Making a Career with Your Voice Singers Panel

Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Graduate Students
Undergraduate Students

Alum and conductor Ryan Brandau ‘03 will lead a discussion with four professional singers from the worlds of opera, classical and experimental music. Their careers have included singing opera roles and concertizing, founding and leading vocal ensembles and opera companies, and recording, composing and commissioning. 

Alumni guests: 

  • Ryan Brandau '03
  • Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen '15
  • Majel Connery '01
  • Tim Keeler '11
  • Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa '14

This event is 7-8:30 pm EST.

Students: Please RSVP on Handshake.

Alumni: Please RSVP at

Registration closes at 5 p.m. EST the day before the event. Registrants will receive the Zoom link a day before the event. 

This event is part of the Arts at Work program, which brings Princeton students and alumni together for speakers and panel discussions, artists’ showcases and social events. The program is also designed to provide Princetonians a supportive arts and creative community and opportunities to learn about the realities of life and work in various creative fields. 

Ryan Brandau '03

Ryan Brandau '03

Ryan James Brandau '03 brings to the podium broad experience conducting a variety of choral and orchestral ensembles. He is the artistic director of Amor Artis, a 40-voice chamber choir and baroque orchestra in New York City that specializes in Renaissance, Baroque, and Contemporary music. He is also the artistic director of Princeton Pro Musica, a 100-voice symphonic chorus in Princeton, NJ, and the Monmouth Civic Chorus, a 100-voice symphonic chorus in Red Bank, NJ. 

Dr. Brandau has served on the faculty of Westminster Choir College, where he prepared the Westminster Symphonic Choir for performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Formerly, he was Director of Choral Activities at Santa Clara University, Artistic Director of the Santa Clara Chorale, and Choirmaster of the acclaimed all-professional choir of Christ Church, New Haven. He has worked with a variety of other professional, community, collegiate, children’s and church ensembles. As a professional singer, Ryan has been heard with ensembles in the US, Europe, and Asia, including the American Bach Soloists, the Choir of King’s College Cambridge, the Choir of Clare College Cambridge, and the Yale Schola Cantorum. His arrangements and compositions have been featured by choral ensembles around the globe, and his program notes have been featured by a variety of ensembles. 

Ryan received the Master of Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Yale School of Music, where he was awarded the Dean Horatio Parker Prize. Prior to pursuing graduate study in conducting, Ryan attended the University of Cambridge in the UK as a Gates Scholar, earning an MPhil in historical musicology. He received his B.A. in music, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Princeton University. He lives in New York City with his husband, Ian, and his dog, Tux. 

Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen '15

Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen '15

Acclaimed as a “young star” and “complete artist” by the New York Times and "extravagantly gifted... poised to redefine what’s possible for singers of this distinctive voice type” by the San Francisco Chronicle, countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen has quickly been identified as one of opera's most promising rising stars. Aryeh's first commercial recording - the world premiere recording of Kenneth Fuchs' Poems of Life with the London Symphony Orchestra - won a 2019 GRAMMY® Award in the Best Classical Compendium category, which honors albums with multiple soloists and multiple works. Winner of a 2019 Sullivan Foundation Award, and Third Prize Winner in the 2019 edition of Placido Domingo's Operalia, he also won First Prize and Audience Choice Award at the 2018 Dallas Opera Competition. In his breakout 2016-2017 season, he was Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and he received a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. He was First Prize winner of the Houston Grand Opera Competition, and winner of the Irvin Scherzer Award from the George London Foundation.

In the shortened 2019-20 season, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen returned to Houston Grand Opera as David in Handel’s Saul, and he performed Handel’s Messiah with the San Francisco Symphony and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Buffalo Philharmonic, and ‘Orphean Enchantments’ with American Bach Soloists. Additional highlights of the season were scheduled to include Tamerlano in Vivaldi’s Bajazet with Portland Opera and Goffredo in Handel’s Rinaldo at the Glimmerglass Festival. He was scheduled to make his French debut at the Chateau de Versailles in works by Pergolesi and Vivaldi, and he was scheduled to join Ars Lyrica Houston for ‘Bach Goes Greek’.
Aryeh completed his training as a member of the Houston Grand Opera (HGO) Studio (2017-18), where he was the first countertenor in the program’s history, and at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program (2016) and Adler Fellowship program (2018-19). He made his San Francisco Opera debut as Medoro in Handel’s Orlando, and his performances at HGO included Nireno in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Second Maid in Strauss' Elektra.

His 2018-19 season included the world premiere of a new ballet by Yuri Possokhov with the San Francisco Ballet, engagements with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Ars Lyrica Houston, and American Bach Soloists, with whom he recorded his first solo album – featuring works by Handel, Gluck, and Vivaldi. His additional credits include performances with Cincinnati Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and the Theater an der Wien in Vienna.

Aryeh is a proud 2015 alumnus of Princeton University - he earned a Bachelor’s degree in History and received certificates in Vocal Performance and Judaic Studies.  During his senior year, he became the first singer in a decade to win the Princeton University Concerto Competition. Upon graduating, he was awarded the Isidore and Helen Sacks Memorial Prize for extraordinary achievement in the arts, granted each year by Princeton University to the student of greatest promise in the performance of classical music.

Majel Connery '01

Majel Connery '01

Majel Connery is a vocalist, composer and roving musicologist who makes electro-art-dream-pop with repressed classical influences. Her music has been called “thoroughly Schubertian” by the Wall Street Journal, and her voice “crystalline” by the Chicago Reader. In the world of opera, from 2007-2018 Majel co-founded and ran the experimental company, Opera Cabal, whose production of ATTHIS at The Kitchen was called "mesmerizing" by the New York Times. As a scholar, Majel served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of California Berkeley for two years until pivoting to return to the world of performance. Since then, as Mohr Visiting Artist at Stanford, she commissioned and performed Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw’s monodrama “Contriving the Chimes,” written for her and the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and staged by opera director Christopher Alden.

As Mellon Visiting Artist at Wellesley College, she commissioned and performed Aeolus, a throat-singing rock opera by Rome- and Berlin Prize-winning composer Ken Ueno written for her and Ueno together. As a solo electronic performer, she has delved into radio, writing songs about porn, periods, and sad fish for Radiolab’s “Gonads” series (released in 2019 as a digital album on Bandcamp), and released two solo EPs, Anything Chartreuse and Orphea. She holds an A.B. in music from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Chicago.

Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa '14

Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa '14

Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa is a Zimbabwean Gwenyambira, composer and singer whose storytelling serves to bridge Zimbabwe’s past and present, in order to inform a self-crafted future. Her craft lives at the intersection of music and healing, drawing from the generations of Svikiro (spirit mediums) and N’anga (healers) in her bloodline. Tawengwa is also the founder and music director of the Mushandirapamwe Singers, a Zimbabwean vocal ensemble. Tawengwa earned her B.A. in Music Composition at Princeton University (cum laude), her M.M. in Voice Performance from the University of Kentucky and is currently a doctoral candidate in Voice Performance at the University of Kentucky.