Juliana Gondek
Distinguished Professor, Voice Performance, Music Performance

Chair, Voice Performance (2018-2020)
Distinguished Professor, Voice Performance

Music has been my life-long obsession - classical, popular, world music. It has blessed me with a life rich in wondrous experiences and prized friendships, and now my delight is to share what I've learned and what I love with young artists worldwide and to be inspired by them in turn.

Juliana Gondek is a renowned vocal pedagogue whose success with students has been informed by a more than 40-year performance and recording career on the world’s most celebrated opera, symphony, festival, and recital stages. She has starred in both soprano and mezzo-soprano roles with renowned conductors, including Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, James Levine, Carlos Kleiber, Nello Santi, Eduardo Müller, and Nicholas McGegan in such celebrated venues as the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Teatro La Fenice, La Scala, Edinburgh Festival, Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.  Her performances of over 150 operatic, symphonic, and oratorio solo roles include appearances with the world’s great orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and the symphonies of San Francisco, Seattle, Montreal, Dallas, and Detroit.

Gondek is an acclaimed specialist in baroque repertoire, the works of Mozart, early Verdi and Bel Canto composers, contemporary opera, and art song repertoire of the German late-Romantics, Poland, and Spain. Featured in her repertoire are Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and twenty-four Handel starring roles, nearly every Mozart soprano heroine including Vitellia and Aspasia (Mitridate), ten Verdi roles, the title roles in Rossini’s Bianca e Falliero (U.S. premiere), Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, and Bizet’s Carmen, Hoffmann’s four heroines, and fifty-two performances as Mimì.

She’s headlined at the Antibes Bel Canto Festival, Lucerne Festival, New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Göttingen and Halle Handel Festivals, and the Santa Fe, Caramoor, Avignon, Aldeburgh, Marlboro, Bard, Newport, and Bowdoin Festivals.  She’s sung nearly 200 art song and chamber recitals worldwide, starred as Marsineh in the musical Kismet with Baltimore Opera, and made her motion picture debut as “The Opera Diva” in Masterpiece Theatre’s The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather.

Gondek has premiered songs and chamber works by Ricky Ian Gordon, Richard Hundley, and Morten Lauridsen, and a dozen new operas including Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, David Diamond’s The Noblest Game, Hugo Weisgall’s Esther (recorded on Naxos with Seattle Symphony), Stewart Wallace/Michael Korie’s Hopper’s Wife and Harvey Milk (recorded on Teldec with San Francisco Opera) and John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles (Met premiere — Marie Antoinette cover).   Her discography also includes Handel operas Ottone, Radamisto, Giustino, and Ariodante (winner of Gramophone’s Record of the Year), “Live from the Met” video of Die Zauberflöte with James Levine, the legendary West Side Story recording and video with Leonard Bernstein, “The Complete Songs of Karol Szymanowski” on Channel Classics (winner of Poland’s “Fryderyk” Prize for Best Recording of Polish Music), Bright Sheng’s “Songs from the Sung Dynasty” on Naxos with the Hong Kong Philharmonic (Gramophone’s “Top Ten CDs”), a collection of Four Quartets of Songs & Arias by Roger Bourland on Navona Records, and songs of Bruce Babcock commissioned by Gondek, also on Navona.

She holds positions as Distinguished Professor of Voice at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she has taught since 1997.   She has also taught on the faculties of the Baroque Academy at Leonard Bernstein’s Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo, Japan) with Nicholas McGegan, at Teatro Nuovo with Will Crutchfield, Songfest, and five years as Visiting Artist for the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She has presented residencies and master classes at the Shanghai Conservatory & Opera Center, New Zealand Opera Center, Florence’s Cherubini Conservatory, Geneva Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, Rice University, and at colleges and music schools worldwide.  She is Director of Vocal Studies of the Astoria Music Festival, was Founder-Director of the NAPA Music Festival, and directed Hawaii Performing Arts Festival’s vocal training programs for many years.  She’s judged prestigious competitions including the Geneva, Spoleto, and Jose Iturbi International Competitions, and the Metropolitan Opera (MONC) Auditions.  Her students include celebrated stars of the Met and European opera houses as well as Tony-winning Broadway performers.

A native of Pasadena, CA,  Gondek trained as a pianist and violinist and entered college as a violin major.  Following her singing debut with San Diego Opera she gained the international spotlight winning back-to-back Gold Medals in the Geneva International Singing Competition and Barcelona “Francisco Viñas” International Opera Competition, and the “Prix Patek Philippe.”

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