Monday, April 29, 2019

WINNERS: The American Prize in Instrumental Performance, 2018-19


The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge,is honored to announce the winners,  runners-up, citation recipients and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Instrumental Performance, 2018-19, in professional, college/university, community 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.

REMINDER: Because of many requests from artists with late spring and early summer performances, The American Prize 2019-20 will accept applications from CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new extended deadline date of Monday, July 1, 2019. Applications from COMPOSERS, CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS MARKETERS and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Monday, August 5, 2019. (Please note that although the dates on the application forms may not be changed, rest assured that your materials will be accepted if sent by the new deadline dates in the respective contest areas.)

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

The American Prize 
in Instrumental Performance, 2018-19 (professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Kenneth Thompkins
Troy MI  

Trombone
Kenneth Thompkins
Kenneth Thompkins was appointed Principal Trombone of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra by Neeme Järvi.   Prior to this appointment, he held positions in the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Florida Orchestra.

Thompkins has been invited to perform and conduct master classes at many music schools, including the Curtis Institute of Music, The Eastman School of Music, the University of Michigan, and Interlochen Arts Academy.   An active chamber musician, Thompkins performs frequently in recital and is a member of Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings.  Thompkins has performed concertos with both the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony.

Thompkins can be heard on recordings by Detroit Chamber Winds, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  His solo trombone recording; Sonatas, Songs and Spirituals features the music of Alec Wilder, Philip Wharton, Stephen A. Taylor and William Grant Still.

Please visit www.kenneththompkins.com for more information about the musical activities of Kenneth Thompkins.     


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Christine Erlander Beard
Omaha NE
Flute  

Christine Erlander Beard
Noted for her “warm lyricism” (BFS journal, Pan), and “great expressive tone and range” (Christopher Caliendo, composer), Christine Erlander Beard enjoys an active international career as a soloist, chamber artist and teacher, and is in constant demand throughout North and South America and Europe. A champion of American music, Christie strives to showcase expressive music for both flute and piccolo as well as promoting new and original works by living composers. An artist for Sankyo Flutes, she serves the National Flute Association as a member of the Piccolo Committee, and as contributing editor to its journal, The Flutist Quarterly. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Beard is Professor of Flute, International Studies and Music Entrepreneurship at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. www.christiebeard.com   


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Mary Elizabeth Bowden
Winston-Salem NC
Trumpet

Mary Elizabeth Bowden
Mary Elizabeth Bowden, Gold Medal Global Music Award Winner and Yamaha Artist, released her album, “Radiance” and her next album, "Rêverie," will be released in 2019 (Summit Records).
Bowden is the 1st Prize winner of the International Women’s Brass Conference Trumpet Competition. She has performed as a soloist with the Evansville and Laredo Philharmonics, Peninsula Symphony, Croatian Army Band, and others. Bowden is a Resident Artist at UNCSA.
Bowden founded both Seraph Brass and Chrysalis Chamber Players. Seraph was featured at the International Women’s Brass Conference and the Lieksa Brass Week (Finland), and released their album through Summit Records (Silver Medal Global Music Award).
Bowden is Principal Trumpet of the Artosphere Orchestra. She has served as Principal Trumpet  of the Auckland Philharmonia, Daejeon Philharmonic, and Lucerne Festival Academy. Bowden is a frequent guest at the Marlboro Music Festival. Bowden attended The Curtis Institute of Music and Yale School of Music. http://www.marybowden.com


3rd Place: 
Erin Murphy
Stillwater OK
Flute  

Erin Murphy
Erin Kendall Murphy frequently performs with orchestras, in chamber music collaborations, and as a soloist throughout the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Murphy holds degrees in flute performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Doctor of Musical Arts), Northwestern University (Masters of Music), and the University of Michigan (Bachelors of Music, James B. Angell Scholar). In addition, she earned a performance certificate while studying in Kent, England at Trevor Wye’s international flute studio. Erin has performed as a soloist with the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, the Ravenswood Community Orchestra, and the Whitewater Chamber Players. She currently performs with the Lakeshore Rush ensemble and the Analogue Duo. Her album of 17 pieces she transcribed from Marin Marais’ Suitte d’un goût étranger for flute and keyboard was released in 2014. Dr. Murphy joined the faculty at Oklahoma State University as the Assistant Professor of Flute in 2018. Visit www.erinkmurphyflute.com for more information.


Finalist Honorable Mention & Special Judges' Citation: "Important Commitment to the Music of Our Time"
Denise Tryon
Cincinnati OH
Horn       

Denise Tryon
Denise Tryon has served as the Horn Professor of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore since 2007. Previously, Tryon was fourth horn of The Philadelphia Orchestra (2009-2017). She has also held positions with the Detroit Symphony (2003-2009), Baltimore, Columbus, and New World, Symphonies as well as participated in the Colorado Music Festival and the Pacific Music Festival. An accomplished solo performer, Tryon has performed recitals in Sweden, Norway, Poland, Japan, Canada and the United States.

In 1989 Tryon graduated from the famed Interlochen Arts Academy and in 1993 received her Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston. She has worked with great composers such as John Harbison, Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, and Elliott Carter.

In 2015, Tryon released her debut solo album, SO•LOW, A Pair of Aces in 2017 with Karl Pituch (Detroit Symphony) and has new commissions coming out soon. Tryon will begin her appointment as Associate Professor of Horn at CCM in the fall of 2018.


Finalist Honorable Mention & Special Judges' Citation: "Unique Skills in Instrumental and Vocal Performance"
Zoe Vandermeer
Gaylordsville CT
WelshTriple Harp & Baroque Triple Harp

Zoe Vandermeer
Zoe Vandermeer is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she was a recipient of numerous prizes and scholarships.  Ms. Vandermeer has been on the faculty at the Hartt School, and a performing artist on the CT Roster of Culture and Tourism.  She won First Place in the B. Alexander International Vocal Competition, First Place Bay Area Vocal Artists Competition, and has been Finalist in the London Young Artists Early Music Competition, and many others.  A proponent of the Bel Canto and Baroque repertoire, Ms. Vandermeer accompanies her singing on Welsh triple harp, Celtic harp, and more recently pedal harp both nationally and internationally.  Previous venues include Carnegie Hall, Glasgow International Early Music Festival, International Festival de Deia Spain, American Harp Society Institute, Sao Paulo Harp Festival, HarpCon2003 Bloomington, Bloomington Early Music Festival, Nairn Theatre Scotland, and the Interdisciplinary Center for Renaissance Studies University of Massachusetts.  Upcoming performances include the Rio International Harp Festival Brasil, King's Chapel concerts Boston, and the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia.  Her CDs 'Handel's Voice, Handel's Harp' and 'Tribute to Jenny Lind' will be released later in 2019 on the Centaur Records label.  Articles about Ms. Vandermeer can be found in the Swiss journal Harpa and Classical Singer Magazine.  http://www.sopranoandharp.com. http://www.zoevandermeer.net
 


