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Hochstein Voice Faculty - Deborah Norin-Kuehn

Department: Voice

Joined Hochstein Faculty: 1992-94, and again in 2023


Soprano Deborah Norin-Kuehn has been a dedicated performer with a focus on contemporary repertoire, college voice professor (St. Mary’s College, Bowling Green State University, Heidelberg University), and private teacher for 30 years. She teaches healthy singing for everyone, regardless of age or vocal experience.

Her teaching career began here at Hochstein (1992-94) while she was completing her MM/DMA at Eastman, and she is happy to continue passing along the wonderful tools she acquired from her mentors including Gershwin’s original Porgy, Todd Duncan (Curtis Institute of Music, Artist Diploma, 1986-89); Fedora Barbieri, (Florence, Italy, 1984); and Phyllis Bryn Julson, among others.

Her college students have been music education majors in voice and vocal performance majors, some of whom received talent-based scholarships to fine graduate voice performance programs at Eastman and the New England Conservatory. Her private studio has mainly consisted of high school singers interested in Musical Theatre, and some more focused on classical art music. Many received talent-based scholarships to prestigious undergraduate music and musical theatre programs at Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, Berklee, Boston Conservatory, Hartt School, Marymount Manhattan University, New England Conservatory, NYU (Tisch), Northwestern, Norwalk Conservatory of the Arts (Acting and Film), Oberlin, Pace, Point Park, University of North Carolina Greensboro, and Wright State University.

Deborah enjoys adjudicating at voice competitions, presenting vocal master classes, and giving her talk on The Evolution of the 24 Italian “Hits.” When not practicing, performing, or teaching, she can be found gardening, cooking, reading, watching foreign films, or spending time with her grown children in Chicago and Mexico City.


More About Deborah Norin-Kuehn

Hometown: Born in Cleveland; grew up in Akron, OH. We moved back to the greater Rochester area after 25 years in NW Ohio because my husband, composer Mikel Kuehn, joined the Eastman composition faculty. And we are thrilled to be back where it all started for us 33 years ago!

What inspires me: Curiosity; natural beauty and hiking; the visual arts, travel, a delicious meal.

What is profoundly inspiring to me is the wonderful connection singers experience when they delve so deeply into the text they are singing and get to the emotion(s) behind the words! Then they find that same emotion within themselves based on their own personal experience and allow that honest, organic feeling to be released and shared with the audience. It’s a very vulnerable position to be in, almost like standing on the stage with your insides on the outside! And one realizes that it doesn’t matter if the poetry was created two weeks ago or two centuries ago, or if the poet was male or female, or a different nationality or religion or sexual orientation. We all feel the same emotions! People are people – it’s a human experience! In this way, we can only be open-minded and accepting of all around us. This inspires me the most!

Why the arts matter: Art matters to present a different perspective, to inform, and to inspire.

Favorite things to do in the Rochester area: Absolutely everything in the books “100 Things to do in Rochester Before You Die” (Robin L. Flanigan) and “Day Trips around Rochester, New York” (Debi Bower). Especially hiking!

Favorite Local Restaurant: Szechuan Opera. We’re still exploring!!!

Favorite place to travel: ITALY!!!!!!!

What people would be surprised to know about me: I am food-obsessed, LOVE to cook and bake, especially love Asian cuisine, and have a cookbook collection way beyond 1000 (and I recently downsized!).