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biography
biography
chinese bio
masterclasses &
workshops
Kevin Class is a musician who exemplifies versatility.  Having excelled in performance on various instruments at an
early age (most notably the violin and piano) he was raised around orchestras, and demonstrated early success as a
composer and conductor.   Moving effortlessly amongst between podium and piano, Kevin has become an accomplished
thinker, teacher and performer as a pianist, collaborator and conductor of both orchestral and operatic literature.   Kevin
presently serves as the Director of Collaborative Piano at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, where he also hold the
position of Music Director of the university's acclaimed Opera Theatre.  Prior to this appointment, he served on the Opera
Studies faculty of Indiana University where he was Music Director and Conductor of the Martina Arroyo Opera Courses.  
Born in Belgium, Kevin acquired a diverse musical education in Europe, the United States and Canada, including studies
with Murray Perahia, Gyorgy Sebok, Daniel Blumenthal and Ralph Votapek.  As a pianist, since his Carnegie Hall debut at
the age of 19, Kevin has been a frequent soloist in such venues as Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Geneva's Victoria Hall and
Vienna's Musikverein.  Following several seasons of annual performances in The Netherlands and Belgium, including the
complete piano sonatas of Schubert in Amsterdam, Kevin was named a Fellow of the Flemish Community by the Belgian
government in 1998.  Following his return to the United States in 1999, Kevin took up teaching positions at both Indiana
University and State University of New York-Potsdam.  After considerable legal challenges with record companies and
management agencies, Kevin decided to halt his activities as a piano soloist at the end of 2000, in order to focus more
attention on teaching, recording, chamber music, vocal collaboration and especially conducting.
"A career in music is
neither made nor
earned.  Unfortunately,
success in this business
has little to do with
talent or ability.  
Instead, one must be
grateful for the
opportunities one has as
they come along, and
take responsibility to be
a better musician at the
end than one was at the
beginning."
In 2001, Kevin became resident conductor and a Guest Music Director for the University
of Illinois Opera Theatre.  Under the tutelage of John Wustman, Kevin began cultivating
his skills in the vocal arts to enhance his work in the opera pit as well as in recital work
with singers.  Conducting productions ranging from the operas of Mozart, French Grand
Opera and works of Puccini (a.o.), he also conducted a series of American operas including
Kurt Weill's
Street Scene, Hugo Weisgall's Six Characters in Search of an Author and Russell
Smith's
Unicorn in the Garden.  After four seasons with the Illinois Opera Theatre, Class
returned to Indiana University to lead more than 15 operas in two seasons at the musical
healm of Martina Arroyo's Advanced Role Preparation course.  With more than 40 operas
in his active repertoire, conducting activities have found him on the podium at the Royal
Opera House at Covent Garden as well the National Opera Theatre
La Monnaie in Brussels,
and as a regular guest conductor for Opera Illinois (Peoria).  In orchestral repertoire he has
appeared in front of the Chicago Youth Symphony, Northern Illinois Philharmonic, the
University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, and as Resident Conductor of the Illinois
New Music Ensemble.
As a collaborative pianist, Kevin has long been active in both instrumental and vocal
repertoire.  During the 2008-2009 season, Class participated in a series of concerts
featuring solo and chamber works by Elliott Carter (celebrating the centennial of the
composer's birth).  A continuing project includes a partnership with mezzo-soprano Emily
Langford Johnson in performances of Frederic Rzewski's monumental monodrama
Antigone-Legende. While also involved in traditional Lieder/art song recitals and chamber
music, the aforementioned projects illustrate Kevin's commitment to contemporary
music.  This devotion to music of our time has resulted in a number of world premiers of
works by composers such as Gunther Schuller, William Albright and William Bolcom,
and continues to manifest itself through masterclasses and collaborations with young
composers, performers and new music ensembles around the world.


Kevin combines his mutliple disciplines into annual residencies throughout Asia where he
leads masterclasses and workshops for pianists, accompanists, singers and conductors.  
During the 2008-2009 season he will teach and perform in Taiwan, China and South
Korea.  July-August 2009 saw the first
Seoul International Opera Program, founded by
Kevin Class.  More than 40 students from the U.S., China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea
gathered for 5 weeks of intensive training culminating in three performances of Mozart's
Magic Flute.  In September 2009, Kevin will be artist-in-residence at the second annual
Culture Art Festival in Chongqing, China where he will perform a solo recital, give
masterclasses and conduct the Southwest University Symphony Orchestra.