Dr. Jonathan Retzlaff, lyric baritone, joined the Voice and Opera faculty of the Eastman School of Music in 2015 after serving as Chair of the Voice Department at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University where he was honored as the Distinguished Faculty Member of 2011. For over thirty years, he has performed professionally as a soloist in opera, oratorio, recital, and musical theatre. Following his New York debut recital of French mélodies at Carnegie Recital Hall, Dr. Retzlaff has championed the art of the song recital on prestigious concert series including the National Gallery of Art and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; the A. I. Lack Music Master Series at the University of Houston, Texas; and the Bechstein Recital Series in Santa Fe, New Mexico and internationally in Graz, Austria. He has also performed on the Community Concert Series under the auspices of Columbia Artists Management, on National Public Radio, and at colleges and universities spanning the country. Dr. Retzlaff was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Elly Ameling Lied Concours held in The Hague, The Netherlands and the Walter W. Naumburg Vocal Competition in New York.
Since 2014, Dr. Retzlaff has held the distinction of Master Teacher in the National Association of Teachers of Singing, a lifelong designation. He has taught internationally during the summer on faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. Dr. Retzlaff’s current and former students have performed on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Musical Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, Vienna Staatsoper, Opéra Bastille, Teatro La Fenice –Venice, Teatro Regio – Parma, Santa Fe Opera, Central City Opera, St. Louis Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Texas Chamber Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Ohio Light Opera, Astoria Music Festival, Amato Opera, Cantiamo Opera, Lincoln Center Summer Music Festival, Sarasota Opera, Berkshire Opera, Chicago Chamber Opera, Breckenridge Musical Festival, Chautauqua Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Omaha, Indianapolis Opera, Sacramento Opera, Connecticut Opera, the Spoleto Festival (USA). Dr. Retzlaff’s students have been winners of Regional, National and International voice competitions including MTNA and NATSAA. Baritone Ben Edquist was winner of the 2014 Lotte Lenya International Voice Competition. His students have been admitted to graduate performance programs at The Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, Indiana University at Bloomington, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, the University of Texas at Austin, University of Southern California, Rice University, Florida State University, University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana and Northwestern University, among others
Dr. Retzlaff has served as an adjudicator for the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards, the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Artist Competition and the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions and as the Tennessee Governor for the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Dr. Retzlaff is the author of Exploring Art Song Lyrics published by Oxford University Press in May 2012.