"MARTIN KATZ must surely be considered the dean of collaborative pianists," said the Los Angeles Times, and Musical America was similarly convinced, creating a new award expressly for him: Accompanist of the Year. One of the world's busiest collaborators, he has been in constant demand by the world's most celebrated vocal soloists for more than thirty-five years. In addition to Ms. Mattila, he is pleased to partner Frederica von Stade, David Daniels, Kiri te Kanawa, Kathleen Battle, Sylvia McNair, and Jose Carreras, to name just a few. Season after season, the world's musical capitals figure prominently in his schedule. Throughout his long career he has been fortunate to collaborate with some of the world's most esteemed voices. Marilyn Horne, Renata Tebaldi, Cesare Siepi, Evelyn Lear, Katia Ricciarelli, Tatiana Troyanos, Nicolai Gedda, Regine Crespin, Grace Bumbry, Monserrat Caballe and many others have invited him to share the stage in recitals on five continents.
Mr. Katz is a native of Los Angeles, where he began piano studies at the age of five. He attended the University of Southern California as a scholarship student and studied the specialized field of accompanying with its pioneer teacher, Gwendolyn Koldofsky. While yet a student, he was given the unique opportunity of accompanying the master classes and lessons of such luminaries as Lott Lehmann, Jascha Heifetz, Pierre Bernac, and Gregor Piatigorsky. Following his formal education, he held the position of pianist for the US Army Chorus in Washington, DC for three years, before moving to New York where his busy international career began in earnest in 1969.
In the last ten years, Mr. Katz has also added conducting to his skills, and has been pleased to accompany his soloists on the podium for Houston, Washington DC, Tokyo, Miami, and New Haven orchestras as well as the BBC in London. His ever-increasing repertoire as an opera conductor has been demonstrated at the Music Academy of the West, and the Opera Theatre at the University of Michigan. Drawing on his experience with baroque and belcanto repertoire as an accompanist and coach, he has prepared editions of operas by Handel and Rossini, which have been presented by the Metropolitan, Houston Grand Opera, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Finally, the professional profile of Martin Katz is completed with his commitment to teaching. For the past seventeen years, Ann Arbor has been his home, where he is chair of the School of Music's program in accompanying and chamber music, and where he takes an active part in operative productions. He has been a pivotal figure in the training of countless young artists, both singers and pianists, who are working all over the world. The University has recognized this important work, making him the first Arthur Schnabel Professor of Music. Mr. Katz is also in constant demand as a guest teacher in such important venues as the Merola Program of San Francisco Opera, the Steans Institute at Ravinia Festival, Tanglewood Music Center.