Acclaim & Testimonials

"Arlene Shrut is a superb pianist with a flawless technique and unerring interpretive insight."

--The Sarnia, Ontario The Observer

Arlene Shrut was recently honored with receiving the The Sorel Foundation's inaugural Legacy Medallion. The Sorel Legacy Medallion honors the work of female artists whose careers reflect lifetime achievement in music through performance, training, or service. Each recipient shall be recognized for excellence in her field and for advancing the contributions of women in the arts. The long-term commitment of the Legacy Medallion is to support high visibility projects, assist women in gaining prominence in the musical world, and promote their identities as role models for other professionals.  

 

"I saw when we were young what maturity and skill you had in working with both singers and instrumentalists.  In addition to your wonderful musicianship you had the ability to bring it the best in everyone. Congratulations on this honor."

 -- Richard Katz
Eastman School of Music 1977

 

"What a wonderful award and what a fabulous choice as a recipient.  You are such a treasure in our field and I am so thrilled that you received the recognition that you have earned through so many years of hard work and innovation.  It is always such a privilege to work with you and soak up so many new ideas that bring our music alive."

-- Susan Hoskins, vocal coach/accompanist

 

"What a HUGE honor and one that is so well deserved.  BRAVO to you.  I'm so glad to hear about others recognizing what so many of already know.....that you are a one-of-a-kind world-class artist!"

-- Dr. Robert Peavler, baritone
Associate Professor of Voice
Eastern Michigan University

 

"I cannot think of anyone more deserving, warm-hearted, supportive, and absolutely talented to have received this prize. I am so happy for you!!"

-- Helena Brown,  mezzo-soprano

"I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award. Congratulations!!!!!!"

-- Dr. Bonnie Cutsforth-Huber, contralto
Editor, The Opera Journal
Associate Professor of Music
Penn State Altoona

"Once again, Shrut at the piano set the mood, leading to the wonderful expression of gratitude heard in the most lyrical and secure singing of the evening."

-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, recital with baritone Takaoki Onishi

 

“Arlene Shrut’s accompaniment was sensitive and supportive. She changed the colors of the piano sound to suit the mood of each song and ‘sang’ with the singer. Her verbal introduction of Fauré’s Poëme d’un jour revealed the humor of the song cycle and added to its enjoyment.”

-- The Salida, CO Mountian Mail, recital with soprano Renée Fleming

 

“Both performers charged the atmosphere with their enthusiasm and technical ability…the piano and violin sounded almost like one instrument.”

-- The Washington Times, Phillips Collection recital with violinist Julie Rosenfeld

 

“Rosenfeld and Shrut matched each other intensity for intensity…she and her estimable accompanist established a rapport indicative of their six-year partnership. They consistently showed the breadth of their expressive powers…”

-- The Washington Post

 

"...baritone Daniel Lichti and pianist Arlene Shrut collaborated in a powerful realization of Die Winterreise... They created an atmosphere of rapt involvement that seemed to transcend all measures of time and emotional involvement... Both sustained a memorable exchange of phrasing, nuance, and articulation that did Die Winterreise eloquent justice."

-- Kitchener-Waterloo Record

 

"Simply beautiful…Baritone Daniel Lichti and pianist Arlene Shrut combined for a lovely performance of Schubert’s spare Winterriese…”

-- Syracuse Herald American

 

“An uncommonly fine recital of chamber music was presented Friday evening by the Grand’ Arte Trio…Clarity of tone, beautifully balanced projection, and proper artistic  restraint were characteristics of the performance…Grand’ Arte performs with exemplary ensemble cohesion.”

-- The Santa Rosa, CA Democrat Press

 

"The best came last at Sunday’s concert by the Syracuse Camperata by way of a dashing and colorful performance of the Quintet in E-flat Major of Schumann. At the keyboard was Arlene Shrut in her debut with the ensemble…”

-- Syracuse Post-Standard

 

"With superlative teamwork between singer and pianist and an evident sympathy with these deeply moving songs, the result was a truly memorable evening."

-- University of Waterloo Gazette, recital with baritone Daniel Lichti

 

"Paul Sperry, famed tenor,…offered generous examples of some well-known and lesser-known songs. Arlene Shrut of New York contributed to the superb ensemble with her excellent accompanying.”

-- The NATS Journal

 

"The degree of ensemble between Lichti and Shrut was almost uncanny, yet one felt the unanimity of their expressive effects and dynamic changes arose... from a common understanding of the composer's intentions."

