Dean Southern has a diverse musical background as a singer, pianist and stage director. He has performed in opera, oratorio and recital throughout the US and Europe, including Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Kennedy Center and the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy. He regularly gives master classes at universities and conservatories in the US and abroad. Dr. Southern's students have been accepted to prestigious young artist programs and graduate schools and awarded the Fulbright grant, and they have gone on to successful careers as performers and voice teachers.

In March 2019, Dr. Southern was featured on the Classical Singer website, sharing the qualities he looks for in prospective students, his teaching principles and practices, the challenges singers face today, and more. 


  • Luther College in Decorah, Iowa
  • MM in piano performance, University of Missouri 
  • MM in voice performance, University of Akron 
  • DMA in voice performance, Cleveland Institute of Music 
  • Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Artist Program

Teaching Experience

  • Cleveland Institute of Music
    • 2006-2008, 2012-present
  • University of Miami Frost School of Music in Coral Gables, Florida
    • 2005-2006, 2008-2012
  • National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS)
    • Master Teacher, 2020 NATS Intern Program
    • Chair, NATS International Advisory Committee
    • Governor, Ohio District of NATS

Southern has also taught at summer festivals in Austria, Italy, China, California and Massachusetts.