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KATHERINE SOROKA BIO

Hailed for her “masterful” and “heartfelt vocalism”, mezzo-soprano Katherine “Kathy” Soroka is known for connecting with audiences as a singer-actress in vivid and moving performances. As an accomplished pianist, seasoned actress and gifted comedian, she creates characters that are brimming with life, pathos and humor. Her world premiere performance of David Stock’s Songs of Solomon with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble was acclaimed for “finding both lush lines and dramatic intensity... commanding the stage”. (TribLive)

 

A winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Auditions, Katherine is an avid art song interpreter and recitalist. For the Frick Museum in Pittsburgh she curated and performed a “Music for Exhibitions concert” with Chatham Baroque in conjunction with “From Michelangelo to Annibale Carraci, A Century of Italian Drawings From the Prado”.

Katherine has performed recitals in numerous New York City venues including Merkin and Cami concert halls and on the Trinity Church and Saint Stephens Church concert series, at Allegheny College with pianist Alec Chien, and in recitals collaborating with pianist Nathan Carterette in Pittsburgh on the First Friday Series at The Church of the Redeemer, the Chatham University concert series, for Tuesday Musical Club, in Mercyhurst’s Walker Recital and for the Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts in Foxburg, PA.

A proponent of contemporary music since her early study with Jan DeGaetani, Katherine performed Betty Oliviero’s Juego de Siempre in New York City with Joel Sachs and the internationally acclaimed new music ensemble, Continuum.  She has sung world premieres of David Stock’s Rumi Sings of Love at Duquesne University and Judith Shatin’s Grave Music at Aspen Music Festival, as well as works by Chinery Ung and Noah Zahler, among others, at The Kitchen, The Juilliard School, The Greenwich House, Columbia University and City University of New York. Recent performances in Pittsburgh include David Stock’s Three Yiddish Songs with a quartet comprised of members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for the If Music Be The Food concert series.

Performances with orchestra include singing Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Music Director Lucas Richman and narrating concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Tiny Tots, and School time  educational concerts under the batons of conductors Daniel Meyer and Lawrence Loh. With Music Director Walter Morales, with whom she collaborates in this concert, Katherine performed Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony and David Stock’s Three Yiddish Songs with the Edgewood Symphony. She also sang Copland’s Old American Songs with the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra at the Carnegie Library Music Hall.

 

Recent operatic roles included Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera and Klytaemnestra in Elektra with Chatham Concert Opera – appearing in both with tenor Robert Frankenberry and pianist/conductor Walter Morales who join her in this recital; Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti with Aria412; and Baba in The Medium at Mercyhurst University directed by Louisa Jonason.

 

In her early career in New York City, Katherine performed the roles of Dido in Dido and Aeneas at Columbia University, Romeo in I Capuleti et i Montecchi with the Opera Ensemble of New York, and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Brooklyn Opera Company before assuming a senior executive position at the New York Philharmonic, and leaving behind operatic performing to continue singing recitals and contemporary music in New York City.

 

Musical theatre roles include Jenny in Company at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, the Witch in Into the Woods with the Barrow Civic Theatre, and Vera in Pal Joey at the Colonial Theatre. She also has appeared in soap operas in daytime television, film and national television commercials. Katherine has performed cabaret shows and club acts in New York City including “A Summer Romance” and “Hats Off to Working Women” at Panache and Don’t Tell Mama and classical cabaret concerts in Pittsburgh for the McKeesport Symphony.

She also has appeared with Pittsburgh’s celebrated new cabaret opera and musical theatre company – Aria412 – since its inception, performing opera arias, art songs, jazz favorites and comedic songs in its many-themed programs at the Indigo Hotel, Chatham University and via online streamed concerts during COVID.

 

Her first career was “backstage” managing concerts and directing programs in some of the country’s major arts organizations. Katherine served in the senior management of the New York Philharmonic for ten years after graduating from Barnard College and as Executive Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, WY and the Children’s Festival Chorus in Pittsburgh.  On the faculty and administration of Manhattan School of Music, Katherine developed the nationally acclaimed Orchestral Performance Masters Degree Program and founded the innovative MUSIC IN ACTION: An Educational and Community ArtReach Program, bringing student concerts into corporate lobbies and museums in NYC and a sequential music education program into inner city schools in Harlem, the Bronx and the Upper Westside - which was hailed by the National Endowment for the Arts as a national model for training conservatory musicians as teaching artists.

 

A magna cum laude graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, Katherine studied voice in New York City with private teachers and performers, Jennie Tourel, Olga Ryss, Doris Jung, Elaine Bonazzi, Ed Dixon, Paul Gavert, Dr. Michael Warren and Louisa Jonason. Studying, performing and serving as a vocal accompanist for five summers at Aspen Music Festival, she also sang at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria and toured Italy with the North Carolina School of the Arts.

 

Acting study in NYC included work at the Herbert Berghof Studio, the Actor’s Institute and five years of scene study with renowned Actors Studio member and coach Marilyn Fried. She also coached with Broadway actor and film choreographer and producer John DeLuca with whom she both appeared in Pal Joey and was directed in Company. 

 

In May, 2022 Katherine completed five years as voice instructor and vocal accompanist on the faculty of Mercyhurst University. She also maintains a private voice studio in Pittsburgh and Foxburg and teaches cyber lessons to students across the country.

 

Married to former Pittsburgh Symphony Principal Percussionist John Soroka, Katherine is a Board member of Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts in Foxburg, where as volunteer she manages artistic programming, marketing, social media, development, and education. They live on a farm near Foxburg, PA with their Hungarian Viszla, Plato.

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