-- The Sarnia, Ontario The Observer

 

"The artistry of singers and accompanist will not soon be forgotten for both portrayed a mastery of individual skills and these came together so marvelously to blend music and poetry into a magnificently rich and warm color portrait. The music lines moved with vibrancy and warmth throughout the evening, each artist supporting and enhancing the skills of the other. The writer was particularly impressed with the coming together of music and poetry so that a vivid beauty emerged."

-- Mennonite Mirror, recital with baritone Daniel Lichti

 

"Rosenfeld and Shrut sounded comfortable at home with the 20th century composers. Both women were technically on top, and both aggressively pursued their parts…Together these players made a firm impression, one that will be favorably recalled for their idiomatic 20th century playing.”

-- Montgomery Journal

 

“…the warm, outgoing vigor of Lichti’s projection here made this a real winner, while his accompanist, Arlene Shrut, contributed greatly to the excitement. Their excellent teamwork continued in the three sets of German songs, the most demanding of which was the set of Harfenlieder by Hugo Wolf, richly expressive works that were beautifully captured by Lichti and Shrut.”

-- The Waterloo, Ontario U.W. Gazette, recital with baritone Daniel Lichti

 

“…showcased their ability to play a range of musical moods as a harmonic whole. From the boisterousness of the Beethoven to the emotional swells of the Brahms, the Sine Nomine Trio maintained control, clarity, and unity, earning for their performance three curtain calls.”

--The Nyack Journal-News

 

"Arlene Shrut and David Abbott opened the program with Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann, Op. 23 for Piano Four-Hands. Their interpretation of the Brahms was distinguished by a sprightly handling of its many moods.”

-- The Nyack Journal-News, the ensemble Davidsbund

 

“Pianists Arlene Shrut and David Abbott smoothly played [Schubert’s] Rondo in A for Piano Four-Hands, D. 951. Each flick of their wrists was graceful precision.”

-- The Nyack Journal-News

 

"Shrut is a consummate collaborator.” 

--Classical Voice New England 

 

“There is a magic Arlene has that no one else has – a combination of heart, mind and spirit that is the pure essence of each song.  Arlene’s oneness with the singer in every thought and breath is reflected in her perfect technique.  Her rapport with the performers and director Johnathon Pape, evoked such intelligence and beauty for them.”                                                                                                                        

--Dorothy Rosenberger, Director Tuesday Musical Club, Houston
 Former Faculty SUNY Buffalo, New England Conservatory & Rice University


"This thoughtfully constructed performance...of itself recommends the disc for serious consideration. The fine performances confirm it...About Arlene Shrut's playing...there is an intensity of feeling and a willingness to take risks."

-- Gramophone, Performance: 5 stars. Sound: 5 stars Critic's Choice for Songs of Hugo Wolf 
[Dorian Recordings, DOR 90131

 

"Arlene Shrut is an extraordinarily sensitive accompanist. With an intuition for refined nuances and a wonderfully dynamic range of expression, she has developed into a 'Stimmbildner' and that can be heard in her perfect symbiosis with the singer."

--Privilege (Holland)

 

"Lichti has a formidable ally in pianist Arlene Shrut; together they present a closely synchronized performance which rates high marks for expressivity and musicality…Wolf’s powerful portrait of Prometheus stands out in a performance marked by expressive singing combined with Shrut’s stunning interpretation and orchestral-like accompaniment."

-- The NATS Journal, "Listener's Gallery Review" for Songs of Hugo Wolf [Dorian Recordings, DOR 90131], Daniel Lichti, baritone, and Arlene Shrut, piano

 

"Having heard all the famous pianists play this cycle, I think Arlene is the best, her pianism and colors are exactly to my taste."

--Thomas Pasatieri, commenting on "Three Poems of Oscar Wilde" from From the Heartland [Albany Records, TROY 1349], Robert Peavler, baritone, and Arlene Shrut, piano

 

"I would also like to congratulate your pianist, Arlene Shrut, for her brilliant accompaniments..."

-- Kirke Mechem, commenting on From the Heartland [Albany Records, TROY 1349],
Robert Peavler, baritone, and Arlene Shrut, piano


"Miss Shrut combines the attributes of a first rate operatic coach in the grand manner whose knowledge of the repertoire is extensive. She has a great pair of hands, sings cues, and is a musician of the first order. She also is an expert in the entire spectrum of the concert repertoire and a sensitive accompanist."

-- Nico Castel, tenor
Internationally acclaimed performer
Language diction coach & translator
Author of the prolific complete catalogue of Nico Castel's Opera Libretti

 

"Personally I can only say the best about Arlene Shrut's work. Due to her piano skills, her knowledge of the scores and her committed work our collaboration has been a very enjoyable one. In all the weeks of rehearsals Arlene Shrut has always found time to help every member of the cast in solving musical problems and her open mentality and support of everybody's work was widely appreciated."

