Teaching Biography

Dr. Julia Nielsen’s students are currently performing leading roles with opera companies, soloing with symphonies, and raising their voices in elite professional choruses across the United States. Nielsen’s students can be heard with the San Francisco Opera Chorus, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale, and the acclaimed San Francisco Girls Chorus, including many who performed at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration ceremony.

Dr. Nielsen has been one of the Bay Area’s most sought-after vocal pedagogues since founding her private voice studio in 1999. From 1999 to 2014, she was also on the voice faculty of the San Francisco Girls Chorus, teaching young women at the chorus’s professional level

Dr. Nielsen has had the privilege of studying voice with several world-famous operatic performers, including Metropolitan Opera legends Martina Arroyo, Margaret Harshaw, Blanche Thebom, and Giorgio Tozzi. However, she attributes her expertise in teaching voice to her own current teacher and mentor, David Jones. Through her study with this extraordinary technician, her teaching continues the traditions of the Swedish-Italian School of Singing. This school has its roots in the teaching of Alan Lindquest (1891-1984) and his teachers, two of whom studied with Manuel Garcia (1805-1906), and two of whom trained the famous singers Jussi Bjorling and Kirsten Flagstadt in Stockholm. (For more information, please see The Swedish-Italian School of Singing.)

Her teaching has also been informed by a lifelong relationship with Alden Gilchrist, the Minister of Music from 1952 until his death in 2014 at Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. Mr. Gilchrist was honored by Maestro Kent Nagano at a celebration of Gilchrist’s 60 years of service to the Bay Area music community.