Tuesday, September 17, 2019

WINNERS: conductors (orchestra), 2018-19

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David Volosin Katz, chief judge, is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, honorable mention and citation recipient of The American Prize in Conducting, 2018-19, in orchestra 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.

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.

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


The American Prize in Conducting—professional orchestra division, 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
David Bernard
Massapequa Philharmonic 

Park Ave. Chamber Symphony
New York NY  
 
David Bernard
David Bernard has gained recognition for his dramatic and incisive conducting in the United Stated and in over 20 countries on four continents.

He serves as Music Director of the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony and the Massapequa Philharmonic, and also serves as conductor for the Eglevsky Ballet’s critically acclaimed production of The Nutcracker produced each December at Long Island’s Tilles Center of the Performing Arts.  As a sought after guest conductor, David Bernard will be making his debut this season with the Dubuque (IA) Symphony, Danbury (CT) Symphony and the Greenwich (CT) Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared as a guest conductor with the Brooklyn Symphony, the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Island Symphony Orchestra, the Litha Symphony, Manhattan School of Music, the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble, the Putnam Symphony and the South Shore Symphony.

Noted recent performances include a Lincoln Center performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (“Conducting from memory, David Bernard led a transcendent performance…vivid…expertly choreographed.”, LucidCulture) and a Carnegie Hall performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (“taught and dramatic”, superconductor).  David Bernard’s recordings have received enthusiastic critical praise. His release of Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique was lauded by Gramophone Magazine as “…an impressively elegant, thoughtful, well balanced and sophisticated Tchaikovsky Pathétique.” Of his Beethoven Symphony No. 9 release, The Arts Desk proclaimed “Scintillating Beethoven…Edge-of-the-seat playing…it’s a winner: dramatic, witty, eloquent and boasting some startling choral work in the last movement.” His complete recorded Beethoven symphony cycle was praised by Fanfare magazine for its “intensity, spontaneity, propulsive rhythm, textural clarity, dynamic control, and well-judged phrasing”. Of his recent premiere recording of new editions of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and The Firebird, The Art Music Lounge proclaimed “this is THE preferred recording of The Rite because of its authenticity as well as the almost startling boldness of approach.”


2nd Place:
Jordan Randall Smith
Symphony Number One
Baltimore MD   

Jordan Randall Smith
Jordan Randall Smith is the Music Director of Symphony Number One, Music Director at Hunt's Church, and Conductor of the Hopkins Concert Orchestra at the Johns Hopkins University. Jordan's leadership of Mahler's fourth symphony was praised by the Baltimore Sun: "The third movement, in particular, was quite sensitively molded." Conductor Alan Gilbert called Jordan’s conducting, “impressive.”

A 2010 Bruno Walter Fellow at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Smith studied with Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier and conducted the festival orchestra in concert. Jordan has recorded six commercial releases and led over 40 world premieres.

Smith has mentored hundreds of young musicians in ensembles across the country and is currently the conductor of the Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra Symphonia. A Doctor of Musical Arts candidate in Conducting at the Peabody Conservatory, Jordan was invited to give a TED Talk at TEDxMidatlantic 2017 and is a contributor to Baltimore Magazine.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Paul Mauffray
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic

Zlin Czech Republic 
Paul Mauffray
Paul Mauffray made his 2018 New Orleans Opera debut conducting the Louisiana Philharmonic in Chadwick's opera “Tabasco” which he reconstructed from the 1894 manuscript. He has conducted Janacek and Dvorak at the Mariinsky Theatre in Russia and recorded excerpts from “The Scarlet Letter” with the Brno Philharmonic.  He conducted at the Bucharest National Opera, Slovak National Opera, Schleswig-Holstein Landestheater, Opéra Louisiane, and Mobile Opera.  Mauffray won 2nd Prize in the Bartok International Opera Conducting Competition and has 20 years conducting experience with European orchestras and operas in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Lyon, Salzburg, St. Petersburg, and Vienna. After studies in Germany and the Czech Republic, he earned his master's degree in conducting at Indiana University. He is a frequent conductor with Czech orchestras, at Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna, and has often performed as conductor with soloists from the Vienna Philharmonic. Paul is an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. www.paulmauffray.com


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Elaine Rinaldi
Orchestra Miami
Miami FL   

