Friday, October 16, 2015

VOCAL WINNERS: men in opera, 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 opera divisions of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2015. Congratulations! (Art song/oratorio 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
PROFESSIONAL OPERA DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
PETER LIGHTFOOT
East Lansing, MI
PETER LIGHTFOOT
PETER LIGHTFOOT  described as "vocally brilliant" by Opera News he has been heard with companies both here and abroad.  He has performed with the New York City Opera, the Greater Miami Opera, the Wexford Festival, Mercatello Festival, L’Opéra de Nice, Opera Cagli, Hawaii Opera Theater, the Houston Grand Opera, the Aspen Festival, Spier Festival, the Opera Orchestra of New York, Wolf Trap Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Piedmont Opera Theatre, Mexico City Opera, Kentucky Opera, Knoxville Opera, Virginia Opera, the American Opera Center, Pennsylvania Opera Theater, Opera Delaware, and the Wildwood Festival.  He has appeared in such operatic roles as Scarpia, Rigoletto, Porgy, Tonio and Count Almaviva.  He has also appeared as Emile, in South Pacific and Sweeney Todd, in Sweeney Todd.  Mr. Lightfoot has also been a soloist with the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Amsterdam Radio symphony and the orchestras of San Francisco, Houston, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Dallas, Nashville, Sacramento, Knoxville, Tucson, Long Beach, Fresno, Pacific and Kalamazoo.

Peter was born in New York, and holds degrees from the Juilliard School  and  Tufts University.  Winner of a National Opera Institute Grant and their Bronze Medal for performance, a Sullivan Foundation grant and the Boston Opera Competition prize, he was also a finalist in the Luciano Pavarotti Competition was named a Benedum Distinguished Scholar in 2000 and recently received a Harp Grant.  Peter is delighted to have joined the faculty at Michigan State University's College of Music where he is Associate Professor of Voice.  In 2014 his CD, "An American Tapestry" on the Blue Griffin Label won a special citation from the American Prize, "Excellence in American Song".   Mr. Lightfoot also was a 2014 Finalist for the American Prize in the Art Song Category and also was a winner of the American Prize, Oratorio Award.

2nd Place:
ANDREW MCLAUGHLIN
Chicago, IL
ANDREW MCLAUGHLIN
American Baritone ANDREW MCLAUGHLIN is increasingly praised for his artful interpretations of the opera, oratorio, and art song repertoire.  Andrew hails from Washington, DC, where he has performed with Washington National Opera as Brian Young in An American Soldier (2014), Rex in An American Man (2014), the Doganiere in La Boheme (2014) and the Spanish Sailor in Moby Dick (2014). As a champion of new works, Andrew has performed roles in the premieres of Robert Patterson and Mark Campbells’ The Whole Truth (Urban Arias, 2015), Janice Hamer’s Lost Childhood (National Philharmonic Orchestra, 2013), Claude Debussy/Robert Orledge’s La Saulaie (University of Maryland Repertory Orchestra, 2013), and Frank Proto’s Shadowboxer (Maryland Opera Studio, 2011). Mr. McLaughlin also had the honor of joining famed mezzo-soprano and new music advocate Frederica von Stade and maestro Timothy Long in "A Few Words About Chekhov" to close out the University of Maryland's 2012 Art of Argento Festival. Andrew has held artist apprenticeships at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Virginia Opera, and at Central City Opera, where he made his professional debut as Le Dancaïre in Carmen (2011).  Upcoming engagements this year include performances as baritone soloist in Faure’s Requiem and Bach’s Johannes Passion with the National Philharmonic Orchestra at Strathmore, as the Judge/Captain/Crook in Bernstein’s Candide with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and as Schaunard in Puccini’s La Bohème with Virginia Opera.  Andrew received his undergraduate degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and holds a master’s degree from the University of Maryland where he was a member of the Maryland Opera Studio.


3rd Place
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.


CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATION:
IAN MCEUEN
Bethesda, MD
IAN MCEUEN
In November 2013, Ian McEuen created the roles of the Hippo, Holy Man, and Dog in the world premiere of Jeanine Tesori and J.D. McClatchy’s The Lion, the Unicorn and Me for his debut at Washington National Opera. Last summer, He returned for his second season as a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival, where he sang Goro in Francesca Zambello’s new production of Madame Butterfly. In the 2014/15 season, Ian will join the roster of the Metropolitan Opera, covering St. Brioche in a new production of The Merry Widow directed by Susan Stroman. In April of 2015, Ian will make his Carnegie Hall debut as the Tenor Soloist in Mozart’s Solemn Vespers with Manhattan Concert Productions.


The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY OPERA DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
GALEANO SALAS
Philadelphia, PA
GALEANO SALAS
Galeano Salas is a Texas native who grew up in Mexico City. He is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. Upcoming roles include the lead role in Faust and the cover of Borsa in Santa Fe Opera's production or Rigoletto. Galeano most recently sang the roles Rodolfo in La boheme, Alfredo in La traviata and German in Pique Dame. This year, Galeano received an encouragement award from the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions. In 2014 he placed second at the National Classical Singer Competition and was a finalist at both Lois Alba and Opera Index Inc. competitions. Young Artist Programs include Santa Fe Opera Apprentice (2015), Central City Opera as an Apprentice Artist (2012, 2013), Wolf Trap Opera as a Studio Artist (2011), the Texas Music Festival: Le Chiavi di Bel Canto (2010, 2014), and Resident Artist of Ohio Light Opera (2009). Galeano Salas holds a MM from Yale University and a BM from the University of Houston.


