Wednesday, December 23, 2015

CONDUCTOR WINNERS: all orchestra divisions, 2015

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting: all orchestra divisions, 2015. Congratulations!

All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

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 Conducting: Professional Orchestra Division, 2015.

The American Prize winner:
Olivier Ochanine   
    Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra    Manila, Philippines

Olivier Ochanine
Olivier Ochanine is the 1st Prize Winner of the 2015 Antal Dorati International Conducting Competition in Budapest, Hungary, in which he surpassed nearly 120 other conductors from 23 countries; the prize leads to further performances in Europe. Olivier is also 2nd Prize Winner in the 2015 London Classical Soloists International Conducting Competition, where he conducted the orchestra in various Beethoven symphonies.

A native of Paris, Olivier Ochanine began music studies in France and continued in the United States. A flutist and bassist, Olivier earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of Kentucky. He expanded his focus to orchestral conducting, taking up graduate studies and attending master classes with some of the best conducting mentors, including Mark Gibson, Gustav Meier, Marin Alsop, Larry Livingston, Robert Baldwin, John Barnett, John Farrer, and Achim Holub.  He obtained his Masters Degree in Conducting from the University of Southern California (USC), where he was given the Conducting Department Award in 2003.  In 2009, he began his Doctoral Studies in Orchestral Conducting at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under Mark Gibson.

Regularly praised for his charisma on and off podium as well as for his breadth of orchestral repertoire, Olivier is the youngest Music Director of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in the orchestra's history. In June 2016, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra undertakes a historic concert tour to the United States which includes a performance at the world renowned Carnegie Hall in New York City. Upcoming conducting engagements 
include the Matanzas Symphony Orchestra (Cuba), Esterhàza Festival Orchestra, Virtuosi Italiani, and Moscow State Symphony Orchestra. www.olivierochanine.com


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Jonathan Griffith   
    Distinguished Concerts Orchestra    New York, NY

Jonathan Griffith
An acclaimed conductor, educator and lecturer, Jonathan Griffith has led performances across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Griffith is co- founder and artistic director of Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY), which has brought together, under Griffith’s artistic leadership, thousands of musicians and choral singers in concert at prestigious venues across the United States, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Disney Hall. The founder and music director of the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra, Griffith also oversees DCINY’s mentoring program for conductors.  Maestro Griffith’s additional conducting credits include the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City; Manhattan Philharmonic, and New England Symphonic Ensemble, both at Carnegie Hall; The European Symphony Orchestra in Spain; Bohuslava Martin Philharmonia and Philharmonia Chorus, Virtuosi Pregensis Chamber Orchestra, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, and Dvořák Chamber Orchestra, in the Czech Republic; and the Białystok State Philharmonic in Poland, as well as numerous regional orchestras and choruses across the United States.


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Jason Lim   
    Odysseus Chamber Orchestra    Frisco/McKinney, TX

Jason Lim
Recognized by the Denton-Record Chronicle as one of “2012’s Most Fascinating People,” the career of conductor Jason Lim is on the rise. Lim was born in Penang, Malaysia and began his formal training in viola performance when he won a scholarship to study at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with Alice Waten. He commenced his studies at the Canberra (Australia) School of Music, and completed his bachelor’s degree with honors at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney. Jason received his Masters degree in orchestral conducting from the University of North Texas.

It was in Canberra that he began his conducting studies: first as an apprentice with the Canberra Youth Orchestra, and later as an Assistant Conductor with the Ku Ring Gai Philharmonic Orchestra in Sydney, a position that was awarded in conjunction with winning the New South Wales Ministry of Arts Conducting Prize. Most recently, Mr. Lim has been of awards from the American Prize Competition: the 2011 Young Conductor Citation, and third prize in the 2013 The American Prize Conducting Competition and most recently second prize in the 2014 American Prize Conducting Competition. In June 2013, Jason made his European conducting debut conducting the Academic State Concert Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in Kievand appeared as guest conductor with the Zabrze Philharmonic Orchestra and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in 2014. Currently, Jason is the Artistic Director and conductor of the Odysseus Chamber Orchestra, a group he led winning second and third prize in the 2013 and 2014 Professional Orchestra division of the American Prize Competition. Jason's mentors includes Nicholas Braithwaite, Max McBride and Henryk Pisarek.


