Katherine Chu is an American pianist, vocal coach, and artistic consultant. After working as an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera from 1996 to 2006, she took on the role of musical assistant to Seiji Ozawa and chorus master for the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan. She served as head of musical preparation at the Teatro Municipal de la Opera in Santiago, Chile, and was a coach, répétiteur, and assistant conductor for the Salzburg Festival, the Spoleto Festival, Buenos Aires Lirica, Palm Beach Opera, and the Philharmonic of Taiwan.
Chu is a pioneer in vocal coaching and opera musical preparation in China. As director of music administration at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing, she oversaw all musical activities for the opera productions, recruited international guest coaches, music staff, and singers’ corps, and was a consultant for artistic planning and casting. Chu went on to become the founding executive director for the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra. She serves as the director of programming at the iSING International Young Artists Festival in Suzhou and New York.
Chu taught at the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy, the Renata Scotto Opera Academy, the Juilliard Opera Centre, and lectured at Yale University. She gave master classes at the North Carolina School of Fine Arts, Taipei University of the Arts, Tokyo Music College, Shanghai Conservatory, and Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Chu’s book, Singing in Mandarin—the first definitive text on the subject of Chinese lyric diction and vocal literature—will be published by Rowman and Littlefield Press in 2020.
As an artistic consultant, Chu worked on the chamber opera, Poet Li Bai, for Central City Opera, Colorado, and Shanghai Opera. She was a key liaison and interpreter between the composer, BMG Ricordi and Shanghai Opera, and provided the musical preparation for the opera’s premieres in the United States, China, and Italy. She managed a scholarship program for talented Vietnamese classical musicians from 2006 to 2016. Chu served as the artistic advisor to the Louis-Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy Group in the Asia-Pacific region. She oversaw their Hennessy Concert Series in Hanoi for 18 seasons and coordinated “Save the Children” galas in Japan and Cambodia.
Born in Taiwan to Sino-Vietnamese parents, Chu is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Program. She completed the Merola Opera Program and a fellowship at the Tanglewood Festival. She holds a BM from Temple University, Philadelphia, and a MM from the Manhattan School of Music.