-- Lutz E. Seelig
Stage Director, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Arizona Opera

 

“Arlene is part of a rare line of coaches that both stresses the fundamentality of tradition and fosters the individuality of contemporary artists. I consider her instrumental in my development as an individual. Unlike so many other educators who preach the importance of ‘taking a risk’ with sensitive and complex interpretations, Arlene is willing to take those risks with me not only in the coaching studio, but in performance, as well. She is the most magnificent hybrid of coach and collaborator, and the confidence and undying curiosity that she helps me to discover in my repertoire leads me to believe that she is one of this day’s most important educators of young artists.”

-- Erik Van Heyningen 
Senior in Vocal performance at Boston University
2014 Opera Theater of St. Louis Gerdine Young Artist
2014 Boston University Dimmock Award for Vocal Excellence
2013 Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition 2nd place

 

“Arlene has been absolutely integral to my development as a young artist.  Her coachings have been a through-line to my Juilliard career and led me to successes on the concert, recital, and operatic stages. Her unparalleled teaching has prepared me for performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, and The Kennedy Center.  Arlene's astute ear for details-rhythmic, linguistic, musical-already make her singular, but she is also the most nurturing mentor.  It is always a pleasure working with Arlene because I know I will not only gain new insight and ideas from her, but also have loads of fun while discovering the music together.”

--Miles Mykkanen, MM, BM, The Juilliard School
Engagements include Wolf Trap Opera Company, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Franz Schubert Institute
Awarded the Joseph W. Polisi Prize at Juilliard's 2013 commencement ceremony for exemplifying the school's values of the "artist as citizen."

 

“Positivity, boundless energy and exacting musical precision with an ear to match! That is how I'd describe coach, Arlene Shrut! I can easily say she is one of the finest coaches I have worked with, possessing an excellent ear, a genuine, warm and positive personality and a superb musicianship. Her knowledge of languages, style, repertoire and her support as a collaborative pianist are outstanding and have guided me through audition arias, competition and recital repertoire and complete role preparation. I have always regarded her very highly and appreciate how she can hone in on the most detailed of musical moments and assist me in clarifying, refining or freeing up my singing in such a clear, succinct manner. She is a consummate professional at every turn, always prepared, on-time, and willing to offer open and honest guidance in this profession. I am so grateful for having met and worked with her over these years and recommend her very highly to singers at all levels of their careers. “

--Jennifer Sgroe, Soprano Chair, Voice Department
Preparatory School
New England Conservatory of Music

 

"I met Arlene when I was first beginning my career as a collaborative pianist, studying with her on an Opera Coaching fellowship at the Atlantic Music Festival. From the first time we met together I was struck by her teaching and personality. Arlene is so honest and direct, in a way that is always constructive. I leave her coachings with so much confidence, excited to perform the piece that we worked on. She is well-rounded in her expertise. I feel comfortable bringing operatic repertoire as well as lieder, art song, chamber music or instrumental works to her coachings. Arlene taught me the intricacies of playing recitative. She taught me to understand the text and scenario of a recitative, and to realize the keyboard part in a way that characterizes the drama. I learned to carry the dramatic arc through from the first chord to the final cadence. Arlene has been an important professional mentor to me, offering invaluable guidance as my career developed. She is someone I always want in my corner!”

--Wenwen Du, pianist
B.M., Artist Diploma, Vancouver Academy of Music (B.C.)
Studied at the Franz-Schubert-Institut, Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and Oxford Lieder Course, and appeared in recital with tenor Ian Bostridge

 

“Arlene Shrut is the perfect partner for collaborative work, whether coaching or working on a program to perform. Her wealth of knowledge includes languages, as well as suggestions for the voice to sing beautifully without constraints of exact pronunciation. In other words, helping the voice sound its absolute best in its full range, top to bottom, while the text remains understandable. I have worked with Arlene for my entire career, and always feel in a better place for my concerts by putting her suggestions into my practice. I also find her ideas applicable to my own coaching and teaching.”

--Rosa Lamoreux, soprano
Engagements at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall,
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Royal Albert Hall (London), Usher Hall (Edinburgh),
Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and National Philharmonic
Broadcasts on NPR, CBC and the BBC

 

“Through the years, I had a distinct joy and privilege to perform and study with Arlene. She is a highly-sensitive collaborative pianist and a world-class coach. Whenever I perform with Arlene I never feel that I am being "accompanied." Rather, Arlene's piano is a co-equal, highly individualized voice. It is fair to say that Arlene is a poet at the keyboard. As a coach, Arlene is very well informed in the areas of vocal repertoire, style and lyric diction. She is supportive and always puts her students at ease. I always left her coachings with the feeling that I learned something new, found a hidden interpretation of a certain passage, or discovered a better approach to a technically-challenging passage.”

