The San Francisco Conservatory of Music announces the appointment of renowned singer, writer and educator Susanne Mentzer to its voice faculty.
“We are thrilled to have internationally acclaimed American mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer join our voice faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music,” said SFCM Chair of the Voice Department, César Ulloa. “She is recognized around the world for her exceptional vocal and interpretive gifts and for being a mentor to many young singers. Susanne will certainly make a valuable contribution to our voice students and to SFCM.”
Susanne Mentzer has enjoyed a significant operatic, concert, chamber music and recital career spanning more than 30 years. She has appeared on four continents with nearly every important opera house and orchestra, notably she has been a guest principal artist at the Metropolitan Opera since 1989, most recently in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro, to which she returns in February and March 2016. Her extensive discography includes more than 25 CDs and DVDs of opera and oratorio. Her most recent project is a recording of Carlisle Floyd’s opera Wuthering Heights with the Milwaukee Symphony. She also crowd-funded, produced and sings on Letter to the World-songs by Carlisle Floyd, released on Roven Records through Naxos. She also appears on the recent releases of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Gordon Getty’s Plump Jack. Her DVD recordings include Les contes d’Hoffmann (Paris Opera), Don Giovanni (Milan’s La Scala), and Grammy nominated The First Emperor by Tan Dun (Metropolitan Opera) and Ariadne auf Naxos (Metropolitan Opera). She has been featured on numerous PBS and HD telecasts, as well.
A proponent of women composers and new works, Mentzer has premiered and recorded two song cycles by composer Libby Larsen–Love after 1950 and Sifting through the Ruins, both released as commercial recordings. An avid chamber musician, she has appeared with ensembles such as the Orion, American and Brentano string quartets; Eighth Blackbird; Chamber Music Lincoln Center; New York Philharmonic Chamber Musicians; and at the following chamber music festivals, Music in the Vineyards (Napa, California); Music@Menlo; Angel Fire (New Mexico), Santa Fe, Sun Valley, Aspen, and DaCamera of Houston. Mentzer is also a writer and contributes regularly to the Huffington Post. Her outspokenness about vocal health has earned her the VERA Award 2013 (Voice Education Research Awareness) from The Voice Foundation; past recipients are Julie Andrews and Diane Rehm. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Mentzer has previously served on the faculty of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and at DePaul University and the Aspen Music Festival and School (Colorado); she also teaches at Los Angeles’ SongFest, an art song festival and training program held each summer.
Founded in 1917, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is the oldest conservatory in the American West and has earned an international reputation for producing musicians of the highest caliber. Notable alumni include violinists Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern, conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane, soprano Elza van den Heever, Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman and Ronald Losby, President, Steinway & Sons-Americas, among others. Its faculty includes nearly 30 members of the San Francisco Symphony as well as Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning artists in the fields of orchestral and chamber performance and classical guitar. The Conservatory offers its approximately 400 collegiate students fully accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in composition and instrumental and vocal performance. SFCM was the first institution of its kind to offer world-class graduate degree programs in chamber music and classical guitar. Its Pre-College Division provides exceptionally high standards of musical excellence and personal attention to more than 200 younger students. SFCM faculty and students give nearly 500 public performances each year, most of which are offered to the public at no charge. Its community outreach programs serve over 1,600 school children and over 6,000 members of the wider community who are otherwise unable to hear live performances. The Conservatory’s Civic Center facility is an architectural and acoustical masterwork, and the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall was lauded by The New York Times as the “most enticing classical-music setting” in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit www.sfcm.edu