Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WINNERS: The American Prize in Voice (women in art song), 2016, ALL DIVISIONS

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, citation and honorable mention recipients of The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song and oratorio), 2016—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, in all 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 (women in art song and oratorio), 2016
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner: "OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE in Art Song & Oratorio"
MARGARET LIAS
Boston MA
MARGARET LIAS
Mezzo-soprano, Margaret Lias, has been celebrated for her “warm,” “arresting,” and “rich-toned” singing. Since her Boston Symphony Hall debut in 2011 with Handel and Haydn Society, Margaret has been a frequent soloist under the baton of Harry Christophers. In 2015, Margaret received praise for her Lincoln Center solo debut singing Mozart’s Requiem. Select solo appearances in 2016 and 2017 include Princeton Pro Musica, Handel Society of Dartmouth, Arcadia Players, Cleveland Orchestra, and Emmanuel Music. Margaret was a founding member of The Skylark Vocal Ensemble under Matthew Guard. She performs frequently with Seraphic Fire under Patrick Dupré Quigley, Boston Baroque under Martin Pearlman, Voices of Ascension under Dennis Keene, Sacred Music in a Sacred Space under K. Scott Warren, Emmanuel Music under Ryan Turner, and Musica Sacra New York under Kent Tritle. This season, Margaret is thrilled to add New York City Opera Renaissance chorus to her roster of ensembles. www.margaretlias.com


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
MELISA BONETTI
Cincinnati OH
MELISA BONETTI
Melisa Bonetti, Mezzo-soprano, just completed the Dayton Opera Artist in Residence program in which she made her Dayton Opera Mainstage debut as Emilia in Otello. After enjoying her time as a young artist with the Des Moines Metro Opera 2015 summer festival in which she played the role of Isabela in Catan's La Hija de Rappaccini, "Melisa Bonetti commanded a wonderful presence in the lower middle voice but also easily soared heavenward with a well-schooled top" - Opera Today, Ms.Bonetti will return to sing with the company this Summer in the roles of Maria Maddalena and Scribe in Glass' Galileo Galilei. After a full season with Kentucky Opera last year, Melisa returned earlier this season to sing Marcellina for their Nozze di Figaro concert tour. During her work with Kentucky Opera last year Ms. Bonetti performed Lorca Ainadamar, a production with the Lexington Philharmonic, Clare in Daron Hagen's new work, A Woman in Morocco, Flora La Traviata, Wowkle La Fanciulla del West, & Mexican Flower Woman Streetcar Named Desire. Since completing her Master’s in voice at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, she has also worked with the Dayton Philharmonic, Opera Columbus, Cincinnati Opera Outreach and Chorus, and the Queens Symphony Orchestra. During her summer's as a Master's student she participated in the Wolf Trap Opera studio artist program and in I Sing Beijing as a young artist. She completed her undergraduate degree at Queens College's Aaron Copland School of Music in New York.
www.MelisaBonettiMezzo.com


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
STELLA DAYRIT RODEN
Warrensburg MO
STELLA DAYRIT RODEN
Stella Dayrit Roden, soprano, has performed as a featured soloist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, New Britain Symphony, and the Connecticut Virtuosi.   As Resident Artist with the Wichita Grand Opera, she performed the role of 'Cousin' in Puccini's Madama Butterfly and served as a member of the opera chorus for the 2011 season.  In the summers of 2012 and 2013, she performed several concerts in Florence, Italy, a series sponsored by Accademia Europea di Firenze and Misericordia di Firenze, Piazza Duomo. Stella Roden received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Music degree, Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from James Madison University.  Dr. Roden has also been a finalist in prestigious competitions such as the Connecticut Opera Guild, the Austin Lyric Young Artist's Competition, and the NATSAA New England Regional Division Competition.


3rd PLACE (there was a tie):
SARAH NELSON CRAFT
Brooklyn NY
SARAH NELSON CRAFT
Mezzo-soprano Sarah Nelson Craft’s commanding, versatile voice most recently brought her to Paris where she participated in The Song Continues: Paris Residency, performing in recitals and working closely with Marilyn Horne and Martin Katz. Performances this season include Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the American Classical Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall and Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Masterworks Festival Chorus at Carnegie Hall. In 2013 Ms. Craft made her mainstage debut with the Caramoor Festival as Ninetta in Verdi’s Les vêpres siciliennes and was noted as a “young singer to watch out for”. She has been a soloist at Avery Fisher Hall in Bach’s Mass in B minor and Handel’s Messiah with the National Chorale, and in Mahler’s Symphony No.2 with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra. In 2016 Carnegie Hall will present Ms. Craft in a solo Spotlight Recital with pianist Warren Jones at Weill Recital Hall.  www.sarahnelsoncraft.com


