Currently Coordinator of the Artist Diploma in Early Music Program at Cornish College of the Arts, Nancy Zylstra has been called, “One of the Northwest’s great natural resources”. She earned critical acclaim for her pure and expressive singing in a wide variety of repertoire. Under the direction of such conductors as Ton Koopman, Andrew Parrott, Gustav Leonhardt, and Jeffrey Thomas, she sang with the leading period instrument orchestras and ensembles of the U.S. and Canada, and with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. She also appeared on major early music festivals such as those in Versailles, Berlin, Vancouver, and Berkeley. Her performances have been heard on NPR, MPR, and on radio in The Netherlands and Germany. She recorded on the Erato, Wildboar, Koch, and Gasparo labels.
As a voice teacher and clinician, Zylstra has been active both regionally and nationally. Since 1979 she has been on the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute and was on the faculty of Pacific MusicWorks’ Accademia d’Amore. She has taught studio voice at the University of Washington, Pacific Lutheran University, and currently serves on the Voice and Early Music faculties at Cornish College of the Arts. She was Acting Musical Director of the Medieval Women’s Choir during the 2nd half of the 2014-2015 season. Classical Singer Magazine featured Zylstra in an interview for their November 2009 issue on Early Music. In 2011 she was a judge for the prestigious McKnight Fellowships in Minnesota. In 2014 she became a Teaching Artist for Seattle Opera’s Education Department.
Along with her interests in vocal pedagogy and historical performance practice, Nancy Zylstra has received specialized training in techniques used to help singers experiencing vocal problems. As a Singing Voice Specialist, she is pleased to be a resource for Otolaryngologists and Speech Language pathologists, aiding in the vocal rehabilitation of their patients.
Zylstra has served on the board of Early Music America and is a member of E.M.A., National Association of Teachers of Singing, The Voice Foundation, and the NW Chapter of the Voice Foundation.