Craig Rutenberg is a pianist best known as a vocal accompanist and is widely respected in the world of opera as a vocal coach and teacher of interpretation.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., then studied with Geoffrey Parsons and Pierre Bernac. He has worked with the San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the London Opera Centre, and the Opéra-Comique of Paris.
An opera company's vocal coaches are concerned with ensuring that the singers in an operatic production and the conductor are on the same interpretational wavelength, and also are ready to recognize and correct incipient vocal problems. He has occupied this unheralded but vital position with distinction and has been senior coach at Glyndebourne, head of the music staff and coach/prompter with the Metropolitan Opera, and guest coach at the Royal Opera School in Stockholm.
He frequently appears at the keyboard, including appearances playing the recitatives in classical opera productions (such as his playing on Le nozze di Figaro with James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra on a Deutsche Grammophon recording of the opera. International singing stars he has accompanied include Régine Crespin, Thomas Hampson, Olaf Bar, Frederica von Stade, Erie Mills, Denyce Graves, Harolyn Blackwell, Susanne Mentzer, Dawn Upshaw, and Sumi Jo.
He is widely esteemed as a teacher of interpretation and accompanying, conducting master classes frequently at such locations as the Chicago Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, the Paris Conservatoire, The École Lyrique de la Bastille, Paris, the Wolf Trap Opera and the Chautauqua Institute. He has been a faculty member or a guest professor at Yale University, Boston University, and the Eastman School of Music. He has made several recordings with some of the artists already mentioned.