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Blanka Bednarz
Carlisle PA
Violin       

Blanka Bednarz
Blanka Bednarz “is… a remarkable violinist” (D. Morrison, Fanfare, 2018). As soloist, she performed with Hunan Symphony, Connecticut Virtuosi, Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonietta Polonia, etc. In 2007-8 she led the Vega String Quartet-in-residence at Emory University in Atlanta (“marvelous foursome” --Strad). She collaborated with John Novacek, Rita Sloan, Richard Stoltzman, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Alarm Will Sound, Baltimore Symphony; she is on rosters of Beethoven Festival Park City (UT) and Market Square Concerts (PA).  She performs in venues such as Jordan, Miller, Beijing Concert Halls, Weill Recital Hall, Aula UAM, etc. She is concertmaster of Sinfonietta Polonia, and Associate Professor of Music at Dickinson College. 2017 release of Bednarz’s and Matthew Bengtson’s CD of music by Karol Szymanowski (Musica Omnia) was awarded a Global Music Awards Silver Medal (classical /instrumentalists category). Of this CD: “Bednarz’s violin playing illuminates every detail of these sometimes nigh-impossible works.” (O’Connor, American Record Guide).


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Christopher Nichols
Smyrna DE
Clarinet

Christopher Nichols
Critically acclaimed clarinetist Christopher Nichols serves as Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the University of Delaware’s Department of Music where he instructs applied clarinet, clarinet ensemble, chamber music, pedagogy and literature, and performs with Christiana Winds, New Music Delaware and Tiger Lily Music. In demand as an artist clinician, Dr. Nichols has presented recitals and master classes at universities throughout the United States.

Dr. Nichols has performed as a soloist at conferences and festivals such as the International Clarinet Association, National Flute Association, National Association of Collegiate Wind and Percussion Instructors, European Clarinet Association, and College Music Society. In 2015, he was recognized with an Established Artist Fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts. He released his debut compact disc Elegia with pianist Julie Nishimura on Navona Records in September 2017.

As an endorsing artist clinician, Dr. Nichols performs exclusively on Légère Signature Series reeds and Buffet clarinets.


The American Prize 
in Instrumental Performance, 2018-19 (college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
Daniel Wolfe
Chambersburg PA
Bassoon

Daniel Wolfe
An active performer and music educator in the Houston area, bassoonist Dan Wolfe is best known for his passionate and exciting performances of contemporary music and the unique instrumentation of his chamber music groups. Well-versed in many styles of bassoonery, Dan performs regularly with several professional orchestras and chamber groups along the American Eastern and Gulf coasts. Dan is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Houston where he studies with Elise Wagner, second bassoonist of the Houston Symphony. Dan holds an MM in Bassoon Performance from the University of South Carolina where he was a student of Dr. Michael Harley, and a BS in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. When he is not busy making reeds or listening to his favorite contemporary bassoon pieces, Dan enjoys reading voraciously, training for marathons, sampling local craft beers, and laughing as often as he possibly can.


2nd Place:
Joe Broom
McLean VA
Euphonium 

Joe Broom
The winner of the first-ever Wynton Marsalis Fellowship for summer brass study awarded by Rodney Marsalis, Joe Broom exists between the polarities of jazz and classical music and views the euphonium as an amazing tool for artistic expression.

Joe is the Euphonium Artist 2016 Gold Medalist of the prestigious Leonard Falcone International Competition. In 2015, he was both a United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts and a Davidson Fellow, the first euphonium player to earn either honor.

Joe has performed as a soloist with the Reno Philharmonic and the United States Marine Band. In 2017, he performed for Lin Manuel Miranda at Joe’s Pub in New York City. As a member of the acclaimed University of Michigan Symphony Band, he performed for more than 110,000 football fans with the New York Philharmonic brass section at Michigan Stadium.

Joe is an honor student at the University of Michigan and studies with Fritz Kaenzig.  


3rd Place: 
Taylor Fleshman
Kernersville NC
Harp

Taylor Fleshman
Taylor Ann Fleshman currently attends Indiana University as a Jacobs Fellow, studying under Florence Sitruk. Taylor is a two-time winner of the 3 Arts Competition. Other winnings include first in CCM’s Undergraduate Instrumental Competition, second in the Aspen Music Festival and CCM Harp Concerto Competition. She was also a finalist in many national competitions. For her BM, she studied with principal harpist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Gillian Sella, at the College-Conservatory of Music. As principal harp and assistant, Taylor has performed with the Cincinnati, Richmond, and Kentucky Symphony Orchestras. She’s currently the Associate Member with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. In 2018, Taylor made her debut with the Jakarta Simfonia Orchesta performing Mozetich’s The Passion of Angels for the Asia premiere. She’s worked with Evanescence, Betsey Wolfe from Broadway, and Tamara Wilson from the Metropolitan Opera. Taylor’s featured on a Naxos recording with NOI and Grammy-Considered CD with AYHE.



The American Prize 
in Instrumental Performance, 2018-19 (community division)
The American Prize winner:
Shan Su
Tyler TX
Viola

Shan Su
Shan Su has played viola for 12 years and is a student of Dr. Susan Dubois. Principal violist of the 2012 Texas All-State Symphony Orchestra and the 2011 and 2012 Honor Orchestra of America, Shan was a member of Carnegie Hall's 2014 and 2015 National Youth Orchestra of the USA (NYO-USA) under Maestros David Robertson and Charles Dutoit. A speaker in the TEDxUTD conference, Shan shared a talk entitled "When Music Meets Medicine." Shan is a first place winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs' Wendel Irish Viola Award and the American Protege's International Competition of Romantic Music, and second place winner of NFMC's Student/Collegiate Auditions and Stillman Kelley Instrumental Awards. A third-year student at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX, Shan is a member of the Boulanger Quintet and the World Doctors Orchestra.

