JoAnn Kulesza, collaborative pianist, vocal coach, conductor, retired in June, 2021 after 30 years as the Music Director of Opera Programs at the Peabody Conservatory. Ms. Kulesza began her career at the Hochschule Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, as coach/accompanist in Opera and Lied. Professionally, she has worked as rehearsal accompanist, chorus master and assistant conductor for the Washington National Opera, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Baltimore Opera
Young Artist Program, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Compania Lirica Nacional (Costa Rica), and the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists. She assisted Maestro Loren Maazel for two of his Chateauville Chamber Opera Projects. While much of her work inevitably takes place in the background, coaching singers and preparing productions for other conductors, she made her Peabody opera conducting debut in 2003.
A recipient of the Johns Hopkins University Excellence in Teaching award, Ms. Kulesza has conducted master classes and guest residencies at various institutions around the country and is much in demand as a clinician and educator. As a collaborative pianist, Ms. Kulesza has played chamber music and vocal recitals throughout Europe and the United States, as well as accompanied master classes for such artists as Walter Berry, Edda Moser, Renata Scotto, and Placido Domingo. She has served on the faculty of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Alaska, the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, as German lieder coach, and returned in 2022 for her tenth year as Head of Opera at Musik Theater Bavaria in Oberaudorf, Germany.
A choral music enthusiast, she continues to feed her love of choral music as organist/director of the Wesleyan Choir and Praise Band at Eastport United Methodist Church in Annapolis, MD, and as director of the Arundel Vocal Arts Society, now in her 16th season.