About Dietrich Erbelding
Founder and Director

Dietrich Erbelding started his musical training at the piano at age four and first concertized with the Heidelberg Symphony at age seven. After the war, he toured Europe and the Middle East as a concert pianist and accompanist for five years. He earned a Doctorate at Heidelberg University in Philosophy while conducting in Regensburg.

During his twenty-year career as coach and conductor in Germany, he has coached many renowned opera stars during his coaching career, including Eva Molnar, Ingeborg Hallstein, Erika Köth, Fritz Wunderlich, Sona Cervena, Gerhard Stolze, Sylvia Anderson, and Janis Martin. He has appeared as guest conductor all over Europe, in Caracas and Maracaibo, Venezuela, as well as in the United States.

Mr. Erbelding later turned his attention to teaching. He taught opera and lieder classes at the Mannheim Musikhochschule in Germany, then founded and taught at the Academia della Musica in San Cristobal, Venezuela, at which time he translated Bizet’s Carmen into Spanish. Later he taught at the Musashino University in Tokyo,Japan, and also taught in Iceland.

Mr. Erbelding came to California in 1968 as chorus director of the San Francisco Opera. In California, he has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of California, Santa Cruz, Crestmont Conservatory, and currently teaches voice in his private studio in Hayward, California. In 1980 he founded Pocket Coach Publications, which produces comprehensive coaching CDs, translations and music books for classical singers and choruses.

With the help of sound designer Michael Fissolo, Dietrich Erbelding has created the Virtual Orchestra, a computerized interactive orchestral system used in productions of Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Wagner’s Die Walküre with R.W. Productions in Fairfield, California and Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel and Wagner’s Die Walküre with Golden Gate Opera in San Francisco. This past spring, Mr. Erbelding performed seven performances of Die Zauberflöte using the Virtual Orchestra with Opera Virty in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to great acclaim. Presently, he is directing the Lakeside Opera's Così fan tutte Opera Workshop and a German Lieder Workshop in Oakland, California.

Pocket Coach Publications features the Virtual Orchestra in its Gold Label Performance Series aria orchestral accompaniments line of CDs; click on About the Virtual Orchestra to find out more about this unique state-of-the-art orchestral system.