Hailed by the New York Times as “delightful and vocally strong and versatile,” Emily Albrink is a soprano whose young career already sports collaborations with artists such as James Levine, Robert Spano, Jake Heggie, and Dawn Upshaw. In 2010 she began the season with her Kentucky Opera debut as Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, returned to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, conducted by Marin Alsop, and made her Alice Tully Hall debut singing Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. Ms. Albrink is a 2010 alumna of the Doming-Cafritz Young Artist Program at the Washington National Opera where performances included Frasquita in Carmen, Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos, and both Barbarina and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. Noted past performances include Nuria in Ainadamar with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, soprano soloist in Brahms’ Requiem in Beijing and Shanghai, China, and Despina in Cosi fan Tutte, conducted by Levine.
Nancy holds a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Georgia State University in Atlanta where her teachers were Betty Anne Diaz and William Masselos. After a summer of study with Lee Luvisi at the Aspen Music Festival, Ms. Albrink came to Louisville as a student of Mr. Luvisi, artist-in-residence at the University of Louisville School of Music. She completed her Master of Music degree in piano performance in 1977. Since graduation, Ms. Albrink has been in demand as a teacher, developing students known for the quality of their playing, many of whom have been winners of numerous local, state, and regional competitions. In 1988, she became Lee Luvisi’s teaching assistant at the University of Louisville, a position held until Mr. Luvisi’s retirement in 2002. Ms. Albrink was a founding member of the Ceruti Chamber Players, a performing chamber ensemble with musicians from the Louisville Orchestra and received a Kentucky Foundation for Women grant to support her work with that group. In 1997, she founded the Academy of Music at St. Francis in the Fields and serves as its Artistic Director. She is the recipient of the 2006 Gheens Music Mentor Award. Ms. Albrink has two children, Emily and Peter.
Jessica is a native of Calera, Alabama, and holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Alabama where she studied piano with Amanda Penick. Jessica also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Samford University where she studied piano with Dr. Betty Sue Shepherd. She has participated in Masterclasses with such artists as Ann Schein, Claude Franck, and Leon Fleisher, and has received coaching from John Perry and Yakov Kasman, among others. Jessica has also been a winner in numerous piano competitions; most recently, she was the Graduate Division winner of the Alabama Music Teachers Association piano competition. Since moving to Kentucky, Jessica has been a Kentucky Opera Young Artist pianist, as well as an active accompanist in the Louisville area. She has also been involved with several Kentuckiana area high school musical theater programs, serving as Musical Director for Floyd Central High School's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, as well as rehearsal and pit pianist for other recent high school productions. Most recently, Jessica has performed as concerto soloist with the Indiana University Southeast orchestra, and has been elected to serve as secretary for both the Greater Louisville Music Teachers Association and the Kentucky Music Teachers Association for 2010-2012.
received the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Louisville, where she was a member of the University Cardinal Singers, and studied voice with Dan Weeks. She also holds a Master of Divinity in Worship from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and received her Bachelor of Music degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, with a double major in piano and flute performance. While at BGSU, she was a winner of the undergraduate performance competition and performed as a piano soloist with the Bowling Green Philharmonia. Before coming to Louisville, Ruthanne was active as a collaborative pianist, choral singer and church musician in the Twin Cities, and served as an adjudicator for the Wisconsin School Music Association at local and state festivals. Along with her recent academic work, Ruthanne has performed as soloist with the Choral Arts Society, the Louisville Bach Society, and the Southern Seminary Oratorio Chorus and Orchestra. She also received an honorable mention in the 2010 Gerhard Herz Young Artist Competition. Ruthanne remains active as a collaborative pianist and church musician, and is also an adjunct instructor at Boyce College.
Lenore holds the Ph.D. in Music Education from Florida State University, where she studied piano with Carolyn Bridger. Lenore was a pre-college piano student of composer John Lessard (Stony Brook University) and Kyrienna Siloti (New York City). Her Master of Music degree is from The University of Michigan, where she studied with Marian Owen and Eugene Bossart. Lenore achieved the Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Ithaca College, New York and later returned to join the School of Music faculty where she was awarded tenure. Her higher education teaching career includes faculty appointments at: The University of Virginia, Charlottesville; Meredith College, Raleigh, North Carolina; Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee; and the University of Memphis. Dr. Schmidt also served as Dean of Faculty and Students at the Westchester Conservatory of Music, White Plains, New York. She was recently the Program Coordinator of the Master in Teaching degree program at Washington State University. In 2007, she received the Washington State University Student Choice Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Schmidt has been elected to serve as President of the Greater Louisville Music Teachers Association for 2010-2014. In 2011, Dr. Schmidt was awarded the Masters Certificate in Piano from the Kentucky Music Teachers Association.
Fernanda obtained her doctorate in piano performance at the University of Minnesota, where she studied with pianist Lydia Artymiw. As an integral part of her DMA, she also had the opportunity to study choral conducting. Her bachelor and masters degrees are from the University of Louisville where she studied with Lee Luivisi. Fernanda has attended the Aspen Music Festival and participated in a master class led by Alicia de la Rocha. She has performed with the Ecuador National Symphony and given recitals both in Ecuador and in the U.S. Her teaching experience includes teaching children and adults at the Studios of Wendy Kitts in Louisville and at the St. Joseph Academy of Music in Minnesota. She also taught college students while holding a Teaching Assistantship at the University of Minnesota. Fernanda has been teaching at the Academy of Music at St. Francis in the Fields since 2007.