3rd Place:
Paul Mauffray   
    Hradec Králové Philharmonic    Slidell, LA

Paul Mauffray
Paul Mauffray began his music studies at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and Louisiana State University. He won 2nd Prize in the 2007 Bartok Conducting Competition and has 20 years professional conducting experience with European orchestras and operas in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Lyon, Salzburg, and Vienna. After studying musicology in Germany and in the Czech Republic, he earned his master's degree in conducting at Indiana University where he was engaged as Associate Instructor. He conducted at the Bucharest National Opera, Slovak National Opera, Mariinsky Theater, and appeared frequently as conductor with violin-soloist Tomas Vinklat from the Vienna Philharmonic. Mauffray has been a frequent guest conductor with the Hradec Kralove Philharmonic, Janacek Philharmonic, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, and Schoenbrunn Palace Orchestra in Vienna.  He is currently reconstructing the 1894 opera "Tabasco" by George W. Chadwick, and recent performances have been in New Orleans, Riverside California, and with the Chattanooga Symphony.
www.paulmauffray.com


The American Prize in Conducting: College/University Orchestra Division, 2015.

The American Prize winner:
Boon Hua Lien   
    Eastman Philharmonia    Rochester, NY

Boon Hua Lien
Boon Hua LIEN serves as the Eastman Conducting Fellow of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Eastman Philharmonia. Lien has conducted professional orchestras including the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Festival Strings Lucerne, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, and youth groups such as the Singapore National Youth Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Music Makers. Lien is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in orchestral conducting at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Neil Varon, and has earned degrees in conducting and trombone performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, and Peabody Conservatory of Music. In addition, Lien was invited to work with Bernard Haitink at the Lucerne Festival Academy, and was also awarded the Bruno Walter Conducting Scholarship to work with Marin Alsop at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.


2nd Place:
Chris Younghoon Kim   
    Cornell Chamber Orchestra    Ithaca, NY

Chris Younghoon Kim
Conductor Chris Younghoon Kim has a broad repertoire in instrumental and choral works and is particularly active in promoting new music. He holds a Bachelor of Music in music education and oboe performance from Northwestern University, a Master of Music in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan, and has also studied composition. He has continued his conducting studies in master classes with Neeme Jarvi, Jorma Panula, Martyn Brabbins, Gunther Schuller, Gerhard Markson, Johannes Schlaefli, and Kenneth Kiesler. Kim serves as Artistic Director of Brave New Works, a vibrant ensemble of ten musicians dedicated to performing new compositions.  He has also been active as a conductor and concert-organizer with the Boston-based Firebird Ensemble. Before coming to Cornell in 2004 he taught at Tufts University, served as resident conductor of the Mozart Society Orchestra at Harvard University, and was assistant conductor for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. At Cornell Chris Kim conducts the Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra, and teaches conducting. He works closely with the students in the D.M.A. program in composition, assisting them in presenting their new works in concert. The Cornell Orchestras has received the ASCAP adventurous programming award in 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.


3rd Place:
Kalena Bovell   
    Hartt Orchestra    West Hartford, CT


Kalena Bovell
Recently appointed as a conducting fellow for the Chicago Sinfonietta’s Project Inclusion Program Kalena Bovell will work closely with music director, Mei-Ann Chen for the 2015 – 2016 season. Kalena was also named the new Orchestra Director at the Loomis Chaffee School and will begin her tenure in the fall of 2015. She has served as the Assistant Conductor to Carolyn Kuan, Music Director of the Hartford Symphony and was the Assistant Conductor to the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has also studied with Maestro Donald Portnoy at the prestigious Conductors Institute of South Carolina, Maurice Peress, assistant to Leonard Bernstein, Jorge Mester, Paul Vermel, Peter Jaffe and Kenneth Kiesler. She has also received coaching’s from Gerard Schwarz, William Eddins and Michael Morgan. Kalena received a Masters of Music and Graduate Professional Diploma in Instrumental Conducting from The Hartt School where she was a student of Edward Cumming.


The American Prize in Conducting: Community Orchestra Division, 2015.

The American Prize winner:
Walter Morales
    Undercroft Opera Orchestra    Pittsburgh, PA

Walter Morales
Walter Morales is the Music Director of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra. His previous positions include Music Director of Undercroft Opera, Music Director of the Carnegie Mellon University Contemporary Ensemble, Head of Music of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, Assistant Director of Orchestral Studies at Carnegie Mellon University and Assistant Conductor of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic. He has been a guest conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, Butler County Symphony Orchestra, McKeesport Symphony Orchestra, University of Costa Rica Symphony Orchestra, University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Youth Chamber Orchestra and Rutgers Chamber Orchestra.  He has also served as cover conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

An active concert pianist and recording artist, Morales has toured through out the United States, Central and South America. His recordings as conductor and pianist can be heard on the Centaur, Mode, Zimbel, and Quindecim labels.


