- M.M. in Piano Accompanying, Curtis Institute of Music
- B.M. in Piano Performance, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
Pianist Kevin Murphy is professor of music in collaborative piano and director of coaching and music administration for IU Opera Theater at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
A leading figure in the world of classical vocal music, he has served as Jacobs faculty since 2011. In 2016, he joined newly appointed professor Anne Epperson as codirector in creating the graduate degree program in Collaborative Piano.
Since 2011, Murphy has been director of the Program for Singers at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, and 2013-14 marked his first season as artistic consultant for the Tucson Desert Song Festival. He is currently artistic director of the Tel Aviv International Summer Opera Program. He also is frequently a guest vocal coach with Santa Fe Opera and will be guest coach for Los Angeles Opera in 2023.
He was previously director of music administration and casting advisor at the New York City Opera (2008-12) and director of musical studies at the Opéra National de Paris (2006-08).
Murphy was the first pianist and vocal coach invited by Maestro James Levine to join the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera, and from 1993 to 2006, Murphy was an assistant conductor at the Met.
In his capacity as a member of the Met’s music staff, Murphy played continuo harpsichord for many productions and toured Japan with the company. He also performed in Carnegie Hall with the MET Orchestra Chamber Ensemble and has frequently played chamber music with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
In addition to his on- and off-stage partnership with his wife, soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, he has collaborated in concert and recital with artists such as Michelle DeYoung, Thomas Hampson, Danielle de Niese, Lawrence Brownlee, Marcelo Alvarez, Iestyn Davies, Bejun Mehta, Gary Lakes, Kathleen Battle, Nathan Gunn, Elina Garanča, Matthew Polenzani, Cecilia Bartoli, Frederica von Stade, Plácido Domingo, Paul Groves, Renée Fleming, Gerald Finley, Kiri Te Kanawa, Wolfgang Brendel, Christine Brewer, and Pinchas Zukerman.
“Kevin Murphy is in the vanguard for Americans who have turned song accompaniment into an art. The pianism was so absorbing, the singer’s entry seemed like an intrusion. There can be no finer compliment,” said the San Francisco Examiner.
He is sought after and respected for his work as a private vocal coach and teacher and has been a guest coach at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, the International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel and Italy, Glimmerglass Opera, Tanglewood, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and The Juilliard School. He has also assisted Maestro Seiji Ozawa with his Mozart/Da Ponte opera festival in Japan and has been a guest opera coach at opera companies such as the Netherlands Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and the Ravinia Festival.
In addition to playing and teaching, Murphy recently added conducting to his musical activities. He recently led and produced a staged concert performance of Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor at Indiana University and also conducted the Schwabacher concerts at San Francisco Opera’s Merola program.
He was on the podium for Robin Guarino’s production of Emmanuel Chabrier’s opera L’Étoile last season at Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music and recently conducted Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder for Indiana University Ballet Theater.
Murphy’s other chamber music and concert credits include appearances at Isaac Stern Auditorium and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Edinburgh Festival, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, La Jolla’s Summerfest, Music@Menlo, the Vin et Musique Festival in Burgundy, France, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, and many other venues in the U.S. and abroad.
Murphy has appeared on The Tonight Show with Gary Lakes, Good Morning America with Cecilia Bartoli, and The Today Show with Renée Fleming. He also has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, in The New York Times, and has recorded for the EMI, Centaur, Arabesque, and Koch labels.
He is a frequent adjudicator for competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, where he also has served as official accompanist on stage at the Met.
A native of Syracuse, New York, Murphy earned his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Indiana University and his Master of Music in Piano Accompanying from the Curtis Institute of Music.