Thursday, April 30, 2020

Winners: MEN in OPERA, The Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2019-20

Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.
 


The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—men in opera, 2019-20—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.

COVID EXTENSION: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize 2020-21. In addition, application deadlines have been extended. We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Further extensions may be granted pending the most current information about the virus. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

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, based on submitted recordings.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—men in opera (professional division),  2019-20, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards

The American Prize Winner
Leo Radosavljevic       
Wilmette IL


Leo Radosavljevic        
Recent Third-Prize Winner of the International Klaudia Taev Competition in Estonia, Bass-Baritone Leo Radosavljevic is making a name for himself as a unique performer in the world of opera. He attended Juilliard from 2007-2013, receiving BM and MM degrees in voice with scholastic distinction, studying with Dr. Robert C. White. While at Juilliard, he sang several operatic roles including Bottom in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Simone in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Tobia Mill in Rossini's La Cambiale di Matrimonio, and Willi Graf in the U.S. premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Kommilitonen!, which won him critical acclaim from The New York Times. Since his time at Juilliard, Leo has performed around Europe and North America as Don Alfonso in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, with the DuPage Opera Theater in Chicago, and as soloist with Juilliard 415, in their west coast tour and Canadian Broadcasting Company recording of Telemann's rarely heard Die Tageszeiten. Last season he performed the role of Manders in Blitzstein’s Regina with the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Orbazzano in Rossini’s Tancredi with Teatro Nuovo, and covered the role of Bertrand in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta with Chicago Opera Theater. This summer he will be performing the bass solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the DePaul Community Chorus and orchestra, and is covering the role of the King in Verdi’s Aida, with Riccardo Muti and the CSO. Leo currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.


2nd Place:
Geoffrey Agpalo   
Evanston    IL 

Geoffrey Agpalo    
Tenor, Geoffrey Agpalo, is praised for his “effortless open sound.” His performances are described as “proud and majestic” with a voice that is “relentlessly tragic.”

Past highlights include the world premier of Jack Perla’s Shalimar the Clown at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as well as roles in their productions of The Barber of Seville and Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. He also received acclaim for the role of Jim Casy in the new production of The Grapes of Wrath by Ricky Ian Gordon, performed in Saint Louis as well as Michigan Opera Theatre.

Geoffrey is a recipient of The William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation Career Grant, the Richard Gadded Career Award and has been a District winner with the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and finalist for the Ryan Opera Center.

Geoffrey Agpalo is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and holds a Master’s degree from Northwestern University.

3rd Place:
Daniel Kamalic  
Rochester     NY

Daniel Kamalic   
Lyric-dramatic tenor Daniel Kamalić has been praised for his “big, stunning voice” (Chris Buchanan, Berkshire Fine Arts) with “exciting, tremendous force and a burnished tonal quality” (Larry Kellum, Town Times). 2017-18 saw international soloist debuts for Mr. Kamalić with the Israel Chamber Orchestra (Der Kaiser von Atlantis) and with the Medulin Classic Festival in Croatia (Trio Veljak), as well as with the New York State Ballet (Carmina Burana), New Opera NYC (The Golden Cockerel), New Rochelle Opera (The Merry Widow), and concerts with Miami Lyric Opera and Opera Theater of Connecticut.  Other highlights:  Lensky in Eugene Onegin (Connecticut Lyric Opera), Luigi in Il Tabarro (Garden State Opera), Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana (Pioneer Valley Symphony), Turiddu/Canio in Cavalleria/Pagliacci (Maryland Lyric Opera), Alfredo in La Traviata (Long Island Opera).  An champion of new music, he has performed in numerous opera premieres, most recently the title role in Sawyer’s The Scarlet Professor (Five College Opera) in Massachusetts last season, and the Gestapo Officer in the orchestral premiere of Detrick’s The Yellow Star (Garden State Opera), and the role of Pietro Botto in the upcoming premiere of Santelli's The Silk City (Garden State Opera).  www.kamalic.com

    *** 
Congratulations!

Finalists: CHORAL ENSEMBLES, 2019-20

The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.

 The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce FINALIST choruses for 2019-20 in all divisions. Congratulations!

"Very fine choirs. I am delighted that so many excellent choral ensembles have advanced. Regardless of the final outcome, size of program or location, all deserve finalist recognition..."—DK

Runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when results will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

"At The American Prize, there is never a set number of finalists in any category or division. We also try hard to not be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination. That is one reason why we post the following statement with every finalist listing."—DK

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
 
We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

REMINDER: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize 2020-21, In addition, we will accept applications from CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new extended deadline date of Monday, June 23, 2020. Applications from COMPOSERS, CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS MARKETERS and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Monday, July 20, 2020. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

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NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Choral Performance—professional division, 2019-20

mirabai  
Sandra Snow, conductor
East Lansing MI 

Dallas Chamber Choir  
Jon L. Culpepper    
Dallas TX   

Madison Choral Project 
Albert Pinsonneault 
Madison  WI   


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Choral Performance—college/university division,  2019-20