2nd Place:
CALVIN GRIFFIN
Columbus, OH
CALVIN GRIFFIN
Calvin Griffin, bass-baritone, is a second year Studio Artist with Arizona Opera.  This season, he will perform Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Speaker/2nd Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte, and Hortensius in La fille du régiment. He made his Richmond Symphony debut as the bass soloist in Handel's Messiah. Mr. Griffin made his Santa Fe Opera debut last summer singing the Notary in Don Pasquale as an Apprentice Artist, and will return next summer to sing Count Ceprano, as well as Hortensius.  Last season at Arizona Opera, his roles included Colline in La bohème and Dr. Grenville in La traviata. He will return for Arizona Opera’s 2015/16 season to sing Captain in Florencia en el Amazones, Zuniga in Carmen, and Pistola in Falstaff.  The Columbus, Ohio native earned his BM Voice from The Ohio State University and his MM Voice from Rice University. calvingriffinbassbaritone.com


3rd Place:
CHRISTOPHER SOKOLOWSKI
Hurley, NY
CHRISTOPHER SOKOLOWSKI
Tenor Christopher Sokołowski is a native of New York’s Hudson Valley, and has sung a wide repertoire of both concert and operatic works. He has performed roles including Acis (Acis and Galatea) Oronte (Alcina), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Mari (Les mamelles de Tirésias), and concert works such as Orff's Carmina Burana, Vaughan William’s On Wenlock Edge, Handel’s Messiah, Weber's Jubelmesse, Bach’s Magnificat, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus, Handel’s Esther, and Britten’s War Requiem. In 2013 he created the role of Thiện Sĩ in the world premiere of P.Q. Phan’s Tale of Lady Thị Kính, and sang the world premiere of Phan’s Vietnamese Requiem in April of 2015. He was a prizewinner in the S. Livingston Mather and Orpheus Vocal Competitions, earned his B.M. from SUNY Purchase, and his M.M. from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he was an Associate Instructor of Voice. www.christophersokolowski.com


***
Congratulations!
(Art song/oratorio results are included in a separate blog post.)

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.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

VOCAL WINNERS: women in art song/oratorio, 2015

Friedrich Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and special citation recipients in the women's art song/oratorio divisions of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2015. Congratulations!

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
PROFESSIONAL ART SONG/ORATORIO DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
TANIA COAMBS
Champaign, IL
TANIA COAMBS
Born in Cumaná, Venezuela, soprano Tania Arazi Coambs is a passionate and versatile performer, stage director, and writer. Recognized for her “searing and intense acting and singing”, Tania was one of the recipients of the 2015 American Prize Chicago Music Theater Award and made her début at Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall last April singing the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein.  With her strong interest in Spanish music and art song, as well as in jazz, French cabaret, and tango music, she performs regularly in concert. Notable roles include Aline in The Sorcerer, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Edith in The Pirates of Penzance, Annie in The Game of Love, Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha, Linfea in La Calisto, Gretel in Hansel und Gretel, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Arsena in Der Zigeunerbaron, Wren in A Body of Water, Nurse Ruth Kelley in Harvey, Mrs. Webb in Our Town, and the role of Dr. Vivian Watson in a three-country performance tour of the play Preemptive that took her to Barbados, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria. Tania is currently completing her doctoral studies in Vocal Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois. http://www.taniaarazicoambs.com/

On accepting The Prize, Ms. Coambs wrote: "Wow, what great news.  Thank you so much again for this wonderful opportunity.  I am so honored!"


2nd Place:
CLARA OSOWSKI
Brooklyn Center, MN
CLARA OSOWSKI
Hailed for her artistry and rich mezzo color, Clara Osowski shares her musicianship equally between solo and ensemble engagements. Active as a recitalist, she recently completed the Vancouver International Song Institute, was a featured young artist at the Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, and traveled to Tours, France to attend the Académie Francis Poulenc. In recent competition success, Clara was named the winner of the 2014 Bel Canto Chorus Regional Artists Competition in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2015, she was the only American Finalist at Thomas Quasthoff’s Das Lied competition in Berlin, Germany. Clara’s passion for contemporary music is exhibited in the song-cycles she has premiered by numerous composers. She performs with several ensembles throughout the Twin Cities, the Oregon Bach Berwick Chorus, teaches adjunct voice at the University of Minnesota-Morris, and is the Associate Artistic Director of Source Song Festival. For more information, visit www.claraosowski.com.


3rd Place
TAMI PETTY
New York, NY
TAMI PETTY
Tami Petty is the 2014 Winner of the Joy in Singing Award. In 2010 The New York Times hailed her "powerful soprano" at Lincoln Center for Rossini's PETITE MESSE SOLENELLE with Voices of Ascension. She has performed as soloist at Carnegie Hall with American Symphony Orchestra and at Avery Fisher Hall with New York Philharmonic. Winner of career grants from Richard Tucker Foundation, Lotte Lehmann Foundation, Chautauqua Opera Guild, Lotte Lenya Competition, and Merola Opera Program, Ms Petty is the first Emerging Artist Award recipient of the Sorel Organization honoring women in music. She received the Jessie Kneisel Prize in German Lieder while a student at Eastman School of Music. Upcoming engagments include Beethoven SYMPHONY NO. 9 with Altoona Symphony, Duruflé REQUIEM with the Choral Society of Grace Church, Vaughan Williams's DONA NOBIS PACEM with Manchester Choral Society and A SEA SYMPHONY with Manchester Choral Society. www.TamiPetty.com


CITATION for EXCELLENCE in the PERFORMANCE of 
NEW MUSIC:
KATHRYN FINDLEN
Austin, TX
KATHRYN FINDLEN
Kathryn Findlen, mezzo soprano  “has a rich, lush vocal quality and an incredible stage presence” (Austin Post.) Awarded Best Classical Vocalist of the Year in Austin by the Austin Critics Table Awards, the mezzo’s collaborations place her at the forefront of new American concert repertoire. She has worked with Pulitzer Prize winning composers John Harbison, Robert Ward, and most recently with George Crumb, bringing their works to life on the concert stage.  Recent projects include the Verdi "Requiem" with Austin Symphony Orchestra, and the New York premiere of Kenneth Frazelle’s autobiographical “Songs in the Rearview Mirror” in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall.  Findlen began her training in the Brevard Music Center Opera Program, holds a Bachelor of Music from UNCSA where she also attended High School, a Master of Music from the University of Texas at Austin, and completed her opera apprenticeship at Austin Lyric Opera.  KathrynFindlen,com


