Katherine Chu is an American pianist, vocal coach, and artistic consultant. After working as an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera from 1996 to 2006, she took on the role of musical assistant to Seiji Ozawa and chorus master for the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan. She served as head of musical preparation at the Teatro Municipal de la Opera in Santiago, Chile, and was a coach, répétiteur, and assistant conductor for the Salzburg Festival, the Spoleto Festival, Buenos Aires Lirica, Palm Beach Opera, and the Philharmonic of Taiwan.
Chu is a pioneer in vocal coaching and opera musical preparation in China. As director of music administration at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing, she oversaw all musical activities for the opera productions, recruited international guest coaches, music staff, and singers’ corps, and was a consultant for artistic planning and casting. Chu went on to become the founding executive director for the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra. She serves as the director of programming at the iSING International Young Artists Festival in Suzhou and New York.
Chu taught at the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy, the Renata Scotto Opera Academy, the Juilliard Opera Centre, and lectured at Yale University. She gave master classes at the North Carolina School of Fine Arts, Taipei University of the Arts, Tokyo Music College, Shanghai Conservatory, and Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Chu’s book, Singing in Mandarin—the first definitive text on the subject of Chinese lyric diction and vocal literature—will be published by Rowman and Littlefield Press in 2020.
As an artistic consultant, Chu worked on the chamber opera, Poet Li Bai, for Central City Opera, Colorado, and Shanghai Opera. She was a key liaison and interpreter between the composer, BMG Ricordi and Shanghai Opera, and provided the musical preparation for the opera’s premieres in the United States, China, and Italy. She managed a scholarship program for talented Vietnamese classical musicians from 2006 to 2016. Chu served as the artistic advisor to the Louis-Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy Group in the Asia-Pacific region. She oversaw their Hennessy Concert Series in Hanoi for 18 seasons and coordinated “Save the Children” galas in Japan and Cambodia.
Born in Taiwan to Sino-Vietnamese parents, Chu is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Program. She completed the Merola Opera Program and a fellowship at the Tanglewood Festival. She holds a BM from Temple University, Philadelphia, and a MM from the Manhattan School of Music.
American and Italian coloratura soprano, Juliet Petrus, is in high demand internationally as the leading Western interpreter of contemporary Chinese vocal music. She spent the summers of 2011 and 2012 with the acclaimed iSING! International Young Artist Program in China, working with famed Metropolitan-Opera bass, Hao Jiang Tian. After becoming a recipient of a Confucius Institute Scholarship to attend Tongji University in Shanghai, she began to specialize in contemporary Chinese vocal literature. Her solo performances in China have taken her to more than twenty cities and include performances for Chinese Central Television (CCTV), at the Great Hall of People in Tiananmen Square, the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, and with the Shanghai Symphony. In the US, she has sung in Mandarin at Lincoln Center in New York, Chicago Symphony Hall, and Shubert Theater in San Francisco. In 2015, she was the first Westerner to release a CD of Chinese art song, entitled A Great Distance千里之外 with pianist, Lydia Qiu, on MSR Classics, which can be found on Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes
Juliet is likewise a passionate educator. In addition to being a teaching artist for Lyric Opera of Chicago for over seven seasons, across China, she is a welcomed lecturer and masterclass teacher, having worked with students at conservatories in Harbin, Shenyang, Beijing, Nanjing, Jinan, Chengdu, among others. Since the beautiful world of Chinese music was opened to her, she has become particularly interested in making Chinese music accessible for Western singers.
In Western repertoire, Ms. Petrus frequently sings roles such as The Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute, and appears as the Carmina Burana soloist. In recent seasons, she has performed in theaters across Germany, Austria, UK, and USA. In 2020, the Confucius Institute of the United States proudly named her one of their People-to-People Honorees for her contributions to China-US relations through music. She holds an BM from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MM from Northwestern University, Evanston. She begins work toward her doctorate in music at the Royal College of Music in London, UK autumn 2002. She is also an accomplished violist, pianist, and former musical theater choreographer. Juliet currently resides with her family in London, UK. Singing in Mandarin is her first publication.