Monday, November 21, 2016

WINNERS: The American Prize in Voice (men in art song)—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in art song and oratorio), 2016—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, in professional, college/university and high school divisions. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

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

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award honors the memory of the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age, Friedrich Schorr, who commanded the operatic stage between the world wars, and his wife, Virginia Schorr, who taught studio voice at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hartt School of Music for nearly fifty years. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best performances by classically trained vocalists in America in 2016, based on submitted recordings.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in art song and oratorio), 2016
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
STEPHEN LANCASTER
South Bend IN
STEPHEN LANCASTER
Described as “a fine storyteller” (American Record Guide), baritone Stephen Lancaster engages audiences through diverse repertoire in concert, recital, and opera. Winner and Audience Favorite in the Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition, he has been featured in venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Chicago Cultural Center, Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Centro Cultural de Belém, Petit Palau de la Música Catalana, and Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall. Recent concert and operatic appearances include the South Bend Symphony, University Musical Society Choral Union, Atlantic Music Festival, and Eugene Opera. A passionate recitalist, he has performed programs in Paris, Frankfurt, and Gstaad; at the Eure-et-Loire Festival; and for the Brooklyn Art Song Society in New York. He has recorded an album of French art songs with Martin Katz (Centaur Records) and currently serves as Associate Professor of the Practice in voice at the University of Notre Dame.


2nd PLACE:
CARL DUPONT
Charlotte NC
CARL DUPONT
Bass-Baritone Carl DuPont is a vocalist equally engaged in performing, teaching, and research. A native of Daytona Beach, Florida, he sang in the Stetson’s Children’s Choir and made his debut in the title character in Amahl and the Night Visitors with the Seaside Music Theater. Lately, he has been celebrated for his “dramatic, dark tones” (South Florida Classical Review) as Leporello in Don Giovanni, the title character in Dennis Rodman in North Korea, and Jim in Porgy and Bess at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, and the University of Miami, and currently serves as assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte of applied voice and lyric diction. His scholarly interest focuses on equity and inclusion in higher music education, specifically the contributions of black musicians, composers, and educators to the discipline.


3rd PLACE:
NICHOLAS PROVENZALE
Mattoon IL
NICHOLAS PROVENZALE
Nicholas Provenzale’s international appearances have delighted audiences and critics alike.  This year he was a featured soloist with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra.  In 2013, Nicholas made his Hong Kong City Hall debut as Silvio in Pagliacci with Musica Viva Hong Kong. Also in 2013, Nicholas won the Hawaii Public Radio Art Song Competition, and was the baritone soloist in The Messiah with the Bangkok Combined Choir and Orchestra.

Nicholas’s operatic engagements include performances with Indianapolis Opera, Kentucky Opera, San Diego Opera, Dicapo Opera Theatre, and Bronx Opera.  As a soloist, he has appeared with the China National Symphony Orchestra and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.

Nicholas’ recordings include the roles of Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, and Beau Braxton in the world premiere of Pasatieri’s God Bless Us, Every One, both released by Albany Records.

An enthusiastic educator, Nicholas is currently on the faculty of Eastern Illinois University.  He previously served as Chair of the Classical Voice Department at Mahidol University in Thailand.  He has been a guest teacher and performer at Burapha University in Thailand, the Myanmar Institute of Theology, and Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. www.nicholasprovenzale.com



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in art song and oratorio), 2016
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
QUINN BERNEGGER
Essex Junction VT
QUINN BERNEGGER
Quinn Bernegger will be appearing this season as Oronte in Handel’s Alcina at The Boston Conservatory, where he is pursuing a graduate diploma in opera performance. He was seen most recently as Nanki-Poo in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado this summer at Chautauqua Opera, where he was also featured as an Apprentice Artist in concerts with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Last year he made his professional debut as a Resident Artist with Tri-Cities Opera, singing roles in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd (Beadle Bamford), Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti (the Jazz Trio), and Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta (Alméric). Equally at home in musical theater repertoire, Mr. Bernegger has also performed the roles of Jack and Cinderella's Prince in Sondheim's Into the Woods and Jean Valjean in Schönberg's Les Misèrables. He has been a Young Artist at both the Opera Company of Middlebury and the Seagle Music Colony, where he made his operatic debut as Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff. Mr. Bernegger has also enjoyed performing oratorio and concert work with the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival and the Voices of Cooperstown. He is a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont and has received numerous honors, including selection as a finalist for the FAVA Grand Concours competition.