Elaine Rinaldi
Elaine Rinaldi, Founder and Artistic Director of Orchestra Miami, is a Miami native who has chosen to return home and reinvest in her community. Under her artistic supervision, Orchestra Miami has performed high quality classical music concerts to literally thousands of people through its annual “Beethoven on the Beach” Free Outdoor Concerts and introduced over 25,000 school children to classical music through its collaboration with the MDCPS Cultural Passport Program and In-School Performances. Under her tenure, Orchestra Miami has introduced countless numbers of children and their families to classical music through the Nicklaus Children’s Pinecrest Outpatient Center Family Fun Concert series and has encouraged scores of Miamians to learn more about their city through the “Discover Miami Through Music” series. In addition to her work in Miami, Ms. Rinaldi is one of the nation’s top vocal coaches, focused on training the next generation of opera singers.



The American Prize in Conducting—college/university orchestra division, 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
Rebecca Tong
Music School Festival Orchestra
Chautauqua NY 

Rebecca Tong
Rebecca Tong is the Resident Conductor of the Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra. She received her Masters at College – Conservatory of Music under Mark Gibson. In 2016/17 she was the Conducting Fellow with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In 2017, she was the recipient of David Effron Conducting Fellowship for the Chautauqua Institution working with Timothy Muffitt. She is also the 2018 Junior Fellow in Conducting with the RNCM working with Sir Mark Elder.

She has worked with Steven Isserlis, Jahja Ling, Lev Polyakin, the Great Wall String Quartet, Jessie Chang, Jeff Thayer, Martha Aarons. The Jakarta Post called her “… the young addition for Indonesian classical music…”

Highlights include performance of Elgar Cello Concerto with Steven Isserlis and Gustav Holst "The Planets" in collaboration with astronomer & visual artist - José Francisco Salgado. She attended masterclasses with Neil Varon, Gustav Meier, Leon Fleisher, Mark Gibson, Roberto Paternostro, and John Farrer.


2nd Place:
David Rahbee
University of Washington Symphony Orchestra
Seattle WA  

David Rahbee
David Alexander Rahbee is currently Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and teaches conducting. He also serves of faculty of the Pierre Monteux School and Music Festival as Conducting Associate. He is recipient of the American- Austrian Foundation's 2003 Karajan Fellowship for Young Conductors, the 2005 International Richard-Wagner-Verband Stipend, and the Acanthes Centre in Paris in 2007. He has recently worked with the Seattle Symphony, Orchesterakademie der Bochumer Symphoniker, the Seattle Modern Orchestra, and Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja. He participated in masterclasses with Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Jorma Panula, Zdeněk Mácal, Peter Eötvös, and Zoltán Peskó. His principal conducting teachers were Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo at the Monteux School. He holds degrees from Indiana University, New England Conservatory, and University of Montreal. He also studied at Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Tara Villa Keith
Davidson College Symphony Orchestra
Davidson NC   

Tara Villa Keith
Tara Villa Keith is in her sixteenth season as music director of the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra (DCSO) in North Carolina and in her tenth season as music director of the Lee County Community Orchestra (LCCO) in Sanford, North Carolina. As an associate professor of music, she teaches a plethora of college courses and is a guest lecturer and clinician throughout the region. Tara also serves as a cover conductor and instructor for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony 101 adult education program. Tara has won national awards for her work with both the Davidson and Lee County orchestras, and has guest conducted orchestras throughout the south, northeast, and abroad. In 2008, she was the recipient of a League of American Orchestras Women Conductors Grant. Tara holds degrees from Franklin & Marshall College, the Pennsylvania State University, and the University of South Carolina. Please visit her website at taravillakeith.com.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Yutaka Kono
The University of Vermont Symphony Orchestra
Burlington VT

Yutaka Kono
Dr. Yutaka Kono serves as the Director of Orchestra/Associate Professor of Music at the University of Vermont and also is the conductor of Vermont Youth Philharmonia of Vermont Youth Orchestra Association. He was named the Artistic Director of the Burlington Chamber Orchestra in 2015.  He received degrees from Bowling Green State University, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from The University of Texas at Austin.  He studied conducting with Jerry Junkin, Mark Kelly, Eugene Dowdy, Peter Bay and Silas Huff, and attended the Summer Conductors Institute at the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Maestro Neil Varon and conducted the Rochester Philharmonic.  Dr. Kono was the Assistant Conductor of the Kingsville Symphony Orchestra (TX) and previously taught at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He has been placed as the finalist for The American Prize in orchestral conducting at the college/university, professional, and youth orchestra divisions. www.yutakakono.com  



The American Prize in Conducting—community orchestra division, 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
David Anderson
Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra
Lake Geneva WI

David Anderson
David Anderson is quickly gaining a reputation as a talented and versatile conductor who has led remarkable growth in a wide variety of settings. He is currently in his eighth season as Music Director of the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he is on the faculties of Seton Hill University and the University of Pittsburgh, the conductor of the Johnstown Symphony Youth Orchestra, and a freelance pianist in the Pittsburgh area. He previously served on the artistic staff of the Elgin Youth Symphony as Philharmonia Conductor and Chamber Music Institute Director, and as Conductor-in-Residence at Beloit College.

