opera, International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy, Grinnell College, New England Conservatory, University of Kansas, and Aspen Music School & Festival.  Ms. Amemiya currently works for the Manhattan School of Music, American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and Bronx Opera, and is a music director of the enCANTA Collective in New York City.

Accompanist/vocal coach, KARINA AZATYAN, extensively collaborates with leading figures of vocal art in United States, Europe and Israel. She has developed original method of coaching singers in Russian language based on knowledge of Italian, German, French and English IPA. On a stage Ms. Azatyan was heard in concerts with soloists from New York City Opera, New Israeli Opera, Kirov Opera House, Bolshoj Theater, Vienna State Opera House and many others. Among many distinguished artists Ms. Azatyan worked with and for are Oksana Krovytska, Dimitri Kavrakos, Arthur Levy, Angela Brown, Dona Vaughn, Rita Shane, Maria Cleva (UK), Dan Ettinger (Israel), Robert Cowart, Nico Castel, James M. DeBlasis, Ljuba Kazarnovskaya (Russia), Charlie Ricker, Paolo Montarsolo (Italy), Bruno Rigacci (Italy), Svetlana Sandler (Israel), John Norris and Marc Verzatt. Ms. Azatyan has accompanied master classes with such artists as Vera Rozsa, Sherrill Milnes, Diana Soviero, Fedora Barbieri, Licia Albanese, Anna Moffo, Lucine Amara, Lauren Flanigan, Rashel Shulova, Michael Cordovana, Mignon Dunn, Martin Isepp, Martin Katz, Brian Zeger and John Wustman. She has served as accompanist and language coach for Opera Lyra in Ottawa, Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, Virginia Opera, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, Israel Vocal Arts Institute, Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy, Brooklyn College Opera Theater, “Oratorio” Chorus in Jerusalem, “Cantus” Chorus of Jerusalem Theater and “Chamber Chorus” of Jerusalem Academy of Music in Jerusalem. Ms. Azatyan holds a Professional Studies Certificate from the Manhattan School of Music in Accompanying, a master’s from the Brooklyn College and Artists Diploma from the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Piano Solo Performance where she also studied church organ and harpsichord. Her mentors include musicians such as Warren Jones, Yelena Kurdina, Yevgeny Shenderovitch, Alexander Tamir, Yelena Galustova, Yelena Kaminskaya and Rashel Shulova.

Brazilian pianist FABIO BEZUTI holds a master degree in piano accompanying from Westminster Choir College and also a Professional Studies Certificate in piano accompanying from Manhattan School of Music. Mr Bezuti is a staff pianist at Manhattan School of Music, playing for voice lessons, vocal coaches, classes and recitals for the voice department. Among his most important works are: Verdi's Rigoletto and Falstaff,  Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Cimarosa' Il matrimonio segreto, Pergolesi's La serva padrona, Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann, Bizet's Carmen, Ravel's L'enfant et les Sortilèges, Wagner'sDer Ring des Nibelungen,  Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex and Bartok's A kékszakállú herceg vára (Blue beard's castle). Mr. Bezuti conducted Lennox Berkeley's A Dinner Engagement at the São Pedro Theater in São Paulo, and Ernest Mahle's Maroquinhas Fru-Fru at the Summer Festival in Poços de Caldas. He also performed Charlie Worrinen's songbook of the opera Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which is based upon Salman Rushdie's book by the same title.
ROBERT BOSWORTH received a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Kentucky, along with a Minor in Vocal Performance. During his studentship at the University, he served as accompanist for the UK Mens’ Chorus, Choristers, Chorale, and several voice studios. He was also a pianist with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and played in the pit for UK Opera Theatre’s productions of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables. Mr. Bosworth has just recently finished an apprenticeship with the Merola Opera Program, and has attended the Music Academy of the West and Opera Saratoga. Through his involvement with these programs, he helped prepare productions of Gianni Schicchi, The Medium, Carmen, H.M.S. Pinafore, and several opera scenes, as well as appearing in masterclasses with artists such as Martin Katz, Jane Eaglen, and John Churchwell. Mr. Bosworth also exhibits a very strong interest and passion for song repertoire, and was a pianist for Carnegie Hall Presents: The Song Continues, appearing in masterclasses led by Marilyn Horne, Anne Sofie von Otter, and Warren Jones. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music at MSM under the tutelage of Warren Jones.

A seasoned recitalist and orchestra soloist, pianist, CHRISTOPHER CANO has performed with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the Tucson Civic Orchestra, the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, the Catalina Chamber Orchestra, and the University of Arizona Symphony Orchestra. Recital appearances have been in Europe, across the US, Mexico and the Far East. Mr. Cano has participated as a pianist at the International Vocal Arts Institute and has been on the faculties of the Intermezzo Foundation Festival and VOICExperience summer programs. Currently, Mr. Cano is a staff coach at the Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Cano has also served on the music staff of Toledo Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, San Diego Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Utah Festival Opera and The Opera Company of North Carolina. He is a graduate of The University of Arizona and the Manhattan School of Music where he was a student of Warren Jones.