CITATION for EXCELLENCE in the PERFORMANCE of ORATORIO:
PENELOPE SHUMATE
Macomb, IL
PENELOPE SHUMATE
Penelope Shumate’s singing has been described by The New York Times has having “bell-like clarity and surpassing sweetness.” Her recent engagements include her debut and return appearances in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City, where she has also appeared in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. She has appeared with opera companies and orchestras across America including Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Roanoke, Opera Saratoga, Des Moines Metro Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, Annapolis Opera, Opera on the James, Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, Berkshire Choral Festival, Distinguished Concerts International New York, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra, and Kennett Symphony Orchestra. She has won numerous vocal awards from many organizations including the Gerda Lissner Foundation, The MacAllister Awards, and the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, among others.


The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY ART SONG/ORATORIO DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
PAULINA NASTASHA YEUNG
New York, NY
PAULINA NASTASHA YEUNG
Soprano Paulina Nastasha Yeung is currently pursuing a Masters degree at Manhattan School of Music, under the tutelage of Patricia Misslin. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from De La Salle University-Manila. This summer, she participated in The Naked Voice Institute lead by renowned vocal pedagogue, W. Stephen Smith. She has won several awards including 3rd place in the 2015 NFMC Women’s Collegiate Voice Division - New York District, and the Phyllis Bryn-Julson Award at the Civic Morning Musicals Voice Competition in 2014. Past credits include Ozia in La Giuditta with the Manhattan School of Music Baroque Aria Ensemble, Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel with the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, Peep-bo in The Mikado with The Philippine Opera Company, and Cosette in Paris 1832/Les Misérables with Repertory Philippines. Operatic scene work includes Rigoletto (Gilda), Carmen (Frasquita), Die Zauberflöte (Papagena), Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna), and Così fan tutte (Despina).

Upon winning The Prize, Ms. Yeung wrote: "Thank you so much for this wonderful news! It is with great pleasure and honor that I accept this award. Thank you for supporting young artists and giving us a platform to share our endeavors in music."


2nd Place:
CLARE DEMER
Tucson, AZ
CLARE DEMER
Clare is a distinguished 21-year old undergraduate vocal performance major at The University of Arizona, where she will perform the role of Monica in Menotti's "The Medium" this Spring.  Other training includes the Aspen Music Festival and School, SongFest at Colburn, Saarburg Chamber Music Festival and Walnut Hill Summer Opera Intensive. American Prize recognitions include finalist in Opera (2013,2014), second place in Art Song (2013), and first place Arts Song Division (High School) in 2012.   Among her many other awards are recipient of an Encouragement Award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions - Arizona (2014), winner of both the undergraduate and graduate divisions of the Amelia Rieman Opera Competition (2012,2014), and a winner of the Shirley Rabb Winston Voice Competition (2012).  In the summer of 2015, Clare will continue her vocal training as a fellow at the Art of Song Program - Toronto Summer Music Festival and at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal, Canada.


3rd Place:
BRIANNA MEESE
Franklin Lakes, NJ
BRIANNA MEESE
A New Jersey native, Brianna Meese is a recent graduate from the University of Virginia, where she was a Distinguished Major in Music and studied French, Italian, and German. While attending the University, Brianna was a member of The University Singers, OperaViva, Chamber Singers, and a soloist with the Baroque Ensemble.  She has performed with the Franco American Vocal Academy, OperaFest Italia, Ash Lawn Opera; and this summer will be attending the Opera Workshop at the Atlantic Music Festival. In addition to performing, Brianna is passionate about arts administration and advocacy and has worked closely with the Charlottesville Symphony, and the historic Paramount Theater of Charlottesville. Brianna plans to begin her graduate studies at The Boston Conservatory in Fall of 2015, working toward her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance.


CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATION: 
TASCHA ANDERSON
Helena, MT
TASCHA ANDERSON
Montana native, mezzo-soprano Tascha Anderson has most recently been seen performing the title role in L'Italiana in Algeri under the direction of maestro Andrew Altenbach and Johnathon Pape in Boston. Also in 2014, Ms. Anderson performed the role of Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia with maestro Altenbach, under the direction of Nathan Troup. Additionally, she sang the alto solo in BWV 12 with The Boston Conservatory Baroque Ensemble with Altenbach. In 2013, she performed the role of Mrs. Pasek in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen; again with maestro Altenbach and Pape, director.  Ms. Anderson has recently performed many roles internationally, as well, most notably a performance as Flora (La Traviata) at Flagstaff in Fidenza (Italy). Ms. Anderson obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University, with a focus on music, and a Master's of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory. This summer, Ms. Anderson will be a Young Artist at Seagle Music Colony, performing the roles of Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) and Cinderella's Stepmother (Into the Woods). Ms. Anderson currently studies with Rebecca Folsom in Boston.


The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
HIGH SCHOOL ART SONG/ORATORIO DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
NICOLE KOH
Daly City, CA
NICOLE KOH
Nicole Koh, soprano, is from Daly City, California. From 2011-2015 she attended Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts high school and studied voice with Todd Wedge. She has placed in every year that she has competed in the NATS competition and was the first place recipient in the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition in the Early Teen Division in 2012 and High School Division in 2015. She won first place in the Pacific Musical Society Competition (high school division) in 2014 and was a winner of the YoungArts Competition (HM) in 2015. In 2012, she was casted as the Second Woman in the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts opera "Dido and Aeneas." She is currently a freshman at UCLA and studies voice with Michael Dean.


