Soprano Jane Olian is recognized as a versatile, communicative performer with a wonderful voice, a fine musician and linguist, and as an uncommonly dedicated, resourceful and experienced teacher. A native New Yorker who has taught singing for over thirty-five years, Jane Olian currently teaches voice classes for the Evening Division of The Juilliard School. In conjunction with pianist Donna Gill, Ms. Olian is co-founder and co-director of Classical Singing and New York in June, a unique summer program which made its debut in 2008.
Entering Sarah Lawrence College as a classical and flamenco guitarist, Olian began her vocal studies with long-time mentor, soprano Ellen Faull, and pianist Samuel Sanders. She studied singing with Edith Bers, Rita Patane and Edward Zambara, and has coached with Margo Garrett, Brian Zeger, Jane Klaviter, Thomas Grubb, John Moriarty, Pierre Vallet, Warren Jones, Steven Blier, Joseph Smith, Walter Taussig, Corradina Caporello and Alan Johnson. Ms. Olian has taken master classes with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Pierre Bernac and Leopold Simoneau, and studied acting for many years with Max Gartenberg. Her extensive studies in French, Spanish, Italian and German include Italian language study at Columbia University and training as an English/Spanish medical interpreter at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital.
Jane Olian has been heard in opera, recital and orchestral performances throughout the United States, Canada, Italy and Mexico. She sang the United States premiere and broadcast of Rossini’s La Gazzetta for the Peterloon Festival in Cincinnati and has given premieres of contemporary American operas including The Voice of Temperance (Jeffrey Stock, for the Public Theater), The Elementary Principles (Michael Kosch) and Seymour Barab’s Phillip Marshall. She has performed with the Aspen, Banff, and Bar Harbor music festivals. Along with pianist Ena Bronstein-Barton and clarinetist, Sherry Hartman Apgar, Olian is a founding member of The Westminster Trio, and has maintained significant recital partnerships with pianists Margo Garrett, Donna Gill and Justin Williams. As a folk singer and guitarist, she recorded The Winning of the West with Tom Glazer. Olian is a recipient of the Distinguished Performance Award of the Minna Kaufman Ruud Fund.
In 2006, Jane Olian taught in Saltillo, Mexico for the Quinto Encuentro of the Artescenica program; she has given master classes in Saltillo, MX, for Minnesota Opera’s Project Opera, at Iowa State University, Hartnell College, Westminster Conservatory and for CSNY in June. Olian has been an adjudicator for the Ellen Faull Gordon Vocal Competition and the Associated Music Teachers Competition in New York City. Since 1976, Ms. Olian has maintained a private vocal studio in New York City in which she teaches a diverse student population of promising young professionals and well-established singers. Her students sing all over the world in companies such as New York’s Metropolitan Opera and Covent Garden in London; they also perform regularly at Carnegie Hall, on Broadway and in regional theater, in the film and television industry, and include TONY, Emmy, Grammy and OBIE Award Winners in their ranks. Ms. Olian has trained many cantors currently active in synagogues in the New York metropolitan area. From 1996–2007, she was a member of the Voice Faculty of New York University’s Steinhardt School. She has also taught at The New England Conservatory, Mannes College of Music, Vassar College, The Aaron Copland School of Music of Queens College/CUNY, Westminster Conservatory of Rider University, and for Western Kentucky University/Center for Language in Song.
Manhattan School of Music Precollege faculty since 1991.