MIRIAM CHARNEY – refer to MSM faculty bios at 

Brazilian pianist and voice teacher, MOZART DE OLIVEIRA is a highly sought-after musician.  Enjoying a multi-faceted career, he has performed at Avery Fisher Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall as well as concert halls throughout Europe, the Middle East and South America. His students sing in major opera houses around the world, including the Vienna Staatsoper, Berlin Staatsoper, Metropolitan Opera House, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera and San Jose Opera.  As part of the faculty at Boston Conservatory, Mr. de Oliveira worked as a vocal coach before relocating to New York where he worked for several seasons as the assistant chorus master at New York City Opera.  As a collaborative artist, he participated in master classes with legends such as Marilyn Horne, Ken Noda, Martin Katz, Charles Reiner and Daniel Ferro. Mr. de Oliveira currently works as a vocal coach at Manhattan School of Music and as

a voice teacher at the Israeli Opera House and IVAI in Tel Aviv. 

JONATHAN GMEINDER is an active recitalist and vocal coach in New York City.   His teaching has led singers to great success in auditions and competitions alike.  Jonathan developed a sensitivity for singers at a young age, working with his older brother who is an operatic tenor.  He reinforced his skills at his undergraduate Lawrence University where he studied piano with Catherine Kautsky and voice with Bryan Post.  At his alma mater, he assistant conducted and performed Britten's Albert Herring, Purcell's The Fairy Queen (performed on harpsichord), as well as music directing and performing Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief from the piano.  Jonathan studied Italian opera in Italy with the Oberlin in Italy Summer program, as well as a depth of chamber music works as a student and staff pianist at the Green Lake Chamber Music Festival.  Jonathan has studied German and Italian language, and uses his expertise to lead his singers to convincing and meaningful performances.  He has performed in several lessons and masterclasses with renowned pedagogues and performers from across the nation including Dale Duesing, Martin Katz, Craig Rutenberg, Lauren Flanagan, Thomas Hampson, Robert McDonald, and Gilbert Kalish.  Last season Jonathan assisted in the preparation of Manhattan School of Music's musical production of Sondheim’sA Little Night Music.  He is a second year masters candidate studying vocal accompanying under the tutelage of Warren Jones.

GEORGE HEMCHER, a native of Frazer, PA could be described as a triple threat owing to his multifaceted abilities as a conductor/director, pianist, and tenor. Mr. Hemcher is the music director of the opera scenes programs at Hofstra University. Since the summer of 2009, Mr. Hemcher has worked closely with Nico Castel and Carol Castel at Delaware Valley Opera (DVO) and New York Opera Studio. At DVO, George was a répétiteur for Verdi’s Otello, and for Mozart’s Die Entführung Aus Am Serail with DVO. George made his conducting debut in the 2012 DVO production of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate, and in 2013 was the music director for Mozart's Der Shauspieldirektor. Mr. Hemcher was also the music director for the first year of Youth Opera Experience in 2012 at Bethel Woods, and in 2013 where they did The Wiz and Babes in Toyland. This past January, Mr. Hemcher traveled to Vancouver, Canada where he was the music director for Vancouver Concert Opera Society's Die Fledermaus. An active freelancer, George has collaborated with Pocket Opera of New York as a pianist for Händel’s Alcina, and currently is a pianist for Regina Opera in Brooklyn, NY on various productions including La Bohème, Suor Angelica, and Le Nozze di Figaro. As a collaborative pianist, Mr. Hemcher has performed in master classes for Thomas Hampson, Lauren Flanigan, and John Fisher. Mr. Hemcher has also been active in writing two piano transcriptions of operas for Thomas Muraco’s Opera Repertory Ensemble for performances at Manhattan School of Music. George wrote transcriptions for Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and Gounod’s Faust. This season he will be working on Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel. As a singer, Mr. Hemcher has performed roles in Die Fledermaus (Dr. Blind), and Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio). At DVO, Mr. Hemcher sang Spärlich in Nicolai’s Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor. In Mr. Hemcher’s development as a vocal coach, he has found his work on stage just as important as a pianist in order to understand exactly what singers need. George holds an undergraduate degree in Music Merchandising from Hofstra University and a Master’s in Music Piano Accompanying degree at Manhattan School of Music.  
A versatile pianist, RIKO HIGUMA has performed with world's leading artists throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. As a soloist, she was a top-prize winner at the Jacob Flier International Piano Competition and the Santa Fe International Piano Competition. Notably, she was one of the Young Artists for the Van Cliburn Piano Institute in Fort Worth, where she appeared as a soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony. Ms.Higuma's collaborations on the recital and concert stage have included artists such as Aaron Rosand, Albert Markov, Neil Rosenshein, Cho-Liang Lin, Alan Gilbert, Steven Tanenbom, Dora Schwarzberg, Timothy Eddy, Yovan Markovitch, Suren Bagratuni, Jeffrey Solow, Dmitri Sitkovetsky and Ray Chen, among others. Appearances in music festivals include Lidal North at the Norwegian Opera House, Zodiac Academy and Festival in France, Summer Voice Program in New York, International Academy of Music in Italy, Intermezzo voice festival in Belgium, La Jolla Chamberfest, New DOCTA festival in Argentina, New Music On the Point in Vermont as a member of the American Modern Ensemble and the Summit Music Festival in New York, where she performed a gala recital with the legendary violinist Aaron Rosand. As a founding member of the Zodiac Trio, she has claimed top prizes at international competitions such as the International Peninsula Young Artist Festival, Yellow Spring Chamber Music Competition, Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation, and the Cziffra Foundation audition. Amongst its many engagements, the Zodiac Trio has appeared at the Festival Radio France Montpellier, International Colmar Festival in France, Ottawa Chamberfest in Canada, Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, the Oriental Performing Arts Center in Shanghai, National Performing Arts Center in Beijing, Izumi Hall in Japan, Le Poisson Rouge, Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Auditorium, Tishman Auditorium and Merkin Concert Hall in New York, UCLA Clark Library in CA; has been broadcast by France 3 Television, Beijing’s CCTV News, Canada’s CBC Radio and Television, WXQR (including an hour-long in-studio feature on the Young Artist Showcase), had performances broadcast live on WFMT, featured on WGBH’s “Live from Frasier” in Boston, and has recorded multiple times for Radio France in Paris. Ms.Higuma studied with Phillip Kawin at the Manhattan School of Music and chamber music with the Ysaye String Quartet in their Superior Chamber Music Program in Paris. Currently she is engaged as a staff pianist and vocal coach at the Manhattan School of Music.