3rd PLACE (there was a tie):
MARGOT ROOD
East Boston MA
MARGOT ROOD
Soprano Margot Rood, hailed for her “luminosity and grace” by The New York Times, performs a wide range of repertoire. Recent and upcoming solo appearances include those with Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Handel and Haydn Society, Seraphic Fire, A Far Cry, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Blue Heron, Cape Symphony, Bach Collegium San Diego, Grand Harmonie, as well as onstage with Boston Early Music Festival, Monadnock Music, St. Petersburg Opera, Helios Early Opera and Green Mountain Opera Festival. Ms. Rood is the recipient of prestigious awards including the St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award (2015), and the Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellowship at Emmanuel Music (2015). Ms. Rood is a core member of Lorelei Ensemble, Boston's 9-voice women's ensemble. Her new solo recording with composer Heather Gilligan, Living in Light, will be released in 2017. Ms. Rood holds degrees from the University of Michigan and McGill University. www.margotrood.com


FINALIST—SPECIAL CITATION: "Outstanding Performance in Art Song"
RACHEL JOSELSON
Iowa City IA
RACHEL JOSELSON
While still a university student in voice performance, Rachel Joselson performed with the Indianapolis and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras. Her first full-time operatic contract was in Darmstadt, Germany, singing roles as Rosina, Dorabella, Cherubino, Adalgisa and Idamante before switching to soprano repertoire during her years at Hamburg State Opera. She has performed with symphony orchestras in Cedar Rapids, Madison, Oshkosh, and Johnson City, and was featured with the Utah Festival Opera with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra in Salt Lake City. Joselson was invited to Leipzig, Germany, where she presented a lecture and master classes about American song composers at a convention for the German Association of Voice Teachers International Convention. In Halle, she taught a master class on bel canto technique and was an artist-in-residence at the Asolo Song Festival and Institute in Italy. Ms. Joselson received her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Rutgers University.


FINALIST—SPECIAL CITATION: "Outstanding Performance in Oratorio"
ROSALIND LEE
Oak Park IL
ROSALIND LEE
Rosalind Lee, soprano, has been described as "a beautiful soprano with a glowing voice." She has appeared as the soprano soloist in Bach’s Magnificat, Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem, Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass, Haydn’s Paukenmesse and Lord Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore, Orff’s Carmina burana, Schubert’s Mass in G, Mollicone’s Beatitude Mass, and Vivaldi's Gloria. She's appeared as a soloist with groups such as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Bach Week Festival, Chorus Angelorum, Elgin Choral Union, Handel Week Festival, North Shore Choral Society, Fort Wayne Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in their Kraft Family Concert series. Ms. Lee has also covered soprano solos in Beethoven's Missa solemnis, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Orff's Carmina Burana, and Verdi's Requiem for the CSO. On the opera stage, she has appeared at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Glimmerglass Festival, Bloomington Early Music Festival, Music by the Lake, and Light Opera Works, among others. (http://www.rosalind-lee.com)


FINALIST—SPECIAL CITATION: "Outstanding Performance in Music before 1800"
ELISABETH MARSHALL
Portland ME
ELISABETH MARSHALL
Elisabeth Marshall has been praised by OPERA NEWS for her “radiant soprano” on the Brooklyn Art Song Society’s recent album New Voices (Roven Records, 2015). Concert highlights include Messiah at Chicago’s Symphony Center, Bach’s Mattëuspassion under Helmuth Rilling (Oregon Bach Festival), Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia with CBE Raymond Leppard (Indianapolis Symphony), and Mozart’s Requiem at Rochester Cathedral (England). On the opera stage, she has been hailed for her performances as the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute in London, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Elisetta in Il matrimonio segreto, and Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella. Other engagements include the Wexford Festival Opera, the London Philharmonia Chorus, and Carmel Bach Festival. A Fulbright grant recipient to the HMT-Leipzig (Germany), Ms. Marshall holds a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University, where she studied with Carol Vaness, and, in addition to her active performing career, currently serves on the voice faculty at the University of Southern Maine School of Music. www.elisabethmarshall.com