2nd Place:
Matthew Hooper
    West Shore Symphony Orchestra    Carlisle, PA

Matthew Hooper
MATTHEW HOOPER is in his third season as the Music Director and Conductor of the West Shore Symphony Orchestra in Mechanicsburg and Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In 2015, he debuted with the Wilmington (DE) Community Orchestra as a finalist for their Music Director position. Previously, Hooper served as Assistant Conductor of the Muncie Symphony and Ball State University Orchestras in Muncie, Indiana. He has served as the Resident Music Director of the Muncie Civic Theatre and Music Director for Indiana Public Radio's annual live radio dramas. Hooper holds a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from Ball State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Lebanon Valley College.  Wherever he conducts, speaks, or presents, Hooper brings a message and desire for the spread of great music to new audiences.  Matthew resides in Oxford, PA with his wife Alison. More information about Matthew Hooper is available at his website: www.matthooper.com


3rd Place:
Ted Vives
    Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra    Los Alamos, NM

Ted Vives
Ted Vives is originally from Auburn, Alabama. His musical experience began with piano lessons but his interests changed to trombone performance and composition upon entering the public school system. Vives holds bachelor's degrees in both composition and music education from Florida State University. He also holds a Masters of Music in Composition and a Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Florida  Dr. Vives has taught in the public schools in Florida and has served as a clinician at band and music camps in many states. Dr. Vives resides in Los Alamos, New Mexico with his wife, Paula, son, Alex, and daughter Abby.  He serves on the Boards of Directors for both the Los Alamos Symphony and the Santa Fe Community Orchestra where he is principal trombone for both ensembles.


The American Prize in Conducting: High School Orchestra Division, 2015.

The American Prize winner:
Dan Whisler
    Youth Performing Arts School Philharmonia
    Louisville, KY

Dan Whisler
Dan Whisler is currently Director of Orchestras at the Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Prior to moving to Kentucky, he was the Director of Orchestras at Center Grove Community School Corporation in Greenwood, Indiana, Founding and Principal Conductor with Intimate Opera of Indianapolis, Indiana, and served on the faculty of the String Quartet Program of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. Mr. Whisler has conducted over 300 works with over 50 ensembles, including professional orchestras in the USA, England, Spain, Lithuania, and Romania. His awards as a conductor include the 2011 Downbeat Award for Best U.S. College Classical Ensemble and the Bel Canto Award for Excellence in Conducting. Whisler graduated summa cum laude with a BME from Wichita State University (Kansas) and earned an MM in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Northern Colorado. His mentors include Russell Guyver, Mark Laycock, Jorma Panula, Markand Thakar, and Colin Metters.



2nd Place:
Carolyn Watson 
Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra    Interlochen, MI
Carolyn Watson
Dr Carolyn Watson is the conductor of the Academy Orchestra at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Previously she was conductor-in-residence at the Conservatorium High School in Sydney, Australia. In 2012 she was a major prizewinner at the Emmerich Kálmán International Operetta Conducting Competition in Hungary and served as musical assistant at the Staatsoper Berlin for Infektion! Carolyn is the recipient of the Brian Stacey Award for emerging Australian conductors, a Churchill Fellowship, the Sir Charles Mackerras Conducting Prize awarded via the Australian Music Foundation in London, Opera Foundation Australia’s Bayreuth Opera Award and New Berlin Opera Award and the Nelly Apt Conducting Scholarship. She studied with David Zinman as a Fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and School and holds a PhD in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Sydney.



3rd Place:
Beau  Benson
    Midway Camerata    Waco, TX

Beau  Benson
Beau Benson is currently in his second season as Music Director and Conductor for the Oregon East Symphony and Chorale and is in his fifth year as Director of Orchestras for the Midway Independent School District in Waco, Texas.  During his time in Waco, the orchestras of MISD have grown in size and excellence, and have experienced recognition at the local, state, and national levels unprecedented in the district’s history. In addition to being a repeat finalist in the state honor orchestra competition, first runner-up for the 2012 American Prize in Orchestral Performance, and receiving an invitation to perform as a featured ensemble at the 2012 Midwest Clinic, the MISD orchestras have expanded the orchestral experience in innovative ways for students and audiences through projects such as the Central Texas Opera Festival, a yearly performance of a live orchestral soundtrack accompanying the 1922 silent film Nosferatu, and most recently, the inception of a period instrument ensemble.




***
Congratulations!

No comments:

Post a Comment