DURA JUN Coach and Collaborative pianist: Born in Seoul, Korea, Dura Jun began her musical studies at the age of 5 where she was exposed to a wide spectrum of musical education upon entering Seoul Art High School. During that time she won numerous piano competitions in Korea. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree from the prestigious Seoul National University in Korea, where she studied with Icjoo Moon and she began to establish her career as a collaborative pianist. In 2010 she earned her Master's degrees and in 2011 her Professional Studies degrees at Manhattan school of Music and during that time she studied with Thomas Muraco and John Forconi. She has been performing with an impressive list of talented singers and instrumentalists at well known venues such as the Weil Concert Hall in Carnegie Hall, Steinway Concert Hall and Yamaha Concert Hall. In the field of Opera her non- stop schedule has resulted in Performances promoted by Martina Arroyo Foundation of La Boheme and Die Fledermaus in their Summer Festival. She also performed Opera Scenes Performances in Borden auditorium at Manhattan School of Music and major opera such as Rigoletto(Verdi), Falstaff(Verdi), La Boheme(Puccini), Madama Butterfly(Puccini) and Faust(Gounod) with Thomas Muraco. She also was chosen a staff coach and pianist in La Lingua della Lyrica Summer Festival in Italy in 2012 and Hawaii Performing Arts Festival in 2013. Besides that, Dura Jun has been playing various contemporary opera music with Miriam Charney and also contituously playing for seasoned artist's master classes such as Marilyn Horne, Thomas Hampson, Stephaien Blythe, Craig Rutenberg and Catherine Malfitano. Since 2012 she has been starting her career as a vocal coach at Manhattan School of Music.

CHUN-WEI KANG, pianist, is a native of Taiwan. She has performed in concerts both as soloist and ensemble performer throughout the United States, Canada and East Asia, including concerto performances with the Kingston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Kang has appeared on national Taiwanese television in recitals with her brother, Long-Long Kang, a violinist, and was broadcast in Japan with soprano Monique McDonald. She has won several awards and scholarships including the Gwendolyn Koldofsky Memorial Award, which was given to “a musician who demonstrated outstanding professionalism in collaborative piano.” She has served as staff pianist in the National Music Competition in Taiwan, Canadian Provincial Festival, the Centro Studi Italiani Opera Festival, and International Vocal Arts Institute in Puerto Rico. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music with a Master’s degree, Ms. Kang is a vocal coach and pianist at Manhattan School of Music, and a faculty member of Long Island University, and OperaWorks in Los Angeles. She has also been the Assistant Music Director for the New Choral Society since 2007. Most recently, she appeared on PBS SundayArts in a showcase for rising young opera singers, and was the Assistant Music Director for The Tailor of Gloucester at MSM.
An active collaborative pianist, MINYOUNG KANG, has performed numerous concerts throughout in the United States, France and Korea, and at venues that include Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center, the Château de Fontainebleau in France, and the Sejong Center M Theater and Kumho Recital Hall in Korea. The prize winner of the J.C.Arriaga Chamber Music Competition, the Artur Balsam Duo Competition, Ms.Kang has also been recognized with awards and scholarships, including Prix special du Directeur and Prix de Musique de chambre from Ecoles D’Art Americaines de Fontainbleau, the Renee and Richard Hawley Scholarship, and the MSM President Award Scholarship. Equally committed to vocal and instrumental chamber music, she has worked with the Center for Contemporary Opera in NY and played for the opera and opera scene rehearsals under tutelage of conductors such as Cesare Civetta. She was also awarded a scholarship to attend SongFest 2014 in LA, where she studied closely with Graham Johnson, Craig Rutenberg, and Alan Smith. As an active new music advocate, Ms. Kang has performed music by many of today’s leading composers, including Libby Larsen, Tom Cipullo, Jennifer Higdon, and Oliver Knussen. Ms. Kang has also performed in voice master classes taught by distinguished artists that include Marilyn Horne, Graham Johnson, Craig Rutenberg, Thomas Hampson, and  Stephanie Blythe. Ms. Kang was a collaborative piano fellow at Music Academy of the West in 2009 and 2010 and appointed a staff collaborative pianist for the Ecoles D’Art Americaines de Fontainbleau, the Great Mountain International Music Festival, the Manhattan Summer Voice Festival, and the Sejong International Music Festival. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in collaborative piano at Manhattan School of Music under tutelage of Heasook Rhee, and serves as a staff pianist at Mannes School of Music. Ms. Kang balances her time collaborating with both instrumentalist and vocalist.

