Head of Cleveland Institute of Music Voice Department
Dean Southern, DMA, teaches voice and vocal pedagogy at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he serves as Head of the Voice and Opera Division. He has performed in opera, oratorio and recital throughout the United States and Europe, including Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy.
He regularly gives master classes at universities and conservatories in the US and abroad, including the Central Conservatory of Music, China Conservatory of Music, and the People’s University of China in Beijing (China), the Kungliga Musikhögskolan (Royal College of Music) in Stockholm (Sweden), the Conservatorio Profesional de Música in Valencia (Spain), and the Interlochen Arts Academy (Michigan). His students have been accepted to prestigious young artist programs and graduate schools and awarded the Fulbright grant, and they have gone on to successful careers as performers and voice teachers.
Dr. Southern has been a frequent contributor to Classical Singer magazine, including his “Distant Voices” column, the articles “Breaking Barriers: Four Pioneering African-American Singers in Opera,” “Practicing 101: Ten Tips for Making the Most of Your Time between Lessons,” “Practicing with your Mouth Shut,” and his interview with legendary mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig.
After graduating from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, he earned master’s degrees in piano performance from the University of Missouri and in voice performance from the University of Akron. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in voice performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
He is the Immediate Past President of the Ohio Chapter of NATS and currently serves as Executive Director of the Art Song Festival at the Cleveland Institute of Music, which was founded in 1985 to promote art song and cultivate its performance. After eleven years on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria, he now teaches in the summers at La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy.
Prior to his appointment at the Cleveland Institute of Music, he taught voice and was stage director of opera at the University of Miami Frost School of Music in Coral Gables, Florida.