2nd Place:
SARAH AALDERING
Los Gatos, CA
SARAH AALDERING
Sarah Aaldering is a 15 year old Sophomore at Los Gatos High School in California. She Began private Voice lessons at the age of 11. She has won 1st Place in NATS Art Song Division for 3 years, and recently placed 1st in the Aria Division(21 years & under). She recently won 2nd and 3rd place for both Musical Theater, and Art Song in the Cal Western Region Division of NATS, and now qualifys to audition this Spring for the National NATS Competition. She recently won 1st place in her local VOCE MTAC(Music Teachers Association of California) competition, and will now compete at Chapman University at the VOCE State Finals in April. She recently was given a CMEA award for her singing with a Superior Command Performance in vocals. She has appeared in 11 musicals, of which her favorite roles being Griddlebone(CATS), and Barnum(Jenny Lind).


3rd Place:
TAYLOR SEE
Las Vegas, NV
TAYLOR SEE
Taylor See is a sixteen year old junior at Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas, NV.  She has always loved music!  Taylor began studying piano when she was five.  She tried her hand at singing while playing piano when she was twelve.  Her piano teacher suggested she study voice, which she began doing just three years ago with LaDonna Young.    In the short time she has been singing, she has been named a regional winner and national qualifier for the Music Teacher’s National Association competition, a Nevada State Command performance vocal finalist, and has received the highest honors in numerous local and regional festivals and competitions.  Taylor has also sung with the Nevada All-State Choir.  She serves as first soprano section leader for her high school women’s and vocal ensembles, and plays piano and sings in the praise band.  Taylor also enjoys performing in musical theatre productions at school.


CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATION:
GYWNETH CAMPBELL
New York, NY
GYWNETH CAMPBELL
16-year-old American Gwyneth Campbell is a rising lyric coloratura soprano. Recently won the role as Drusilla in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at the NY Lyric Opera; sang as a soloist with Orquestra Clássica do Centro in the University of Coimbra 725th anniversary celebration; sang at Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York on the National Day of the Russian Federation. Performed in Carnegie Hall 30 times as prize winner in recital and orchestral soloist; sang at Stanislavsky Theater in "Moscow Meets Friends" sponsored by the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation; solo recitalist at the Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Memorial Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Soloist at Merkin Hall, Liederkranz Foundation, Curtis Institute, Peter Norton Symphony Space. At age 12, Gwyneth was accepted as the youngest student of Lorraine Nubar, Head of the Vocal Division, Juilliard Pre-College. She now studies with Maria Lyudko, Head of Vocal Department, St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music, Russia.

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Congratulations!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

VOCAL WINNERS: women in opera, 2015

Friedrich Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and special citation recipients in the women's opera divisions of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2015. Congratulations!

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
PROFESSIONAL OPERA DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
AUNDI MARIE MOORE
Bowie, MD
AUNDI MARIE MOORE

Aundi Marie Moore is quickly establishing herself as one of America's leading young sopranos,  receiving accolades from audience and critics alike.  The Washington Post recently hailed her as possessing a voice of “clarion beauty,” and The Richmond Times raved “Now to the spectacular: Throughout the program, Moore was riveting- a dazzling stage presence. Her lyric soprano, more than powerful enough to fill the hall, displayed a shimmering luster, effortless flexibility and a remarkable range of color...one sensed that this woman could sing anything in any style, with stunning results.” Career highlights include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with L'Opéra de Monte Carlo, Nedda in Pagliacci with Sarasota Opera, Serena in Porgy and Bess with Atlanta Opera and Virginia Opera, Young African American Soprano in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's Rappahannock County with Virginia Opera, and Odessa Clay in the World Premier of Approaching Ali with Washington National Opera. Additional engagements of note include Lady Thiang in The King and I with Lyric Opera of Virginia, and Nettie Fowler in Carousel with Ashlawn Music Festival. Engagements for the soprano during the 2013 - 2014 season included the National Symphony for Knoxville: Summer of 1915, as well as portraying Serena in Porgy and Bess with Syracuse Opera and the role of Soprano 2 in the World Premiere of Nyman’s Facing Goya with the Spoleto Festival USA and on tour with the Singapore Arts Festival.  Upcoming engagements for 2015 are Soprano Soloist with Virginia Symphony Orchestra presenting Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Soloist with Corpus Christi Symphony in Texas.


2nd Place:
ADELAIDE BOEDECKER
Sarasota, FL
ADELAIDE BOEDECKER
Native of Sarasota, Florida, Adelaide Boedecker grew up singing with the Sarasota Youth Opera and the Church of the Redeemer choir.   After many youth opera roles, Adelaide was asked to sing Barbarina in Sarasota Opera’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro.  Dr. Paula Page was her private instructor, and both Nozze and Dr. Page inspired her to pursue a music degree.  Adelaide attended the University of Florida, where she studied with Dr. Anthony Offerle, while there she performed many roles.  After graduating from Florida in 2011, Adelaide earned her Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Professor Kathryn Cowdrick.  At Eastman, Adelaide sang Mařenka in The Bartered Bride and Rose in Street Scene, and also represented Eastman at the Kennedy Center in March, 2012. After graduation in 2013, Adelaide toured the country as the soloist for the University of Rochester Meliora Capital Campaign, and was a freelance artist in the Rochester and Sarasota areas.  Adelaide currently studies with Kathryn Cowdrick. This past summer Adelaide headed to San Francisco, California, as a selected participant in the Merola Opera Program, where she sang the role of Stella in Andre Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire.   Currently, Adelaide is a resident artist with the Pittsburgh Opera, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, singing Marbouka in Mohammad Fairouz’s Sumeida’s Song, Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, and Marie in the student matinee of Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment.  This summer Adelaide is headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico, as an apprentice with the Santa Fe Opera.  She will return to Pittsburgh in the fall, for a second year as a resident artist with the company.


