a fantastic educator…
It was a great pleasure to be able to be at Julia Bentley’s Master Class sponsored by BGSU’s College of Musical Arts on January 21, 2022. What an amazing class it was. There were 6 singers of various skills ranging from very talented to highly professional, 5 women and 1 man. Julia applied a breadth of skills that helped each singer in a profound way, and applied those skills in a most gracious manner. She is one of only a few contemporary singing teachers who know how to equally apply current acoustic understanding, effective imagery, interpretation of text, differentiation of language requirements, nuance of color and meaning, and empathy for the student. She was very comfortable with all of the material (Bowles, Offenbach, Britten, Argento, Wolf, and Heggie). Even for the professional singer she nailed her confessed weakness and made it strong. Julia Bentley is indeed a master teacher.
— Ron Scherer, Ph.D., Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of
Communication Sciences and Disorders, Bowling Green State University
Julia has an encyclopedic knowledge of repertoire and styles, has a voracious appetite for discovering and performing underperformed masterpieces and new repertoire, and has been a tremendous resource both to students and faculty alike. Julia cares deeply for the welfare of her students, but she is also interested in and has been successful at forging relationships with other departments in the music school. Julia is deeply intellectual and intelligent, but hasn’t an arrogant bone in her body.
— Kevin Murphy, Director of the Program for Singers, Steans Music Institute;
Director of Coaching and Music Administration, IU Opera
Several of my piano students played for Julia’s studio in recent years. They all love her – because they learn so much from her. She is altogether a generous and demanding mentor, a “problem solving” teacher as one of them recently told me. I have enjoyed tremendously attending their performances, which are some of the very finest students recitals I have been given to hear here at IU.
— Jean-Louis Haguenauer, Professor of Piano, The Jacobs School of Music
As a composer I have relished my association with Julia Bentley because of her expertise and experience performing new music. Through the years I have admired the breadth and complexity of the music she has both premiered and performed, knowing in the process that she faithfully creates the magic that every composer looks to evoke in their writing. I cannot imagine how intense the experience must have been for her to sing with Boulez in his own music; his musical language is notoriously difficult (wide leaps, odd intervals, challenging rhythms-the ultimate in complex). Here is a conductor/composer who is known throughout the world for his incredibly precise ear, his demand for perfection, and to have to sing his music with him as part of the performance, at such visible venues as Weill and Alice Tully, seems to me to be the ultimate hi-wire act.
But Julia’s extensive experience of performing music that is at the forefront of the super-challenging (Carter, Berio, Schoenberg, Lachenmann) has put her in a unique place: composers who work in extraordinarily complex harmonic and rhythmic languages have that level of faith in her, and it says everything about the high quality of her focus and gift. And having composed specifically for her, I can say that this is exactly the type of singer that helps composers to push the boundaries of music. It is not a traditional route for a career, but it is one that requires daring and real skill.
— Pulitzer Prize and three-time Grammy-winning composer Jennifer Higdon
The range of Julia Bentley’s artistry shapes every project and collaboration of which she is a part. Only the most extraordinary of artists could make such collaborations possible, and yet, for Julia Bentley, the extraordinary becomes the ordinary, her gift also as a teacher who is at once intense and nurturing. Her keen sensitivity to meaning and method is infectious, and she would inspire students and colleagues alike. She would be a marvelous presence in a teaching and performance setting in which she could simply do it all.
— Dr. Philip Bohlman, Mary Werkman Distinguished Service Professor of Music and the Humanities Honorarprofessor,
Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover; Artistic Director, The New Budapest Orpheum Society