Esther Jane Hardenbergh

Title/Position: Associate Professor, Vocal Performance and Chair, Department of Vocal Performance


What would you say are the outstanding highlights of your professional life?

1. My solo debut at Carnegie Hall in the US premiere of Imant Raminsh’s Missa Brevis

2. Recording the theme of the Undertaker for the World Wrestling Federation’s Monday Night Raw!

3. Lessons with the world-renowned bass-baritone Hans Hotter

4. Singing a recital of Mozart in Schloss Mirabell in Salzburg, where Mozart himself performed

What advice would you give an aspiring young musician?

Don’t be afraid of exploring all of the aspects of your instrument, love the work of strengthening your weaknesses. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Develop a solid, finely functioning technique. Be the kind of colleague with whom you would want to work.

Why did you choose music as your career?

I grew up playing the piano and made my debut with a symphony in high school, but I went to college intending to study medicine. With the help of the faculty at my undergraduate university, I found my way into music education. I finished my Master’s, moved to New York, then to Europe and began my singing career. At this point, there is no other life that I would rather have than teaching, performing and living my life in music.

Career Highlights:

“Esther Jane Hardenbergh gave radiant voice to Francis Poulenc’s poetic song cycle Fiancailles pour Rire. Never overstating the score’s restrained passions, Hardenbergh’s pure soprano soared to ecstatic heights.”—Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel

“Most notable was the debut of Esther Hardenbergh.  She sang with a clear soprano featuring a beautiful vibrato and engaging sound.  Her poise and dramatic presentation showed her to be a seasoned professional.  Brava.”—Miami Herald

Esther Jane Hardenbergh enjoys a rich and varied performing career and is an active pedagogue. She has appeared with:

Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Memphis Symphony
Atlanta Baroque Orchestra
Miami Bach Society
Baltimore Symphony
Orlando Symphony
North Carolina Symphony
Southwest Florida Symphony
Richmond Symphony
Naples Philharmonic
Traverse Symphony
Las Cruces Symphony
Alabama Symphony

She has sung commercial recordings on such labels as:


as well as television specials for CBS and ABC.

As winner of the International Opera Singer Competition, she made her Weill Recital Hall debut in 1999, and has sung recitals in

New York
New Mexico
Soviet Union

In 2006, she made her Carnegie Hall solo debut with the New England Symphony in the American premiere of Imant Raminsh’s Missa Brevis.

As a pedagogue, Dr. Hardenbergh has adjudicated national and international vocal competitions and has been engaged as a master class artist throughout the United States and in Europe. Dr. Hardenbergh earned degrees in Music from the University of Richmond, Boston University and Teachers College at Columbia University.

Short Biography:

Esther Jane Hardenbergh (soprano), is associate professor and department chair of the Department of Vocal Performance, and former director of the Salzburg program at the University of Miami Frost School of Music.  Dr. Hardenbergh enjoys both a rich and varied performing career as well as an active teaching career. She has sung extensively in the United States and Europe, in opera, oratorio and recital. She has appeared with such orchestras as Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Memphis Symphony, Atlanta Baroque Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Miami Bach Society, Handel Choir and Orchestra of Baltimore, Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra and the Boulder Philharmonic. She has toured professionally in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as France (Paris and Aix-en-Provence). Dr. Hardenbergh has also sung commercial recordings and T.V. specials for ABC Television and CBS Television. In the spring of 2003, Esther Hardenbergh made her debut with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra in a week of performances under the baton of the famed Maestro Erich Kunzel. The sold-out concerts featured Dr. Hardenbergh as soloist in a “highlights” performance of Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera and singing Marguerite’s arias from Faust during the original 1925 Phantom of the Opera film, starring Lon Chaney. She has appeared as soloist in the Verdi Requiem in Baltimore and New Mexico, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Brahm’s Requiem, as well as recitals in Colorado, Connecticut and Louisiana.

In 1999, Dr. Hardenbergh made her Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall debut as the winner of the International Opera Singer Competition and is highly respected as an interpreter of recital repertoire, in particular 19th century German Lieder and 20th century American Art Song. As a recitalist, Dr. Hardenbergh has performed in Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, California, Vermont and New Hampshire. European recitals include performances in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England and a United States Department of State-sponsored tour of Russia, Ukraine and Georgia. Her operatic performances include the roles of Countess Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Ariadne (Ariadne), Micaela (Carmen), Donna Elvira and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Maruerite (Faust), Antonia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte).

Dr. Hardenbergh holds degrees from the University of Richmond (Bachelor of Music Education), Boston University (Masters of Voice-Opera Performance) and a Doctorate in Music and Music Education (Ed.D), specializing in Vocal Pedagogy from Teachers College, Columbia University. As a Master Class artist, she has invited to conduct classes around the country and in Europe, and adjudicated competitions in both the United States and Europe. Her students perform on both the classical and music theatre stages, and have won several competitions. At the University of Miami, Dr. Hardenbergh currently serves as Program Director for Vocal Performance.


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"Soprano Esther Jane Hardenbergh awed the mammoth audience. She sang with grace, elegance, dignity and greatness." --Boulder Daily Camera

Contact Information:

  • Esther Jane Hardenbergh
  • Phone: 305-284-6344
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  • Office Location: PLF North 121

Mailing Address:

  • Frost School of Music
  • P.O. Box 248165
  • Coral Gables, FL 33124-7610

Courier Address:

  • Frost School of Music
  • Patricia Louise Frost Music Studios North
  • 5499 San Amaro Drive
  • P.L.F. North 121
  • Coral Gables, FL 33146