East Carolina University Chamber Singers  
James Franklin     
Greenville   NC   

USD Chamber Singers
David Holdhusen    
Vermillion   SD   

Western Oregon Voices  
James Reddan 
Monmouth  OR   

Baylor A Cappella Choir
Dr. Brian A. Schmidt
Waco  TX   

U Mass Chamber Choir   
Tony Thornton     
Amherst  MA   

Western IL University Singers     
Brian J. Winnie 
Macomb IL   


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Choral Performance—community division, 2019-20

The Helios Ensemble
Benjamin Hansen 
Tucson AZ   

San Francisco Choral Artists 
Magen Solomon, conductor
San Francisco  CA 

Baltimore Choral Arts Society   
Anthony Blake Clark, conductor 
Baltimore   MD  A

Una Voce—The Michael Martin Chorale 
Dr. Michael G. Martin 
Hilliard OH   

Orpheus Club Men's Chorus    
John J. Palatucci    
Ridgewood    NJ   

Ensemble Companio
Erik Peregrine    
Northeastern US   

Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble  
Loren W. Ponten 
Seattle  WA   

Susquehanna Chorale
Mitchell Sensenig     
Mechanicsburg PA 
Linda Tedford, conductor

Te Deum  
Matthew Shepard
Kansas City  MO   

Illuminati Vocal Arts Ensemble   
Tony Thornton     
Amherst  MA   


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Choral Performance—youth division, 2019-20

Angelica Cantanti Treble Singers
Philip Brown  
Bloomington  MN   

Notre Dame Children's Choir  
Dr. Mark Doerries     
Notre Dame   IN   

Parker Elementary School Chorus  
Marianna Parnas-Simpson   
Houston  TX   

Fifth Avenue Falcons   
Shawn M. Small  
Lebanon  PA


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Choral Performance—high school division, 2019-20

Goose Creek HS Chamber Choir 
Jordan D. Boyd   
Goose Creek  SC   

Urbandale Singers
Ted Brimeyer     
Urbandale    IA   

Connetquot HS Concert Choir  
Brad Drinkwater   
Bohemia  NY   

Brearley B-Naturals
Karyn Joaquino     
New York NY   

Willard HS Chamber Choir     
Mark Lawley 
Willard  MO   

Hicksville HS Chamber Singers   
Michelle Shmuel 
Hicksville   NY   

Hilliard Darby Symphonic Choir   
Michael G. Martin, conductor  
Hilliard OH 

Centennial HS A Cappella Choir   
Francis Vu 
Frisco TX   

***

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! Our ensemble has just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing results in the division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.


  

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Winners: COMPOSERS (opera, theater, film, dance division), 2019-20

The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.
 


The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, chief judge, is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipients of The American Prize in Composition, 2019-20, opera/theater/film/dance 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.

COVID EXTENSION: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize 2020-21. In addition, application deadlines have been extended. We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Further extensions may be granted pending the most current information about the virus.. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

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


The American Prize in Composition—(opera/theater/film/dance) professional division, 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
Zach Redler      
Greenwich    CT   
The Falling and The Rising  

Zach Redler      
Zach Redler is a music theater composer whose work has been performed in concert halls, opera houses and theaters around the world. Ben Brantley of the New York Times said, Zach’s “music becomes a character that both connects and divides the others." In 2014, the American Theatre Wing awarded him the Jonathan Larson Grant. Some of his favorite theater compositions are: The Memory Show, Movin’ Up In The World, Loving Leo, Windows, A Song for Susan Smith, ADAM, and, his most recent American Prize award winning piece, The Falling and The Rising (libretto by Jerre Dye). Currently, he is working on a chamber opera commission for Houston Grand Opera (Dye), a new piece for Opera Memphis (Dye), and a piece for Opera on the James with text by young poets. He is adjunct faculty at NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, a part-time AP Music Theory teacher at Greenwich Academy, a private music, yoga, and meditation teacher, loves cooking plant based meals for his family, and enjoys running ultramarathons. Love to his wife Brittney and two children, Henry and Ellis.


2nd Place:
Eva Conley Kendrick   
Millis     MA  

Misfortune   

Eva Conley Kendrick   
Eva Conley Kendrick writes in many mediums including opera, musical theatre, chamber music, song cycles and orchestral works. Awards include the Judith Lang Zaimont Prize from the International Alliance of Women in Music, 17 ASCAPLU$ awards, and grants from the American Composers Forum and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She received an Honorable Mention from in The American Prize in the Opera/Theater Division and was a Semi-Finalist in the Chamber Music Division. Dramatic works include four short operas, three musicals and Emily, a chamber opera about Emily Dickinson. Operatic collaborations include Boston Opera Collaborative, Thompson St. Opera Company and Gateway Opera. She is the Music Director of First Parish Medfield; Professor of Voice and Music Theory at Dean College, and Director of the Eva Kendrick Voice Studio. She holds a Masters of Music in Composition with Distinction from the Longy School of Music. For more, please visit www.evakendrick.com.


