Collaborative pianist Blair Salter is a versatile performer and music director who has worked at prestigious opera companies and young artist programs throughout the United States and Canada. A graduate of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Young Artist Program and the Glimmerglass Festival, Blair is currently a pianist and vocal coach with the Houston Grand Opera Studio.
Her 2018/19 performance season at Houston Grand Opera includes playing and performing backstage conducting duties for La bohème under the baton of Jim Lowe, Florencia en el Amazonas conducted by Patrick Summers, and the world premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s The Phoenix.
Previous operatic engagements at HGO include La traviata led by Eun Sun Kim, fortepiano continuo for Il barbiere di Siviglia conducted by Emily Senturia, West Side Story conducted by Timothy Myers, and Cruzar la Cara de la Luna led by David Hanlon. She also joined HGOco for their production of Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied. In the summer of 2018, Blair was a coaching fellow at Wolf Trap Opera for their production of Roméo et Juliette conducted by Eric Melear, and she served as principal coach for Bernstein’s Songfest. She has worked as a fellow at the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, a vocal coach at the CoOPERAtive Program, and as a guest coach for the studio artists at Michigan Opera Theatre.
Her recital credits feature a program of music curated for the HGO Recital Series at Rienzi, which included a commissioned set of songs by Jamie Leidwinger. Other performances include a program of music by female composers as well as a recital of Benjamin Britten's music presented at the Kerrytown Concert House, and her debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. accompanying students from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance. She performed in recital as part of the Song of America Conference in partnership with the Hampsong Foundation’s Song in Dialogue, which was broadcast in New York City at the Manhattan School of Music. She has appeared in residency with the Khemia Ensemble at Michigan State University, Tufts University and the Avaloch Farms Music Institute, and with soprano Amy Petrongelli at the African American Song Alliance Conference in Irvine, California. An advocate of contemporary music, she collaborated with Philip Glass in a workshop on the second act of his opera Appomattox at the Glimmerglass Festival, where she served as assistant pianist for the 2015 festival.
Blair was a freelance collaborative pianist and coach in Toronto from 2012 – 2014, where she acted as music director for Metro Youth Opera, music director with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, and as pianist with Toronto Opera Repertoire. She attended the University of Western Ontario for her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and Master of Music degree in collaborative piano, studying with John Hess and Stéphan Sylvestre. She completed her DMA at the University of Michigan, where she studied with Martin Katz.