Miah Im named new opera studies director at Rice

Canadian-born pianist Miah Im will take the helm as director of opera studies for Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music July 1.

Miah Im. Submitted photo.

Miah Im. Submitted photo.

“We’re thrilled to have Miah join the Shepherd School family,” said Robert Yekovich, dean of the Shepherd School. “She is an outstanding choice as we prepare to open our beautiful new Brockman Hall for Opera and begin a new chapter in opera studies here at Rice.”

“I am thrilled and honored to join the Shepherd School of Music and to be entrusted to run one of the finest opera programs in the country,” Im said. “With the participation of my distinguished colleagues, I look forward to creating exciting, inclusive and innovative collaborative projects.”

Im said the opening of the Brockman Hall for Opera will provide Rice a world-class home for educating the next generation of musicians.

“The theater will provide a magnificent space for every kind of live performance,” she said. “Rice University’s dedication to and support of the Shepherd School of Music and its opera program will be felt far beyond Rice.”

In addition to her full-time role at Rice, Im will be music director of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.

Im is currently the head of music staff at the Los Angeles Opera, where she serves as an assistant conductor and pianist working closely alongside music director James Conlon. With a commitment to emerging artists, she devotes much of her time to the singers and pianists in the opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program.

With over 80 operas in her repertoire, Im has served on the music staffs for Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Ravinia Festival, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, The Juilliard School and the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy. She has collaborated with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Taiwan Philharmonic and worked in South Korea with the Seoul Arts Center and at the Daegu Opera House as its principal coach and assistant conductor.

Im previously held positions as principal coach and conductor of the University of Toronto Opera School, music director of the University of Maryland Opera Studio and San Diego Opera Young Artists Ensemble, and co-music director of the Concert Artists program for the Oberlin in Italy program.  She has also been on the opera faculty at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where she has taught, performed and served as principal coach and chorus master. She has coached and conducted at the Royal College of Music in London and has worked with the Jette Parker Young Artists at the Royal Opera House.

An active member of Opera America, Im serves on the steering committee of Opera America’s Women’s Opera Network, which is committed to increasing awareness and discussion about diversity and gender equality. Among her greatest passions are helping the advancement of talented women in the opera field and serving as a supporter and mentor for emerging female professionals.

Im was the inaugural recipient of the Marilyn Horne Foundation Award for Excellence in Vocal Accompanying and appeared as a featured artist on the foundation’s annual gala concert. She has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony. Her performances have also been featured on WQXR in New York, National Public Radio and CBC Radio.

Im holds an undergraduate degree in piano performance with a minor in Italian and a master of music degree in collaborative piano and chamber music from the University of Michigan. Her principal teachers have included Martin Katz, Warren Jones and Louis Nagel.

“As a new member of the Rice family, I hope to contribute to the shaping of its legacy,” Im said. “My goal is to support, inspire and shape my students into confident and creative music professionals who will set new standards of artistic and musical excellence.”

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.