Friday, October 16, 2015

VOCAL WINNERS: men in art song, 2015

Friedrich Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and any citation recipients in the men's art song division of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2015. Congratulations! (Opera results are included in a separate blog post.)

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.  

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
ART SONG DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
JORELL WILLIAMS
New York, NY
JORELL WILLIAMS
Jorell Williams, two time winner of the American Traditions Competition and acclaimed by The New York Times for his “magnificent, rich toned” baritone and his “perfect” comic timing, is gaining international success on both the opera and concert stages. His 2015 season includes debuts with Carnegie Hall, Urban Arias, American Repertory Theater, the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, and an apprenticeship with Santa Fe Opera. A frequent performer of American music, he recently performed with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in the United States and London tours of Abyssinian Mass led by composer Wynton Marsalis. Jorell is a recipient of top awards from the Gerda Lissner International Competition, Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, the Liberace Foundation, Sergei Koussevitzky Foundation, David Adams art song competition, Civic Morning Musicals Foundation, and the Charles A. Lynam Competition. For more information please visit: www.JorellMWilliams.com.


2nd Place:
DERRELL ACON
Chicago, IL
DERRELL ACON
Derrell Acon is a student of William McGraw at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he is a doctoral candidate in Voice. Derrell graduated summa cum laude from Lawrence University with degrees in Vocal Performance and Government. He is a 2013-2014 United States Fulbright scholar, the first place and Grand Prize award winner of Chicago’s Bel Canto Foundation Opera Contest of 2010, a winner of the 2009 Neale Silva Young Artists competition, and the winner of the “Dueling Divas” competition held at the Trout Museum in Appleton, WI. Some of his major operatic roles include: Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Kecal in The Bartered Bride, Dr. Pangloss and the Professor in Candide, Falstaff in Merry Wives of Windsor, Betto in Gianni Schicchi, and Alidoro in La Cenerentola. He has also performed leading roles in Europe and the Middle East, and recently performed as Young Emile in Terence Blanchard’s new opera, "Champion."


3rd Place
CHRISTIAN KETTER
Chicago, IL
CHRISTIAN KETTER
Tenor Christian Ketter, made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2014, as featured in the Washington Post, as part of “The Song Continues” with American Mezzo-Soprano Marilyn Horne. The 2013 winner of the Friedrich Schorr American Prize in Voice, Mr. Ketter has appeared as the tenor soloist with the Chicago Bar Symphony Orchestra & Chorus- in Bruckner’s Te Deum, and in April of 2015 appeared with the orchestra again at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. Mr. Ketter’s debut classical recording “Beloved” - with violinist, Cara Schlecker & pianist, Myron Silberstein - features all original arrangements of song literature, spanning a broad array of languages and styles. A frequent recitalist, Mr. Ketter was invited to Northwestern University of Louisiana to give a solo recital in October. As the 2013 Chicago Oratorio Winner, his past performances included tenor soloist in oratorios, both DuBois’ Les sept paroles du Christ and Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël. He performed this past year with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra & Chorus under the baton of conductor Kirk Muspratt. Recent stage performances include: Willy Loman in Rizzer’s operatic adaptation of Death of a Salesman finale at the Chicago Cultural Center.


YOUNG ARTIST CITATION:
DASHAWN WILLIAMS
Husto, TX
DASHAWN WILLIAMS
Georgetown, Texas native DaShawn Williams is an exciting young performer. In 2014, he won first place in his age category at the South Texas National Association of Teachers of Singing spring auditions, and was awarded the “Outstanding Sophomore” prize at the Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition (at Baylor University).  He also placed as a semi-finalist in the Classical Singer National Vocal Competition, and finalist in the Sarofim Vocal Competition (at Southwestern University).  DaShawn has earned numerous accolades at University Interscholastic League choral and solo competitions.  He enjoys performing both classical and musical theater repertoire, and recently sang the role of the Beast in East View High School’s production of Beauty and the Beast.  DaShawn was awarded scholarships to attend both the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Vocal Arts Program and the Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program at the University of Texas at Austin.  He studies voice with Dr. Dana Zenobi.


YOUNG ARTIST CITATION:
ETHAN YAN
Mountain View, CA
ETHAN YAN
Ethan is a seventh grader at The Nueva School in California. He played Amahl in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors with Monterey Symphony (2013), and Jaffett in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde with Los Angeles Opera (2015), and performed in the children’s chorus with San Francisco Opera (Tosca (2012) and Mefistofele (2013)). In 2014, he was the soloist in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Marin Symphony and the Santa Cruz County Symphony. He received awards in the NY Lyric Opera Theatre National Vocal Competition; and the American Protégé International Vocal, Romantic, and Music Talents Competitions, performing at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, self-accompanying on the piano in one of the performances. At the 2015 Bay Area NATS Singing Festival, he won 2nd place in Art Song (13 & Under), and Honorable Mentions in both Aria (21 & Under) and Oratorio (All Ages). His wonderful voice teacher is Angelique Zuluaga.

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Congratulations!
(Opera results are included in a separate blog post.)

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