Born and raised in Brooklyn, Katherine is a recent graduate of Bard Conservatory, where she obtained her Masters in Voice. This Spring season she appeared as "Leila" in Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe and stepped in last minute to perform the second songbook in György Kurtag's Messages of the Late R.V. Troussova as part of Bard's annual Kurtag Festival, conducted by Benjamin Hochman. In March, Katherine sang the orchestral premiere of John Musto's Shadow of the Blues, under the baton of collaborative partner Colin Roshak, and in May she appeared at Symphony Space with The Orchestra Now to present Messiaen's Poèmes Pour Mi with Zachary Schwartzman conducting. While at Bard, Katherine sang the role of Gold-Spur in Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen, made an appearance in Handel's Messiah and sang in French and German Cabaret evenings, all at the Fisher Center. She also made two appearances with the Broad Street Orchestra in Kinderhook, NY, singing Eve in Haydn's Creation and the soprano solo in Fauré's Requiem.
Passionate about contemporary music, Katherine helped found the Bard Sinfonietta Project, a new music student collective, through which she sang Berio's Folk Songs and Saariaho's The Tempest Songbook and read the Narrator in Stravinsky's L'histoire du Soldat. In the summer of 2022 Ms. Lerner Lee sang in the premiere of JL Marlor's The Final Veil, a movement based opera about the Holocaust, which ran at The Cell Theater in Chelsea, NY. She will be heard on the upcoming recording of Susan Botti's River Spirits, performing alongside the composer herself and under the guidance of mezzo-soprano, Lucy Shelton.
Katherine has been a part of prestigious festival programs in the United States and is a two time alumna of both SongFest LA and The Music Academy of the West. In 2019, she made her Carnegie Hall debut on the Perelman Stage as the soprano soloist in Stravinsky's Les Noces, with Oberlin College Choir. In 2017 she performed at the Bang on a Can Marathon Concert at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, where she appeared in Louis Andriessen's De Staat and the North American premiere of Michael Gordon’s No Anthem. In February of the same year, she performed Harrison Birtwhistle’s Entr’actes and Sappho Fragments at the Cleveland Art Museum with Oberlin’s Contemporary Music Ensemble.
An avid recitalist, Katherine has organized many concerts with dear friends and collaborators while in the Hudson Valley. Since May, she has been invited to present three recitals in Poughkeepsie, Pine Plains and Hudson. In May she gave her graduate recital at Bard Conservatory, wherein she performed Grieg’s only narrative song cycle Haugtussa, George Crumb’s seminal work Apparition and premiered Juliana Hall’s “Peace on Earth,” which was written for her. Other recent concerts include a program of Schumann’s Liederkreis, op. 39 and an afternoon of music exploring her Jewish heritage including music of Ravel, Lori Laitman and Lazar Weiner. In August of this year she will perform on a concert of English art song with Bard Music Festival and next calendar year will give recitals with pianists Cristina Altamura and Erika Switzer.
Previous operatic credits include Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Flora (The Turn of the Screw) and Clori in Cavalli's L'Egisto. Katherine was slated to perform La Princesse in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges and as well as Holy St. Francis' Trainer in David T. Little's Vinkensport with the Music Academy of the West, though these performances were cancelled due to COVID-19.
Katherine was named the winner of the 2021-2022 Bard Concerto Competition. In 2019 she was awarded the Pi Kappa Lambda Prize for musicianship and the Faustina Hurlbutt Prize from Oberlin Conservatory and is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Beta Kappa, national honors societies for music and academics, respectively. She was also a 2019 winner of the Tri-State Opera Guild of Dayton competition.
When not performing, Katherine enjoys dog-watching, finding new favorite coffee shops and doing the NY Times crossword puzzle. She continues to cultivate her love and skills as a pianist and maintains a diverse voice studio.
Leila Iolanthe Bard Conservatory 2023
Gold-Spur The Cunning Little Vixen Bard Conservatory 2022
Young Woman "Mirrorflores: A Cinematic Opera" Music Academy of the West 2021
Pamina Die Zauberflöte Blooming Voce Institute 2018
Flora Turn of the Screw Oberlin Opera Theater 2018
Susanna Le nozze di Figaro Oberlin Opera Theater 2017
Clori L’Egisto Halifax Summer Opera Festival 2017
Adele (cover) Die Fledermaus BU Tanglewood Opera Intensive 2016
CONCERT & ORATORIO
Poèmes pour Mi Messiaen Symphony Space 2023
Shadow of the Blues (orchestral premiere). John Musto Fisher Center 2023
Creation (Eve) Haydn Concerts in the Village 2022
Requiem Fauré Concerts in the Village 2021
Les Noces Stravinsky Carnegie Hall 2019
G Major Mass Schubert First United Church of Christ, Oberlin 2017
Chichester Psalms Bernstein Oberlin College Choir 2016
NEW & CONTEMPORARY MUSIC
Soprano (Book 2) Messages of the Late Miss R.V. Troussova Kurtag Bard Contemporary Music Ensemble 2023
Soprano Tempest Songbook Saariaho Bard Sinfonietta Project 2022
Vocalist The Final Veil (world premiere) JL Marlor. The Cell Theater, NYC 2022
Soloist Folk Songs Luciano Berio Bard Sinfonietta Project 2022
Soprano 1 Letras Para Cantar Angelica Négron Music Academy of the West 2021
Soprano 1 Night Wears Black Juhi Bansal Music Academy of the West 2021
Soprano Soloist Entr’actes & Sappho Fragments Birtwistle Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble 2017 Soprano De Staat Andriesson Bang on a Can Festival 2017
Soprano No Anthem (North American Premiere) Michael Gordon Bang on a Can Festival 2017
Soprano Soloist Walking the Black Cat Oliver Kwapis Oberlin Composition Recital 2016
Soprano Snow Requiem (world premiere) Aaron Helgeson Cleveland Art Museum 2015
AWARDS AND COMPETITIONS
Winner Bard Conservatory Concerto Competition 2021
Third Place Winner Opera Guild of Dayton Tri-State Competition 2019
Faustina Hurlbutt Prize Oberlin Conservatory 2019
Pi Kappa Lambda prize for musicianship Oberlin Conservatory 2019
Finalist Oberlin Conservatory Concerto Competition 2018
Master's of Music Bard Conservatory 2023
Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance Oberlin Conservatory of Music 2019
Bachelors of Art in French Oberlin College 2019
Associate of Arts Bard College 2014