Rena Sharon is the Professor of Collaborative Piano Studies and Song Interpretation at the University of British Columbia. A recipient of the UBC Dean of Arts award for research, teaching, and community outreach, she is an Associate at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (PWIAS), where she was a Distinguished Scholar in Residence in 2011-12.
Born in Montreal, Canada, she trained at Indiana University with Menahem Pressler, Gyorgy Sebok, Janos Starker, and Jozef Gingold, who cited her as “one of the finest musicians of her generation”. Winner of the Best Pianist Diploma at the Rio de Janeiro International Voice Competition, she has performed internationally with many world-renowned artists and has recording on the Marquis, Finlandia, Atma, CBC-5000, Sono, and Summit labels.
Her research, writings, lectures, and productions traverse interdisciplinary boundaries and include collaborations with colleagues in sciences, humanities, arts, mediation, and healthcare realms. Within a continuum of academic/creative projects, she co-convened an invitational research conference at PWIAS with (the late) Dr. Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson, entitled “Art Song Anima: Ambiguities, Authenticities, Auguries”, which brought together distinguished performing artists, poets, cultural historians, psychologists, musicologists, philosophers, composers, neuroscientists, physicians, music education researchers, and music therapists to consider Art Song through a multi-faceted conceptual prism.
A passionate advocate for the sustainable future of the Art Song performance realm, Sharon has co-created a spectrum of innovative initiatives that seek to expand the pedagogical frame, multi-media performative applications, and audience for Art Song’s powerful fusions of music and millennia of global poetry. Sharon’s theatre-based Art Song lecture/recitals and co-created Art Song Theatre productions have garnered critical and audience acclaim, attesting to the appeal of multi-media treatments: “An extraordinary evening….” (Winnipeg Free Press, G. Nemerofsky; Concert Review for “Learning to love Lieder”, Virtuosi Concerts). “Magnificent, richly intense”; “Revelation”;“Opened the doors of comprehension” (Audience commentaries).