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Currently based in Austin, Texas, Kimia Rafieian is a distinguished Iranian collaborative pianist, vocal coach, and piano instructor. As a recitalist she currently tours with bassist Ali-Kian Yazdanfar, bringing the unique concert series of “Chiaroscuro” to concert halls representing works that blend complex identity themes with the contemporary societal and political landscape.
At the University of Austin at Texas, Kimia is pursuing opera coaching, contributing as a repetiteur for notable productions such as Puccini’s “La Boheme,” Tan Dun’s “Tea: A Mirror of Soul,” and Tchaikovsky’s “Queen of Spades.” Her journey in opera was sparked during her time at the University of Michigan, where she earned her master’s degree in collaborative piano, contributing to the productions of Janáček’s “The Cunning Little Vixen” and Massenet’s “Werther.”
Kimia has been recognized with several prestigious awards and scholarships, including winning 1st Place in the National Opera Association’s annual Opera Production Competition, the Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS fellowship, the Butler Family Endowed Presidential Scholarship, the Polonsky Foundation Fellowship, and the Best Shostakovich Performance Great Composers Competition. She has performed at numerous esteemed international venues, including the Michigan Theater, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in College Park, The Majestic Theater in San Antonio, the Palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich Concert Hall in Moscow, and the Richmond Hill Performing Arts Center in Toronto.
In addition to performing, Kimia is a dedicated educator, holding various teaching positions ranging from piano instructor roles at Northside Music School and Lynn University Preparatory School of Music to her involvement with the Aspen Music Festival and School P.A.L.S program. She is also a member of the Music Teachers National Association where she is actively involved in pedagogy seminars and events. Her education in music includes studying with acclaimed musicians such as Tamar Sanikidze, Martin Katz, Myra Huang, Cameron Stowe, Roberta Rust, Peter Serkin, and Jon Nakamatsu.
As a Social Media Manager and Communications Assistant at the Butler School of Music – University of Texas at Austin, Kimia aspires to bring the joy of music to her community, both in performance and education.
Outside of her professional pursuits, Kimia enjoys exploring the outdoors, swing dancing, learning new languages, and experimenting with vegan recipes from around the globe.