Collaborative pianist and coach Arlene Shrut is heralded as both a steward for the artistic traditions of classical music as well as a visionary for its future. Hailed by The New York Times as a “strong and sensitive pianist,” she performs with the elite performers of today while training the musicians of tomorrow. In January 2018 Arlene was appointed to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music Artist Faculty. Having served in the past as head coach and pianist for the Atlantic Music Festival, she has been chosen to chair the new Collaborative Piano Program beginning in summer 2018. Arlene has also been selected to serve as the Collaborative Piano Master Teacher at the 2018 NATS Intern Program in Boulder, Colorado.
In the spring of 2017 Arlene launched a new performance project that celebrates the piano as an orchestral substitute. The Sorel Organization presented her with its first Sorel Legacy Medallion, an award which recognizes the work of female artists whose careers reflect lifetime achievement in music through performance, training, or service. To date the Legacy Medallion Award has supported the premiere performance of the Requiem of Solace: Brahms’ Human Requiem at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte in partnership with Steinway Gallery of Charlotte. In December 2017 Arlene also premiered the piano-only version Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín, a concert-drama conceived and created by Maestro Murry Sidlin, at UNC Charlotte.
As a performer, Arlene has collaborated with Renée Fleming, Thomas Hampson, Angela Meade, Isabel Leonard, Carla Rae Cook, Michael Fabiano, Anton Belov, Alissa Deeter, and Takaoki Onishi. She regularly serves as official pianist and judge for international opera competitions sponsored by The Gerda Lissner Foundation, The Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, The Giulio Gari Foundation, The Loren Zachary Society, The Marcello Giordani Foundation, and the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation. In January 2018, Arlene served as an official pianist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Charlotte, NC and will return in January 2019 in this capacity.
While many of Arlene's professional activities focus on collaborations with singers, she is in demand with instrumentalists as well, featuring engagements such as her NYC debut with the Yoav Chamber Ensemble, touring with the Grand'Arte Trio, and as a finalist in the Munich International Competition in the violin-piano duo category with Julie Rosenfeld of the Colorado String Quartet, as well as winning the outstanding pianist award at the Music Academy of the West. In January 2014 Arlene teamed with pianist Anna Shelest in a 4-hand version of the Brahms Requiem with Voices of Ascension, under the baton of Dennis Keene, featuring soloists Martha Guth and Richard Zeller. Arlene has recorded for Dorian, Albany, Summit, Centaur, and Orion labels. Her discography includes works from the classical canon and recording premieres by contemporary composers.
While on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival, she taught classes and coached productions featuring Mozart and German operas. Arlene also coached Wagner’s Ring Cycle for Arizona Opera. She also served as head of the Accompanying Department at Syracuse University and on the Evening Division Faculties of The Juilliard School and Mannes College and in May 2016 Arlene was honored for her twenty-five years of service as a faculty member of The Juilliard School. In 2003, Classical Singer magazine named Arlene the inaugural “Coach of the Year.”
Arlene has been on the artist faculty at Source Song Festival as a featured pianist and teacher since 2015 and will be returning again August 2018. Other festivals that have recently featured Arlene as pianist, vocal coach and teacher for collaborative pianists include the Vancouver International Song Institute, Opera Experience Southeast, Greensboro Light Opera and Song, Operafest on Martha's Vineyard and in NJ, Resonanz Festival and Songfest in Malibu.
As a musical visionary, Arlene has been at the forefront of music's changing landscape to advance training, generate opportunities, and create innovative solutions to promote classical music. As Founder and Artistic Director of New Triad for Collaborative Arts (2003-2014), Arlene created a curriculum dedicated to developing skills including visual engagement, comfort speaking with audiences, and individuality in performance. New Triad's Opera Master Class Series was presented at National Opera Association Conventions and at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Arlene continues to develop ground-breaking performance and educational projects that are moving and sustainable for our times.