Collaborative and Official PIanists – Voice 2022


 Between the shadows and the spotlight, collaborative pianists occupy an essential place in a voice competition. The CMIM recognizes the importance of these pianists’ innate abilities, as well as the collaborative effort between the two musicians. 


Collaborative pianists*

Minjung Jung – SOUTH KOREA
Minjung Jung received her Graduate Diploma in collaborative piano from The Juilliard School. Minjung began her studies in Seoul at Sunhwa Art High School, going on to graduate from Ewha Woman’s University with a Bachelor’s degree in Piano performance and a Master’s degree in Collaborative Piano. She was a Vocal Collaborative Fellowship at Aspen Music Festival and School and a recipient of the 2018 Marc and Eva Stern Fellowship at SongFest (CA) where she was selected to participate in LA Opera week. Minjung has worked as a pianist at the Seoul Metropolitan Opera and as a collaborative pianist at Dankook University and Chugye University.


Cole Knutson – CANADA
Canadian pianist Cole Knutson is pursuing a Doctoral degree at the Royal College of Music in London, in collaboration with the Oxford Lieder Festival. He is a recent graduate of the Master’s program in Piano Accompaniment at The Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Previously, Cole completed a bachelor’s degree in classical saxophone performance. Cole was the winner of the 2021 Delius Society Prize, a component of the London Song Festival Competition, of the 2020 English Song Prize at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and of the 2020 Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform. In 2017, Cole was awarded Second Prize at the National Music Festival of Canada following his Carnegie Hall debut. He has received support through Métis Nation Saskatchewan, the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation, Art Song Foundation of Canada, and others.


Kirill Kozlovsk – FINLAND
Kirill Kozlovski is a Belarussian-born Finnish pianist and holds a doctorate degree from the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki) for his research of the music of Dmitri Shostakovich. His current research projects concentrate on Soviet piano music as well as performance practices within the Soviet piano school. A laureate of international piano competitions, Kirill has given solo recitals and been a member of chamber ensembles at festivals in France, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Estonia, Spain, Finland and Belarus. He has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Finland and abroad, collaborating with conductors such as Andris Nelsons, Janos Fürst, Dima Slobodeniouk and Klaus Mäkelä. Kirill performs regularly with Finland’s foremost singers, including Jorma Hynninen, Monica Groop, Mika Kares, Tuomas Katajala and Miina-Liisa Värelä.

  Lucas Nogara – BRAZIL
From São Paulo, Brazil, Lucas Nogara holds a Master’s degree in Collaborative Piano from Indiana University, where he is currently pursuing a Performance Diploma, both under the mentorship of Kevin Murphy. Among his activities at the University, he collaborated for the IU production of Parsifal, La Bohème, Barber of Seville, La Rondine, and Carol Vaness’ Opshop. Nogara began working as a collaborative pianist during his undergrad at the State University of São Paulo Unes, then joined São Pedro Theatre Opera Studio. In 2018 he was invited to play for a production of Don Giovanni for the Tel Aviv Summer Opera Festival and in 2021 he was a Fellow at the Ravinia Song Festival, Ill.

Jinhee Park – SOUTH KOREA
Pianist Jinhee Park has built an international reputation as a versatile artist of both vocal and instrumental chamber music as she has given extensive performances in Italy, Korea, Taiwan, United States, and China. Currently living in New York, she has performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, and Lincoln Center, with musicians such as Bomsori Kim, Stella Chen, and Timothy Chooi. She is a staff pianist at the Juilliard School and serves as vocal coach at Manhattan School of Music and Chautauqua Institution. Ms. Park earned her Bachelor’s degree at Seoul National University, her Master’s degree at the Juilliard School, and an Artist Diploma at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Warren Jones. She is currently a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at The Juilliard School. 

  Romain Pollet – CANADA | FRANCE
Romain Pollet has received prizes in piano and bassoon from the Conservatoire de Bordeaux and holds a degree in musicology, a French diploma as professor of piano, and a doctorate from the University of Montreal. A member of the Duo Ex Æquo and the Orford Six Pianos ensemble, he performs in festivals such as Orford Music, Montréal nouvelles musiques, Festival Classica, Vue sur la relève, Prairie Debut, and Festival of the Sound. In 2018, he joined the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal as a piano accompanist and vocal coach, leading successful productions of Die Fledermaus, Cendrillon, and The Juniper Tree by Philip Glass and Robert Moran.
  Alex Raineri – AUSTRALIA
Australian pianist Alex Raineri is active internationally as a recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber musician, writer, producer and educator. He has toured throughout America, Southeast Asia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Austria, New Zealand and Australia and is the Artistic Director of the Brisbane Music Festival. He is a passionate exponent and commissioner of contemporary music, having given 109 world premieres and 147 Australian premieres. Notable collaborations include clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer, eighth blackbird and ELISION ensembles, cellists Natalie Clein and Li Wei Qin, violinist Jack Liebeck, pianist Kathryn Stott, soprano Alexandra Flood, and others. In his hometown of Brisbane, he holds associate artist positions at the Queensland Conservatorium and University of Queensland. 
  Malte Schäfer – GERMANY
German pianist Malte Schäfer studied chamber music and song accompaniment at the MHS Lübeck, HMTM Hannover, Guildhall School London, and CNSMD Paris. He is a prize-winner at many prestigious competitions, such as the Concours international Nadia & Lili Boulanger (Prix de Mélodie française), the Internationaler Robert Schumann Wettbewerb Zwickau (Accompaniment Prize), the International Helmut Deutsch Lied Competition (Third pianist-prize) the Internationaler Wettbewerb für Liedkunst Hugo Wolf (Anerkennungspreis), and others, and performs at numerous important concert venues, mainly in Germany and France. His studio and concert recordings have been broadcast by France Musique, NDR Kultur and HR2.
  Ian Tindale – UNITED KINGDON

