B i o g r a p h y
Born in Santa Clara, California, Producer/Educator/Pianist/Vocal Coach Renée Guerrero was introduced to music at an early age by her father who taught her to read music. Her grandfather, Longinos “Lonnie” Guerrero, was a self-taught musician who began his career as traveling troubadour throughout Texas in the 1930s. Longinos was known as the Composer of Corridos having composed over 100 works in his lifetime. Many of his songs were recorded between 1960's and 1980's by well-known Tejano artists. In 1983, he was inducted into the Tejano Music Hall of Fame in Austin, Texas for his outstanding efforts in this style of folk music dedicated to the tradition of Mexican culture. Renée's uncle Louie Guerrero, a trained violinist and composer, composed one of the most popular and enduring pieces in the Mexican communities, the international hit Peanuts. Early on, Renée's musical influences were profound with exposure to many styles of music: mariachi, jazz, classical, and popular. When Renée was 12 years old, her family moved to Austin, Texas where her piano studies resumed with esteemed pianist and composer Kathryn Mishell. Renée received her Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance from Texas State University under the tutelage of Dr. Timothy Woolsey. She received many honors and awards including winning a solo debut with the Texas State Orchestra in a performance of Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto. Renée and her husband Lawrence met while students at TSU and in 1990 were married. When her husband was invited to study at the Metropolitan Opera, the couple seized the opportunity and relocated to New York City just a few months after they married. Renée then attended the Manhattan School of Music where she received both a Master's Degree and Professional Studies' Certificate in Piano Performance under the tutelage of Phillip Kawin. For several years she served as an assistant to Professor Kawin in both the college and preparatory divisions. She made her New York City debut in 1990 as a soloist in the Yamaha Young Artists Showcase and since has appeared in important venues including Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center's Merkin Hall, Faust Harrison Pianos, and venues in northern and southern Italy includinga performance of Rhapsody in Blue in a 12-century ship arsenal off the coast of Amalfi in Italy as part of the Young and Jazz Festival at L'Arsenale. As collaborative pianist, Renée has performed with Bronx Opera, New Rochelle Opera, VoiceExperience with Sherrill Milnes, the Altamura Arts Festival as well as numerous performances under the baton of Maestro Anton Coppola. From 1999-2006 Renée founded and directed both the Community School of Music at St. Brendan's and community concert series Cantabile Concerts featuring local and international performers and groups serving north Bronx audiences. Renée's piano students have ranged from the young beginner to the professional performer. She has prepared her students for important debuts in such venues as the Library of Congress, Steinway Hall, Alice Tully Hall as well as recital debuts in the tri-state area. Many of her high-school students have been accepted into the highly competitive LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts as well as acceptance into prestigious music colleges throughout the country. Her middle and high school students also participate and have been awarded in local and national competitions. She is a member of the piano faculty at The Westchester Conservatory of Music in White Plains, New York and Music Director of Leonia Presbyterian Church. In the summer of 2014, Renée Joined the Piano & Musical Theater Faculty of the Narnia Festival in Umbria, Italy. That same year, Renée was designated a Steinway Educational Partner. Renée and her husband baritone Lawrence Harris were awarded Best Record of the Year at the 2014 Native American Music Awards for their first commercial CD, Romanze: Songs of Francesco Paolo Tosti. The CD is now available on iTunes, Amazon, & CDBaby. In addition to leading teen & adult music and art retreats in cooperation with Le Stanze della Musica in Borgomale, Italy, Renée leads music retreats for the professional pianist.