3rd Place
JODI KAREM
Brooklyn, NY
JODI KAREM

Ms. Karem recently performed the role of Carmen with Opera New York..  She has performed Eboli with La Forza dell'Opera, Flora with The Berkshire Theatre Festival, and the Witch from Hansel & Gretel with Bronx Opera.  Ms. Karem premiered the role of Lady Mabel with the Center for Contemporary Opera's production of The Secret Agent in New York City, the European debut with the Armel Festival in Hungary as well with Opera Grand Avignon in France.  The release of The Secret Agent CD features Ms. Karem as part of the debut cast.  Other roles include Santuzza,, Olga (Eugene Onegin), Ericka and Suzuki. Concert performances include 2 performances at Carnegie Hall as the Alto Soloist in Mozart's Vesperae solennes de confessore and alto soloist in Mozart's Requiem. She has performed with Dayton Philharmonic, Palm Beach Theatre Guild, the Metropolitan Opera Guild's "Spinning Strauss" Master Class Series with Jane Marsh as well as for the Lincoln Center Patrons and with the Louisville Orchestra.  In the spring, Ms. Karem will be performing with the Palm Beach Theatre Guild.  More information can be found at www.jodikarem.com


CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATION:
GWENDOLYN BROWN
Chicago, IL
GWENDOLYN BROWN

Gwendolyn Brown’s performances of traditional and 20th century in opera, symphonic, musical theater and concert has earned her consistent critical acclaim. Ms. Brown’s performances have been hailed as “imposing,” and her “deep contralto” as “a transfixing force of nature” (Mark Swed).  “To hear Gwendolyn Brown is to experience that primal thrill which comes in the presence of a singer whose fusion of soul with a vast, resonant instrument is total.” (Kitty Montgomery). As one critic states, her singing is simply "stunning" (Andrew Patner).

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Gwendolyn Brown obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Music at Fisk University,and pursued the Master’s degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Memphis. Young artist development included Des Moines Metro Opera, and The Ryan Opera Center of Lyric Opera of Chicago.  Her awards include Regional Winner and Finalist with the Metropolitan Opera Council in Memphis and Chicago. She resides in Chicago, Illinois.


The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY OPERA DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
SARAH BAUER
Houston, TX
SARAH BAUER

Sarah Bauer, a native of St. Joseph, Michigan is the current soprano resident artist at Shreveport Opera for the 2014-2015 Season, where she has recently performed the role of Annina in La Traviata and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and will sing the role of Clorinda in La Cenerentola. Other roles performed include Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore and Peep-bo in The Mikado (Shreveport Opera), Beth in Little Women (Opera in the Ozarks), Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites, and Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel (University of Missouri - Kansas City Opera Theater).  She has also performed operetta with the Kansas City Metro Opera, as Casilda in The Gondoliers and Yum-yum in The Mikado. She has appeared as a featured soloist with The Rapides Symphony Orchestra and the Southwest Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. You can hear more from her at www.sarahbauer-soprano.com.


2nd Place: (there was a tie)
JULIA DIFIORE
Gainesville, FL
JULIA DIFIORE

Mezzo-soprano Julia Di Fiore, recently named the Most Outstanding Voice Major at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, made her opera debut as Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte. She has since portrayed the characters of Rose Segal in John Musto’s Later the Same Evening, Hermia in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, the Witch in Into the Woods, for which she won the prestigious Magda Lachs Award for Exceptional Performance in the current year’s Vanderbilt Opera Theatre production (2013-2014). She will be performing the role of Foreign Singer in Florida State Opera’s production of Argento’s Postcard from Morocco. Julia has also toured in China performing opera scenes for the Vanderbilt Office of International Studies. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in May of 2014, Julia has gone on to pursue a Master’s at Florida State University with a fully funded graduate assistantship.


2nd Place: (there was a tie)
JANESE LEWIS
Jackson, MS
JANESE LEWIS
Janese Lewis has appeared in gala concerts with such artist as George Shirley, Faye Robinson, Barbara Conrad, Emma Goldman, Curtis Rayam and Chester Patton. She attended OperaWorks Advanced Artist Program in Northridge, CA and was accepted into residency at Carleton College with Dr. Lawrence Burnett. She is a graduate of Jackson State University where she studied with Phyllis Lewis-Hale. She has performed as a soloist in Austria, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan and throughout the U.S. She has most recently performed Handel’s Messiah with Jackson State University Chorale with orchestra. She is currently listed in the Artist Roster of the Mississippi Arts Commission. She has performed the role of La Tia Principessa in Suor Angelica, and covered Third Lady in The Magic Flute with Opera/South in Jackson, MS. She has performed scenes as Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana), Manon (Manon Lescaut), Eboli (Don Carlos), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutti), Carmen (Carmen), Maddelena (Rigoletto) and Ericka (Vanessa). www.janeselewis.com.


3rd Place: (there was a tie)
TASCHA ANDERSON
Helena, MT
TASCHA ANDERSON
Montana native, mezzo-soprano Tascha Anderson has most recently been seen performing the title role in L'Italiana in Algeri under the direction of maestro Andrew Altenbach and Johnathon Pape in Boston. Also in 2014, Ms. Anderson performed the role of Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia with maestro Altenbach, under the direction of Nathan Troup. Additionally, she sang the alto solo in BWV 12 with The Boston Conservatory Baroque Ensemble with Altenbach. In 2013, she performed the role of Mrs. Pasek in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen; again with maestro Altenbach and Pape, director.  Ms. Anderson has recently performed many roles internationally, as well, most notably a performance as Flora (La Traviata) at Flagstaff in Fidenza (Italy). Ms. Anderson obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University, with a focus on music, and a Master's of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory. This summer, Ms. Anderson was a Young Artist at Seagle Music Colony, performing the roles of Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) and Cinderella's Stepmother (Into the Woods).  Ms. Anderson currently studies with Rebecca Folsom in Boston.


