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Zachary Smith Term Distinguished Professor

Susan KlebanowSusan Klebanow (Zachary Smith Term Distinguished Professor) is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she conducts the Carolina Choir and UNC Chamber Singers and teaches courses in conducting. Her B.A. is from Brandeis University and M.M. in Choral Conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music. She taught at Brandeis University and the New England Conservatory Extension Division before joining the UNC Music Department faculty.

Klebanow received UNC’s Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and a Chapman Family Teaching Award from UNC’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities. With her UNC ensembles, she has conducted new works by Marjorie Merryman, James Primosch, C. Bryan Rulon, Allen Anderson, Stephen Anderson, Scott Warner, James Carlson, Orlando Jacinto Garcia, Chia-y Hsu, Thomas Kessler, slam poet/hip-hop artist Saul Williams, and the Martha Graham Dance Company. Also devoted to period instrument performance, Klebanow is the regular guest conductor of Ensemble Courant, the UNC faculty’s historical performance ensemble, with whom she has led J. S. Bach’s Mass in B-minor and numerous cantatas, Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, and works of Telemann, Buxtehude, Purcell, Charpentier and Mozart. Klebanow has prepared her choirs to sing with conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy and the European Youth Orchestra, Dennis Russell Davies and the Bruckner Orchestra of Linz, Rachael Worby and the Wheeling Symphony in Wheeling, WV, and Grant Llewellyn, Andrew Litton, Gerhardt Zimmerman, William Henry Curry, and James Gaffigan and the North Carolina Symphony.

Klebanow has led choral festivals, workshops, and clinics throughout the United States and in Mexico, Italy, and Hong Kong. She has guest conducted many choral and instrumental ensembles, including the North Carolina Symphony, the Emmanuel Church of Boston Bach Cantata Series, Mallarme Chamber Players, Boston University’s Opera Theatre, Ensemble 27514, and the University of Veracruz Baroque Festival Chorus in Xalapa, Mexico. A performing pianist, harpsichordist, and accomplished soprano, she has concertized extensively with contemporary music and early music groups based in Boston, North Carolina and Mexico City. With the Boston Camerata she recorded on the Harmonia Mundi, Erato and Arista labels and she has appeared as soprano soloist with the Greensboro Oratorio Society, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Community Chorus, and Mexico’s renowned Baroque ensemble, La Fontegara.