Eileen Cornett performs as a collaborative artist, opera coach, solo and orchestral pianist, music director, and conductor. Currently she is Director of the new Masters degree program in Vocal Accompanying at Peabody Conservatory and a member of its Opera Department. Additionally, she has been a frequent guest coach/accompanist for the Baltimore Opera’s Young Artist Program and the Annapolis Opera Company. Ms. Cornett joined the Fairbanks (Alaska) Summer Arts Festival Opera Theatre faculty in 2003, and returned there to conduct in 2004. Other summer faculty appointments have included the Lake Placid Institute in upstate NY, the Tanz und Gesang Studio at the Theatre and der Wien in Vienna, Austria, and the Seagle Colony Summer Vocal Program in Schroon Lake, NY, where she served for five years as Co-Director and Principal Coach.
With the National Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Cornett has performed as orchestral pianist for conductors Leonard Slatkin, Rafael Fruhbeck De Burgos, Bill Conte, Paul Gemignani, and Marvin Hamlisch. She joined James Levine and the Three Tenors with the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra at their performance in the MCI Center, soloing with Luciano Pavarotti. With the same orchestra, she has performed with Bryn Terfel, Frederica von Stade, and Rosemary Clooney. In Baltimore, she recently joined Irish tenor Finbar Wright in a solo recital for Mayor Martin O’Malley and the National Board for Irish Tourism.
Ms. Cornett is a frequent pianist/keyboardist for the Kennedy Center’s Ballet, Opera, and Show Orchestras, the Kennedy Center Honors orchestra, the Annapolis Symphony, Washington’s National Theatre, Wolf Trap, Baltimore’s Mechanic Theatre, and the Lyric Opera House. She has served as an official accompanist for the International Marian Anderson Vocal Arts, the Annapolis Opera, and the Rosa Ponselle "All Marylanders" Competitions, and has collaborated in recital at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theatre, Merkin Hall, the Embassies of France and Russia, the Strathmore Hall "Music in the Mansion" series, the Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Maryland.
Formerly music director of the Croswell Opera House in Adrian, Michigan, her conducting credits include productions of Hansel and Gretel, Die Fledermaus, Sweeney Todd, and Bernstein’s Mass. She is the originating Musical Director for NOW THIS!, a Washington based comedy group which performs totally improvised music theatre, and collaborates with The Capitol Steps, a musical political satire group.
Ms. Cornett received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and her Master of Music degree in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Martin Katz and Lynne Bartholomew. She pursued additional studies with Gwendolyn Koldofsky and Jean Barr at the Music Academy of the West. She is a former faculty member of Loyola College.
Ms. Cornett and her husband, tenor Stanley Cornett, make their home in Baltimore, where they are proud parents of two girls, Lydia (10) and Emily (8).