Houston Grand Opera Appoints Maureen Zoltek as HGO Studio Music Director


The Houston Grand Opera announced Dr. Maureen Zoltek as the incoming Music Director of HGO Studio, the company’s prestigious training program for the next generation of opera artists. When she takes up her position in September 2022, Zoltek will occupy the chair of Mr. and Mrs. Albert B. Alkek.

As Music Director of HGO Studio, Zoltek will work closely with HGO Studio Director Brian Speck to lead the program, which supports the artistic development of the most talented young artists in the field. In addition to nurturing the gifts of these artists, Zoltek will serve as a member of the company’s casting committee and oversee programming for the HGO studio’s popular recital series.

Zoltek was selected for the position from a competitive pool of applicants for her diversity of experience, expertise and musical artistry, acquired over a career working with singers, instrumentalists, orchestras and companies. leading opera houses across North America. She brings with her a solid background in exceptional mentorship for artists on the cusp of major careers in opera.

“Our young artist program is known to be one of the most distinguished in the world, and it will continue to grow with talents like Maureen joining the team,” said Khori Dastoor, Managing Director and CEO of HGO. “His knowledge of established repertoire, his dedication to new work, his impeccable record in supporting emerging and early career artists, and his passion for creating music at the highest level will be a tremendous asset to HGO in the years to come. .”

Zoltek will join HGO from the San Francisco Opera, where she is an assistant conductor, vocal coach and orchestral keyboardist, as well as the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where she is a member of the Vocal Institute faculty. An active promoter of new works, Zoltek has been on the musical team for the world premieres of Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West and Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber. This summer, Zoltek will serve on John Adam’s Antony and Cleopatra, an upcoming world premiere at the San Francisco Opera.

“Maureen’s deep and varied experience in the industry and her commitment to emerging artists will make her an invaluable resource to our HGO Studio team and the entire organization,” said Brian Speck, Director of HGO Studio. “Artists compete to join the program as it provides personalized and intensive training that prepares them to perform at the highest level, alongside the best in the industry. Under Maureen’s exceptional mentorship, our HGO Studio artists will be positioned to succeed on stages around the world.

Zoltek received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the Manhattan School of Music and holds a master’s degree in piano performance and musicology from Roosevelt University, in addition to a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from DePaul University.

“I am inspired by the HGO studio’s legacy of excellence and am privileged to now be part of its leadership,” Zoltek said. “I look forward to working with and nurturing the exceptional talents of the artists in the studio, and to lending them my unwavering and enthusiastic support and guidance as they navigate a career in this most incredible art form.”

The HGO studio was established in 1977 to provide comprehensive career development along with the highest quality training and a wide range of performance opportunities for young artists in the industry. The program differs from many other young artist programs in the level of integration between HGO studio members and the main artists and production teams. Since the program’s inception, HGO Studio artists have had significant performance opportunities, working alongside acclaimed singers such as Joyce DiDonato, Lawrence Brownlee, Christine Goerke, Jamie Barton and Ryan McKinny, as well as bandleaders. renowned orchestra, directors and designers.

To learn more about the HGO studio, visit HGO.org/Studio.

About the Houston Grand Opera

The Houston Grand Opera (HGO) is one of the largest, most innovative and acclaimed opera companies in the United States. HGO was the only US finalist for Opera Company of the Year at the 2019 International Opera Awards, and the only US company to be nominated twice. In fulfilling its mission to enrich our diverse community through the art of opera by creating, curating, exploring and producing exceptional experiences centered on the human voice, HGO has been the leader in commissioning and producing new works (72 world premieres to date) and in the training and support of promising young artists and administrators. The company contributes to the cultural enrichment of Houston and the nation through a diverse and innovative program of performances, community events and educational projects that reach the widest possible audience. HGO’s pioneering Community and Learning initiative served as a model for other arts organizations.

The NEXUS initiative is HGO’s multi-year ticketing program that allows Houstonians of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy opera without the price barrier. Since 2007, NEXUS has connected more than 250,000 Houstonians to exceptional opera through discounted individual tickets and subscriptions, subsidized student performances and free productions.

HGO has toured extensively and won a Tony, two Grammys and three Emmys. It is the only opera company to have won all three awards.


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