Meet our Accompanists for the 2019 Competition

At the Jensen Competition, we understand how the collaboration between singer and accompanist can make a performance shine. So we engage renowned accompanists and make them available, free-of-charge, to each of our auditioners. Meet our (your!) 2019 accompanists.


Shane Schag serves on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music and at Operaworks in Los Angeles. He has worked in the capacity of vocal coach for Centro Studi Italiani Opera Festival and as an assistant conductor for the Gotham Chamber Opera. In 2007, Mr. Schag made his debut at Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall), and now he serves as staff pianist for Carnegie Hall’s Musical Explorers concert series, which reaches out to public schools across the tri-state area. Mr. Schag earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Ashland University of Ohio, a Master’s Degree in Collaborative Piano from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Professional Studies Certificate from the Manhattan School of Music. He will accompany Jensen singers on Monday, May 13.


Jonathan Kelly is an assistant conductor at The Metropolitan Opera. He has worked in a similar capacity at the San Francisco Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Theater of Lucca, and the Chautauqua Institution. Frequently seen in concert, Mr. Kelly has appeared with many of today’s leading performers, including Elina Garanča, Susan Graham, Hei-Kyung Hong, Ana María Martínez, Anna Netrebko, Ramon Vargas, and Rolando Villazon. Formerly a lecturer at Yale University, he is now a faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Kelly graduated summa cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and continued his studies at the Manhattan School of Music. He will accompany Jensen singers on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 14-15.


Dan Franklin Smith is a vocal coach and collaborative pianist based in New York City. He served for 10 years as Music Director and recital soloist with the international festival Elysium: Between-Two-Continents, performing in Europe and the United States. Mr. Smith graduated as a piano major from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. To learn more, visit his website. Mr. Smith will accompany Jensen singers on Thursday, May 16, and on the Finals Day, Saturday, May 18.

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