American pianist Kayo Iwama has concertized extensively with singers such as Kendra Colton, William Hite, Rufus Müller, Christòpheren Nomura, Lucy Shelton, and Dawn Upshaw throughout North America, Europe and Japan. She has performed in venues such as the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall, The Morgan Library, Boston’s Jordan Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, the Kennedy Center, Tokyo’s Yamaha Hall and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. The Washington Post has called her a pianist “with unusual skill and sensitivty to the music and the singer” and the Boston Globe has praised her “virtuoso accompaniment…super-saturated with gorgeuos colors”.
Iwama is the associate director of the innovative Graduate Vocal Arts Program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where she works in tandem with the artistic director Dawn Upshaw. She has been a faculty member of Songfest, and well as a participant in the Ravinia, Ojai, Token Creek and the Aldeburgh music festivals. For over two decades she taught at the Tanglewood Music Center, where she also served as the coordinator of the Vocal Studies Program. A former resident of the Boston area, she was a frequent performer on WGBH radio, and performed with such groups as the Florestan Recital Project, the Handel and Haydn Society and Emmanuel Music, and served as pianist and music director of the critically acclaimed Cantata Singers Chamber Series. She has also held positions at the Hartt School of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music and the Boston Conservatory.
The British-German tenor was acclaimed by The New York Times following a performance in Carnegie Hall as "...easily the best tenor I have heard in a live Messiah." He is celebrated as the Evangelist in Bach's Passions, his unique dramatic interpretation of this rôle confirming his status as one of the world's most sought-after performers (“a sensational Evangelist”- New York Times). Rufus is also a leading recitalist, performing worldwide with pianist Maria João Pires, notably in an extended Schubertiade in the Wigmore Hall, and on tour in Spain, Germany, and Japan with Schubert’s Winterreise.
The 2017/2018 season includes Bach Passions and Handel Messiah in New York, Princeton, Toronto, Washington DC, Carmel Bach Festival, The Royal Albert Hall London, and Canterbury Cathedral; Monteverdi Vespers, Schubert Die Schöne Müllerin, Mozart Don Giovanni (Ottavio) in Tokyo; Beethoven’s Choral Symphony in Pennsylvania, Haydn Creation in London, as well as recitals and masterclasses in Japan, Spain, Germany and the USA.
Rufus was a choral scholar at New College, Oxford. In 1985 he won first prize in the English Song Award in Brighton, and in 1999 was a prize winner in the Oratorio Society of New York Competition. He is Associate Professor of Music at Bard College, New York.