A native of Clovis, New Mexico, Anderson holds piano degrees from Baylor University (BM, summa cum laude and MM, with distinction) studying under internationally renowned artist and teacher Krassimira Jordan. After beginning conducting studies under the guidance of Stephen Heyde at Baylor, he went on to earn a degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign under the tutelage of Donald Schleicher. He was awarded the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship for the 2006-07 academic year, which funded travel throughout the country to study with master conducting teachers. In 2006, David was a finalist for the Conductors Guild’s prestigious Thelma A. Robinson award.

Anderson has collaborated with soloists Midori, Rachel Barton Pine, Christopher Martin, Brandon Ridenour, Brant Taylor, Li-Kuo Chang, Matthew Treviño, Krassimira Jordan, Timothy Ehlen, and the Chicago cast of the Jersey Boys. He is an active clinician and adjudicator, having conducted numerous honors orchestras at the secondary level.


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Lois Ferrari
Austin Civic Orchestra
Austin TX 

Lois Ferrari
Lois Ferrari is Professor of Music at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and has been a member of the faculty since 1993. Dr. Ferrari conducts the SU Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, teaches conducting classes, and serves as host and clinician for the SU Conductors Institute. In addition to conducting clinics and festivals throughout the state of Texas, Dr. Ferrari has conducted all-state and all-county ensembles in Washington and new York states. An enthusiastic champion of new music, Dr. Ferrari founded the ACO Composition Contest and is proud to have premiered more than twenty-five works during the course of her career. She has also been intimately involved with nurturing future virtuosi, most notably through the ACO's Pearl Amster Chamber Music Festival and Texas Rising Stars Contest.


A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting, Dr. Ferrari received a full doctoral fellowship and was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Her principal teachers were Donald Hunsberger, Rodney Winther, David Effron, and Donald Neuen. Dr. Ferrari was awarded 2nd place in the 2016 and 2012 American Prize Competition in Community Orchestra Conducting. http://loisferrari.wix.com/maestra-lois-ferrari


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Matthew Makeever
Milwaukee Philharmonic
Milwaukee WI

Matthew Makeever
Matthew Makeever is a multi-faceted conductor based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Matthew conducts the Milwaukee Philharmonic, a regional ensemble, of which he is a founding member and also serves and Artistic Director. Matthew frequently directs the premieres of new works and advocates for dialogue between living composers and the ensembles performing their works.  He is the 2017 winner of the College Orchestra Directors Association Competition in Washington D.C., where he worked extensively with the Hillsdale College and University of Tulsa Orchestras, and participated in a masterclass with renowned pedagogue Anthony Maiello.  Matthew has participated in workshops with world class conductors Diane Wittry, Sasha Mäkilä, Tito Muñoz, and Kyle Pickett.  His principal teachers include Matthew Savery, and Dr. Jun Kim.  Matthew holds a Masters of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  


3rd Place:
Pierre-Alain Chevalier
Baytown Symphony Orchestra
Baytown TX

Pierre-Alain Chevalier
French born conductor Pierre-Alain Chevalier is an engaging performer and dedicated music educator. He has performed with orchestras across the country and was a winner of the International Conductors Workshop and Competition in Atlanta, Georgia in 2016. Chevalier is Visiting Lecturer/Director of Orchestral Activities at Stephen F. Austin State University and Music Director of the Baytown Symphony Orchestra. Previous posts include adjunct instructor of music at San Jacinto College, Lone Star College, and Houston Community College. Chevalier is an active clinician and performer and holds degrees from the Moores School of Music (Doctor of Musical Arts: Orchestral Conducting), The Hartt School (Master of Music: Orchestral Conducting) and Willamette University (Bachelor of Music: Music Education).


