Paula Forrest teaches and performs extensively, specializing in collaboration with instrumentalists and vocalists. Her many appearances in recent years have included a recital with Naumburg award-winning soprano Theresa Santiago at the Interlochen Arts Festival in Michigan. For four years, she was official accompanist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Iowa District), and two years she was accompanist at the national Seventeen Magazine/General Motors Young Artist Competition.
Ms. Forrest is currently the faculty accompanist at Iowa State University; for eight years prior, she served on the piano faculty at Simpson College in Indianola. For 13 summers, she performed and taught at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in northern Michigan, the site of much of her own early training. In the summer of 2006 she served as the coordinator of the chamber music program at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy. Ms. Forrest also maintains an extensive and active private studio in Ames; her students have been winners of district and state competitions.
In addition to her performing and teaching, Ms. Forrest is the Artistic Director of the Ames Town & Gown Chamber Music Association, which brings internationally renowned chamber ensembles and soloists to central Iowa audiences. For 19 years, she has also produced the Town & Gown Winter Musicale, a much-anticipated annual fund-raising event featuring local musicians. For the 50th anniversary season, she and the board of Town & Gown successfully completed the project of commissioning a major work of chamber music from renowned American composer Lee Hoiby; the work, Dark Rosaleen, which had its world-premiere performance by the Ames Piano Quartet in November 2000 and has since been performed by the Quartet throughout the country. Before moving to Iowa, Ms. Forrest was program coordinator and broadcast producer for the chamber music series at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. She was graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, from the Honors Program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her master's degree in musicology is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Her primary teachers were her mother, Faith Forrest, Mieczyslaw Munz, Eugene List, George Lucktenberg and Frank Wiens.