Caren Levine- Head of Music Staff, Vocal Collaborative Institute Program Director
A native of New York City, Pianist Caren Levine has gradually established a reputation as one of today's most compelling young artists. She has won acclaim for her musicality, charm and sensitivity, and is known for her intense and impassioned performances. The San Francisco Chronicle described her as "a petite powerhouse, with technique to burn and unimpeachable musicianship. She is one of the finest musicians around, of the highest and most inspiring order.” An alumna of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she has been on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera House as Assistant Conductor and Prompter since 2003. In 2012, she received a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for The Met Opera’s DVD of John Adam’s Doctor Atomic Live in HD.
An active performer, Ms. Levine’s collaborators include Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Laurent Korcia, Susanne Mentzer, Lawrence Brownlee, Morris Robinson, Susanna Phillips and Barbara Bonney. Caren first performed with soprano Barbara Bonney at the 1996 Tanglewood Music Festival. Since then, they have toured throughout the United States, Canada and Asia at venues which include the La Jolla Chamber Music Society, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Herbst Theater in San Francisco, Festival Vancouver, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Van Cliburn Concert Series, Seoul Arts Center, and a live televised performance at the Hanoi Opera House in Vietnam on the critically-acclaimed Hennessy concert series. The Los Angeles Times noted that Bonney was "seconded in every way by the excellent Levine.” She has also been featured on WNYC Soundcheck with Bass Morris Robinson (www.wnyc.org) and on ArtsPass with Tenor Lawrence Brownlee (www.artspass.com).
Ms. Levine has worked as a vocal coach/pianist at The Pacific Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Tanglewood, Itzhak Perlman Music Program, Berkshire Opera Company, Wolf Trap Opera, and the opera companies in Palm Beach, Sarasota, Central City and Santa Fe. From 2010-2012, she served as Head of the Young Artist Program at Florida Grand Opera. In 2009, she was the interim Music Director and Conductor for the Hudson Valley Singers. From 2003-2007, Caren was a faculty member at Marlboro Music Festival, where she collaborated with Ken Noda and Benita Valente on the Mozart opera workshop program. From 2002-2007, she served on the faculty of the San Diego Chamber Music Workshop, and have been a guest artist at the Manchester Music Festival for their annual Young Stars of the Metropolitan Opera concert since 2003. From 1998-2001, Ms. Levine served as Assistant Professor of Piano and Director of the Accompanying Option at California State University, Chico. In addition to her numerous achievements as a classical pianist, Ms. Levine is active as a jazz composer and arranger. Among her numerous recordings, a CD of her own piano compositions entitled Flowers from a Secret Admirer was released on Capstone Records. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Levine has collaborated with the Miró and Artemis string quartets as well as members of the Beaux Arts Trio. She has been invited to perform at The Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, International Chamber Music Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada, Savannah Music Festival, Manchester Music Festival, Fontainebleau American Conservatory in France and The Aspen Music Festival. As a solo performer, Ms. Levine is a winner of the Munz-Chopin Piano Competition in Maryland and gave a recital in Carnegie Hall as the winner of the 1999 Artist’s International Auditions.
Highlights of her recent performances include rehearsal pianist/harpsichordist for the LA Phil fully-staged production of Don Giovanni at Walt Disney Concert Hall with Maestro Dudamel, prompter for the Met Opera premiere of The Tempest, Doctor Atomic and Satyagraha, concerts at Harvard University, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, solo organist for the National Chorale’s Messiah Sing-In at Avery Fisher Hall, and recitals on Marilyn Horne’s On Wings of Song concert series broadcast on WQXR. Upcoming performances include a recital with Violinist Zlata Grekov on the Miami Music Association Concert Series, a recital with Tenor Marcello Giordani at the Crested Butte Music Festival, her 10th season returning to the Manchester Music Festival as a guest artist, and prompter for the Met Opera’s premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys. She joins the music faculty as head vocal coach and assistant conductor at the Crested Butte Music Festival this summer. Ms. Levine received a Bachelor of Music degree from The Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School. She has studied under Martin Canin, Samuel Sanders, Lillian Freundlich, Ken Noda, Richard Goode and Mitsuko Uchida.