3rd Place: (there was a tie)
STACEY TRENTESEAUX
Hattiesburg, MS
STACEY TRENTESEAUX

Stacey Michelle Trenteseaux resides in Hattiesburg, MS. Stacey recently sang Micaëla with CCM Summer Opera “Creating Carmen.” She makes her professional debut in Spring 2016 as Micaëla with Mississippi Opera’s Carmen and a concert version in Wuhan, China. She performed Hanna in Die lustige Witwe, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, and the title role of Suor Angelica with Southern Opera and Musical Theater Company; Fiordiligi with Astoria Music Festival; First Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Manhattan Opera Studio; and as a resident artist with the Natchez Festival of Music, International Performing Arts Institute in Kiefersfelden, Germany, Sherrill Milnes VOICE Studio in Savannah, GA, and Operafestival di Roma. She is a winner of the 2015 William T. Gower Concerto Competition and currently pursues a DMA from the University of Southern Mississippi with Dr. Maryann Kyle. Stacey holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and Master’s degree from USM.


The American Prize 
in Vocal Performance
Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
HIGH SCHOOL OPERA DIVISION

The American Prize winner:
GWYNETH CAMPBELL
New York, NY
GWYNETH CAMPBELL
16-year-old American Gwyneth Campbell is a rising lyric coloratura soprano. Recently won the role as Drusilla in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at the NY Lyric Opera; sang as a soloist with Orquestra Clássica do Centro in the University of Coimbra 725th anniversary celebration; sang at Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York on the National Day of the Russian Federation. Performed in Carnegie Hall 30 times as prize winner in recital and orchestral soloist; sang at Stanislavsky Theater in "Moscow Meets Friends" sponsored by the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation; solo recitalist at the Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Memorial Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Soloist at Merkin Hall, Liederkranz Foundation, Curtis Institute, Peter Norton Symphony Space.  At age 12, Gwyneth was accepted as the youngest student of Lorraine Nubar, Head of the Vocal Division, Juilliard Pre-College. She now studies with Maria Lyudko, Head of Vocal Department, St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music, Russia.

On accepting The Prize, Ms. Campbell wrote: "I am thrilled to be chosen as the winner of The American Prize in Voice Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award for 2015, in the high school opera division.  Winning the prize is such an encouragement to me, and I am sure that my teacher Maria Lyudko from the St. Petersburg Conservatory and Elizabeth Heuermann from the New York Lyric Opera will be pleased with this result." 


2nd Place:
SARAH AALDERING
Los Gatos, CA
SARAH AALDERING
Sarah Aaldering is a 15 year old Sophomore at Los Gatos High School in California. She Began private Voice lessons at the age of 11. She has won 1st Place in NATS Art Song Division for 3 years, and recently placed 1st in the Aria Division(21 years & under). She recently won 2nd and 3rd place for both Musical Theater, and Art Song in the Cal Western Region Division of NATS, and now qualifys to audition this Spring for the National NATS Competition. She recently won 1st place in her local VOCE MTAC(Music Teachers Association of California) competition, and will now compete at Chapman University at the VOCE State Finals in April. She recently was given a CMEA award for her singing with a Superior Command Performance in vocals. She has appeared in 11 musicals, of which her favorite roles being Griddlebone(CATS), and Barnum(Jenny Lind).


3rd Place:
TARYN SURRATT
Houston, TX
TARYN SURRATT
Taryn Surratt is a high school junior at Northshore Senior High in Houston, Texas. She is a two year member of TMEA’s All-State mixed choir and a recipient of the Outstanding Soloist Award from Texas's UIL State Solo and Ensemble Contest. She was also a winner in UofH's 2015 Classical Singers Competition and is a two year member of St.Paul's Choral Scholars. She aspires to receive Masters in both Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy. 


HONORABLE MENTION:
NICOLE KOH
Daly City CA
NICOLE KOH
Nicole Koh, soprano, is from Daly City, California. From 2011-2015 she attended Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts high school and studied voice with Todd Wedge. She has placed in every year that she has competed in the NATS competition and was the first place recipient in the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition in the Early Teen Division in 2012 and High School Division in 2015. She won first place in the Pacific Musical Society Competition (high school division) in 2014 and was a winner of the YoungArts Competition (HM) in 2015. In 2012, she was casted as the Second Woman in the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts opera "Dido and Aeneas." She is currently a freshman at UCLA and studies voice with Michael Dean.

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Congratulations!

Friday, October 9, 2015

PIANO SOLO WINNERS, all divisions, 2015


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipients of The American Prize in Piano Performance, 2015, in all divisions.

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 Piano Performance (SOLO), 2015—PROFESSIONAL DIVISION:

The American Prize winner:
MICHAEL ANGELUCCI   Baltimore, MD

MICHAEL ANGELUCCI
American pianist Michael Angelucci enjoys a multi-faceted career as soloist, collaborative artist, and educator.  His dynamic performances have been heard in Carnegie-Weill Hall and other major venues across the United States and Europe.  A prizewinner in the California International Young Artist Competition, Bradshaw & Buono international competition, and numerous state and regional competitions, Mr. Angelucci is also the recipient of various artistic awards including the Foundation La Gesse Fellowship and Peabody Career Development Grant.  Mr. Angelucci holds the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory, and is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Maryland.  He counts among his principal teachers Bradford Gowen, Benjamin Pasternack, Ann Schein, Hans Boepple, and Dr. Paul Wirth.  Currently, Mr. Angelucci is on faculty at the International School of Music in Washington, D.C., and is recording his first solo disc for release in 2016.

