Conductor and pianist Stephan Schmidt, professor of opera repertoire and dean of studies at the State University for Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart, Germany, will present two master classes and other events that are free and open to the public during his residency in the West Virginia University School of Music, Sept. 16-18.
The events at the Creative Arts Center include:
Monday, Sept. 16: Piano Workshop, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Room 424.
Monday, Sept. 16: Lecture: “Remembering Nadia Boulanger,” 4 p.m., Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (200A).
Tuesday, Sept. 17: Voice Master Class, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Bloch Hall (200A).
Wednesday, Sept. 18: Music Theater Master Class, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Antoinette Falbo Theatre.
“Stephen Schmidt was here last March and we are thrilled to have him back this year,” said WVU piano professor Lucy Mauro. “This is an exceptional opportunity for our students and the WVU community to learn from this outstanding musician who has worked with many of the great singers and conductors, from Renee Fleming to Zubin Mehta.”
During this visit, Schmidt will be working with both classical and musical theater students, as well as presenting a talk on his experiences studying with Nadia Boulanger, one of the most influential and important teachers of the 20th century.
“Schmidt studied with Boulanger for four years in Paris and our students will get to hear first-hand from someone who worked so closely with this legendary teacher who taught Aaron Copland and a host of other great composers and performers,” Mauro said.
“All events are free and open to the public. We hope, as last year, that members of the community will come to hear our students and Schmidt in his exciting classes and talk.”
Students performing at the Voice Master Class on Sept. 17 include vocalists Callie Merz, Aaron Scarberry, David O’Donnell, John Scherch and Nicoletta Ciampa, along with student pianists Arthur de Amorim, Youna Choi, Sora Lee, Bruce Lin and Zhiwei Zheng,
Student performers for the Musical Theater Master Class on Sept. 18 will be Joshua Smith, Mya Brown and Nick Ryan, with pianist Sun Jung Lee.
Conductor and pianist Stephen Schmidt has worked with virtually all the foremost singers of his time. He has served as conductor at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and as assistant to Zubin Mehta, as well as assistant and pianist for Barenboim at Bayreuth, including for the highly regarded Kupfer/Barenboim DVD recordings of “Das Rheingold” and “Die Götterdämmerung.”
Schmidt has also been head of music for opera houses in Cologne, Bremen and Saarbruecken and assisted Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sir Georg Solti and Sir Colin Davis, among others.
He has been a frequent guest conductor for orchestras throughout Germany and a chamber musician and collaborative pianist in concerts and recordings. He also served as the founder and artistic director of a new Bach Academy in Munich.
Schmidt is frequent music director for musical theater, with a repertoire that reaches from classical and recent Broadway to contemporary developments, especially the newer European works (Webber, Elton John, Schoenberg and Zaufke).
A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, he studied composition in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and conducting with Leon Barzin in New York.
In addition to being on the faculty of State University for Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart, Germany, in 2011 he joined the faculty of the Abraxas Musical Akademie in Munich where he is responsible for vocal training in musical theater techniques (belting, pop, microphone, jazz, etc.) as well as for the musical direction of productions.
Schmidt is much sought after as a teacher and has numerous private students around the world.
For more information about the events or the residency, contact the College of Creative Arts at (304) 293-4359.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
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