About the Theater Director
Brett Klaus, a St. Louis area native, is active both as solo and collaborative recitalist and teacher and vocal coach. Mr. Klaus currently serves as Music Director, Theater Director, Music History, and Humanities Instructor at Marquette Catholic High School (Alton, IL) and previously as Adjunct Professor of Piano and Voice faculty at McKendree University. He also serves as choral and artist in residence accompanist/recitalist for Winter Opera St. Louis. Mr. Klaus has previously spent several seasons as faculty, musical director, and accompanist of the Young Artist Program at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (Lenox, MA), as well as music director of the Artist in Residence program at Opera Theater St. Louis and Assistant Musical Director/Conductor at Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville.
Mr. Klaus recently directed and conducted MCHS' first ever summer music theatre workshop, alongside Soprano, Christine Brewer. He has also performed as part of a five piano concert alongside University of Missouri and Eastman School of Music Faculty for the Odyssey Chamber Music Series (Columbia, MO). Recent performances in New York City include Greenfield Hall, Miller Recital Hall, and Ades Performance Space as well as a featured performer in live webcasts of both the 8th Annual MSM International Student Concert and a Masterclass Seminar with Thomas Hampson at the Manhattan School of Music; in addition to Mr. Hampson, he has performed in masterclasses with artists that include Martina Arroyo, Bryn Terfel, Lang Lang, Peter Schickele, Abbey Simon, Idil Biret, Dawn Upshaw, and Renee Fleming.
He has appeared in solo and orchestral halls throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe and appeared as soloist with the Columbia Chamber Orchestra and Sinfonia Perusina (Italy), among others. Music festival performances include Brevard Music Festival, Le Centre d’Arts Orford (Montreal), The Las Vegas Music Festival, Sound Encounters at the New England Conservatory, Brandeis Chamber Music Festival, and Music Fest Perugia (Italy), among others. Previously, he has given live performances on WSQR National Public Radio and was a two-time consecutive winner of both the Boston Conservatory Piano Honors Competition and the Boston Conservatory Chamber Music Honors Competition. Piano studies (solo piano) with Thomas Muraco, Max Levinson, Peter Miyamoto, Ayako Tsuruta, and Elinor Freer as well as additional private study with Jerome Lowenthal at the Juilliard School; collaborative piano (vocal) studies with Michael Strauss, Kenneth Merrill, Dr. Alan Smith at the University of Southern California, and Thomas Muraco at the Manhattan School of Music. Frequent interpreter of contemporary music -- premieres of works by composers Kenji Bunch, Andy Vores, Mohammed Fairouz, and Lowell Liebermann; additional new music performances with the Ludivico Ensemble, Juventas, Pierrot Lunaire Ensemble, and Columbia Chamber Soloists. Founder, Die Hexen Piano Duo (Boston, MA). Former Staff Accompanist at the Manhattan School of Music, The Boston Conservatory and Boston University; former Piano Faculty, New School of Music (Cambridge, MA) and Brookline Music School. (Professional Studies Certificate, Opera and Vocal Collaborative Piano - Manhattan School of Music; Master of Music Piano Performance – The Boston Conservatory; Bachelor of Music Piano Performance – The University of Missouri – Columbia)
Aside from performance, Mr. Klaus recently completed his fourth 5K and fundraiser, Rooting for Ruth for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network www.pancan.org He is also collaborating with Dr. Omid Tofighian, translator of Boochani's internationally acclaimed and Victorian Prize-winning memoir, No Friend but the Mountains, for High School/Collegiate curriculums. Mr. Klaus also serves as President and Founder of Opera Forest Park, (in its preplanning stage) to begin its Inaugural Season summer TBD.