DUK KYU KIM received a Bachelor of Music degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Classical Piano Performance at the Royal Academy of Music, in London where he was very actively involved in concerts and festivals as soloist, chamber musician and accompanist. He moved to the USA and received a Master of Music degree and a Professional Studies Certificate in Classical piano performance at Manhattan School of Music where he began to extend his musical career as a fine accompanist. His past four years at MSM were spent mainly working in vocal studios where he was described as a sensitive, enthusiastic and passionate pianist. His musical ability also displays a great deal of making the right sound quality with the voice to create drama and character; and his sensitive approach with singers led him to become a vocal coach at MSM.

Robert Kopelson has appeared as piano soloist, collaborator, chamber musician and conductor on four continents for as many decades. He has worked with such distinguished musicians as Itzhak Perlman, Dorothy DeLay, Janos Starker, Cho-liang Lin, Robert McDuffie, Joel Smirnoff, Paul Doktor, Felix Galimir, Renata Scotto, Christa Ludwig, Anna Moffo, Roberta Peters, John Aler, Heidi Grant Murphy, Hugues Cuénod, Evelyn Lear, Jan de Gaetani, Alexander Kipnis, Lotte Lenya, Eleanor Steber, Jennie Tourel, Pierre Bernac and Tito Gobbi. He has been an assisting artist with the Martina Arroyo Foundation, the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program (Greve in Chianti, Italy), Carnegie Hall Presentations, the Spoleto Vocal Institute, and festivals such as Aspen and Tanglewood. He has taught at the Yale and Syracuse University Schools of Music, Loyola-New Orleans, New York, Seoul City, Sook-Myung Women’s and Seoul National Universities, the Mannes College of Music and the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam. Since 2001 he has been on the Related Vocal Studies faculty of MSM. . Also refer to MSM faculty bios at 


JI YOUNG LEE is an accomplished musician with extensive experience as a solo pianist and vocal coach. Ms. Lee has been teaching at the Manhattan School of Music since 2002 and she is a faculty at Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and also is an adjunct faculty member at New York University. She worked as a vocal coach at The Chautauqua Institution. Past teaching engagements include working as an apprentice coach for the San Francisco Opera Merola Program for two years. Ms. Lee’s performances include concerts at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Merkin Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Lincoln Center, where she performed in the gala concert “Sing for Hope.” She has served as the pianist for numerous Master Classes, including those of Marilyn Horne, Graham Johnson, Fedora Barbieri, Lauren Flanigan, Jane Eaglen, Tom Krause, Steven Blier, Licia Albanese, Robert Lloyd, Shirley Verrett. Also, she has been performed with many promising young singers in New York and has been a recital pianist for the up-rising star, baritone, Lucas Meachem. Born in South Korea, Ms. Lee earned her Bachelor of Music from Yonsei University in Seoul, and a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano from the Juilliard School. Ms. Lee holds Professional Studies Certificates from The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music. She is a fellowship recipient and past attendee at the Music Academy of the West, where she won the prestigious Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition in 2000. Ms. Lee resides in New York City with her husband and two children.

Pianist JIMIN LEE, who is active as both performer and coach, has a wide range of experience with art song, opera, and choral music. In recent years, she music-directed and performed "The Telephone" by Menotti, "The Impresario", "Bastien und Bastienne", and scenes from "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" by Mozart with New York Lyric Opera Theater, and performed "Dichterliebe" by Schumann in two different keys. As pianist/ensemble coach of the Hosanna Choir in Seoul, Korea, she participated in concert series throughout the United States and Europe. Her collaborating experiences also include working with the vocal ensemble I BEATI and the Young Nak Music Academy. She has worked and performed at music festivals such as Aspen Music Festival and School, New York Lyric Opera Summer Program, Manhattan Summer Voice Festival, and the Seoul International Music Camp Festival. Jimin holds a master's degree in vocal accompanying from Manhattan School of Music. 

