Katherine Kaufman Posner is a master teacher of voice.
A proponent of a functional approach to singing, based on an understanding of the nature and physiology of the vocal mechanism. Her teaching brings about a transformative experience leading to healthy, free, and beautiful singing. Katherine has a reputation as a gifted, caring and down-to-earth instructor who is highly successful in leading singers to increased vocal health and high level performing ability.
The success of Katherine’s teaching has convinced her that perfection in singing is attained by obtaining true pitch and purity of vowel. These two, combined with attention to an ideal balance of the vocal registers, create proper laryngeal function, and a tone that is free from tenseness and constriction. Understanding the relationship between vowel, pitch, and healthy registration of the voice based on an understanding of laryngeal function is at the heart of the bel canto approach to singing. The teaching of Cornelius L. Reid, and those who advocate his approach, is not a “method.” No prescribed method of vocalization will work for all singers, guaranteeing freedom of the voice. Every singer requires an individualized training that has at its heart the correction of pitch and vowel leading to a natural way of producing sound which is in agreement with the known, correct physiology of the vocal mechanism.
Through her study with Reid, Katherine gradually made a decision to focus her work on teaching. She now has more than forty years of teaching experience, and has had appointments to the faculties of four universities, including Duke University and The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she also enjoyed a performing career in faculty recitals, chamber music, and opera.
Katherine was called by Metropolitan Opera Conductor Kurt Adler, “One of the voices of her generation.” After winning the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions at the age of twenty – at that time, the youngest ever to have been a national winner – she made her professional debut at the Santa Fe Opera. She also appeared at the San Francisco Spring Opera as Lisette in La Rondine, sang four trans-continental tours with the Goldovsky Opera Theatre as Rosina in Barber of Seville, Micaela in Carmen, and as both Mimi and Musetta in La Boheme. She was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Studio, performed at Avery Fisher Hall as Micaela in Carmen, with the Duluth Opera as Oscar in The Masked Ball. Other roles she has performed include Filene in Mignon, Ophelia in Hamlet, Creuse in Milhaud’s Medee, Monica in The Medium, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, both Gretel and the Mother in Hansel and Gretel, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. She coached and did role study with Kurt Adler, as well as other prominent musicians and coaches, such as Martin Rich, John Moriarty, Anton Coppola and Emerson Buckley.
She completed a Master’s degree in Opera Theatre from Manhattan School of Music and sang performances at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. She was a frequent recitalist and oratorio soloist in the New York area. Katherine was a winner in the prestigious Liederkranz Society competition. Subsequently, she appeared with such artists as Giorgio Tozzi, Mary Curtis Verna, George Shirley, Patricia Brooks, Donald Gramm and Igor Gorin. She has sung under the batons of Igor Stravinsky, Robert Craft, Jose Serebrier, Emerson Buckley, Nicholas Flagello, Stephen Simon, and Anton Coppola.
Early in her career, Katherine was a featured soloist with the Amarillo Symphony, the Oklahoma Symphony, as well as the U.S. Naval Academy orchestra and chorus. She has enjoyed the opportunity to perform chamber music in the New Composers Series at UNC, Re-encuentro Cubano Festival (modern Cuban composers) in Miami, and with the North Carolina Chamber Players. As anyone who has had a opportunity to hear Katherine in recital can attest, Katherine has a special affinity and fondness for the recital platform. In fact, in addition to her transcontinental opera tours, she has performed throughout the U.S., including recitals at venues as varied as the Brooklyn Museum, WNYC radio and television, the Community Concert Series in New Mexico, the Edna Hibel Museum in Palm Beach, and the Raleigh Museum of Art.
Katherine is not only a singer and extraordinary teacher of singing, but also an experienced stage director and teacher of acting. She has been an arts advocate for organizations in North Carolina and Florida and participated in fundraising campaigns for both arts and educational institutions. In the 1970s, she worked to bring opera to the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina and was a founder and the Artistic Director of the North Carolina Lyric Opera. At the same time, she served on Governor James B. Hunt’s Cultural Advisory Committee and was also Co-Chairman of his Opera Policy Sub-Committee. Later, in Miami she served on the Barry University Institutional Review Board, the task of which was to supervise the use of human subjects in graduate research projects leading to theses and dissertations.
Katherine was a recipient of grants from The Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music, the Borden Company, and the Weyerhauser Paper Company. Katherine Kaufman Posner is a lecturer in voice production and an expert in coaching musical styles, teaching English and foreign language diction, acting and stage movement. She has a private voice studio in the Triangle.