Faculty

Jeanne-Minette Cilliers

College Artistic Staff:
Piano

Jeanne-Minette Cilliers, Piano Artistic Staff Member

South African-born pianist Jeanne-Minette Cilliers has been hailed as “a pianistic poet”, garnering rave reviews for her color-rich and imaginative performances.

In high demand as a collaborator, Ms. Cilliers has performed in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Israel, Japan, Russia, Sweden, South Africa, Barbados, and across North America, including festivals and venues such as the Irving S. Gilmore Keyboard Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Guggenheim Museum, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Cuvilliés Theater in Munich, and the Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. She is a regular recital partner of mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis, with other collaborators ranging from performers such as Janos Starker, Martina Arroyo, Eric Owens, Susan Graham, Joyce Castle, Lise Lindstrom, Lester Lynch, John Holiday, Justin Hopkins, Toby Girling, Victoria Yarovaya and Bo Skovhus, to conductors Alejo Pérez, Peter Rundel, Antonino Fogliani, Dmitri Jurowski, Cornelius Meister, Alexander Joel, Tomaš Netopil, Alberto Zedda, Harry Bicket, John Nelson and directors Peter Sellars, David Alden, Peter Konwitchny, Calixto Bieito and Claus Guth, as well as actor Vanessa Redgrave.

Ms. Cilliers fosters a strong interest in new music, and has presented several scores in world and North American and European premieres. Prominent contemporary composers with whom she has worked include Dominick Argento, William Bolcom, Jake Heggie, John Corigliano, Mark Adamo, Theodore Morrison, G.F Haas, Sven-David Sandström, Rolf Martinsson, and Mohammed Fairouz. As head of music, she assisted conductor Titus Engel at Opera Vlaanderen (Belgium) and IRCAM, Paris in the widely acclaimed world premiere of Chaya Czernowin’s opera Infinite Now. Also at Opera Vlaanderen, she worked with composer Héctor Parra and conductor Peter Rundel on the operatic adaptation of the controversial novel Les Bienveillantes. In this production, staged by Calixto Bieto, Ms. Cilliers also performed the on-stage piano part on a flying piano.

Ms. Cilliers has been on the music staff of the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, and the Bayerische Staatsoper (BSTO). Her 2022-2023 season includes a recital with Ms. Bryce-Davis for the George London Foundation in New York City, as well as productions at Opéra National de Lyon and BSTO with conductor Vladimir Jurowski. From 2019-2022, Ms.Cilliers has spearheaded the new Collaborative Piano program at The Royal Conservatory Antwerp, while additionally serving as Studienleiter for the voice department.

Ms. Cilliers earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the University of Michigan with pianist Anton Nel. As a student of Menahem Pressler, she earned an Artist Diploma from Indiana University. She remains the first and only recipient of an Artist Diploma in vocal accompanying from the Manhattan School of Music, where she worked with Warren Jones.

Ms. Cilliers is based in New York City, where she lives with her husband, tenor Andrew Richards.

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