Matthew Laifer Artists Management
Being in Artist Management for over 30 years and having extensive experience of meeting and working with many of the finest professionals in the Opera world, I am pleased to recommend William Hicks to your attention as a voice coach. He is very knowledgeable in varied repertoire, including French, Italian, and German, and his expertise in Opera and his ability to work with professional singers and clearly pointing out what they need to know always impresses me. He never pushes, although he is insistent when necessary. This enables the singer to feel the rightness of what he is doing. I have seen William work first hand and recommend any of my artists to him for in depth understanding of music and style. He's quite good at addressing all the details of proper preparation and is always respectful of the singers' individual abilities. I have often witnessed a real metamorphosis happening with the singer during a session with William. His ability to bring out their vocal potential through music, style, language (text) and deep understanding of the character make him an outstanding coach, a passionate, dedicated musician and true professional. Bravo, William Hicks!
Freelance Voice Teacher, New York City
Director of Business Development for NYIOP
If music was a conventional language, to say William Hicks has achieved fluency would be an understatement. William is a master of his craft, his instrument and his art form. Whether working as a pianist, vocal coach, accompanist, conductor or musical director he possesses a rare combination of technique, a vast knowledge of Western musical repertoire and an understanding that good music is good music, no matter what the style or genre. He is uncompromising in his striving for the highest standard of musical excellence, vocal elegance and tradition while never losing his “beginner’s mind,” remaining ever full of curiosity, independent critical thought and exploration. William has learned from and collaborated with some of the greatest vocal artists, conductors and pianists of the second half of the twentieth century. When working with students or colleagues, he communicates his concepts to each of them with thoughtfulness and clarity, never taking the shortcut. I consider myself to be most fortunate to be able to call him both dear friend and colleague.
Pianist, Conductor, Voice Coach, Piano Instructor
William is a force in the musical world not just as a coach and conductor, but as an educator and mentor for pianists and vocalists alike. I have benefited immensely as a pianist and coach from his encyclopedic knowledge of Operatic repertoire, and his nurturing guidance of language, style and touch. I highly recommend anyone seriously studying the art to work with him.
Viktoriya Vita Koreneva
Having worked with William on many different roles, it always amazes me how much he knows and how much he cares for the music and the voice. Nowadays, when acceptance of mediocrity seems to be so prevelant, accuracy to the style, words and especially musical intent of the composer become so much more important. William is an amazing collaborative pianist who breathes with a singer while making music together. He is a very attentive, caring coach, who does not overlook important details, and who takes the time to correct and perfect each line, each phrase, and ultimately an entire role.
It’s been my privilege to learn from the best and to be able to practice the skill that the great singers of the Golden Age possessed. Singing opera is not just knowing the right repertoire or not just having the right voice for it, it’s the ability to use our voices with technical mastery and also to tell the story on behalf of the composers.
William really knows Bel Canto and how to sing it; being a singer himself and having worked in many of the leading opera houses of the world, he knows what sound is necessary for the professional opera stage. This knowledge and his ability to pass it on is invaluable!
Philippe Marquis - Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist
I have been working closely with William Hicks on vocal and performance coaching for more than one year and am astounded by his close attention to detail in working out a custom plan for me to solidify and strengthen my natural singing voice, expand my range to two full octaves and refine my performances for the stage and recording studio. With William, there is no ‘one size fits all’ – he uses his 35+ years of coaching and singing experience to address the unique needs of each student and provide them with catered lessons designed to build a strong traditional foundation.
While building this foundation, William ensures to keep his students’ goals in mind; for example, William worked hand in hand with me to specifically help me in singing Rock and Pop songs. His mastery at the piano enhances the lesson quality, as he's able to play along with any piece of sheet music and also to play a wide variety of styles. I highly recommend William for singers looking to build on the fundamentals of proper singing, all the while looking to capture and build on their unique voice.