After previously serving as associate music director for 10 years, Thea Kano was named artistic director of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, officially beginning in September 2014. Dr. Kano is artistic director of the New York City Master Chorale, which she founded in 2005. She plans to continue her work both in New York and DC. She has prepared choruses for Zubin Mehta, Esa-Pekka Solonen, Emil de Cou, David Hayes, Craig Fleischer, Victor Vener and Paul Salamunovich. Dr. Kano's various ensembles have performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Disney Hall, Église Saint-Sulpice (Paris) and on the National Mall for the 2009 inaugural ceremonies.
A familiar face to both D.C. and New York, readers may recall when Kano was among the invited conductors at a special "Remember to Love" choral festival mounted at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City at the invitation of Washington Chorus conductor Julian Wachner. That festival was a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and featured choruses from Boston, Washington and NYC in a series of choral presentations.
Dr. Kano received her doctorate in choral conducting from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2004. At UCLA, Dr. Kano studied under Donald Neuen, her professional mentor. For her dissertation on Duruflé's Requiem, Dr. Kano completed research with L'Association Duruflé in Paris and studied privately with Paul Salamunovich. Dr. Kano holds a Master of Music degree from UCLA and a bachelor's degree in choral music education and piano performance from Arizona State University.