    
2nd Place:
Thomas J. Philbrick
Okemos MI
Violin

Thomas J. Philbrick
Thomas Philbrick’s musical journey began with the Suzuki Method at age 5 and many hours of grudging practice incentivized by his mother’s promises of M & M’s as a reward. At age 10, his music-making started in earnest after he realized that he actually might enjoy playing the violin. Since then, his pedagogues have included Shmuel Ashkenazi of the Vermeer Quartet and Eva Gruesser of the Lark Quartet. A few of his notable performances include chamber music at The Lincoln Center, orchestral music at Boston’s Jordan Hall, and a solo performance with the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra. In his spare time, Thomas enjoys reading history, making pencil drawings of wildlife, wood-working, all sports except baseball (which he maintains is not a sport), writing for his blog “Enviroculture,” traveling with his wife Sarah, and attempting to survive law school.


The American Prize 
in Instrumental Performance, 2018-19 (high school division)

The American Prize winner:
Pierce Wang
Fremont CA
Violin

Pierce Wang
Pierce Wang started learning the violin when he was 2½. Now 14, he is a freshman at the Stanford Online High School and a scholarship student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), Pre-college Division, where he studies with Ms. Alena Tsoi. Most recently, Pierce appeared with Symphony Parnassus, Solano Symphony, and Saratoga Symphony as soloist. At age 10, Pierce was a guest on NPR’s From the Top nationally syndicated radio program (show #284) and on Backstage Pass with Christopher O'Reilly and Sir James and Lady Galway. When he was 11, Pierce performed the third movement of the Wieniawski Violin Concerto No. 1 in F major with the Fremont Symphony. Pierce is a member of The Bach Trio with Josephine Chan, piano, and Ryan Har, cello. The trio was recently awarded first prize in the American Prize Competition for Chamber Ensemble, High School Division. Prior to joining Ms. Tsoi's studio, Pierce studied with Prof. Wei He and Mr. Davis Law at the SFCM, and Mr. Andy Liu in Saratoga.


2nd Place:
Abigail Leong
Fremont CA
Cello      

Abigail Leong
Abigail Leong, age 14, studies cello with Jonathan Koh of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  Abigail made her debut at Carnegie Hall with the Saint­-Saens Cello Concerto at age 10.  She loves chamber music and also studies in the Young Chamber Musicians program.  This year Abigail won first place at ENKOR, KAMSA and DVC/HNU String Competitions.  In 2017 she won first place at MTNA California, VOCE California, Pacific Musical Society and Burlingame Music Club competitions.  She won two first place awards from the United States International Music Competition and was selected as a Fremont Symphony Orchestra Young Recitalist.  She was also selected as a soloist at the Junior Bach Festival.  Abigail enjoys music outreach for retirement homes and hospitals, as one of her goals is sharing music with others.  Abigail also loves to dance tap, hip hop, and jazz, enjoying the beautiful choreography of dance.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Claire Arias-Kim
Hoffman Estates IL
Violin       

Claire Arias-Kim
Claire Arias-Kim, 16, is a Merit Scholarship Fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago's Academy, a training center for advanced pre-college students and studies violin with Almita Vamos.  She is a prize winner in many competitions in the Chicagoland area.  She has soloed with many orchestras including the Jacobs School of Music Summer Academy, Elgin Youth Symphony, Ottawa Chamber and Lakeview orchestras.  She was selected for the Brian Lewis Young Artist Program for 12 exceptionally Gifted Violinsts, was a semi-finalist for the Fischoff chamber music competition, is a National YoungArts winner and a 2018 Sphinx competition semi-finalist.  Claire has had violin masterclasses with Ilya Kaler, Kristof Barati, Yair Kless, Vadim Gluzman and Jaime Laredo.  This fall, Claire will be a featured artist on Chicago’s classical radio station, WFMT’s “Introductions”, performing a recital which will be simulcast live.  She has been to many summer music festivals including Bowdoin and Aspen. 


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Grace Huh
San Jose CA
Violin       

Grace Huh
Grace Huh, age 15, began playing the violin at the age of five and is currently studying with Ian Swensen and Elbert Tsai. Her previous teachers include Li Lin and Wei He. Grace will perform with the Diablo College Philharmonic Orchestra and has made solo debuts with the Palo Alto Philharmonic Orchestra, the ECYS Sinfonietta Orchestra, and the California Youth Symphony. As the first violin soloist, Grace performed Bach Concerto for Three Violins with San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. Grace won the top prize at the Korea Times Youth Music Competition, American Fine Arts Festival International Concerto Competition, Pacific Musical Society Scholarship Competition, CMTANC Youth Music Competition, Fremont Symphony Young Artist Competition, and DVC/HNU Young Artist String Competition. Grace serves as second violin principal in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has performed in master classes led by Midori Goto, David Kim, Jan Sloman, and William van der Sloot.  


*** 
Congratulations!

Friday, April 26, 2019

WINNERS: The American Prize in Composition (pops / light music), 2018-19

The American Prize Nation Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, chief judge, is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Composition, 2018-19, in the pops/light music division. 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.

QUICKNOTES: Although The American Prize does not usually provide written evaluations to semi-finalists, some semi-finalist composers will receive in their certificate packets short comments, suggestions or overall impressions made during the judging. We hope they will prove valuable. All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

REMINDER: Because of many requests from artists with late spring and early summer performances, The American Prize 2019-20 will accept applications from CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new extended deadline date of Monday, July 1, 2019. Applications from COMPOSERS, CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS MARKETERS and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Monday, August 5, 2019. (Please note that although the dates on the application forms may not be changed, rest assured that your materials will be accepted if sent by the new deadline dates in the respective contest areas.)

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


The American Prize in Composition—Pops/Light Music Division (professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Carlo V. Frizzo
Bloomington IN
Chickasaw Cobb

Carlo V. Frizzo
Carlo Vincetti Frizzo is graduating with a doctorate degree in choral conducting and composition at Indiana University. During his studies, he was the associate conductor for NOTUS: Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. Mr. Frizzo was a conductor for Double Exposure, a program between IU composers and film students, and was the music director of New Voices Opera. His music has been played by ensembles such as Chamber Project St. Louis, C4, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He was a first place winner of the MTNA National Student Composition Competition, winner of the NOTUS Choral Composition Contest, and second place winner of the C4 Commissioning Competition. In 2016, he was a composition fellow at the Big Sky Choral Initiative where his music was premiered by Donald Nally and members of The Crossing. Mr. Frizzo holds degrees in Keyboard Studies, composition, and French. Prior to his arrival to Indiana University, he taught at Sam Houston State University. He resides in Bloomington, Indiana, where he is the music director at First United Church.
 

