Professor Rudolf Piernay

Key details:

Music | Vocal Studies
Principal Studies Professor (Vocal Studies); Aria, Song and Oratorio


Professor Rudolf Piernay commenced musical studies at an early age at the Städt. Konservatorium and Staatl. Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Berlin. From there he was awarded a scholarship by the German Academic Excange Service (DAAD) which brought him to the Royal Academy of Music and then to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London. He studied voice, piano and conducting and won several major awards while still at college. His principal voice teachers have included Prof. Harry Gottschalk in Berlin, Joy Mammen, Walther Gruner and Lucie Manén in London, Cornelius L. Reid in New York and Pierre Bernac in England and France, with whom he studied the French repertoire.

He has appeared in recitals and oratorios in Holland, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, USA, Canada, South America, Egypt, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Siberia, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Australia.

In England he has worked with the Chelsea Opera Group, the New Opera Company, the Park Lane Group and has done broadcasts for the BBC. Abroad, he has recorded for Radio France, Radio Vaticano, Rias Berlin, Radio Bremen, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Südfunk Stuttgart, Iceland Radio, Radio Telefis Éireann and Radio New Zealand.

Prof. Piernay sings in eight languages. His oratorio repertoire includes all major bass parts and his operatic repertoire is extensive. His recital work, in which he specialises, spans the entire repertoire. He has also had considerable experience as a choral conductor. 

Since 1974, he has been a Professor of Singing at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he has also conducted classes in German repertoire and vocal pedagogy. He is in great demand as a teacher both in Europe and abroad and has given masterclasses as far afield as Alaska and New Zealand. He was made a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (FGS) in 1981 and an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) in 1990. Since 1991 he has been dividing his time between Germany, where he has been made a Professor of Singing at the Hochschule für Musik Mannheim, and London. From 1992 until 1993, he also held a guest-professorship at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold.

During recent years, he has been extending his teaching activities to include regular visits to the USA and is now a frequent guest teacher at some prominent summer schools and operatic apprenticeship programs including the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and the Lindemann Young Artist Development program (Metropolitan Opera New York) a.o. Many present and past students of his now hold important soloist positions at opera houses around the world and also prominent teaching appointments. For many years Professor Piernay’s pupils have been prize winners at the most prestigious international competitions.