Turkish mezzo-soprano Lori Şen is known for her versatility in many vocal genres, including opera, art song, musical theatre and jazz, as well as for her teaching and research interests in vocal literature, voice pedagogy and voice science.
Lori was born into and raised in a scientific household in Izmir, Turkey, which led her onto her unique path towards a career in music that began with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. Throughout her physics studies at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey, she took advantage of every musical opportunity available to her and performed in numerous concerts and shows as a member of “The Company” METU Musical Society and a student of the well-known Bulgarian jazz singer Yıldız Ibrahimova.
Lori’s musical experiences at METU amplified her interest in music, which gradually evolved into a desire to pursue a career as a singer. Upon completion of her B.Sc. and M.Ed. degrees in physics, she applied to and was accepted as a classical voice major at Dokuz Eylül University State Conservatory of Music in Izmir, Turkey, where she studied with distinguished American soprano Jeanette Thompson for five years. During her undergraduate studies in music, she continued to sing jazz as the vocalist of jazz bands RagBag, In n’ Out and Heaven Experience, and she founded and directed the Jewish Community Choir in Izmir, through which she had the pleasure of making a musical contribution to the community.
The more educated Lori became in singing, the more she was fascinated by the vocal anatomy, which led to her interest in vocal pedagogy. She applied for a Fulbright Scholarship in Turkey, and was selected as a Fulbright Grantee to pursue a Master’s degree in voice pedagogy in the United States. Lori received her Master of Music in Voice Performance and Pedagogy at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, as a Fulbright student, where she studied voice with internationally renowned dramatic soprano Sharon Sweet, and performed vocal pedagogy and voice science research under the tutelage of Dr. Kathy Price that allowed her to make use of her physics background. Her research has been presented both at The Voice Foundation Symposium (2014, 2015) and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) National Conference (2014). Lori’s operatic appearances at Westminster include Marta/Iolanta, La Ciesca/Gianni Schicchi with Westminster Opera Theater, Pauline/Pique Dame and Prima Donna/Ariadne auf Naxos with Westminster Opera Workshop.
Lori is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice Performance at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she studies with Martha Randall and focuses on the art song repertoire, and she has an active performing and teaching schedule in the Washington, D.C. area.