ANN LEWIN is a native New Yorker and a graduate of the High School of Music and Art, Barnard College and U.C.L.A. (Master of Arts in Music). She has studied coaching with Alberta Masiello, Felix Popper, Joan Dornemann and Natalie Limonick; advanced piano with Alan Marks and Elizabeth Moschetti; composition and orchestration with Roy Harris; conducting and score reading with Rudolf Thomas; and voice with Edith Gordon Ainsberg. She has been assistant conductor and coach/pianist for over 50 opera productions in the United States for New Orleans Opera, Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Opera Colorado, Michigan Opera Theater, Mississippi Opera, Opera Carolina and Vancouver Opera. She has been on staff at Opera Music Theater International (OMTI), Opera Colorado Young Artists Training Center and the University of Texas at Austin, where she was principal coach and lecturer. Since 2000, she has been on the faculty of Mannes College. In addition, Ms. Lewin has performed many recitals throughout the U.S., including 20 with Metropolitan Opera tenor and diction specialist, Nico Castel. Since 2003, Ms. Lewin has been on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music. Also refer to MSM faculty bios at 

MATTHEW LOBAUGH is a freelance vocal coach and collaborative pianist currently living in New York City where maintains a private opera coaching studio and is the Music Director of City-Wide Youth Opera. He has been hired as an audition accompanist for Loft Opera New York, CCM in Spoleto, Carnegie Mellon Regional Auditions in Manhattan, Music Theatre Bavaria New York Regional, DC Public Opera, Verismo Opera of New Jersey, Crested Butte Music Festival and North Shore Music Festival. Matthew began training at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) and graduated with B.M. degrees in both Piano and Vocal Performance. Matthew holds the M.M. in collaborative piano from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (Cincinnati, OH) and also was a participant in the Artist Diploma program in opera coaching. A graduate of the Domingo-Thorton Young Artist Program at the Los Angeles Opera (2008-10), Matthew's professional operatic credits include the Cincinnati Opera where he served as Assistant Conductor (2007-10) and the Virginia Opera where he was Chorus Master and Cover-Conductor (2009-2010). Locally, Matthew has worked with NorthShore Music Festival, Loft Opera, Opera Breve, Vertical Player Repertory, Capitol Heights Lyric Opera, New York Lyric Opera Theatre, Wendy Tauscher Productions, Martha Cardona Opera Theatre and Amore Opera. Matthew is also featured on the companion CD to the Menotti Arias for Soprano Anthology, published by Hal Leonard (2008).

KANAE MATSUMOTO is an experienced pianist both in solo and collaborative fields. Ms. Matsumoto has completed her professional studies certificate for vocal accompanying at Manhattan School of Music.  She has had training OperaWorks in Los Angeles. Ms. Matsumoto serves as an instrumental accompanist and chamber music coach at Chautauqua Institution since 2006. She is a vocal coach at CSNY (Classical Singing in New York) since 2013. Prior to moving to New York, she was a faculty member of the Herb School of Music at UCLA (the University California, Los Angeles) teaching instrumental accompanying and piano solo performance. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees in piano performance from UCLA. For more information, visit her website at

David Mayfield,Conductor/Vocal Coach/Pianist/Lecturer, Having trained with important exponents of Italian Bel Canto such as Nicola Rescigno, Roberto Benaglio, Fiora Contino, and Donald Palumbo (chorus master of the MET), David Mayfield has lived in New York since 1997, has been on the staff of MSM since 2002, and coached at MSM’s Summer Vocal Festival, 2009, 2011. He also has coached at the New School (The Actor’s Studio) and was opera coach for four productions at Brooklyn Conservatory. He is adjunct faculty at New Jersey City University, where he teaches graduate vocal literature, graduate and undergraduate diction, coaches, and conducts special projects; recently he conducted Die Zauberflöte, directed by MET artist Anthony Laciura, Dido and Aeneas with period instruments, and an evening of Baroque opera scenes; he has also curated recitals surveying American art song since 1985, and an audio-visual survey of French mélodie from Martini through Poulenc. He has conducted, sung, acted as chorus master or coached with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Theater at Wildwood, Lyric Opera of Dallas, Fort Worth Opera, New York City Opera National Company, Opera Illinois, Mississippi Opera, University of North Texas, Dell’Arte Opera, The Dallas Opera, New Orleans Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Twin Cities Opera Reading Project, Orquestra Regiomontana (Monterrey), Emerald City Opera (CO), Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, and many others.  His repertoire as conductor includes Aïda, Le Nozze di Figaro, Dido and Aeneas, The Faerie Queen, Don Giovanni, Il Trovatore, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Carmen, The Student Prince, H.M.S. Pinafore, Patience, Hansel and Gretel, The Telephone, Falstaff, Giulio Cesare, Die Fledermaus, Il Trittico, and Lucia di Lammermoor;  other repertoire performed includes Tosca, Ariadne auf Naxos, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Rigoletto, The Mikado, Andrea Chénier, Siegfried, La Traviata, La Fanciulla del West, Otello, The Old Maid and the Thief, Götterdämmerung, La Bohème, La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein, Don Pasquale, Mrs. Satan (Bond), L’Elisir d’amore, La Sonnambula, The Merry Widow, Coyote Tales (Mollicone), Hin und Zurück, Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci, La Tragédie de Carmen, La Fille du Régiment, Madama Butterfly, Don Giovanni, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, The Impresario, The Medium, Little Women.  He has played harpsichord for performances of Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and served as supertitles coordinator for Carmen, Barbiere and Il Trovatore. A guest artist at University of Minnesota-Duluth, he performed on the Ovation recital series (2012), was in residence (2014); he returns in 2016 for masterclasses and opera coaching.  He has been a coach for Joan Dornemann’s International Arts Vocal Institute (Chiari, Italy; 2006, 2007), and coached Lauren Flanigan/William Neill’s Audition Bootcamp (2012, 2013).  He has been on faculty for the Midwest-based Festival of the Voice (master classes in performance, diction, style):   Waldorf College, Summer 2008;  University of Nebraska/Omaha, 2009, 2010; Grace University, 2010; University of Minnesota-Duluth, 2011 .   Masterclasses include Horst Günter, Dominick Argento, Lauren Flanigan, Joan Dornemann, Neil Funkhauser, and Liza Minnelli. In Summer 2015 his students performed at the Merola Opera Studio (Gianni Schicchi, Traviata, Don Carlo), Prague Summer Nights (Don Giovanni), Chatauqua Institute (Ariodante), Miami Opera Festival (Don Giovanni), Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance (Butterfly, La Fille du Régiment – 4 students), Saratoga Opera, Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice (Of Mice and Men; A Little Night Music), and at the International Verdi Competition in Busseto, Italy. In August he was music director of The Medium at the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice, starring MET artist Victoria Livengood, and played a mainstage recital of American song for Lauren Flanigan and Keith Phares with composer Ricky Ian Gordon.

