Christina Curren

Christina Balsam Curren

Assistant Professor of German Lyric Diction and Vocal Coach, part time

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Biography

Christina Balsam Curren, a native of California, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the University of California at Davis.  She continued her studies in piano chamber music, vocal accompanying, opera coaching, German diction, early music performance practice, and voice at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst “Mozarteum” in Salzburg, Austria, where she also taught for one year in the Opera School. This was followed by a seven-year engagement as repertory coach at the Niedersächsische Staatsoper in Hannover, Germany.

Professor Curren’s extensive freelance coaching, vocal and instrumental accompanying, and accompanying for diverse choral groups, opera workshops, and voice studios have spanned four decades and two continents.  She has performed in various capacities and given classes in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, England, and the United States.  Since 1989 Curren has taught at the Eastman School of Music, where she is Assistant Professor of German Lyric Diction and a vocal coach, and also teaches German language courses.  Her special area of interest, and the main focus of her work with students, is the relationship of expressive language to communicative singing.

Courses

GER 101/ 102 (101G/ 102G):  Elementary German

This two-semester sequence offers an introduction to German language for students with no prior experience.  All four skills are emphasized:  reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension.  Students with previous German experience must contact the instructor for a placement test.

GER 115/ 116: German Lyric Diction

This course for voice majors focuses on skills for pronouncing German with the ultimate goal of expressive, communicative singing.

ACY 417:  German Lyric Diction

This course is part of a year-long diction series for graduate collaborative pianists; others admitted by permission of instructor.