Director, Maryland Opera Studio Voice/Opera Division
B.M.E., State University of New York College at Fredonia; M.M. Accompanying, U. of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
American Conductor Craig Kier has already received high praise for his “Tesla-like intensity” and “impeccable orchestral support” while leading performances throughout the United States and on international stages. In the 2014-2015 season, Maestro Kier became the Director of the Maryland Opera Studio at The University of Maryland School of Music. Productions since the beginning of his tenure have included Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte, Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges, Blitzstein’s Regina and Rossini’s L’occasione fa il ladro.
In the 2015 – 2016 season, guest engagements for Maestro Kier included his debut with Wolf Trap Opera leading Britten’s Rape of Lucretia and a return to Opera Birmingham for La traviata. He also continued his longstanding relationship with Houston Ballet, leading performances of The Nutcracker, which he has done since 2011.
Engagements in the upcoming 2016-2017 season include Madama Butterfly in his debut at Arizona Opera, his debut with Opera Saratoga leading Verdi’s Falstaff, and performances of The Nutcracker with Houston Ballet. As Director of the Maryland Opera Studio, he will lead productions of The Rape of Lucretia, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, and Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.
From 2010 – 2013, Maestro Kier was Associate Conductor under Patrick Summers at Houston Grand Opera. During his time with the company he led dozens of performances including Madama Butterfly, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Die Fledermaus, Trial by Jury and the world premiere of Huang Ruo’s Bound. He also assisted on productions of Otello, Rigoletto, Il trovatore, Don Carlos, La traviata, Le nozze di Figaro and Lucia di Lammermoor.
Guest engagements for Maestro Kier include La bohème with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars at Glimmerglass Festival, The Sound of Music with Central City Opera, Thomas’ Hamlet with Opera Birmingham, L’italiani in Algeri with Opera Santa Barbara and The Music Man at Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman.
In the summer of 2013 he served as Assistant Conductor on The Santa Fe Opera’s production of La donna del lago starring Joyce DiDonato and Lawrence Brownlee. Maestro Kier began his career as part of Seattle Opera’s music staff, serving in a variety of roles including Assistant Conductor, Coach/Accompanist, and Chorus Master. He has since served on the music staffs of The Santa Fe Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Colorado and Des Moines Metro Opera.