Performer and pedagogue LEANN OVERTON currently serves on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. Ms. Overton has also taught on the faculties of Long Island University C.W. Post campus, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and the Chautauqua Voice School. As music director/coach Ms Overton has worked for several opera companies and summer programs including Lingua e Canto, Oberlin in Italy, Vocal Arts Symposium in Colorado Springs, Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Cincinnati Opera and Tulsa Opera. In 2014 Ms Overton founded Respiro Opera, NYC an intensive 10 day program focusing on body and breath with Alexander Technique and body mapping instructors and daily yoga classes. As stage director for undergraduate opera workshop at Montclair, Ms Overton created several popular programs including "Brush up your Shakespeare", "From Stories We Love...", "Behind the Scenes Opera Scenes." In addition to directing, she has also conducted several workshop productions. In addition to writing copious program notes, Ms Overton has produced a series of handouts addressing specific needs of the undergraduate voice major. She has received positive response from both faculty and student for her humorous lecture about efficient practicing techniques entitled "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" Ms Overton has collaborated on several occasions with soprano Lisa Holsberg including a CD featuring the music of Richard Pearson Thomas "Race for the Sky" commissioned by Ms Holsberg after the disastrous events of 9/11/01. (See In addition to her busy coaching schedule, Ms Overton has worked as a title caller at the Metropolitan Opera since 2001.  See for more information.

Ohio native SHANE SCHAG has performed in recital both as soloist and ensemble performer throughout the United States and Europe, including a concerto performance with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra.  He has won several awards and scholarships, including the Gwendolyn Koldofsky Memorial Award, given to “a musician who demonstrated outstanding professionalism in collaborative piano.”  He has worked as a vocal coach for Centro Studi Italiani Opera Festival and as an assistant conductor for the Gotham Chamber Opera.  In 2007, Mr. Schag made his debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.  Now he serves as staff pianist for Carnegie Hall’s Muscial Explorers and Link Up concert series.  He also serves as the staff pianist for the Lotte Lenya Competition in Rochester, New York.  Recently, Mr. Schag appeared on PBS Sunday Arts in a showcase for rising young opera singers.  He has been the pianist and musical director for numerous recitals and cabaret acts including Songs My Mother Never Taught Me, by Deborah Karpel.  Mr Schag is a member of the recital coaching faculty and resident musical director for the American Musical Theater Ensemble at the Manhattan School of Music.   He has also served on the faculty of Operaworks in Los Angeles and the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv and Virginia.

ERIC SEDGWICK is a New York-based pianist, accompanist and vocal coach who has performed in concert with some of some of music’s biggest talents, including Leona Mitchell, Marni Nixon, Sarah Rice and Thomas Stacy.  He is on the coaching staff at the Manhattan School of Music, also serving there as pianist and music director for Catherine Malfitano’s performance classes, and he has coached and music-directed several productions for the cutting-edge OperaWorks training program in southern California.   Mr. Sedgwick performs regularly with several companies in New York City including Opera Singers Initiatives, the Art Song Preservation Society of New York, the Stonewall Chorale and the Broadway Concerts Direct series. A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, he holds a Masters degree in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music and an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Brown University,summa cum laude. He is a strong advocate of new music and has premiered works by composers including Seymour Barab, J. Mark Stambaugh, Joelle Wallach, and Louis Hardin. 

