Pianist Elvia L. Puccinelli is Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Collaborative Piano at the University of North Texas College of Music, where she has served on the faculty since 2004 as both vocal coach and professor of collaborative piano. A dedicated educator in the field of collaborative arts and a specialist in vocal literature, she has held previous appointments with Baylor University and the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California. She has been a clinician or guest teacher at universities throughout the country, including holding residencies at the University of Southern California. With collaborative piano luminaries Margo Garrett and Donna Loewy, she has by invitation presented multiple sessions on the pedagogy of collaborative piano at National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and National Opera Association national conventions. Many of her former students have won positions with prestigious training programs, are now employed at houses such as San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera and Opera Utah, or are on staff or faculty at universities throughout the country.
A published author on topics of song literature and collaborative piano techniques, she is currently working with composer Jake Heggie on creating a comprehensive performer’s resource to his songs. Dr. Puccinelli has a special interest in language and in the intersection of language and music; she also holds an undergraduate degree in French, and has served as language consultant for Martha Gerhart’s series Italian Song Texts from the 17th through the 20th Centuries for Leyerle Press.
Dr. Puccinelli has appeared in song and chamber music recitals at venues from Los Angeles to New York City, and throughout Europe. A frequent presenter at a number of national and international conferences and congresses, her broad professional experience embraces such diverse performance events as the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Chamber Concert Series, Placido Domingo's Operalia Competition, the International Trumpet Guild Conference, the National Opera Association Competition and NATS national conventions. She has appeared in recital with members of the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. She was twice invited to serve as rehearsal pianist for Seiji Ozawa at the Tanglewood Music Festival. Also an experienced organist and harpsichordist, Dr. Puccinelli enjoys a wide variety of repertoire in her collaborations, from Baroque to twenty-first century literature.
An alumna of San Francisco Opera's Merola Program and former faculty at the AIMS program in Graz, Austria, Dr. Puccinelli spends her summers coaching young professional singers at the OperaWorks program in Los Angeles.
Dr. Puccinelli began her immersion in the wonderful world of music playing for voice lessons given by her father, Primo, and assisting her mother, Marlene, in playing church services and teaching lessons. The work they began in her continued at the University of Southern California, where she completed MM and DMA in collaborative piano with Alan L. Smith, and with additional studies at the Music Academy of the West, with Gwendolyn Koldofsky.