British pianist Ian Tindale studied at Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music, and has been awarded prizes in the Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation Song Competition, Kathleen Ferrier Awards, Royal Overseas League Music Competition and the Gerald Moore Award. Ian performed with baritone and ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation) Rising Star Josep-Ramon Olivé in recitals across Europe, including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Palau de la Música in Barcelona. He has frequently performed at UK festivals including Leeds Lieder, Oxford Lieder and Ryedale, and he collaborates with singers such as Soraya Mafi, Nick Pritchard and Roderick Williams. Recent highlights include Britten, Tippett and Shostakovich songs for English Touring Opera; the 25th anniversary Samling Artist Showcase at Wigmore Hall; and a recital tour of the Netherlands with soprano Harriet Burns.

  Yuriko Watanabe – JAPAN
Pianist Yuriko Watanabe has studied at The Purcell School of Music in London, earned a Bachelor’s degree at the Tokyo Gakugei University with high distinction, a Master’s degree in solo piano at the Hochschule für Musik (HfM) Franz Liszt Weimar whilst spending a semester at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy in Budapest on an Erasmus scholarship. Since 2020, Yuriko has pursued a Master’s degree in Liedgestaltung at the HfM Karlsruhe in the class of Mitsuko Shirai and Hartmut Höll. Her most recent awards include the Special Prize and the Audience Award at the International Robert Schumann Competition for Piano and Voice Zwickau with her collaborative partner, tenor Zhuohan Sun, in June 2021. Yuriko works as a coach at the HfM Franz Liszt Weimar.

CMIM Official PIanists

  Martin Dubé
Following piano studies at Laval University and earning a master’s degree in chamber music from McGill University, Martin Dubé continued his training in vocal coaching and accompaniment with renowned professor Warren Jones. As a collaborative pianist, rehearsal pianist, and harpsichord player, Dubé has performed with the most beautiful voices on the international scene. A professor at the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec, he also served as vocal coach at the Juilliard School in New York, at the School of Music of the Chautauqua Institution in the United States, and at the Atelier lyrique of l’Opéra de Montreal. Martin Dubé is among the opera coaches and pianists most in demand by professional singers. 
  Olivier Godin
Pianist, conductor, organist, and co-founder of the Académie Vocale Internationale de Lachine, Olivier Godin enjoys a brilliant career as a concert performer, chamber musician, teacher, and rehearsal pianist in Canada and abroad. Professor at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, he has been a conductor and head of the opera workshop for nearly 15 years. He also teaches at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University as Master Coach and professor of French lyric diction. 

Since 2017, Godin has been guest conductor at Mälardalens University in Sweden, where

  Esther Gonthier
Esther Gonthier holds an esteemed place in the world of vocal arts in Quebec. She works regularly with l’Opéra de Montréal, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and Orchestre Métropolitain as a rehearsal pianist, vocal coach, and assistant to the conductor. Working with voice students at McGill University and as principal vocal coach at the Atelier Lyrique of l’Opéra de Montréal, she joyfully shares her expertise with young singers. 

Esther Gonthier also serves as rehearsal pianist for the semi-finalists and finalists for their individual rehearsals with the conductor. 

  Julien LeBlanc
A virtuoso whose enthusiasm is genuinely contagious, Canadian pianist Julien LeBlanc is renowned for his great musical sensibility and his talent as a communicator. Based in Montreal, Julien is a sought-after soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist. A part-time professor of vocal repertoire at the University of Ottawa, Julien LeBlanc has given master classes in several universities across Canada and is frequently invited to sit on competition juries. He has released several recordings since 2015, all of which have been critically acclaimed. Julien has been co-artistic director of the summer concert series Barachois Summer Music in New-Brunswick since 2012 and has taken part in numerous concert tours across Canada for Jeunesses Musicales Canada and Debut Atlantic.
  Jennifer Szeto
Pianist Jennifer Szeto is a graduate of San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship, Merola Opera Program, Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, and Atelier Lyrique at Opéra de Montréal, and is a staff coach for Opera McGill. Highlights include Tryptique, a triple bill world-premiere by Musique 3 Femmes in collaboration with La SMCQ and music directing the world premiere of L’hiver attend beaucoup de moi for Opéra de Montreal. Jennifer is co-founder of Musique 3 Femmes, a non-profit which commissions new operas by emerging female composers and librettists with a $50,000 award, the Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes. For Tapestry Opera, Jennifer helms the Women in Musical Leadership program, a multi-year fellowship for female and non-binary conductors. 


* Pianists eligible for John Newmark Prize for Best Collaborative Pianist

The John Newmark Prize for Best Collaborative Pianist, offered by the Lupien Family Foundation and with a value of $5,000, will be awarded to the most outstanding collaborative pianist in the Art Song division. 

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John H. Newmark (1904-1991), one of the greatest vocal partners of his generation, took part in thousands of recitals, concerts, and radio and TV broadcasts. He accompanied more than 80 international and at least 160 Canadian singers, and has recorded with several of the most prominent. His long collaboration with Maureen Forrester, with whom he toured the world, began in 1953. 

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Pianists specializing in piano accompaniment or as collaborative pianists are in great demand by singers. Learn more about this musical specialty by attending, free of charge, a round table discussion on the subject given on Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m. at Bourgie Hall. This event, moderated by Kelly Rice, is in partnership with the Université de Montréal and McGill University in association with the new McGill-UdeM Piano Vocal Residency.