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Reuben Blundell
The Chelsea Symphony
New York NY 
 
Reuben Blundell
Reuben Blundell became a Chelsea Symphony conductor following an October 2012 audition concert, conducting TCS in several concerts each year, also frequently serving as concertmaster. During that time, he has conducted other orchestras, including the New World Symphony in their John Cage Centennial, conducting the professional orchestra in La Serena (Chile), and for the US State Department/American Voices, repeated trips to teach and perform in Iraqi Kurdistan and Lebanon. Collaborating with the Fleisher Collection, he released three CDs of premieres of American Romantic era compositions in the last three years through New Focus Records (distributed by Naxos), the first two of string orchestra with the Gowanus Arts Ensemble (which he founded), and the third with the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra, in suburban Philadelphia, which he directs. In New York, he leads New York’s Riverside Orchestra and teaches at Trinity School. His primary conducting studies were at Eastman (DMA) and Monteux. Website: www.reubenblundell.com   
 


The American Prize in Conducting—school and youth orchestra division, 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
Alyze Dreiling 
YPO Festival Orchestra
San Diego CA    

Alyze Dreiling
Alyze Dreiling, www.alyzedreiling.com  is an award-winning conductor, and accomplished violinist and violist in San Diego. In addition to serving as the YPO Soloists Ensemble Artistic Director and Conductor since 2010, she conducts the San Diego Civic Youth Orchestra Symphonic Orchestra and has guest conducted the San Diego Master Chorale and Cabrillo Chamber Orchestra to name a few. She was also the founding Artistic Director and Conductor of Classics for Kids, a fully professional orchestra performing specialty youth concerts in the San Diego area. Ms. Dreiling’s performing violin credits include: soloist with the Detroit Symphony, Philharmonica Hungarica at the Vienna Summer Festival, Florida Chamber Orchestra, concertmaster of the Knoxville Symphony and Knoxville Chamber Orchestra. With composer, Myron Fink, she received a recording prize from Contemporary Recording Society for the production and release of a CD featuring Fink’s Violin Sonata #1 and subsequently the Violin Sonata #2


2nd Place: 
Michael Webster
Houston Youth Symphony
Houston TX

Michael Webster
A multifaceted musician, Dr. Michael Webster is known as clarinetist, conductor, composer, arranger and educator. Professor of music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, he has been artistic director of Houston Youth Symphony since 1997. He led the Symphony at the inauguration of Houston Mayor Lee Brown, at Carnegie Hall, and at the 2002 National Youth Orchestra Festival in Sarasota, Florida, as one of six orchestras selected from applicants nationwide. Rarely featuring an orchestra, NPR’s national radio show “From the Top” invited HYS to perform in September 2012.

Dr. Webster served as assistant conductor of the Asian Youth Orchestra under Yehudi Menuhin, music director of the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, and director of the Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has held faculty positions in clarinet and conducting at the University of Michigan, New England Conservatory, Boston University, and Eastman School of Music, where he had earned his three degrees. (www.MichaelWebsterClarinet.com


3rd Place:
Emily Schaad
Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra

Greenville County Youth Orchestra 
Asheville NC  
Emily Schaad
Emily Schaad is in her third season as music director of Greenville County Youth Orchestras and Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestras, and conducts the advanced orchestras for both. She is a founder and artistic director of Stringendo, Inc., a non-profit youth orchestra school in New York’s Hudson Valley. Ms. Schaad has taught middle and high school strings, performed internationally as a fiddler, and has conducted with soloists such as Midori and Garrick Ohlsson. She performs as a violist with Asheville Symphony and Greenville Symphony and is active as a guest conductor. Studies include Curtis Institute of Music, Appalachian State University, and Boston University.


Career Encouragement Citation: 
Dorian Neuendorf
Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra
Hendersonville NC

Dorian Neuendorf
Dorian Neuendorf is currently Artistic Director of the Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Union Symphony Orchestra, and Operations Manager of the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra. She has recently served as Assistant Conductor to the National Music Festival, Principal Conductor of the Columbia Community Orchestra in Columbia, South Carolina and Assistant Conductor for Opera at the University of South Carolina. Dorian has appeared in concert with the Union Symphony Orchestra, the National Music Festival Orchestra, Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra, the St. Michel Strings, the Nanchang Philharmonic, USC Symphony Orchestra, USC Campus Orchestra, and the Cleveland State University Chamber Orchestra, among others. Dorian holds a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition and Bassoon Performance from Cleveland State University. dorian-neuendorf.com


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Congratulations!

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