Cliff Jackson, piano
A native of Gary, Indiana, pianist Cliff Jackson received his Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and pursued graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music. Cited for his sensitive accompaniments and insightful musicianship, he has been the pianist for many internationally renowned artists including Kathleen Battle, Renato Scotto, Simon Estes, Edda Moser, Felicia Weathers, and Gwendolyn Bradley. His skill as a collaborative artist has justly earned him a place on the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Vienna Musikverein, the Teatro Colón, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He was awarded a coaching fellowship by the American Opera Center at The Juilliard School, where he was a coach for two years. He was also the recipient of the Gramma Fisher Scholarship by the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Having studied with such highly esteemed pianists as Leon Bates, Frances Walker, Martin Katz, and Warren George Wilson, Cliff Jackson has been recognised as a leading pianist of his generation. He has also gained a wide reputation as an outstanding coach of vocal repertoire ranging in scope from the baroque to twentieth-century opera, in addition to a breadth of song literature encompassing the vastly divergent stylistic periods. He has performed as a solo pianist for the Dance Theatre of Harlem, acted as pianist, organist, and harpsichordist while on musical staffs of Miami Opera, Tulsa Opera, and the Mobile Opera, and was also invited to serve as the head coach for the Central City Opera festival during 1995 and 1997, and as the coach and accompanist for the Chautauqua Opera Festival. In 1992 he joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky’s School of Music, where he served as Associate Professor and Vocal Coach for the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and Voice Curriculum until his retirement in 2011.