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Gabriel Dobner
Vocal Coach - Lieder

Teaching Philosophy
In my teaching, I strive to create an atmosphere in which my students can thrive, enabling them to do their absolute best. A crucial part in achieving this goal is to create an atmosphere that is both nurturing and challenging. I seek to instill in my students a sense of curiosity and exploration, enabling them to develop an ability to discover their own interpretive and musical solutions. In terms of the Lied repertoire specifically, I instill in my students two points that are crucial in my view. The first, that the poetry is paramount and second, that the relationship between pianist and singer is one of absolute equal partnership.


Pianist Gabriel Dobner has played for such notable singers as Gerhard Siegel, Rod Gilfry, René Kollo, Cornelia Kallisch and Kevin McMillan. He has recorded for Haenssler Klassik, Ottavo and for MDG (Musik Dabringhaus und Grimm). Following his second recording with Mezzo-Soprano Cornelia Kallisch for MDG featuring Lieder of Johannes Brahms, Mr. Dobner was referred to as ‘A Master among Lieder Pianists’ by the West German Radio. His recording with Met star tenor, Gerhard Siegel was released by Haenssler Klassik Profil in 2015, featuring songs of Strauss, Schoenberg and Hessenberg. The duo most recently recorded songs of Strauss and Wagner as well as Schubert’s Winterreise. Mr. Dobner can also be heard in Winterreise with Laurence Gien and Kevin McMillan respectively. Broadcast recordings include those for the Bavarian State Radio, West German Radio, North German Radio, Nippon Broadcasting Corporation in Japan, as well as National Public Radio in the United States.

In 1993, Mr. Dobner moved to Germany upon receiving a DAAD Scholarship to study Lied with Prof. Helmut Deutsch at the Munich Hochschule für Musik. Upon winning the pianist prize in the International Hans Pfitzner Lieder Competition in Munich, he quickly established a solid reputation as a Lieder pianist. He has appeared in performance in many of Europe’s leading venues including the Semperoper in Dresden, Hamburg Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zürich, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Herkuleesaal in Munich, Kölner Philharmonie, Musikverein in Vienna, among others.

Gabriel Dobner was born in Chicago where he completed his Bachelors Degree in piano from Roosevelt University under the tutelage of Prof. Ludmila Lazar. He then continued his studies at Indiana University in Bloomington where he completed his Masters and Doctoral Degrees with Prof. Leonard Hokanson, later becoming his teaching assistant.

Mr. Dobner has been a member of the piano faculty at James Madison University since 2001. He joined the AIMS faculty in 2017.