FINALIST—HONORABLE MENTION: Exceptional Repertoire
DANA ZENOBI
Austin TX
DANA ZENOBI
Winner of an Inspiration in Teaching Citation from The American Prize (2014), Dana Zenobi is a versatile performer who embraces traditional repertoire and new music.  She has appeared in concert with ensembles including Austin Civic Orchestra, San Gabriel Chorale, and Austin Chamber Ensemble. On the operatic stage, she appeared in Austin Opera’s American Premiere of Waiting for the Barbarians (Philip Glass), and with Lyric Opera Cleveland in the first production of Mark Adamo’s Little Women directed by Adamo. The Cleveland Plain Dealer praised her “dazzling coloratura” and “irresitible phrasing” as Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance). She has garnered similar success in roles ranging from Mozart heroines to Verdi’s Violetta Valéry.  Dr. Zenobi joined the faculty at Southwestern University in 2007.  She is executive director of BELTÀ (www.BELTA.org), a nonprofit that supports emerging artists. She holds degrees from The University of Texas at Austin (DMA and MM) and Duke University (BA). www.danazenobi.com


CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CERTIFICATE 
TERESA WINNER BLUME
Needham MA
TERESA WINNER BLUME
Teresa Winner Blume, lyric coloratura, performs frequently in recital, oratorio, opera, musical theatre, and in collaboration with composers of new works. She was recently featured in the U.S. premiere of Lee Mingwei: Sonic Blossom at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, singing Schubert lieder. Past performances include Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem (Connecticut Choral Society; Brevard Music Center), Carmina Burana (Canton Symphony Orchestra, Gerhardt Zimmermann, conductor), and Le Nozze di Figaro conducted by Grant Llewellyn at the North Carolina Symphony. Awards include New York Oratorio Society Competition (semi-finalist, 2015), the Peter Elvins Competition (semi-finalist, 2015); National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards (National semi-finalist, 2010), and the Jesse Kneisel Lieder Award (Eastman School). She serves as Head of Voice at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, as voice faculty at Gordon College, and maintains a private studio. B.M. University of Illinois; M.M. and Performer’s Certificate Eastman School of Music. www.TeresaWinnerBlume.com


HONORABLE MENTION
KIRSTEN KUNKLE
Wilmington DE
KIRSTEN KUNKLE
Kirsten C. Kunkle, soprano, originally from Fremont, Ohio, currently resides in Wilmington, Delaware. Her recordings are collected at the Library of Congress, the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution, and the Merkel Area Museum in Merkel, Texas.  She is on the list of Classical Native American Artists and Musicians at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. She won the 2014 PA NATSAA competition, became the youngest inductee into the Fremont Ross Music Hall of Fame in 2011, and recently made her solo Carnegie Hall debut. Some favorite roles performed are Mimì (La bohème), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) Iolanta and Brigitta (Iolanta), Zemphira (Aleko), Lisa (Pique Dame), Foreign Woman (The Consul), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief), and the Witch (Hansel and Gretel).  Her degrees are from Bowling Green State University and University of Michigan. www.kirstenckunkle.com  

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

The American Prize winner:
SAMANTHA SCHMID
Boston MA
SAMANTHA SCHMID
Samantha Schmid, lyric soprano—dedicates herself to exploring culture and communication. This season, Schmid makes her debut with Juventas New Music Ensemble as Constance in the premiere of Leo Hurley’s The Body Politic. She also appears as Donna Elvira with Opera in the Ozarks. A champion of contemporary and Slavic music, Schmid has recently performed with Russian Opera Workshop, Lowell House Opera, and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras. Previous engagements include Tina (Flight), Iolanta (Iolanta), Liza (The Queen of Spades), Iphigénie (Iphigénie en Tauride), The Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen), and Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte). Recognition for her artistry includes inauguration into the Pi Kappa Lambda national music honor society and multiple awards from NATS. A student of Dr. Kerry Deal, Schmid recently received her Professional Studies Certificate and M.M. in vocal performance from The Boston Conservatory. She also holds a B.A. from Webster University. For more information, visit www.samanthaschmid.com.


2nd PLACE:
OLIVIA BOEN
Chicago IL
OLIVIA BOEN
Heralded as "someone to watch," soprano Olivia Boen is currently in her third year of undergraduate studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Daune Mahy. As an opera singer, she has performed such roles as Alcina in Oberlin Opera Theatre's production of Handel's Alcina, Norina in Oberlin-In-Italy’s production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. Equally at home performing contemporary music, Olivia has collaborated with composers Jesse Jones, Peter Kramer, and Shihui Yin. Recent performance highlights include concerts in Siena, Cortona, and Arezzo in Tuscany through the Oberlin-In-Italy program. She has participated in masterclasses by such renowned artists as Renée Fleming, Eric Owens, Nicole Cabell, and Enza Ferrari. Olivia has been selected for the prestigious position as one of Opera Theater of St. Louis’ Gerdine Young Artists and will begin her work with the company in April 2016. More information can be found at www.oliviaboen.com.


