KS Brigitte Fassbaender
Guest Professor for German and Italian Opera
Legendary mezzosoprano Brigitte Fassbaender debuted at the age of 21 at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, which led to an international career spanning four decades in all areas of classical music. Showered with awards and honors worldwide, Ms. Fassbaender has always had a big heart for the next generation of singers. She is an important mentor known for supporting the careers of young singers. After retiring from the singing stage, she has now become a much sought-after stage director and has also acted as General Director of the Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck and the Artistic Director of the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmish-Partenkirchen. We are very happy that Ms. Fassbaender will teach at the IMA.
John Fisher was born in Glasgow and educated at Glasgow University, the RAM, and the London Opera Centre. He joined the music staff of La Monnaie in Brussels, where he also became Music Director of the Opera Studio. He was also a member of the music staff of the Netherlands Opera and then moved to Milan as assistant to Claudio Abbado at Teatro alla Scala, where he became Head of Music and, subsequently, Artistic Administrator. From 1989 he was Artistic Director of Teatro La Fenice in Venice and in 1994 became Director of Vocal Productions and Executive Producer at Deutsche Grammophon in Hamburg. In 1997 he was appointed Director of Music Administration of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. From 2005 until 2010 he was CEO and Artistic Director of Welsh National Opera. John Fisher collaborated most closely throughout his career with Claudio Abbado, Carlos Kleiber, Georg Solti and James Levine. He was Head of Music for the Rossini Festival in Pesaro for a decade and prepared the casts for opera recordings for DECCA over many years. He worked closely with Jean-Pierre Ponnelle on several opera films for UNITEL films. John Fisher is an accomplished accompanist, harpsichordist, and conductor and is much sought after to give master classes around the world.
Guest Professor for Career Development
Matthew Horner is one of the most highly respected managers today. He is Vice President and Artist Manager at IMG Artists New York. Matthew Horner's many years of representing top artists make him ideally suited to advise our young artists, both in repertoire choices and in career development.
Guest Professor of Song
Malcolm Martineau is the renowned musical partner of singers such as Simon Keenlyside, Bryn Terfel and Susan Graham. He has played recitals in all the important venues from Wigmore Hall to Carnegie Hall. Malcolm Martineau gives master classes the world over, and is a faculty member of the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Guest Professor for Career Development
Pål Christian Moe was born in Oslo. After literature studies in London he decided to work in the theatre, and started as stage manager at the Oslo Opera. Later he worked as vocal producer at Deutsche Grammophon, and then at the Paris Opera as director of artistic administration. In recent years he has specialized in free-lance casting, currently working for Bayerische Staatsoper and Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Guest Professor for American Song
A native of Tullahoma, Tennessee, pianist Craig Terry has launched an international career performing with some of the world’s leading singers and instrumentalists. Currently Mr. Terry is in his eighth season as Assistant Conductor at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and has recently been named Music Director of its Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center. Previously, he served as Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera after joining its Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Mr. Terry continues to perform with many esteemed singers, among them Joyce diDonato and Stephanie Blythe.
Guest Professor for Coaching French and Italian Repertoire
French conductor Pierre Vallet is renowned throughout the world for his superb musicianship, which has led him to work regularly with the world’s foremost opera houses. Pierre is a long-serving member of the Metropolitan Opera, first as a pianist and coach and later joining the roster of staff conductors. He has enjoyed a long-term musical partnership with Seiji Ozawa, working closely together on some forty operatic productions and concerts. A committed educator, Pierre Vallet has been a regular visitor to the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera, the Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Tanglewood Music Center, the Wolf Trap Opera company, and the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Pierre studied conducting and the theory of phenomenology in music with Sergiu Celibidache, and piano in Paris and London.
Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Edith Wiens
Resident Professor for All Repertoire
After her long and illustrous career, Edith Wiens enjoys mentoring young singers. Opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera New York, Covent Garden London, Frankfurt, Zurich and Munich Opera have engaged her students, who are equally at home in the concert world. She is a faculty member of the Juilliard School in New York, and is an affiliated teacher at the Lindemann Program at the Metropolitan Opera. She also gives masterclasses regularly at the Young Ensembles of the opera houses in Oslo, Zurich, Montreal, Frankfurt and Munich, and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal College in London. Edith Wiens is the artistic director of the International Meistersinger Akademie, and during the entire residency, she will offer intensive training in interpretation, vocal technique and artistic development.
Guest Conductor for the Operagala with the Nürnberg Symphony
Michael Hofstetter is lauded for his close collaborations with emerging artists and has lead various operas at the Munich Theaterakademie. His career demonstrates his amazingly versatility. He is conductor of the Stuttgart Chamberorchestra, head of the Ludwigsburger Festspiele, and has conducted at major opera houses world-wide, including Munich, Hamburg, Barcelona, Berlin and Houston. Mr. Hofstetter is also renowned as a baroque specialist.
Tobias Truniger is the director of the Young Ensemble of the Munich State Opera. His mastery of style and language in all repertoire has made him a beloved coach of many young professionals. Tobias Truniger has played recitals with Edith Wiens and Angelika Kirchschlager, and has toured the US with Stefan Loges, the winner of the Young Concert Artists Song Competition.