HYERIM SONG, a native Korean, is an active collaborative pianist and coach in the US and Korea. Ms. Song has served on as a resident coach and pianist at the INSIEM Opera, coaching the casts of La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly and Hansel and Gretel also playing for various opera scenes with ensembles and chorus. She has worked and collaborated with Seoul Metropolitan Opera on Cavalleria Rusticana, L'enfant et les sortilèges and Rigoletto. Also Ms. Song has been a pianist for prestigious Master Classes including those of Marilyn Horne, Renée Fleming, Martina Arroyo, Eric Owens, Martin Katz, Stephen Smith, Stephen King, Deborah Polaski, Diana Soviero, Lauren Flanigan, Sanford Sylvan, Rudolf Piernay and John Fisher. In addition, she was awarded the vocal collaborative pianist fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and School, and was granted the professional fellowship from SongFest at Colburn where she worked closely with Libby Larsen, Graham Johnson, Jake Heggie, Alan Smith, and John Musto. Furthermore, she has served on a staff pianist at New Opera NYC, New York Summer Music Festival, American Protégé International Competition, Euro Music Festival and Yewool Vocal Music Festival as well as participated in Korea National Opera Festival. Ms. Song received a Master of Music in collaborative piano from both of Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Kenneth Merrill and Sungshin Women’s University.

DAVID ŠTECH is a successful vocal coach and conductor in New York City. He is the Music Director of the Astoria Symphony Orchestra, assistant conductor of St. Petersburg Opera (FL), associate conductor of New York Lyric Opera, vocal coach at the International Vocal Arts Institute (IVAI), and is also the Organist and Choirmaster of St. John's Episcopal Church in Passaic, NJ. Mr. Štech's career has spanned four continents where he has conducted, coached and prepared over 100 performances of operas, orchestral works and major choral works. He has worked at Opera Theater of Lucca (Italy), Orquestra Sinfónica Uncuyo (Argentina), Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic (Czech Republic), New Symphony Orchestra (Bulgaria), North Shore Chamber Orchestra (Chicago), Opera in the Ozarks (AR), Opera in Williamsburg (VA), Amore Opera (NYC), the Acadamy of Performing Arts (Hong Kong), Ash Lawn Opera (VA), and many others. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Symphony Space, Orchestra Hall (Chicago), and most recently at Lincoln Center, conducting Die Walküre with New York Lyric Opera. An alumnus of MSM's accompanying program, he also studied at the Pierre Monteux School and Northwestern University, and received the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship for Conducting at Tanglewood, where he worked with Kurt Masur, Sir Roger Norrington, Rafael Frübeck de Burgos, Robert Spano, Michael Morgan and Christoph von Dohnányi. Other teachers include Donna Brunsma (Chicago Lyric Opera), Paul Nadler (Metropolitan Opera), Larry Rachleff, Gustav Meier, Kirk Trevor and Ken Merrill.

Pianist ANDREW SUN is a sought after collaborator and vocal coach. As a fellow at the Music Academy of the West in summer 2015, he prepared Rossini's La Cenerentola and scenes from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor while working with such luminaries of the vocal world as Marilyn Horne, Martin Katz, John Fisher, and John Churchwell. While serving as pianist, coach, and assistant conductor for the dell'Arte Opera Ensemble and NYU Steinhardt's voice department, he has prepared and performed a wide range of operatic and music theatre repertoire, including Verdi's Luisa Miller and Macbeth, Salieri's Falstaff, Massenet's Cendrillon, and Leigh's Man of La Mancha. An acclaimed soloist as well, Andrew made his orchestral debut in 2009 with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra performing Beethoven’s fifth piano concerto, and has since appeared with the NYU Symphony Orchestra in a performance of the seldom-heard Dvořák Piano Concerto. In 2012, Andrew performed the radio broadcast premiere of the then newly-discovered Albumblatt by Johannes Brahms, for which he is cited in the Bärenreiter edition. Andrew holds bachelor and master degrees from New York University, where he studied with Eduardus Halim and Grant Wenaus, while serving as an adjunct instructor for undergraduate keyboard classes. He is a doctoral student in vocal accompanying at Manhattan School of Music in the studio of Warren Jones. 

Latvian pianist EVGENIA TRUKSA is a vocal coach and a collaborative artist based in New York City.  Before moving to the United States to study on a full scholarship with distinguished Russian pianist and teacher Mark Zeltser, Evgenia has served at as a rehearsal pianist at the Latvian National Opera in Riga, Latvia. She holds a Master’s Degree in Solo Piano Performance from Texas Christian University, and Professional Studies Certificate in Accompanying from Manhattan School of Music. Her teachers include Mark Zeltser, Nikita Fitenko, Tamas Ungar, Daniel Pollack, and Tomas Muraco. Ms. Truksa has been a prize- winner at several International Piano Competitions including V.Horowitz Piano Competition, Wideman Piano Competition, MTNA Piano Competition, and has performed extensively in Europe and the United States both as a solo and collaborative artist. Ms. Truksa has worked and performed with such conductors as Philip Mann, David Jackson, and Thomas Muraco, and appeared in master classes given by Veda Kaplinsky, Marilyn Horne, Stephanie Blythe, Diana Soviero, Thomas Hampson, Catherine Malfitano and Neil Rosenshein among others. In addition to her engagements in the United States, Ms.Truksa regularly returns to her native Latvia for teach and perform. Ms. Truksa has been on the accompanying staff at Texas Christian University, San Diego University, has served as a rehearsal pianist/coach for MSM Summer Voice Festival (2011/2014) and is currently serving as a vocal coach and a staff pianist at Manhattan School of Music, New York.