2nd Place:
Conor Brace
Round Rock TX
Gettysburg 

Conor Brace
Originally a jazz musician, Conor Brace performed as a trumpet soloist and wrote for big bands and other groups while studying at The University of Texas.  He loves using music to tell stories; for his Master's thesis he wrote a jazz suite following the arc of the Hero's Journey.

The orchestra, with its wide range of colors and long tradition of dramatic music, had its own allure for him.  He began studying traditional orchestration along with media music production, collaborating with student filmmakers and game developers -- fertile ground for spinning musical stories, and for combining a core jazz/pop sensibility with the emotive power of the orchestra.

Since becoming a new father, Conor has narrowed his musical focus.  These days he primarily writes light-orchestral music for video games, the latest being an indie MMORPG "Project: Gorgon."  He also plays trumpet with the Williamson County Symphony Orchestra. 


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Joseph Church / Sheldon Harnick
New York NY
The Tortoise and the Two Ducks  

Joseph Church
Joseph Church is a composer, arranger, conductor, pianist, and professor of music.  His career has been eclectic and exciting, collaborating with some of music and the theatre's most remarkable artists, and guiding some of entertainment’s most promising talent.  Joseph was the music director/supervisor/arranger for two of Broadway’s most groundbreaking musicals, The Lion King and The Who's Tommy.  As a composer, he has written for the concert stage, musical theatre, film and television, and many popular songs.

In 1996, Joseph received his doctorate in composition from New York University, and has been on the faculty there since 1998. He holds a Master's in choral conducting from the University of Illinois and a B.A. in music from Swarthmore College.

Mr. Church was born in 1957 in Poughkeepsie, New York. He moved to New York City in 1965, and has remained based there since. His proudest work is his daughter Susannah Church.  www.churchmuse.com viewfromthepodium.com 


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Robert Wendel
New York NY
Caribbean Sleigh Ride

Robert Wendel
Robert Wendel studied composition and orchestration with Hale Smith and Leroy Anderson, and conducting with Harold Farberman and Michael Charry. He has conducted for Harry Connick, Jr., Carol Channing and Rita Moreno, and served as standby conductor at Radio City Music Hall and tours of “Evita” and “Pirates Of Penzance."

Robert has written or arranged music for Cirque de la Symphonie, for QVC and WalMart commercials. His work has been broadcast on PBS-TV by the Cincinnati Pops and several times on the “National Memorial Day Concert.” He has also been recorded by The Cincinnati Pops under Erich Kunzel, The Houston Symphony under Michael Krajewski, and the Tasmanian Symphony under Sean O’Boyle.

He was awarded The American Prize “Judge’s Special Citation” in 2014 for "Music for Use. Well Crafted, Accessible and Performance-Ready" and was named a 2015 “Honored Artist” also by the American Prize. Robert’s web site is: www.wendelmusic.com 



Finalist Honorable Mention: 
Gerald Gurss
Charlotte NC
Stand Up

Gerald Gurss
Dr. Gerald Gurss, native Kansan, received his Bachelor’s degree in voice at Emporia State University where he studied with Terry Barham. He received his master’s degree in voice with a choral cognate from Miami University, where he studied with William Bausano and Ethan Sperry. During his studies at Miami, he was the assistant director for the MU Men’s Glee Club and prepared a chorus for the Cincinnati Ballet’s production of Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” After leaving Miami, Gerald led a successful music program at the Leavenworth Catholic Schools in Leavenworth, KS. Gerald received his DMA in choral conducting from the University of South Carolina, where he studied with Dr. Larry Wyatt and Dr. Alicia Walker. His research focus is the inclusion and pedagogy of transgender singers in the choral rehearsal. This research has granted him speaking engagements at Wingate University and the University of South Carolina. In 2015, Gerald collaborated in the founding of Midlands Men's chorus: The Gay Men's Chorus of Columbia, SC and served as its artistic director until 2018. Currently, Gerald resides in Charlotte, NC where he serves as the artistic director for the One Voice Chorus (Charlotte’s LGBT chorus) and the chamber ensemble, Sotto Voce.

In the spring of 2017, Gurss collaborated with Nashville in Harmony to bring the U.S. premiere of James McCarthy's Codebreaker (The Story of Alan Turning, set for SATB chorus, orchestra and soprano soloist) to the Charlotte and Nashville communities. In April of 2018, One Voice will collaborate with Allen University (an HBCU in Columbia, SC) to present the regional premiere of Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the Dream.

During his studies at the University of South Carolina, Gerald has been a finalist for the American Prize in Choral Composition three times (2015, 2016, and 2017). Most recently, Gerald was appointed as the TTBB Repertoire Chair for the Southern Division of the American Choral Director's Association. Gerald has been commissioned to write choral work for the following organizations: One Voice Charlotte, The Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte, Providence United Methodist Church (Charlotte, NC), The New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus, The Gay Men's Chorus of San Diego, The Women's Chorus of San Diego, The Richmond Men's Chorus (VA), Turtle Creek Chorale (TX), Sine Nomine (Denver, CO), and the University of South Carolina Women's Chorus. Beginning in the fall of 2018, Gerald will serve as the artistic director for the esteemed Twin Cities Gay men's Chorus. 


Honorable Mention: 
Ander De La Fuente Ibarreche
Syracuse NY
Elkarrekin Gaudela

Ander De La Fuente Ibarreche
Ander de la Fuente Ibarretxe from Bilbao, Spain. Composer, singer and music teacher.  He has collaborated with numerous choral groups in and outside Europe, including the European Academy Choir, the Basque Country University (EHU-UPV) choir, and the Syracuse University Oratorio Society (Syracuse; New York). He has also participated in several operas with the Rossini Choir of Bilbao and the Syracuse Opera of Syracuse, NY.

After completing his studies in Music Education and Musicology at the University of the Basque Country (EHU-UPV) and the University of La Rioja, he worked as a music teacher in Madrid. Since 2014 he has been living in Syracuse, NY teaching and composing. He has written several works for choir, wind, band, and organ. He has  several composition prizes. Including the 1st and 3rd prizes in the 21st “Gran Premio BBK” competition (2017) with his works "The Clock" and "The Hymn to Humor", respectively.
 


