Bio

Principal Coach  | Pianist, Boston Lyric Opera
Coach | Pianist, Boston Conservatory
Director, Professional Vocal Coaching Studio
native of Portland, Oregon, keyboardist James J. Myers enjoys a distinguished career on three continents as vocal coach, recitalist, composer, and clinician. He has shared the stage with artistic luminaries of our age, including Greer Grimsley, Thomas Hampson, Kelly Kaduce, Carol Neblett, Morris Robinson, Nadine Sierra, Charity Tillemann-Dick, and Frederica von Stade. Esteemed projects included Christine Brewer’s Vier letzte Lieder by Strauss, Star Trek concerts with actors John de Lancie and Robert Picardo, and Indie songs with Renée Fleming at Denver’s Boettcher Concert Hall. He’s collaborated with composers Kenji Bunch, Tom Cipullo, and Jake Heggie, and in masterclasses with Jane Eaglen, Steven Isserlis, Fernando Laires, Sylvia McNair, John Perry, Abby Simon, Soulima Stravinsky, Nelita True, Roger Vignoles, Wagnerian Linda Watson, and the late violin virtuoso Zvi Zeitlin. In 2017 and 2018 he joined the Berklee-Boston Conservatory opera faculty for the Summer Opera Intensive and Operalia World Opera Competition at Placido Domingo’s Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain.

Mr. Myers has supported operatic/symphonic teams in North American and European houses with renowned conductors David Angus, Andrew Bisantz, Arthur Fagen, Christopher Franklin, Edward Gardner, Benton Hess, Alexander Joel, Jeffrey Kahane, Sebastien Lang-Lessing, Peter Oundjian, Antoni Wit, and the late Marvin Hamlisch. Featured on a Kurzweil double synthesizer for Opera Colorado’s Naxos recording of Nixon in China, he assisted Marin Alsop and celebrated composer John Adams. He mounted the “pocket opera” In the Penal Colony for Philip Glass, and Glass’s Concerto No. 2 with violinist Robert McDuffie. For Chris Thile’s Mandolin Concerto premiere he was piano soloist, along with Elmar Oliveira in Rautavaara’s Violin Concerto, and the Oregon Symphony’s Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. Passionate for Early Music, he studied harpsichord and organ under Arthur Haas, Elizabeth Farr, and William Porter, was harpsichord/organ soloist for numerous Boulder Bach Festival seasons, and teamed with Matthew Halls and Jennifer Koh on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. He appeared as harpsichordist on a new interpretation of Handel’s Messiah conducted by Bernard Labadie, and Donald Neuen’s Crystal Cathedral Chorus in Los Angeles, reaching 31 million people worldwide. Through a New York cultural grant he joined Percussia in Manhattan’s DiMenna Center, presenting music of Mellits, Hovhaness, Cowell, and the world premiere of his own Sonata for Marimba, op. 112 with percussionist Ingrid Gordon. Commanding most piano/brass repertoire, in recent years he’s pursued recital projects highlighting 20th and 21st century composers, including Maxwell Davies, Creston, Hindemith, Alfvén, Castérède, Jolivet, and Szentpáli.

In past seasons with Boston Lyric Opera Mr. Myers prepared Madama Butterfly, Der fliegende Holländer, Die Zauberflöte, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Kátya Kabanová, The Merry Widow, and presented all of BLO’s pre-performance lectures. In a contemporary vein he’s coached Stravinsky’s Rake’s Progress, The Crucible by Robert Ward, Ours by John Estacio, Johnathan Dove’s Flight, and the children’s opera El Gato con Botas by Xavier Montsalvatge. For the 2017–’18 Boston Conservatory season he coached Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Through invitations from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts he presented multi-media exhibition lectures to sold-out audiences: Music of Matisse, Goya – Tonadilla and Zarzuela, Brindisi, World Architecture and Acoustics, and Viennese Musical Modernism of Klimt and Schiele in 2018. Additional popular lecture topics throughout the East Coast heralded Beaumarchais’s Figaro, Enlightenment Austria, The American Operetta, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni. In demand as adjudicator and clinician, he’s led masterclasses at academic institutions nation-wide, including University of Hawaii, Virginia Tech School of Music, Fuller Theological Seminary, Louisiana State University, and Texas A & M Corpus Christi. Praised for collaborative sensitivity with young singers, he is contracted as pianist/adjudicator for Music Teachers National Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing, and annually with Classical Singer National Convention, where two of his coaching students won National First Prize Artist’s Division in San Antonio (Teresa Castillo) and Boston (Dana Varga). Mr. Myers manages a large private vocal coaching studio in Boston, where his students have secured roles at Vienna State Opera, Bregenz, Glimmerglass, Central City, Santa Fe, Merola, Sarasota and Idyllwild festivals, and won scholarships to Juilliard, Indiana, and Eastman.

In 2009 Mr. Myers completed his Requiem, op. 120 for soloists, chorus and orchestra, in memory of his father. He conducted the sold-out Colorado debut which served as a significant Habitat for Humanity fundraiser. New York pianist Tamara Goldstein joined him for the premiere of his Suite for Two Pianos, op. 118, his Ave Maria was debuted in Portland, Oregon, and a professional studio recording of Three Poems of the Great War, op. 116 was launched with soprano Dana Varga. He was commissioned for Imagination: Three Poems by African-American Women, op. 124, Te Deum, op. 125, and an experimental keyboard work in 2018.

A winner of the prestigious Rotary Graduate Fellowship, Mr. Myers holds degrees with distinction from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover (Germany), the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the Eastman School of Music, where he held assistantships in opera and musicology, and won the coveted Performer’s Certificate. Past academic positions included Metropolitan State University of Denver, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, University of Northern Colorado, and Chapman University Conservatory of Music, Orange, California.

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