Upon accepting the prize, Michael wrote: "This is a great honor.  I accept this prestigious award with great excitement and humility.  Thank you!"


2nd Place:
JOVANNI-REY de PEDRO  Moscow, IN

JOVANNI-REY de PEDRO
Filipino-American pianist Jovanni-Rey de Pedro has been heard as a soloist, collaborative musician, educator, and speaker on five continents. He has received numerous awards from competitions and scholarly organizations across North America and Europe, and has presented for MTNA (USA), the College Music Society, World Piano Teachers Association, and the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Association. As a passionate and dedicated educator, he has given masterclasses in the USA and abroad, and is the co-founder and advisor of the MTNA Collegiate Piano Pedagogy Symposium. Dr. de Pedro holds a Konzert Diplom from the Vienna Conservatory of Music, a MM from Trinity College of Music in London, and a doctoral degree from the University of Michigan. He is currently Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy and co-director of the preparatory division at the University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton School of Music. For more information, please visit www.jdepedro.com.


3rd Place:
KEVIN CLASS   Knoxville, TN 

KEVIN CLASS
Kevin Class is a musician who exemplifies versatility.  Having excelled in performance on various instruments at an early age (most notably the violin and piano) he was raised around orchestras, and demonstrated early success as a composer and conductor.   Moving effortlessly between podium and piano, Kevin has become an accomplished thinker, teacher and performer as a pianist, collaborator and conductor of both orchestral and operatic literature. Kevin presently serves as the Director of Collaborative Piano at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, where he also hold the position of Music Director of the university's acclaimed Opera Theatre.  Prior to this appointment, he served on the Opera Studies faculty of Indiana University where he was Music Director and Conductor of the Martina Arroyo Opera Courses.  Born in Belgium, Kevin acquired a diverse musical education in Europe, the United States and Canada, including studies with Murray Perahia, Gyorgy Sebok, Daniel Blumenthal and Ralph Votapek.  As a pianist, since his Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 19, Kevin has been a frequent soloist in such venues as Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Geneva's Victoria Hall and Vienna's Musikverein.  Following several seasons of annual performances in The Netherlands and Belgium, including the complete piano sonatas of Schubert in Amsterdam, Kevin was named a Fellow of the Flemish Community by the Belgian government in 1998.  Following his return to the United States in 1999, Kevin took up teaching positions at both Indiana University and State University of New York-Potsdam.

Honorable Mention:
MARIA SUMAREVA   Coral Gables, FL

MARIA SUMAREVA
Born in Chisinau, Moldova, Maria began her piano studies at the age of eight at the Republican Musical Lyceum “C.Porumbescu” where she studied with Lia Oxinoit, Irina Bivol, and Anatol Lapicus. Maria completed her B.M. degree studying with Veda Zuponcic at Rowan Univeristy, and her M.M. degree with Menahem Pressler at Indiana University. Currently, Maria is a DMA candidate at Frost School of Music, where she studies with Santiago Rodriguez. Maria was invited to perform inseveral international festivals in Europe and USA, among which were the Budapest Spring Festival (Hungary), International Festival “Piano Nights” (Moldova), Northern Lights Music Festival (MN, USA). Some of her live performances were broadcast by Moldovan, Romanian, and Hungarian radio and television posts. In 2013 she received the Presser Music Award (University of Miami) for her recording project of the complete sonatinas by G.A.Benda. The album will be released by Elan Recordings label.
 

2015 SOLO PIANO CITATION RECIPIENTS: 

Special Citation for Championing Piano Music by American Composers
KRIS CARLISLE   Rome, GA

KRIS CARLISLE
Dr. Carlisle received his training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Claremont Graduate University. He has been the recipient of various awards including: the Martha Fischer-Tye Foundation Award; a Special Achievement in Musicology Award from the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.; and a Georgia Music Teachers Steinway Piano Galleries Educator Grant.
Specializing in contemporary music, he and trumpeter Adam Hayes, are now touring to promote their second album Etesian Traveler.  The album is a collection of innovative pieces for trumpet, piano and percussion. Carlisle’s recording project, The American Evolution - explores the ways in which contemporary American composers have used traditional compositional genres while incorporating contemporary musical language. The newest phase The American Evolution: Piano Preludes
will be recorded in May 2014.  Phases one and two, The American Evolution: Piano Variations, and The American Evolution: Piano Sonatas, are available at kriscarlisle.com.


Special Citation for Championing Piano Music by Asian Composers
SUSAN CHAN   Tigard, OR

SUSAN CHAN
The New York Concert Review described Susan Chan as “a thoughtful musician and a sensitive player”, and The New Yorker called her “an energetic advocate for contemporary music”. Fanfare and BBC Music Magazine praised her “great technical finesse” and “conspicuous refinement”. She has performed on the Seattle International Piano Festival Recital Series and at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Chopin’s birth house, Steinway Halls, and Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall.  She has appeared as soloist with the Dnepropetrovsk State Philharmonic (Ukraine), Portland Columbia Symphony and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Recognitions received include first prize in the Hong Kong Young Musicians Award Competition, finalist in The American Prize Competition, and an Oregon Arts Commission Artist Fellowship. She holds a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University where her main teachers were György Sebök and Menahem Pressler, and serves as an Associate Professor of Music at Portland State University.


Special Citation for Championing the piano music of Frederic Rzewski
BRENDAN MICHAEL KINSELLA   McAllen, TX

BRENDAN MICHAEL KINSELLA
Pianist Brendan Kinsella has been described by critics as “an amazing pianist” (Houston Chronicle), “astonishing” (Santa Barbara Daily Sound), “marvelous” (Kansas City Star), and “a sensitive musician with an ear for color” (Cincinnati Enquirer). His recent concert engagements have taken him to Carnegie Hall, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Tokyo, the Netherlands, Italy, and many other cities throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Currently, he teaches piano at the University of Texas-Pan American, where his diverse class of piano majors gain admittance to prestigious graduate schools, present their research at professional conferences, perform in master classes for distinguished artists, and regularly participate in competitive national and international summer festivals. His 2014-2015 concert season includes a series of all-Liszt recitals with his collegiate studio throughout major cities in Texas, two performances of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, and nationwide.
 

