Seattle Art Song Society was created in 2015 to offer recitals and lessons to the public which celebrate the union of texts and music. To find out more about who we are, click on a staff member's name below, or send them an email.
S T A F F
Brian C. Armbrust has dedicated his life to music. From a young age he enjoyed singing in choirs and exploring the stage which culminated in a lifelong relationship with artistic and academic pursuits in the Arts. Early on, he developed a passion for classical music and started playing the cello, piano, and flute, as well as developing his skills as a singer in operatic roles and art song recitals. This relationship with music led to multiple degrees in music, performances, scholarly writing, compositions, teaching, and administration. His passion for art song led him to the creation of Seattle Art Song Society, and his dedication to sharing this art form with the community has guided the organization in its programming and educational offerings in Seattle.
Most recently his focus was in artistic administration where he worked for IMG Artists as a Managerial Associate on the management teams for artists including Susan Graham, Karita Mattila, Ana María Martinez, Sasha Cooke, Patrick Carfizzi, The King’s Singers, and many others. Prior to that he worked at Houston Grand Opera as the Artist Liaison with such artists as Lawrence Brownlee, Christine Goerke, Anthony Dean Griffey, Joyce DiDonato, Nathan Gunn, and Katie Van Kooten to name a few.
Before working in administration, Brian worked as an adjunct professor at three colleges (including his alma mater Wichita State University) where he taught private voice lessons and music appreciation. Brian completed a Master’s degree in Music Arts Administration at Florida State University, a Master’s in Music in Vocal Performance from Wichita State University, and a Bachelor’s in Music in Vocal Performance from The Ohio State University.
Brian is a musicologist, singer, teacher, and composer. He is working on several research projects and creating classes on art song for the organization. He currently teaches several classes for SASS and is working on commissioning projects with composers where he and other composers from the Seattle area will contribute works for upcoming recital projects.
Brian is a native of Georgia, but is proud to call Seattle home. You can email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born in Romania, Dr. Raluca Marinescu began her musical journey at the age of five, studying piano extensively. She has performed numerous piano recitals in her native country as well as in England, Italy and Austria. She attended piano master classes in Italy, where she discovered opera and her love for the nature given instrument never stopped growing.
Dr. Marinescu has been featured in concerts and recitals across Europe and in the US, both as a pianist and as a soprano. Some of her favorite performances include Nedda in Pagliacci with Metropolitan Opera leading tenor Eduardo Villa in a production of Lyric Opera Northwest. Other beloved roles include Contessa in The Marriage of Figaro, Mimi in La Boheme, Antonia in The tales of Hoffmann and Tatiana in Eugene Onegin.
During her career Dr. Marinescu has earned numerous awards and advanced degrees in vocal performance, holding a Master of Musical Arts as well as a Doctor in Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Washington.
Aside from the stage experience, Dr. Marinescu has acquired extensive knowledge in arts administration, having worked in the Artistic Administration of Seattle Opera for several years. The experience allowed Dr. Marinescu to be involved in producing opera in one of the largest opera house in the US, working closely with international artists and cooperating with major opera institutions across the world.
Throughout the years Dr. Marinescu has never stopped teaching and sharing her knowledge with young talented musicians. Dr. Marinescu believes musical training and singing, in particular, is a journey of both vocal and personal development. The physical aspect of singing is deeply linked with the emotions of human nature and the maturity of the singer is inextricably linked to the ability of progressing as healthy performer. Thus, Dr. Marinescu recommends the starting age for voice lesson to be a minimum of 12 years old.
Dr. Marinescu strongly believes in creating a strong link of trust with her students, encouraging a continuous dialog with each one of them. She believes each student is an individual who requires a unique adaptation of the singing techniques to fit their individual goals and strengths. Dr. Marinescu enjoys teaching opera as well as musical theater, but has experience teaching in other genres as well.
Hailed for his "seemingly effortless vocal acrobatics" (Capital Times), Seattle-based tenor Eric Neuville is a regular on operatic and concert stages throughout the country. Highlights of this past season include performances of Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos with Seattle Opera, Carmina Burana with the Austin Symphony, Abdullo in Nabucco with Seattle Opera, Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Seattle Symphony, Messiah with the Portland Chamber Orchestra and Pacific Musicworks, Don Jose in La tragédie de Carmen with The Washington Idaho Symphony, The Prince in Rumpelstiltskin (Baber) with Opera Fairbanks, The Poet Sings: Emily Dickinson (recital) with Sonja Tenblad and Michelle Schumann, and Ulysses in Fauré's Pénélope with Vespertine Opera.
His 2016-17 season will open with a debut at Madison Opera as Laurie in Adamo's Little Women and continue on to Young Thompson in Cipullo's Glory Denied with Nashville Opera, Mozart's Requiem with the Seattle Symphony conducted by Itzhak Perlman, John Muehleisen's Pietá with the St. Olaf Choir and Magnum Chorum, Gastone in La Traviata with Seattle Opera, a remounting of the award-winning recital The Poet Sings: Emily Dickinson at the Victoria Bach Festival, the world premiere of John Muehleisen's Kippling Passion with Choral Arts Northwest, First Priest in Die Zauberflöte with Seattle Opera and multiple appearances with the Grammy award-winning vocal ensemble Conspirare.
Past performances have included Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Tacoma Opera, Nathanaël in Les contes d’Hoffmann with Seattle Opera, an All Mozart Concert with the Colorado Symphony, Frederick in The Pirates of Penzance with Tacoma Opera, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Vashon Opera, Handel's Messiah with the Tacoma Symphony, Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Conspirare and the Victoria Bach Festival, Haydn's Creation with the Bainbridge Chorale, and Cary Ratcliff's Ode to Common Things with Conspirare which earned him a 2015 Grammy-nomination as a soloist on the Harmonia Mundi recording of the work.
As a member of the Grammy award winning ensemble - Conspirare, Eric has been part of several recording projects on the Harmonia Mundi label, as well as a Nationally Televised PBS special, titled "Conspirare: A Company of Voices."
Dr. Neuville's work in musicology has led to editorial projects for the Ivor Gurney and Gerald Finzi Trusts. His book, The Unpublished Songs of Ivor Gurney is published internationally and available on amazon.com.
His interest in Acoustical Physics led him to Darlene Wiley at The University of Texas, with whom he re-engineered the Casa Vocal Arts Laboratory in 2007. He holds degrees from St. Olaf College, The University of Texas at Austin, and the The University of Washington, and was a member of both Seattle and Chautauqua Opera's prestigious Young Artist Programs from 2009-2011. He currently resides in Seattle, WA with his wife Liora.