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The American Prize in Conducting—Professional Division
The American Prize Winner:
Dirk Meyer, music director, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Duluth, MN
Meyer’s current season includes debuts with the Toronto Symphony, the Duluth Superior Symphony and the Springfield Symphony, as well as return engagements with the Orlando Philharmonic. Other engagements included the Naples, Mason and Traverse Symphony Orchestras as well as the Florida Orchestra and the Missouri and Jackson Symphony Orchestras. Possessing a passionate interest in the music of our time, Meyer published his book Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble Repertoire. A Catalog of Modern Music in 2011. He is actively involved in the commissioning and performance of new music.
2ND PLACE:Stefano Sarzani
3RD PLACE: There was a tie.Lawrence Golan, music director, Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Yakima, WA
3RD PLACE: There was a tie.Steven Lipsitt, music director, Boston Classical Orchestra, Boston, MA
Now in his thirteenth season as Music Director of the Boston Classical Orchestra, Lipsitt has conducted orchestras in Russia, Greece, Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Canada, and the U.S., as well as Scottish Opera, the Kennedy Center Opera House, Boston Lyric Opera, the Boston Pops, and Boston Ballet.
Lipsitt won first prize at the inaugural “Dimitri Mitropoulos” International Conducting Competition, and first prize at the Marienbad “Georg Tintner” Mastercourse.
The American Prize in Conducting—Community Orchestra Division
The American Prize Winner:
David Bernard is a pianist and harpsichord/continuo player, and often leads Baroque works from the keyboard and performs in the dual role of soloist and conductor. He has also prepared a new edition of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 1 and written a textbook of music theory, The Structural Principles of Music. Mr. Bernard lectures on musicology, music history and musicianship, most recently “Musicianship in Performance,” an exploration of the decisions made when creating performances.
Devoted to the music of our own time, David Bernard has presented world premières of scores by Bruce Adolphe, Chris Caswell, John Mackey and Ted Rosenthal, while distinguished concert collaborators include Carter Brey, David Chan, Catherine Cho, Pedro Días, Bart feller, Whoopi Goldberg, Judith Ingolfsson, Christina Jennings, Jessica Lee, Jon Manasse, Todd Phillips and James Archie Worley.
Prior to the 1999 founding of the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, David Bernard served as Music Director of the Stony Brook University Orchestra, the Gilbert and Sullivan Light Opera Company of Long Island and Theater Three. He also held the post of Assistant Conductor of both the Jacksonville and Stamford symphony orchestras.
David Bernard is an alumnus of The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Stony Brook University, The Tanglewood Music Center and Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and studied with Sergiu Celibdache, David Lawton, Roger Nierenberg and Arthur Weisberg.
2ND PLACE:Lois Ferrari, music director, Austin Civic Orchestra, Austin, TX
3RD PLACE:Robert Helmacy, music director, South Orange Symphony, Orange, NJ
The American Prize in Conducting—College/University Orchestra Division
The American Prize Winner:Gemma New, assistant conductor, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Recently appointed Assistant Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, GEMMA NEW makes several guest-conducting debuts this season, including concert appearances with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Symphonique de Trois-Rivières in Canada. She is initiator and conductor of the Baltimore-based LUNAR Ensemble—a group of talented singers and instrumentalists who specialize in the performance and promotion of contemporary music. Originally from New Zealand, New worked with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Southern Opera and Christchurch Youth Orchestra before moving to the States in 2009. A recent graduate of the Peabody Institute, New studied with Gustav Meier, and Markand Thakar.
2ND PLACE:Yorgos Kouritas, Music Director, Boise Philharmonic Youth Symphony, Boise, ID
David Rudge, Director of Orchestras and Opera, SUNY—Fredonia, NY
The American Prize in Conducting—Youth Orchestra Division
The American Prize Winner:Michael Webster, music director, Houston Youth Symphony, Houston, TX
Music and artistic director of the Houston Youth Symphony. Formerly principal clarinetist with the Rochester Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony, Webster has appeared with many orchestras, string quartets and festivals spanning North America, South and Central America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. He has been on the clarinet and conducting faculties of Eastman, New England Conservatory, and the University of Michigan.
2ND PLACE:James Feddeck, music director, Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra
He made his debut with The Cleveland Orchestra in August 2009 at the Blossom Music Festival and in March 2011, stepped in at the last minute to conduct the Zurich Opera’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Cleveland to critical acclaim. Recent conducting engagements include the orchestras of Atlanta, St. Louis, Charlotte, Toledo, Omaha, Grand Rapids, and the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra. He is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he was admitted in four areas: piano, oboe, organ and conducting.
3RD PLACE:Beau Benson, Strings Coordinator, Waco Symphony Youth Orchestra
The American Prize in Conducting—Special Citation for Excellence in Music EducationJonathan Handman, Artistic Director, Stringendo Orchestra School of the Hudson Valley, Poughkeepsie, NY
Jonathan Handman, conductor and cellist is a co-founder and Artistic Director of the Stringendo Orchestra School of the Hudson Valley and is an orchestra director at Arlington High School in Poughkeepsie, NY. At Stringendo, he directs two orchestras, Vivace and Mazurka, and at Arlington he is the conductor of two symphony orchestras and directs an extensive chamber music program. In each program, his orchestras have won the Grand Champion prize at the ASTA National Orchestra Festival. Mr. Handman was Oberlin Conservatory’s invited guest speaker, representing the decade of the 1990’s, celebrating its 100th year anniversary of Music Education. Jonathan’s studies include The Eastman School of Music (Trombone performance), The Oberlin Conservatory (B.A. in Music Education, Cello) and an M.A in orchestral conducting from SUNY Fredonia.
The American Prize in Conducting—Special Citation for Excellence in Music EducationChristopher T.F. Hanson, artistic director, SMART Orchestra, San Marcos, TX
Congratulations to all winners, runners-up and citation recipients.