Kathleen Kelly enjoys a wide-ranging and dynamic musical life as a pianist, opera coach, conductor, and master teacher. The first woman and first American named as Director of Musical Studies at the Vienna State Opera, Kathleen joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2015 as that school’s first Coach/Conductor of Opera. There, she has led performances of Giulio Cesare, Gianni Schicchi, L’heure espagnole, Cosi fan tutte, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Since her return to the US, Kathleen has led performances of Le nozze di Figaro at Wolf Trap, the premiere of Emmerich Kálmán’s Arizona Lady at Arizona Opera, and Francesca Zambello’s critically acclaimed Ariadne on Naxos at the Glimmerglass Festival, a production that was a finalist in the 2015 International Opera Awards. She also conducted the West Coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s A Coffin in Egypt, starring Frederica von Stade.
Kathleen Kelly’s 2017–18 season features two notable return journeys. She’ll be back at Carnegie Hall with mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton; their recital at Zankel Hall in December is part of a six-city tour. In June, Kathleen will return as an alumna of San Francisco Opera’s Merola program to conduct the Schwabacher concerts. She also leads performances of Bill Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight at the University of Michigan, and Hänsel and Gretel for El Paso Opera.
Kathleen has performed internationally as a recital pianist, at Weill Hall, the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center, and Vienna’s Musikverein, and in the Mahlersaal of the Vienna State Opera, in Manhattan’s Neue Galerie, on the Schwabacher Series in San Francisco, at the Tucson Desert Song Festival, and at numerous universities and colleges across the United States. Her recital partners have included Jamie Barton, Christine Goerke, Michael Kelly, Troy Cook, Amber Wagner, Susan Graham, Albina Shagimuratova, Valentina Nafornita, Joyce DiDonato, and Thomas Hampson. She has curated art song series for the Houston Grand Opera and the Vienna State Opera, and currently is artistic director of the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, Michigan.