Pianist SOPHIA SUBBAYYA VASTEK is an active performer and music director based in New York City who has performed around the world.  Her most recent engagements have included recitals in Cape Town, South Africa at the University of Cape Town, the Kennedy Center, the United States State Department, the Canadian Embassy, Polish Cultural Institute, Spectrum, The DiMenna Center, The Apollo Theater, Firehouse Space, and Theatre 80.  Sophia’s ensemble, sTem, has been hailed as interpreting with "profundity and power" (RuideroXXI).  They champion the aural and theatrical possibilities of vocal chamber music and have performed in Mexico City, and around the United States.  Also active in musical theatre, Sophia has music directed with Art House Productions, New York Shakespeare Exchange, and served as assistant conductor and vocal coach with Opera Cultura.  Sophia has also worked with Chesapeake Opera and New York Lyric Opera.  As an avid performer of new music, Sophia has worked with many composers, most recently including Rex Isenberg, Nils Vigeland, Juan Pablo Contreras, and Giovanni Piacentini.  Sophia received a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Indiana University, Bloomington and a Master of Music in collaborative piano from Manhattan School of Music. 

Hailed by critics as "the greatest Mexican pianist" and praised by the New York press after his Carnegie Hall debut for his "improvisatory freedom, sonorous climaxes, and formidable octaves", ABDIEL VÁZQUEZ enjoys an active career as both a concert pianist and conductor in his native Mexico and abroad - his style at the piano being described as "authoritative" and at the podium as "emphatic and passionate". Vázquez has performed as a soloist with orchestras in South America, Europe and the United States. In Mexico, he performs regularly with all the major Mexican orchestras including the National Symphony, Mexico City's Philharmonic, and State of Mexico Symphony orchestras, totaling more than 50 performances as soloist since making his debut. He is also the founder and director of the Symphonic Youth of Monterrey. Since 2003 he has worked with the most renowned Mexican singers in concerts and opera companies, and since moving to New York City in 2007 he has played regularly and coached singers in the voice studios of Mignon Dunn ('one of the best pianists I have worked with'), Trish McCaffery ('he is in the top five percent of his field: pianist, accompanist, and coach'), Mark Oswald, and Catherine Malfitano. Vázquez has special affinity with the Italian repertoire, and is also qualified in French, German, and Spanish.
As a Korean collaborative pianist, IESEUL YOEN first started accompanying her peers at Idyllwild Arts Academy, California where she worked with roughly 30 young musicians per a year, playing for brass, woodwinds, strings, and especially for voice students. Growing up in musical family led her into the classical music world. At the age of 6, Ms. Yoen started to play the piano for fun, imitating her mother, and she decided at age 13 to make music study a real focus. She went to the SunHwa Arts Middle School and at the middle of her SunHwa Arts High School’s life which was at age 16, she decided to move to the United States to study music at Idyllwild Arts Academy to complete high school. And then, she moved to New York City and received a Bachelor degree in Classical piano performance at Manhattan School of Music where she began to extend her musical career as a wonderful accompanist. In 2014, she had her debut concert “Through me” as an accompanist which led her to have more passion and enthusiasm on vocal music. Recently, she has started to build her career as a collaborative pianist and coaching. Ms. Yoen has started to work in vocal studios where she was introduced and described as a lyrical, sensitive and special-gifted accompanist and coach. As her being an international student, she especially helps and is willing to help a lot of international students who just came to study in United States which she was recommended to become a vocal coach at Manhattan School of Music. She loves interpreting art songs. She is so interested in sharing ideas about art songs which makes her music so special, colorful and powerful to the audience. Ms. Yoen has performed in master classes for Soo-mi Ahn, John Perry, Antoinette Perry and Ory Shihor for solo and also in voice master classes taught by Thomas Hampson, Diana Soviero, John Cheek, Martin Katz, Lauren Flanigan, among others. Ms. Yoen is pursuing a Master of Music degree as a collaborative pianist at Manhattan School of Music in the studio of Warren Jones.

MAURO RONCA is a native Italian collaborative pianist and coach. He is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music, where he pursued professional studies under the tutelage of Kenneth Merrill, and a recipient of the Harold Bauer Award. Before he studied piano, organ, and composition at the Conservatorio di Alessandria in his home country, then was the first opera teaching assistant at the University of Georgia. Mauro has recently worked on the music staff as an assistant conductor at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He currently is a Piano Fellow of the Ellen and James Marcus Institute of Vocal Arts at the Juilliard School, where he serves as a repetiteur and language coach.

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