-- Anton Belov, DMA BU, MM, The Juilliard School, BM New England Conservatory 
Faculty, Linfield College, Atlantic Music Festival 
Winner of the Young Concert Artists, George London, Licia Albanese, Marion Anderson Competitions
Solo engagements include Detroit, Oregon, Colorado, California Symphonies and the Boston Baroque, Boston Lyric Opera, Portland Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera and recitals Carnegie Recital Hall and Kennedy Center

 

“My work with Arlene has caused me to blossom as an artist, musician, and person. Arlene is passionate, helpful, encouraging, and makes excellent use of our time together. Her vast knowledge of repertoire is impressive, and her attention to performance practice is world-class. I am completely grateful for our working relationship and friendship.”

-- Amy Lynn Murray, soprano
Koenigin der Nacht, Oper Chemnitz, 2007-2010
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music, Shenandoah Conservatory

 

“I always look forward to working with Arlene, knowing that when we meet I will receive a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience in whatever repertoire I bring her. She is direct, no-nonsense, and unafraid to give her honest assessment of my singing. She has a special sense for repertoire, able to sense where my voice is going before I know myself, and suggesting repertoire to develop my singing in a healthy way. 

Arlene particularly excels in teaching Mozart's operatic work because she deeply understands it and knows how to help a singer make sense of it, too. She brings together an understanding of the dramatic situation, the libretto down to the grammar, the musically correct and vocally assured ways to articulate the proper dynamics, phrasings, slurs, trills, and other markings while listening to her student with the keen ear of an operatic adjudicator. 

When she plays, a singer finds an incredible feeling of support.  A singer has the feeling that she is a conductor and the piano is her orchestra because of the variety of timbres and layers she uses in her playing as well as the energy that sparks straight from her heart into the music."

-- William Goforth, B.M. '13, St. Olaf College, M.M. '15, The Juilliard School
Has appeared in concerts across North America and Europe and studied at the
Franz-Schubert-Institut and the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme

 

“Arlene inspires me with her energy, enthusiasm and kindness in her approach to music. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge and helped me in many projects, including art song and opera. Her playing is full of joy, and I always feel refreshed when I have had the opportunity to work with her.”

-- Christine Pulliam Melamed, pianist 
Music director of Dramma per Musica, Adjunct Professor of Music, The King's College NYC

 

“Since meeting Dr. Arlene Shrut at the Atlantic Music Festival early in my undergraduate career, Dr. Shrut has been an integral part of my decision to pursue graduate studies in collaborative piano at The Juilliard School. Dr. Shrut acted not only as a career mentor, but also as a driving force behind my interest in vocal piano and coaching. Every meeting I've had with Dr. Shrut leaves me with numerous fresh ideas and inspiration for the music and the career I've chosen as a collaborative pianist and conductor.” 

-- William J. Kelly, MM candidate in collaborative piano, The Juilliard School
Engagements across Europe and the United States including Salzburg, Berlin, and Düsseldorf
Accompanied prize winners in the Met Council Auditions and MTNA Regional Competition.
Founder and current music director of the North State Chamber Orchestra

 

"Arlene has been instrumental in helping me make the transition from student to professional. She is generous with her time and ideas, musical and non-musical, and always looks for ways to help musicians individually. She brings together a community of collaborative pianists, and constantly looks for opportunities for us; when they are not there, she creates them. When I was first out of school, she trusted me with challenging projects, a testament to her faith towards young pianists, and her ability to help them grow. Arlene is not only a fabulous coach and pianist, she is an entrepreneur, mentor, and friend."

-- Renate Rohlfing, collaborative pianist
Engagements  throughout North America, Asia, and Europe, including the David Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, where she recently accompanied soprano Anna Netrebko in a gala performance

 

“Arlene Shrut’s  coachings have helped me transition from being just an accompanist to an active collaborator who takes on an equal role with the vocalist/instrumentalist on stage.  Her imagination and dynamic style of coaching never fails to inspire a new perspective of a piece -  mere notes become the vessel to deliver captivating story/image.  Her energy and positive words go beyond each session to inject motivation in further practice and confidence in performance.  She's also my ultimate role model in becoming an engaging and encouraging teacher in a one-on-one piano instruction. Arlene is my inspiration in delivering captivating performance and my role model in becoming an engaging and encouraging educator.”

-- Wenny Chandra MM in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music, Eastman School of Music
collaborative pianist & piano teacher, Southern California