"Encouragement, Development, Achievement"

2018 Judges

Kathleen Kelly, conductor

Kathleen Kelly is an American conductor, coach, and collaborative pianist. She has worked with the world’s leading opera companies and young artist programs, including The Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State OperaGlimmerglass Opera, and San Francisco Opera, among others. She is currently the coach and conductor of opera at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

After her tenure at San Francisco Opera, Kelly joined the Metropolitan Opera as assistant to James Levine from 1997-2006, specializing in the works of Wagner, Strauss, and Berg. During that time she was the focus of a Wall Street Journal article and a Metropolitan Opera radio broadcast feature. From 2003-2008 she was also the Music Director of the Berkshire Opera.

Kelly continued her pursuits as Head of the Music Staff for the Houston Grand Opera as well as Director of the Houston Grand Opera Studio from 2006-2010.

As the Head of Music Staff at Vienna State Opera from 2010-2013, Kelly oversaw the daily musical life of more the fifty ensemble singers in more than fifty operas. At the Staatsoper she also curated a recital series in the house’s famous Mahlersaal, and served as the series’ principal pianist. She was the recitative accompanist for new productions of Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, and assisted Maestro Franz Welser-Möst on new productions.

Kathleen Kelly has also been associated with the Glimmerglass Festival’s Young American Artist Program, the CoOperative Training Program at Westminster Choir College, the Seattle OperaOpera Australia, and the Moscow Conservatory. As a recital pianist she has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Vienna’s Musikverein.

Kelly taught at the University of Texas at Austin, and was the principle teacher of the graduate opera coaches at the Butler Opera Center, prior to assuming the position at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance as Coach/Conductor of Opera.