Grammy® Award Nominated solo and collaborative pianist Christopher Koelzer hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, and performs and coaches regularly in the New York City and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas. Christopher began collaborating in opera, musical theater, and chamber music at age 13, working with Mission City Opera in Santa Clara, CA, and Lyric Theater of San Jose, CA. Christopher received his Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance, studying with Dr. Irene Peery-Fox at Brigham Young University, where he coached and performed in the Opera department during his entire degree. He holds a Master’s Degree in Collaborative Piano from University of Maryland, College Park, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at University of Maryland, studying with Professor Rita Sloan.
Christopher has performed across the world as a solo and collaborative pianist. He received an Oscarson Grant to attend the International Music Academy at Plzen, Czech Republic in 2009. He attended Aspen Music Festival and School with full scholarship from 2011-2012, returning as Vocal Fellow in 2014. Christopher was an advisor, musical coach and performer in the Rural Artists Project, Inc. in western Alaska in 2014, a program designed to promote music appreciation and cultural development in rural areas. He was awarded Outstanding Collaborative Pianist Award and Grand Prize Art Song in the Metropolitan International Music Festival Competition in New York, 2016 with mezzo-soprano Nicole Lévèsque. Christopher was a Coaching Fellow at Wolf Trap Opera in 2017, as coach and accompanist for Rigoletto, as well as pianist for a new production of Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins as part of Halcyon’s By The People, an international arts and dialogue festival in Washington, D.C., a performance that collaborated with Hong Kong Ballet and Terra Firma Dance Company.
Christopher has worked as a vocal coach and pianist with many opera companies, including Washington National Opera (Washington, D.C.), Wolf Trap Opera (Vienna, VA), Northern Lights Music Festival (Minnesota), Maryland Lyric Opera (Bethesda, MD), and has coached and performed with the Maryland Opera Studio from 2013-2017. He has performed and recorded several new musicals written by Blake Allen in New York City (shards, Boston|Nebraska), as well as world premieres of new operas in D.C. and South Carolina. He is nominated for a 2019 Grammy® Award for his work performing and recording with the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic on the album RUGGLES, STUCKY & HARBISON: ORCHESTRAL WORKS with conductor David Alan Miller.
Christopher joins Maryland Lyric Opera during its 2019-2020 season as Assistant Conductor.