*** 
Congratulations!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

WINNERS: The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo division), 2018-19


The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge,is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, honorable mentions and citation recipients of The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo), 2018-19, 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

REMINDER: Because of many requests from artists with late spring and early summer performances, The American Prize 2019-20 will accept applications from CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new extended deadline date of Monday, July 1, 2019. Applications from COMPOSERS, CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS MARKETERS and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Monday, August 5, 2019. (Please note that although the dates on the application forms may not be changed, rest assured that your materials will be accepted if sent by the new deadline dates in the respective contest areas.)


The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo), 2018-19
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Svetlana Belsky
Northbrook IL  

Svetlana Belsky
Critically acclaimed as "a passionate pianist and scholar," Svetlana Belsky is an in-demand recitalist and chamber pianist, noted for her remarkable rapport with audiences and stylistic versatility. She has appeared in Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Canada, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and throughout the United States. Dr. Belsky has received awards both for her performances in international piano competitions, and for her advocacy of new American music.

Dr. Belsky’s annotated translation of Busoni as Pianist has been nominated for an American Musicological Society award. She has championed the music of Busoni internationally and has been interviewed by BBC Radio as the foremost American Busoni scholar.

Following emigration from the Soviet Union, Dr. Belsky studied with Emilio Del Rosario in Chicago. She earned her Bachelor of Music summa cum laude and Master's degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, studying with Ann Schein. Later, she earned her Doctorate in Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, working with Nina Svetlanova. As the Coordinator of Piano Studies at the University of Chicago, Dr. Belsky teaches students from four continents, among many other academic responsibilities.


2nd Place and Special Judges' Citation: "Outstanding Commitment to Music of Our Time"
Reed Tetzloff
Forest Hills NY

Reed Tetzloff
Reed Tetzloff (www.reedtetzloff.com) has distinguished himself as one of the brightest stars of a new generation of musicians.  He enthralls audiences with his “magical tone” (The Cincinnati Enquirer) and “ebullient” virtuosity (Gramophone). 

He made his New York debut at Alice Tully Hall in 2012, and now showcases his gifts in concert across three continents.

At the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015, Reed Tetzloff’s career received a major boost after being named one of twelve semifinalists.  His performances were praised in Russian media, which dubbed him “the lyric hero of the competition” and noted by music connoisseurs worldwide. 

He won prizes from other international competitions, including the Beijing International Music Festival and Academy, Cincinnati World Piano Competition, Cleveland International Piano Competition, and the Tbilisi International Piano Competition.

His debut solo album, “Sounds of Transcendence,” featuring music of Griffes, Scriabin, and Franck, was released in 2017 to wide critical acclaim.


3rd Place (there was a tie): 
Matthew Bengtson
Saline MI  

Matthew Bengtson
Versatile pianist, fortepianist, and harpsichordist Matthew Bengtson has a unique range of musical talents including composer, analyst, writer, and scholar of performance practice. An advocate of both contemporary and rarely performed music, he commands a rich and diverse repertoire spanning five centuries. He has performed across Europe and the US as recitalist, concerto soloist, and collaborator, including recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. His recordings can be heard on the Romeo, Arabesque, Griffin Renaissance, Albany, Musica Omnia, and Navona record labels. Mr. Bengtson is best known as an authoritative interpreter of the music of Scriabin and Szymanowski. On his recordings of the complete Scriabin Piano Sonatas, the American Record Guide writes: “Big-boned pianism, rich tonal colors, and dazzling technique are on display here. Has Scriabin ever been played better?” He is Assistant Professor of Piano Literature at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance.


3rd Place (there was a tie): 
Yi-Yang Chen
Johnson City TN

Yi-Yang Chen
Yi-Yang Chen is the assistant professor of piano and music theory at East Tennessee State University. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Mr. Chen has been playing the piano since the age of 8. He holds a Master of Music from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Robert McDonald and Jerome Lowenthal. Mr. Chen is currently a doctoral candidate in Piano Performance at the Eastman School of music, where he also received the Bachelor of Music degree- studying under Douglas Humpherys.

A wealth of experience enables Mr. Chen to become an outstanding performer. In 2017, he won first prize in the Washington International Competition and the Waring International Piano Competition, through which he gave his Carnegie solo recital debut at Weill Hall, and performed two concertos with Avanti Orchestra at Washington D.C. He also has solo/chamber masterclasses with Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Daniel Pollack, Joseph Kalichstein, Glenn Dicterow, Thomas Sauer and with members of the Cleveland, Shanghai, Borromeo, Brentano, Ying, and Guarneri String Quartets. 


Honorable Mention:
Andree-Ann Deschenes
Los Angeles CA

Andree-Ann Deschenes
French-Canadian pianist Andree-Ann Deschenes specializes in familiarly-danceable yet traditionally-influenced classical music from Latin American countries. She has found a calling for her art in Southern California, where she is currently recording and performing. Her recordings have garnered the attention of several radio stations across the country, in addition to being reviewed by publications such as The Whole Note and Fanfare. Her most recent release, “Villa-Lobos / Castro”, features music from Brazil and Argentina, with a special collaboration with renowned Cuban percussionist Calixto Oviedo.

With a keen interest in developing her uniquely diverse repertoire, Andree-Ann regularly performs and lectures in the Los Angeles area. Her training includes a Master of Music degree in Afro-Latin music from California State University Los Angeles, and she is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Claremont Graduate University. Learn more at www.aadpiano.com.


Honorable Mention:
Akiko Konishi
Chicago IL  

Akiko Konishi
AKIKO KONISHI received her early training in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and completed her undergraduate studies at Rice University as a double major in Music and English.  She continued her graduate studies at Yale University and University of Houston, under the guidance of renowned pianists Peter Frankl and Abbey Simon.  She has appeared as soloist with orchestras such as the D'Angelo Competition Orchestra, Oakland Symphony, Rio Hondo Symphony, Symphony North Houston, and the Chicago Federation of Musicians Orchestra.  Honors include finalist prizes in the Ima Hogg Houston Symphony Concerto Competition and F. Awerbuch International Piano Competition, and grand prize in the Entergy Young Texas Artist Competition.

Akiko currently teaches at Triton College in River Grove, IL, and also at the Music Institute of Chicago.  She completes her proposal this year on “Piano Transcriptions of the Romantic Era” as a national recipient of the 2016-2017 MTNA Professional Development Grant.