All German repertoire
Marcelo Amaral is Professor of Lied at the Nuremburg University of Music. He has collaborated with young singers in Ravinia at the Steans Institute, Stuttgart at the Hugo-Wolf-Akademie, and has given recitals in the Musikverein Vienna, in London's Wigmore Hall, in Berlin, as well as in New York. The New York Times praised him as “a superlative collaborator, with colorful, detailed and sensitive playing”.
Italian and French Diction and Style, Role-study in French and Italian opera
Art Williford is a pianist and composer from Houston, TX. After composition studies at the Eastman School, he relocated to NYC, where he has specialized as an accompanist and vocal coach. He is currently a CV Starr Doctoral Fellow at the Juilliard School, where he studies Collaborative Piano with Jonathan Feldman and Margo Garrett. His language and style skills are extraordinary, and we are privileged to welcome him to the IMA.
Michał Biel is a Polish pianist and vocal coach. In 2014, he graduated from the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music, where he studied piano under Andrzej Jasiński. Among other prizes, he has been awarded Best Young Accompanist at Le Grand Prix de l'Opera in Bucharest and the Outstanding Accompaniment Prize at the L. Różycki Vocal Competition in Gliwice. He has also participated in several residencies as pianist and coach, including The Song Continues at Carnegie Hall (2016) and the Mozart Residency at The Academié du Festival d'Aix (2015). Since June 2013, he has been a member of the Opera Academy at Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera. He is currently a Jerome L. Greene Fellow pursuing his master’s degree in Collaborative Piano at The Juilliard School, studying with Brian Zeger, Jonathan Feldman and JJ Penna.
Ewa Danilewska was born in 1991 into a musical family. At the age of 5 she started her musical education under the tutelage of Prof. Celina Hellerowa in the F.Chopin Public Music School in Opole and graduated with honours in 2009. Soon after she began her studies in the K. Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland in the piano class of Prof. Wojciech Świtała and chamber music class of Prof. Grzegorz Biegas. She graduated with honours in 2014. For half a year she studied with prof. Jan Gottlieb Jiracek von Arnim in Universitaet fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna. In 2014 she started her work as a vocal coach in the K. Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. Since 2015 she is a member of an ensamble “Silius Trio” together with musicians of Wrocław Philharmonic. In 2015 she started her doctoral studies in the piano class of Prof. Grzegorz Biegas. In 2016 she became a part of Young Talents Training Programme at the National Opera in Warsaw. She took part in many masterclasses working with such professors as Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń, Anna Malikova, Edward Wolanin, Zbigniew Raubo, Michał Szczepański, Stefan Kutrzeba, Lee Kum Sing, Choong-Mo Kang, Arie Vardi. In 2012 she became a finalist in the I National Duets Competition in Warsaw. She won second Prize in the F.Schubert International Piano-Duo Competition in Jesenik, Czech Republic (2011) and first Prize in the J.Zarebski International Chamber Music Competition in Warsaw, Poland (2011). She won 6th Prize and a special Prize for her performance of six Preludes by C.Debussy in the F.Chopin National Piano Competition in Warsaw (2012) . In September 2013 she became a Laureate of “Young Artist’s Stage” during 47th Festival of Polish Pianists in Słupsk. In November 2013 she won first prize in the “Chopin Piano Roma” Competition in the category for two pianos in Rome. She has performed as soloist throughout Poland, USA, UK, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany and China collaborating with such orchestras, as Opole Philharmonic Orchestra, Rzeszów Philharmonic Orchestra, Polish Radio Orchestra, Camerata Pontresina, Salonorchester St.Moritz, Katowice Academic Orchestra.
Pianist Sophia Muñoz is a recent graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She is music staff at the Metropolitan Opera, in the 2016-2017 season playing under Maestro James Levine on L’Italiana in Algieri. Other engagements this season included repetiteur and continuo for Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Santa Cruz Symphony, music staff for Norma and staff pianist with the International Women’s Conducting Institute both with Dallas Opera. This summer she returns to Internationale Meistersingers Akademie in Germany as staff pianist. She received her MM(2014) and BM(2012) from Mannes College the New School for Music where she studied with Cristina Stanescu, Vlad Iftinca, and Pavlina Dokovska. Past seasons include staff pianist at Internationale Meistersinger Akademie (2016, 2015, 2013), staff pianist at Eppaner Liedsommer, concerts in the Park Avenue Armory, Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society’s series, the Lindemann Young Artists Recital Series; music preparation for the Lindemann Young Artists Patron Concerts and Orchestral Workshops (2014, 2015, 2016), repetiteur for MET+Juilliard production of Iphigénie en Aulide(2015), repetiteur for Opera on the Avalon’s La Bohème(2014), repetiteur/orchestral pianist/coach for the New York premiere of Daniel Catán’s Il Postino(2014) and repetiteur and harpsichord in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims(2013) both with Mannes Opera.
Special event - "How to create your best look" with Michael Latus
We are extremely privileged to have the Yves Saint Laurent world-best National Make-up Artist of the Year (2014) Michael Latus come to us. He will individually work with each singer on how make-up can affect the impression onstage. Michael has worked for television and casting shows in Germany and France, as well as for some of the major German publications. We are delighted to include him in the faculty this year!