3rd PLACE:
SARAH LOVE TAYLOR
Winston-Salem NC
SARAH LOVE TAYLOR
Sarah Love Taylor, mezzo-soprano, hails from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her operatic credits include the title role in Carmen (CCM Summer Opera), Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance (Greensboro Light Opera), and Sister Dolcina in Suor Angelica. She debuted the role of Oscar the Cat, in Alejandro Rutty’s The Fight to be Favorite (Greensboro Opera). Scene credits include Charlotte (Werther), Nicklaus (Les contes d’Hoffmann), and Third Lady (The Magic Flute). Sarah has appeared as a guest artist with Durham Symphony Orchestra, Choral Society of Durham, Greensboro Oratorio Society, Concert Singers of Cary, and Roanoke College Choir. She earned her BM and BA (French) from UNC-Chapel Hill and her MM from UNC-Greensboro where she is currently pursuing her DMA in Performance. She is the founding President of the Student NATS chapter at UNC-Greensboro where she teaches Class Voice, Lyric Diction, and Applied Voice. www.sarahlovetaylor.com


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

The American Prize winner:
OLIVIA PRENDERGAST
Penn Valley PA
OLIVIA PRENDERGAST
Olivia Prendergast is a senior attending Harriton High School in Bryn Mawr, PA and had studied privately with tenor Paul Spencer Adkins since 2012. In addition to directing Harriton’s a cappella groups and appearing in their theater productions, she received their school’s music award and scholarship for musical excellence. Olivia has had lead roles in Wolf Performing Arts Center’s productions, including Eve in “Children of Eden”, Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”, and Beth in “Little Women”. Olivia was a semifinalist in the Art Song Division of the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition, and was selected to attend the Metropolitan Opera Guild High School Opera Singers' Intensive. She also advanced to the semifinal round of the Classical Singer Vocal Competition and was a finalist in their inaugural on-line Summer Musical Theatre Vocal Competition. She is also active in her church choir as both a member and lead cantor. Olivia will continue her music training as a vocal performance major in the Bienen School of Music as part of Northwetern’s Class of 2020, where she will be in the studio of Sunny Joy Langton.


2nd PLACE:
LINA CHUNG
Buford GA
LINA CHUNG
Lina Chung is a 17 year-old soprano from Buford, Georgia, and is currently a senior at Mill Creek High School. She has done notable achievements such as winning First Place at the Schmidt Competition, being chosen as the soloist for Gounod's masterpiece "Gallia" with the New Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra and Korean community choir, winner of the GA Christian University Music Competition (for Voice) being designated as an alumni at the Governor Honor's Program 2015, 6A Literary State Champion for Girl's Solo, performing at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center with the New Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra as well as holding multiple recitals at the Korean Festival, and 6 years of All State Chorus. She has also won scholarships and has been recognized by Julliard professor Margo Garrett, Indiana University professor Mary Ann Hart and opera singer Tamara Hardesty who graduated from the Curtis School of Music. She aspires to major in Vocal Performance and continue her craft throughout her lifetime. Nonetheless, her unchanging aspiration is to sing for the glory of God.


3rd PLACE:
DALIA MEDOVNIKOV
Woodbridge CT
DALIA MEDOVNIKOV
Dalia Medovnikov is a freshman in Amity High School, Woodbridge, Connecticut. She has been singing since her early childhood. Last summer she was accepted and participated in the Young Artists Vocal Program at Boston University Tanglewood Institute. She just got accepted to the same program again for this summer. In April of this year she will be participating in the “Amber Nightingale” International Art Song Competition in Kaliningrad, Russia.


SPECIAL CAREER ENCOURAGEMENT CITATION:
MARY ELIZABETH ADLER
Bellevue WA
MARY ELIZABETH ADLER
Mary Elizabeth Adler, soprano, is a sophomore in high school in Bellevue Washington.  She has been studying classical voice under Nancy Zylstra for over five years.  She has won numerous awards in classical vocal competitions locally, at the state level, and nationally.  She sings in the St. James Cathedral Young Women's Choir as well as with the Seattle Opera's STUDIO Program.  She also studies the cello under Page Smith and is in her high school orchestra as well as in a youth symphony.  She is the Captain of her high school Varsity Badminton team as well as the President of Biology club at school.


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Congratulations!

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