The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo), 2018-19
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
John Wilson
Miami Beach FL   

John Wilson
Hailed for his “Virtuosity” (Miami Herald), “elegance and energy” (Classical Miami Magazine),“inventiveness” (San Diego Tribune) and described as a “marvelous, musical mad scientist” (Music Critics Association of North America) American pianist John Wilson performs equally brilliantly as a solo recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral pianist. Most recently Wilson was featured in the San Francisco Symphony’s 2018 Carnegie Hall tour, under the direction of Mo. Michael Tilson Thomas, performing the solo pianoforte part to Stravinsky’s “Petrushka (1947). His playing was subsequently described as “brilliant” by the “Classical Voice” publication. His performances have been broadcast on WQXR, and Wilson has recorded for MSR Classics. Wilson has just been awarded an artist grant from The Belin Foundation which will sponsor a recording during the 2019-2020 season of all American solo piano music, which will include works by Michael Tilson Thomas, George Gershwin, and Aaron Copland, among others.

Wilson has performed extensively in North America, South America and Europe, in recital halls such as the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Center and at The American Academy of Arts and Letters. As a soloist he has performed with the New World Symphony, Napa Valley Symphony Orchestra, and both the New Amsterdam Symphony and Orchestra Camerata Notturna in New York City. He most recently won the prize for the "Best Performance of an American Work" at the 2017 Liszt- Garrison International Piano Competition.

An avid chamber musician, he has appeared in chamber ensembles with musicians of the San Francisco Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, violin soloist Anthony Marwood, and San Diego Symphony where his pianism was described as “highly inventive” by the San Diego Tribune. He has performed in duo recital with violinist Joshua Bell numerous times, cellist Johannes Moser, and soprano Audra McDonald.


2nd Place:
Hyejin Cho
Ann Arbor MI  

Hyejin Cho
Pianist Hyejin Cho is a versatile artist who is devoted to inspiring audiences through solo, chamber music, and has performed across the U.S.A., Germany, Italy, Austria, England and Korea. She is currently engaged in an all-Mozart Concerti project with Northern Illinois Chamber Orchestra. She is also developing a Schumann piano concert series in Freeport, Illinois, to support the community. She frequently performs with the award winning Koinonia Trio, which has been playing together since 2015. She earned a Master of Music and Artist Diploma in piano at Indiana University where she studied with Menahem Pressler, and she is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, under the guidance of Christopher Harding.


3rd Place: 
Anna Keiserman
Newark NJ  

Anna Keiserman
Russian born pianist Anna Keiserman received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance from Gnessin’s State Academy in Moscow, where she studied with the esteemed Vladimir Tropp. She holds Master of Music Degree from the University of Minnesota, and served as an adjunct instructor at NYU Steinhardt School of Music where she studied with the internationally acclaimed pianist Eteri Andjaparidze. She is currently enrolled in the Doctorate Program at the Mason Gross School of Music in the studio of Dr. Vladimir Valjarevich.

Ms. Keiserman is a prizewinner of several national and international competitions including first prize at the International Piano Competition of Young Musicians in 2002; second prize at the National Chamber Music Competition in 2001; second prize at the International Piano Competition in 1999; and winner of the Concerto Competition at the University of Minnesota in 2012. She has participated in prestigious music festivals including the Fete de la Musique in conjunction with the French-American Piano Society and Steinway & Sons at Sofitel in New York, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival, the Round Top Festival Institute and the New Paltz PianoSummer. After her debut at Carnegie Hall in May 2017 she was praised by New York Concert Review as a "brilliant" pianist. (Website: annakeiserman.com)


Honorable Mention and Special Judges Citation: "Recognizing the Artist’s Important Work Helping to Create and Sustain “88Keys to cure”"
Jarrett Takaki
Wilmette IL 

Jarrett Takaki
Jarrett Takaki, age 19, is a freshman at the Cleveland Institute of Music, in the piano studio of Antonio Pompa-Baldi. As a co-founder of 88Keys to Cure, Jarrett found that through music, he has the ability to inspire audiences nad raise funds to support those in need.  While in the studio of Sueanne Metz, Jarrett  performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the University of Alicante in Perugia Italy, the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago, the Harper College Symphony Orchestra and the MostArts Orchestra at Alfred University in New York. In 2017, he  was a prizewinner in the YoungArts Competition, the ENKOR International Music Competition, the IIYM International Piano Competition and the New York Piano Festival and Piano Competition.   In the summer of 2016, Jarrett won the Grand Prize in the Senior Solo and Concerto Divisions of the Indiana Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition.  In 2012, Jarrett won second place in the Junior Division of the Cleveland International Piano Competition and was a finalist in the 2013 Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition. 88keystocure.org

Honorable Mention: 

David Kotler
Allston MA

David Kotler
David Kotler is a student of Professor Pavel Nersessian at Boston University, where he is majoring in human physiology with a minor in piano performance. David has been the Division 4 first prize winner of the 2015 Steinway Society of Massachusetts piano competition, a second prize winner at the 2017 NEPTA Alice Hamlet piano competition, a third prize winner at the 2015 NEPTA Ruth Davidson piano competition, and a finalist at the 2014 A.Ramon Rivera piano competition. In 2013, he received a NEPTA’s Wanda Paik Award. David is also a graduate of the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA, where he served as co-president of the Music is Medicine Chapter - an organization committed to bringing music to hospitals and nursing homes, as senior editor of the literary magazine, and as four time captain of the varsity wrestling team.   

Honorable Mention: 
Anthony C  Lee
Cary NC

Anthony C  Lee
Anthony Lee is praised for his “innate sense of music” and “great intensity” in performance. Lee started his piano studies at the age of 7, but it was many years before Lee made his orchestral debut at age 16, and it was not until the following year that he started a competitive school track, attending the Interlochen Arts Academy, the University of Michigan, and the Eastman School of Music, studying with Yoshikazu Nagai, Logan Skelton, and Natalya Antonova, respectively.
Lee would attend the Prague International Masterclasses, Orford Musique, and the Atlantic Music Festival to work with great musicians like John Perry, Martin Canin, William Wolfram, and André Laplante.

As an organizer, Lee founded the Cary Classical Concerts in January of 2017, was featured in many of the concerts, and resides as the artistic director. Performances varied from Steven Spooner, concert pianist to “A Night of Dvorak,” and the Schumann Quintet.