2nd PLACE:
ALEXANDER YORK
Evanston IL
ALEXANDER YORK
Baritone Alexander York, from Muskego, Wisconsin, recently made his professional debut, going on in a last-minute cover situation, as Don Quixote/Cervantes in Man of La Mancha with Central City Opera in Colorado, where he appeared as a Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Apprentice Artist. Last winter, York made the Chicago-area fully-staged premiere of Joseph DeRocher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking at Northwestern University. A 2014 graduate of Lawrence University and the studio of Steven Paul Spears, York was featured there as Sid in Britten’s Albert Herring, Harry Easter in Weill’s Street Scene, and Cinderella’s Prince in Sondheim’s Into the Woods, among other things. Last year, York was the recipient of the second-place Josephina L. LiPuma Scholarship, an Encouragement Award from the Wisconsin Met Council auditions, and the Evanston Music Club Scholarship. He currently studies with W. Stephen Smith in the master’s program at Northwestern, where he recently played the Count in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro.


3rd PLACE:
BRAYTON ARVIN
Bloomington IN
BRAYTON ARVIN
Baritone Brayton Arvin is in his post-graduate studies at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he earned his Master of Music. Operatic roles have included Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, David in L’amico Fritz, Le Balli in Werther, Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow, Maximilian in Candide, Notary/Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi, Le Dancaïre in Carmen, and Jack Scott in the premiere of The King in Yellow. He has been a young artist with Cedar Rapids Opera, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, and Ash Lawn Opera. As a concert artist, Arvin has been a soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, Duruflé’s Messe cum Jubilo, and dozens of premieres of vocal-orchestral and chamber music. Later this year, he will be a soloist in John Stainer’s The Crucifixion and perform the role of Andrew Carnes in IU Opera’s production of Oklahoma! Arvin is a student of Heidi Grant Murphy. wix.com/braytonarvin


The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in art song and oratorio), 2016
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(high school division) 

The American Prize winner:
RUOBING ZHANG
Voorhees NJ
RUOBING ZHANG
Ruobing Zhang, age 18, has made a name for himself both as a pianist, singer, and martial arts specialist, winning serious prizes in all areas. He continues to study voice in New York with Juilliard graduate and professor Badiene Magaziner. At the tender age of 11, Ruobing received rave reviews as the boy soprano soloist Philadelphia Orchestra’s concert titled “Jurowski Conducts Mahler” in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center. The Philadelphia Inquirer review of the concert led off with a description of Ruobing’s performance: “The most powerful solo vocal passages fall to the amazing boy soprano, Ruobing Zhang." Brought to our attention by his performance of the lead role in Amahl and the Night Visitors, his powerful voice is unexpected and unique. He has a charismatic aura about him and sings with deep soulfulness." In 2014, Ruobing was awarded Platinum for voice and 1st place for Piano at ICEPN TV’s “My Great Stage” Talent Show broadcasted on Times Warner Cable in NJ and NY. Recently, Ruobing advanced to the second round of the Classical Singer Competition, to be held in May 2016 in Boston, MA.


2nd PLACE:
ETHAN YAN
Mountain View CA
ETHAN YAN
Ethan is a 9th grader at Menlo School, California. He has received awards from American Protégé International Competitions, New York Lyric Opera Theatre National Vocal Competition, Junior Bach Festival, and the Bay Area NATS Singing Festival. He has performed at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center—on the violin, singing, and singing while self-accompanying on the piano. As a boy soprano soloist, he has performed with Monterey Symphony, Marin Symphony, Santa Cruz County Symphony, and Los Angeles Opera; and as a chorister, with San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Symphony. He is a 2015 Caroline Bradley Scholar, state-level math competitor, member of the Junior Mensa Honor Society, and award winner in national essay competitions. In the 2016 International History Olympiad, he was awarded five medals. Ethan also serves in a church music ministry. His wonderful voice teacher is Ms. Angelique Zuluaga.


3rd PLACE:
THOMAS LITCHEV
Dillon CO
THOMAS LITCHEV
Thomas Litchev (bass-baritone), 17, was born in Chicago, Illinois to Bulgarian parents and is currently studying Voice in his third year at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan. At the Academy, he studies with John Bragle. He frequently recieves vocal coachings from Susan Snyder and Donna Brunsma, who also serves as the Italian diction teacher. In 2014 he received the Merit Scholarship Award from the YoungArts Foundation. In the summer of 2015 he attended the Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy; here he took lessons with Stephen West and received vocal coaching from Jane Klaviter, Joana Pons, and Robert Morrison. He has given recitals at Interlochen and has been part of a recital given in Florence. This coming summer, in July of 2016, Mr. Litchev will be performing in "L'incoronazione di Poppea", one of the main-stage productions with the Oberlin in Italy Program in Arezzo, Italy.


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Congratulations!

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