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Rebecca Plack headshot


Office 420

Courses Taught

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

Awards and Distinctions

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