The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo), 2018-19
(high school division)

The American Prize winner:
Henry Jiaxiang Huang
Columbia MO  

Henry Jiaxiang Huang
Henry Huang is a senior at Rock Bridge High School. He has won numerous competitions, including 2nd place in the 2019 NFMC Marilyn Caldwell Competition, winner of the South Central Region for the 2019 NFMC Stillman Kelly Competition, Honorable Mention in the 2018 Carmel Klavier – International Piano Competition for Young Artists, First Prize in the North International Music Competition, 2nd place in the University of Florida International Festival’s Pre-College Piano Competition, 2nd prize in the 2017 Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition, 3rd place in the 2017 Kansas City Symphony Young Artist Competition, and Honorable Mention in the 2017 MTNA Senior Missouri State Piano Competition. Henry has also attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Piano Summer Program in 2017.  


2nd Place:
Jasper Heymann
New York NY

Jasper Heymann
Jasper Heymann, 16, is a multi-award winning Young Scholar of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation. New York Concert Review lauded his Steinway Hall recital for his “astounding lyricism” and “deep emotional bond with the music”, while Chicago Music Report haled his Millennium Park performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto for his “impassioned delivery” and “dazzling performance that brought the audience to their feet.” Jasper will perform at the Leeds Piano Festival in April 2019 and has been a featured performer at winner’s recitals, charity benefits and galas at Carnegie Hall and other prominent venues. He is National Public Radio “From the Top” finalist, was chosen to study with Dina Yoffe at the Málaga International Music Festival and has received scholarships to festivals in Europe and the United States. Jasper attends Horace Mann School in NYC and studies piano with Elena Rossman. 


3rd Place: 
Jane Bua
New York NY

Jane Bua
JANE BUA attends Hunter College High School in New York City and is in her tenth year at Manhattan School of Music’s Pre-College Division.  Her distinguished teachers include Jeffrey Cohen and Solomon Mikowsky.

She has performed as a solo recitalist and chamber musician at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Great Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, The Kaye Playhouse, The National Opera Center, Decoda and Forum Musikae in Madrid Spain, among others.   Her performances have been broadcast on WQXR’s McGraw-Hill Young Artist’s Showcase.

Winner of Manhattan School of Music's 2017/2018 Chamber Competition, the 2017 Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Young Musicians Competition, the 2016/2017 American Prize for Chamber Music and First Prize Winner of the 2016 International Shining Stars Concerto Competition, Miss Bua debuted at the age of 15 with the New York Concerti Sinfonietta playing the Mendelssohn G Minor Concerto, under the baton of Paul Hostetter.  Music Critic for the Epoch Times, Michael Sherwin, reviewed “It was a big-league performance for one so comparatively young…indeed impressive for her technical command, keyboard facility, powerful tone, and interpretative conviction.”
  

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Congratulations!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

WINNERS: The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in art song)—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2018-19

Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, honorable mentions and citation recipient of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—men in art song, 2018-19—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards. 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 2018-19, based on submitted recordings.

REMINDER: Because of many requests from artists with late spring and early summer performances, The American Prize 2019-20 will accept applications from CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new extended deadline date of Monday, July 1, 2019. Applications from COMPOSERS, CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS MARKETERS and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Monday, August 5, 2019. (Please note that although the dates on the application forms may not be changed, rest assured that your materials will be accepted if sent by the new deadline dates in the respective contest areas.)


The American Prize in Vocal Performance—men in art song (professional division),  2018-19, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards

The American Prize winner:
Justin John Moniz
Springfield IL    

Justin John Moniz
Two-time winner of The American Prize in Vocal Performance, Justin John Moniz’s “superb high tenor” (South Florida Classical Review) and “commanding stage presence” (TalkinBroadway.com) has been thrilling audiences in opera houses, theaters, and concert halls across the nation, among them Opera Grand Rapids, Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, Sarasota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, the Opera Company of Middlebury, Opera New Jersey, DreamCatcher Theatre/Adrienne Arsht Center, Orchestra Miami, Gulfshore Opera, Palm Beach Dramaworks, the Orchestra of Northern New York, and Chicago Symphony Center. His unique style and versatility have afforded him an active career in opera, concert, and musical theatre, having sung over 80 roles to date. Most recently, Moniz’s star turn as Prince Karl Franz in The Student Prince with Opera Grand Rapids received high praise and great acclaim, the press hailing his performance as “simply outstanding…glorious” (Encore Michigan). His performance also earned him the prestigious BroadwayWorld Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Dr. Moniz currently serves as Coordinator of Vocal Studies at Millikin University and most recently served on the faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. In addition, he is Executive Director of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and a member of both the voice and directing faculties. He holds degrees from Florida State University, the University of Miami, and SUNY Potsdam. For more information, please visit www.justinjohnmoniz.com.


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Tomas Dominguez
Green Bay WI  

Tomas Dominguez
Tomás Dominguez received his BM from UW- Eau Claire and his MM from DePaul University, where he studied with Metropolitan Opera tenor Michael Sylvester.  He was heard recently as Prince Ramiro in Lyric Opera Studio Weimar's La Cenerentola in Weimar, Germany and portraying Jimmy Reno in Opera for the Young's “The Elixir of Love”. He teaches voice lessons in the Green Bay area including at the Birder Studio in DePere, WI and as adjunct faculty at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay. 



2nd Place (there was a tie):
David Tayloe
Tuscaloosa AL  

David Tayloe
A native of North Carolina, tenor, David Tayloe has been praised for his “lovely tenor that sings with Mozartean finesse.”  David has made appearances with the Santa Fe Opera, Opera Louisiane, Opera Birmingham, Naples Philharmonic, Virginia Arts Festival, Piedmont Opera Company, the A.J. Fletcher Institute, LSU Opera, and Frost Opera Theater. His recent roles include Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette, Jason in Farbermann’s Medea, Albert in Albert Herring, Gastone in La Traviata, Student in Michael Torke’s Strawberry Fields, Rinucchio in Gianni Schicchi, Candide in Bernstein’s Candide, and Mozart in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri. As a concert singer, he has performed as Obadiah in Elijah, the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion as well as the tenor soloist in the Magnificat, Finzi’s Dies Natalis, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Lord Nelson Mass, Paukenmesse, and Theresianmesse, Schubert’s A-flat Mass, and Britten’s Serenade.

