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Jonathan Retzlaff - Baritone

Eastman School of Music 

Jonathan Retzlaff, lyric baritone, is Associate Professor of Voice at the Eastman School of Music.


He holds the Bachelor of Music degree from Millikin University, the Master of Music degree from Wichita State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University. International teaching includes the voice faculty at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria.


Following his New York debut recital of French Mélodie at Carnegie Recital Hall, the lyric baritone has championed the art of the song recital in prestigious concert series including the National Gallery of Art, and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; the A. I. Lack Music Master Series at the University of Houston, Texas; and the Bechstein Recital Series in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has also performed on the Community Concert Series under the auspices of Columbia Artists Management, on National Public Radio, and at colleges and universities spanning the country.    


Dr. Retzlaff was a semifinalist in both the Elly Ameling Lied Concours held in The Hague, The Netherlands and the Walter W. Naumburg Vocal Competition in New York.  His principal teachers and coaches include Marlena Malas, Dr. George Gibson, Dr. Jerry Doan, Dalton Baldwin, Elly Ameling, Gérard Souzay, Gwendolyn Koldofsky, Lois McLeod and Warren Jones.


Dr. Retzlaff’s extensive recital background is enhanced by a wide range of opera/operetta roles, including Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte, Paquillo in La Perichole, Fredrik in A Little Night Music and the Marquis in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, among others. 


His current and former students have performed at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Opéra Bastille,  Teatro La Fenice –Venice, Teatro Regio – Parma, Santa Fe Opera, Central City Opera, St. Louis Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Texas Chamber Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Ohio Light Opera, Astoria Music Festival, Amato Opera, Cantiamo Opera, Lincoln Center Summer Music Festival, Sarasota Opera, Berkshire Opera, Chicago Chamber Opera, Breckenridge Musical Festival, Chautauqua Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Omaha, Indianapolis Opera, Sacramento Opera, Connecticut Opera,  the Spoleto Festival (USA) and have also been national winners of the Music Teacher National Association’s Collegiate Artist Competition.


His students have earned graduate degrees from Indiana University at Bloomington, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Texas at Austin, among others. 


Dr. Retzlaff has served as an adjudicator for the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards, the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Artist Competition and the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions and as the Tennessee Governor for the National Association of Teachers of Singing.


Before moving to Rochester, Dr. Retzlaff was Associate Professor of Voice at  the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University for 17 years. Dr. Retzlaff was awarded the Blair School of Music's 2011 Faculty Excellence Award. Dr. Retzlaff is also the author of Exploring Art Song Lyrics, which was published by Oxford University Press in April 2012.



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