Rebecca Plack


  • Composer Recordings
  • Opera on Record
  • Lieder; Mahler; Schumann
  • Music History of the 18th and 19th Centuries
  • Music History of the 20th and 21st Centuries


  • PhD, Cornell University
  • Post Graduate Diploma, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • MM, Manhattan School of Music
  • BA, Princeton University


  • Sacramento Opera
  • Caramoor Music Festival
  • Aspen Music Festival


  • Edison Fellowship, National Sound Archive, British Library
  • First Place, Vocal Division, Los Angeles International Liszt Competition
  • Spencer Prize for Excellence in Teaching (honorable mention), Cornell University
  • magna cum laude, Princeton University

What is your hometown?

Davis, CA

What is your favorite recording?

Only one??! Malcolm Bilson, Sonata in Bb K.333 (Mozart); Heinrich Schlusnus, "Avant de quitter ces lieux” (Gounod); Werner Güra and Christoph Berner, "Da unten im Tale" (Brahms); Paul Anka, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Nirvana)

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Education, gardening, cooking, and my family.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

"Where's my time machine??! I WANT A TIME MACHINE!!!!!"

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

Composing a piano sonata for first-year theory. It was probably terrible, but I got lost in it anyway.

What was a turning point in your career?

The first summer I studied at Aspen, hearing students griping about their music history classes made me want to teach music history at a Conservatory.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

I'd probably be a pediatrician.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Mozart, Schubert, and Schumann.

What are your academic publications?

The Substance of Style: How Singing Creates Sound in Lieder Recordings, 1898-1939

What is your unrealized project?

Recording the complete songs of Clara Schumann using a Wieck fortepiano