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Kevin Murphy

Professor of Practice (Collaborative Piano); Director, Coaching and Music Administration for IU Opera Theater

Contact Information:
East Studio Building, JS206


Chamber and Collaborative Music
Opera Studies

  • M.M. in Piano Accompanying, Curtis Institute of Music
  • B.M. in Piano Performance, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Pianist Kevin Murphy, a leading figure in the world of classical vocal music, has served as director of coaching and music administration for Indiana University Opera Theater and professor of practice at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music since 2011. He recently joined Professor Anne Epperson at the Jacobs School of Music in creating a new Collaborative Piano Program. In 2011, he was appointed Director of the Program for Singers at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, and 2013-2014 marked his first season as Artistic Consultant for the Tucson Desert Song Festival. Previously, Murphy was director of music administration and casting advisor at the New York City Opera (2008-2012) and director of musical studies at the Opéra National de Paris (2006-2008).

Murphy was the first pianist and vocal coach invited by Maestro James Levine to join the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera, and from 1993 to 2006 he was an assistant conductor at the Met. In his capacity as a member of the Met’s music staff, Murphy played continuo harpsichord for many productions and toured Japan with the company. Murphy also performed in Carnegie Hall with the Met Chamber Ensemble and Met Orchestra and has frequently played chamber music with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

In addition to his on- and off-stage partnership with his wife, soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, Murphy has collaborated in concert and recital with artists such as Michelle DeYoung, Thomas Hampson, Danielle de Niese, Lawrence Brownlee, Marcelo Alvarez, Iestyn Davies, Bejun Mehta, Gary Lakes, Kathleen Battle, Nathan Gunn, Elina Garanča, Matthew Polenzani, Cecilia Bartoli, Frederica von Stade, Plácido Domingo, Paul Groves, Renée Fleming, Gerald Finley, Kiri Te Kanawa, Wolfgang Brendel, Christine Brewer, and Pinchas Zukerman. He is sought after and respected for his work as a private vocal coach and teacher and has guest taught at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, the International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel and Italy, Glimmerglass Opera, Tanglewood, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and the Juilliard School. He has also assisted Maestro Seiji Ozawa with his Mozart/Da Ponte opera festival in Japan and has been a guest opera coach at opera companies such as the Netherlands Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and the Ravinia Festival.

In addition to playing and teaching, Murphy has recently added conducting to his musical activities. He recently led and produced a staged concert performance of Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor at Indiana University and also conducted the Schwabacher concerts at San Francisco Opera’s Merola program. He was on the podium for Robin Guarino’s production of Emmanuel Chabrier’s opera, L’éEtoile last season at Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music and recently conducted Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder for the Indiana University Ballet Theater. Murphy’s Other chamber music and concert credits include appearances at Isaac Stern Auditorium and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Edinburgh Festival, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, La Jolla’s Summerfest, Music@Menlo, the Vin et Musique Festival in Burgundy, France, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, and many other venues in the U.S. and abroad. Murphy has appeared on The Tonight Show with Gary Lakes, Good Morning America with Cecilia Bartoli, and The Today Show with Renée Fleming. He also has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, The New York Times, and has recorded for the EMI, Centaur, Arabesque, and Koch labels. He is a frequent adjudicator for competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, where he also has served as official accompanist on stage at the Met.

A native of Syracuse, New York, Murphy earned his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Indiana University and his Master of Music in Piano Accompanying from the Curtis Institute of Music. He resides in Bloomington, Indiana, with his wife, Heidi, and their four children.

"Kevin Murphy is in the vanguard for Americans who have turned song accompaniment into an art. The pianism was so absorbing, the singer's entry seemed like an intrusion. There can be no finer compliment." -San Francisco Examiner