Mr. Tayloe has performed with the Grammy nominated ensemble Seraphic Fire and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and Voices, among other professional ensembles.  He has been a performer at the Magnolia Baroque Festival in North Carolina, the Duffy Composers Institute at the Virginia Arts Festival and was twice awarded the Stern Fellowship at Songfest in Los Angeles where he will return for the summer of 2017. He has collaborated with Martin Katz and participated in master classes with Julius Drake, Christoph Pregardien, Graham Johnson, Renee Fleming, Wolfram Rieger, and Roger Vignoles. David holds degrees from University of Miami, Louisiana State University, and the Eastman School of Music. Additional studies at the Britten-Pears Institute at Snape Maltings in Aldeburgh, England.


3rd Place:
Michael Hix
Albuquerque NM  

Michael Hix
Baritone Michael Hix has been praised by critics for his "expressive voice" and "commanding stage presence." His career highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood Music Center, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and Vienna’s Musikverein. Hix is a sought after performer of concert/orchestral works with over 50 oratorio/cantata/concert roles in his repertoire. Recent European performances include the bass solos in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Heligmesse at the International Haydn Festival in Vienna, Austria and song recitals in Leipzig and Dresden, Germany.  He has been featured as a soloist in concerts with the Oregon Bach Festival, Arizona Bach Festival, Boston Pops, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Georgia Symphony, and the New Mexico Philharmonic, among others.


Honorable Mention / Special Judges' Citation: Exceptional Recital Concept
Bryan Pinkall
Manhattan KS

Add caption
Dr. Bryan Pinkall is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Kansas State University. Pinkall is a Grammy-winning soloist and chorister with Kansas City Chorale, winners of the 2013 & 2016 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance and Best Engineered Album, Classical in 2013. He was an rtistic manager for the 2016 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and for the Emmy-winning production of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony in Sochi, Russia.

Pinkall was a Kauffman Scholar at the University of Missouri Kansas City (DMA) and an Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellow at Yale University. He received his solo Carnegie Hall debut in 2014 with the National Festival Chorus, and was a featured soloist at the Grand Opening of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in 2011 along with Placido Domingo, Itzhak Perlman, and others.  Pinkall was named Distinguished Kansan of the Year in the Performing Arts by the Topeka Capitol Journal in 2014.  www.bryanpinkall.com


The American Prize in Vocal Performance—men in art song (college/university division),  2018-19, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards

The American Prize winner:
Benjamin Howard
Denton TX

Benjamin Howard
Marked as a “standout” (Chicago Tribune) and praised for his “intelligence, nuance, and heart-melting tone” (Chamber Music in Historic Sites), baritone Benjamin Howard is quickly becoming a sought-after young talent to watch. Equally at home in opera, musical theatre, oratorio, and art song, Mr. Howard was named a winner of The American Prize Chicago Oratorio Award in the spring of 2018. Shortly thereafter, he made his debut with Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, singing the roles of Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods and the Sergeant in The Barber of Seville. Other recent roles include Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro at Opera in the Ozarks and the title role in Don Giovanni at the University of North Texas. At Fort Worth Opera, Mr. Howard has performed in Don Pasquale and The Barber of Seville. He has also sung with the Dallas Opera Education & Outreach program. As a concert soloist, Mr. Howard has performed with such organizations as the Abilene Philharmonic, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, and Chicago’s Main Street Opera. The recipient of an Opera Buffs Inc. grant, Benjamin Howard is a Los Angeles native. He received his Bachelor of Music and Musical Theatre Certificate from Northwestern University and Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas. For more information, visit www.bhowardbaritone.com


2nd Place:
Austin Sinclair Harris
Missouri City TX   

Austin Sinclair Harris
Austin Harris is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. He plans to begin graduate study in voice in the fall of 2018.  He has performed at various venues including Jones Hall, the White House, and the Library of Congress.  His debut opera role was Top in Copland’s “The Tender Land”, and he has also played The Representative in Barab’s “A Game of Chance”, and Car Man in Ching’s “Speed Dating Tonight!” He won first place in the Junior Men Division at Texoma NATS.  He won second place in the Senior Men Division at Texoma NATS, making him eligible for national NATS, where he got seventh place in Senior Men.  He won first place at the South Texas NATS competition in both the Junior Men and Senior Men Division.  


The American Prize in Vocal Performance—men in art song (high school division),  2018-19, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards

The American Prize winner:
Pablo Rubin-Jurado
New York NY  

Pablo Rubin-Jurado
Pablo Rubin-Jurado is a vocal major at Juilliard pre-college, studying with Lorraine Nubar. He’s been in the NYYS Composition Program since 2015. In 2012, he sang “Amahl” in "Amahl and the Night Visitors" by Menotti at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. In 2013, he was the understudy for "Real Jake" in the Met Opera’s "Two Boys" by Muhly. As an invited guest artist at HPAF In 2014, he played “Miles” in “The Turn of the Screw” by Britten. In the American Protégé International Vocal Competition, he won first place and a judges’ distinction award in 2014, second place in 2016, and was selected for the 10th Anniversary Showcase at Stern Auditorium in 2017. In 2017, he also won 2nd place in the Hal Leonard Vocal competition and 2nd place in the New York Lyric Opera competition. He'll perform in the Gershwin International Music Competition 2017-2018 Outstanding Young Artists’ Concert Series. In 2018, he won the grand prize, best vocal technique, and most expressive performer awards in the Forte International Music Competition. This year, he also won a grand prize in the Enkor International Music Competition, a first place in the Rondo Vanguard Competition, and a second place in the New York Lyric Opera competition.


2nd Place:
Carl Ho
Houston TX  

Carl Ho
Carl Ho has been exposed to classical music from the moment he was born, with two older brothers always practicing piano and violin. After having also played piano and violin for 10 years, he began vocal training at the age of 12. He has placed 2nd place in the Greater Houston National Association of Teachers of Singing in both Classical and Theater Singing Division before finally placing 1st in Men's 10thgrade Classical Singing Division in April 2018. In addition to his singing achievements, Carl still plays violin, and was a 2017-2018 Houston Young Artist recipient. He is also an officer and performer in A-HOPE performance ensemble, a student club at the Clear Lake High School dedicated to raising money for charity. Most recently, he helped organize and perform in a benefit concert, raising over $6,000 to help the Houston Grand Opera repair damages suffered after Hurricane Harvey.



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Congratulations!