Carnegie Mellon University
Skip navigation and jump directly to page content

April 4: University Mourns Loss of Voice Professor, International Opera Star Mimi Lerner


Eric Sloss

Carnegie Mellon Mourns Loss of Voice
Professor, International Opera Star Mimi Lerner    

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University and its College of Fine Arts mourn the loss of Mimi Lerner, who died Thursday, March 29 at her home after a long bout with cancer. She was 61.    

"Everyone who knew Mimi was inspired by her personality and her passion for music," said Hilary Robinson, the Stanley and Marcia Gumberg Dean of the College of Fine Arts. "Mimi, a mezzo-soprano, had an illustrious professional career and a stellar tenure as the coordinator of the voice department in the School of Music."        

Lerner, an award-winning international opera star, was an associate professor of voice and chair of Carnegie Mellon's voice department. She was an astute teacher and classical performer who sang at some of the most prestigious opera houses in the United States and Europe. She starred in such operas as "The Barber of Seville," "Xerxes," "Anna Bolena," "Norma," "Alcina," "The Bartered Bride," "The Marriage of Figaro," "Semiramide" and "L'Italiana in Algeri."     

Lerner performed with the Metropolitan Opera, the Teatro all Scala, the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, the Netherlands Opera, the Theatre de la Monnaie and the Canadian Opera. She also performed with numerous American companies, including the Seattle Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, the Dallas Opera, the Santa Fe Opera and the Washington Opera at Kennedy Center, among others. She also worked with the symphony orchestras of Pittsburgh, San Diego, Chicago and Rishon Le Tzion in Israel.

Lerner was also director of music and cantorial soloists at Rodef Shalom Congregation in Oakland. She received her undergraduate degree in music education from Queens College and her master's degree in voice from Carnegie Mellon.

She is survived by her husband, Martin; her son, Daniel; and her sister, Lizette Corman of Oradell, N.J. A memorial service is being planned at Carnegie Mellon. For information, call the Carnegie Mellon School of Music at 412-268-2383.