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.  


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Congratulations!

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