The American Prize in Piano Performance (SOLO), 2015—COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY DIVISION:

The American Prize winner:
ANNA DMYTRENKO   Newark, DE
ANNA DMYTRENKO
Born in Ukraine in 1992, pianist Anna Dmytrenko has dedicated her life to music from a young age. Following her relocation to the USA, she furthered her musical education at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division, where she studied with Oxana Yablonskaya under scholarship. She has recently completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Christopher Elton.

Anna won prizes in many international piano competitions including first places at the Dorothy MacKenzie Artist Recognition Competition, Viardo International Competition, and Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition. As a concert pianist, Anna has performed at such renowned venues as the Kimmel Center of Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Salle Cortot, and St Martin in the Fields.

Most recently, Anna was featured on the McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase on WQXR radio and performed at Temple Emanu-el and Salmagundi Club in New York City as the prize-winner of the New York International Piano Competition.

Upon accepting the award, Anna wrote: "I am delighted by this news and would be honored to accept The American Prize!"


2nd Place:
JAE YOUNG KIM   New York, NY

JAE YOUNG KIM
Jae Young Kim, a junior at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Jerome Lowenthal, started his piano studies at the age of five in South Korea. He has won numerous awards since then, including the first prize (special prize) at Teenager National Piano Competition, fifth prize as the youngest laureate at the 14th Oberlin (Cooper) International Competition, and first prize at MTNA New York State Piano Competition, to name a few. Moreover, he was recently nominated as the Piano Winner of the prestigious 2015 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition. He has appeared in many great concert venues such as Kumho Art Hall, Yamaha Hall, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and Hahn Hall and has performed masterclasses for Jerome Lowenthal, Jeremy Denk, and Stephen Hough. He was one of the eight solo pianists to attend Music Academy of the West with full scholarship in summer of 2014.

3rd Place:
DION CUNNINGHAM   College Park, MD

DION CUNNINGHAM
Born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas, Dion Cunningham began his musical studies studying piano with Mrs. Dawn Sands.  After high school, Dion attended Macalester College (St. Paul, MN) where he received both Biology and Music degrees studying piano with Mr. Don Betts.  In 2013, Dion graduated from the prestigious Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Music in Piano studying with Ms. Marian Hahn.  For his outstanding musical achievement, he was awarded the Frances W. Wentz Turner Memorial Prize.  Dion is currently a second year doctoral student at the University of Maryland studying with Dr. Cleveland Page.  He has performed throughout North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe.  Most recently, Dion presented a recital on the occasion of the Bahamas’s 40th Anniversary of Independence at the request of the Governor General - Sir Arthur Foulkes.

The American Prize in Piano Performance (SOLO), 2015—HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION:

The American Prize winner:
HEATHER HSUN CHANG    Palo Alto, CA
HEATHER HSUN CHANG
16 year old pianist Heather Hsun Chang has already performed quite extensively, both as a very young pianist in her native country, Taiwan, and in more recent years, in various cities on both coasts of the United States. Heather attends the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College Division where she is a scholarship student and studies piano with Corey McVicar. Heather has participated in numerous competitions and has had successes in the Pacific Musical Society Competition, the San Francisco Chopin Competition, and the Kawaii Piano Competition, Taiwan Regional. Her music studies continue in the summer, when she attended the Walnut Hill Music Festival in Natick, Boston and participated in the Morningside Music Bridge Music Festival in Calgary, Canada with full scholarship. To add on, Heather was recently selected to be a part of the the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts YoungArts Week 2015 in Maimi, Florida and had received a Level I Award.

2nd Place:
CHRISTOPHER SON RICHARDSON   Danville, CA 
CHRISTOPHER SON RICHARDSON
Christopher, age 16, was the featured soloist with several orchestras including The Minnesota Orchestra, Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra, Federal Way Symphony, Pacific Orchestra and Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra. He was one of the top prizewinner in many national and international piano competitions, including the 2013 International e-piano competition, Lennox International Young Artists Concerto 2011, 2011 Virginia Waring Concerto Junior Division, Tureck International Bach, 2012 LA Liszt International Competition, 2011 Seattle International Piano, and International Russian Competitions of 2012 and 2013.  He has attended numerous music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, Sejong International Music Festival, and Oberlin International Artists Recital Series Festival. He has performed in numerous prestigious venues, including Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Field Concert Hall, the Gould Rehearsal Hall, the Harris Concert Hall, the Music Tent and McCallum Theater. He appeared on NPR's "From the Top”, TV program PIE on KCTS 9, and King FM 98.1.

3rd Place:
TRENTON CHANG   Logan, UT

TRENTON CHANG
Trenton H. Chang, 17, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His parents are originally from Taiwan, R.O.C. Trenton began piano lessons when he was 5 years old. Currently, he studies with Gary Amano. Since he began piano, he has won numerous competitions, including the UMTA Concerto Competition, the MTNA Performance Competition, and the Utah Symphony Youth Guild auditions. He has performed with the Utah Symphony, and made his orchestral debut with Utah Chamber Artists in 2010. In addition, he was featured on NPR’s “From the Top.” Trenton made his Carnegie Hall debut last December. His awards include the Sorenson Legacy Foundation Scholarship and the Chopin Foundation of the U.S. Scholarship.

Trenton is a junior at Logan High School. Aside from the piano, he was the champion of the statewide Academic Olympiad competition as a junior and also won the Championship Division of Policy Debate at the Utah Debate Coaches Association tournament.

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Congratulations to all!