3rd Place:
Wallace De Pue, Sr.   
Bowling Green    OH
  
Something Special   (a Barbershop Quartet Opera)

Wallace De Pue, Sr.   
Wallace Earl De Pue was born October 1, 1932, in Columbus, Ohio. At Ohio State University High School, Wallace studied oil painting.  He also learned about script writing and wrote a series of radio shows that were broadcast over local radio.  In addition, he wrote his first operetta libretto and also composed music for his class graduation ceremony. Capital University accepted Wallace De Pue where he completed two bachelor degrees within five years, one in music education (BME) and another in music composition (BM).  At Ohio State University, he completed a Master of Arts degree (MA).  He earned a Ph.D. in music composition and theory at Michigan State University.  Dr. H. Owen Reed was his major professor. High school choral music positions in Leetonia, and Dover, Ohio, respectively, provided Wallace De Pue with teaching experience.  His next position was as Curator of Music at The Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo, Ohio). In 1966, he joined the faculty of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Three of his operas have been produced: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, (recorded on cassette by Oceans Records, Los Gatos, CA.), Something Special (televised several times and seen on Youtube.com), and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (performed numerous times). The Wonderful Witch of Oz, his new opera, is aimed at pre-school children and is written on the subject of ecology. Dr. De Pue has won consecutive ASCAP awards for more than 26 years. Dr. De Pue’s works have won awards at both the state national, international, and world-wide levels.  In 2014, he won the “Gold Medal” award of the Boston Metro Opera.

Since 1998, Wallace De Pue has been a Professor Emeritus from Bowling Green State University. Currently, he is directing his own ASCAP licensed publishing company, Picardie Court Publications. Compositions are for the following media: Choral works (all vocal combinations, a cappella and accompanied); orchestral and band works; pieces for two-to-four violins, some accompanied by piano; songs for all voice qualities (some with piano accompaniment); keyboard works (piano, organ, hammer dulcimer, and harpsichord); solo percussion works; instrumental solos and ensembles, and the aforementioned operas.

Dr. De Pue authored Creative Music Theory Skills, a book concerning beginning music theory for potential composers. His textbook was used successfully at Bowling Green State University.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Richard Chiarappa    
West Hartford    CT  
Lincoln and Booth: The Concert Musical

Richard Chiarappa    
Richard Chiarappa is the founding music director of the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra (WHSO.org). He was formerly the music director of the Bristol Symphony Orchestra from 1991-2002.

His music has been performed by professional, community and school orchestras as well as by bands and choruses. Many of his pieces are for sale on JWPepper.com and his Clear Mud Publishing website, CMPUB.com. The following symphony orchestras have performed Chiarappa’s music: Rockford SO, Cape Cod SO, Southern Illinois SO, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Gulf Coast SO, Pacific SO, Arlington SO, and the South Bend SO.

Now part-time to devote time to composing and guest conducting, Mr. Chiarappa has been a full-time faculty member since 1979 at Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford. He is a member of ASCAP, the Dramatists Guild, CMEA, NAfME, as well as the League of American Orchestras and Conductors Guild.


Finalist Honorable Mention:
Judith Lynn Stillman   
Providence     RI    
Small Step, Giant Leap: A Lunar Fantasy

Judith Lynn Stillman   
Judith Lynn Stillman holds Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Juilliard. Hailed by Wynton Marsalis as “remarkable, a consummate artist." Winner 18 competitions, Pell Award in the Arts; Artist-in-Residence and Professor at Rhode Island College, and an internationally-renowned composer, pianist, choral conductor.

Stillman's compositions have received extensive national media coverage: "breathtaking masterpiece," "Stillman's true genius shines... she reaches for the stars and succeeds brilliantly...transports us through darkness toward life and growth," "startlingly beautiful musical score."

World premieres at Lincoln Center, highlights include Marlboro, Tanglewood, Grammy's honoring Rostropovich, Artist-in-Residence in China, Russia, Czech Republic, Beijing's Central Conservatory, Prague Conservatory, Royal Conservatoire. Collaborators include Wynton Marsalis (duo album, SONY), Mark O'Connor, Richard Stoltzman, Herbie Hancock (BOSE commercial), members of NY Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Borromeo, Cassatt, Shanghai Quartets. 

As composer-filmmaker, winner Best Score, Best Multimedia Film, Best Music Video, Audience Choice Awards in international film festivals in NYC, LA and in the UK. https://judithlynnstillman.com


The American Prize in Composition—(opera/theater/film/dance) student division, 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
Raphael Lucas  
Dix Hills    NY  

Confessions

Raphael Lucas  
Multidisciplinary and transversal artist, Raphaël LUCAS was recognized as a "major talent, with an excellent technique and a remarkable melodic gift" by the American composer Gunther Schuller. He is currently artist in residence at the Abbaye de Sylvanès in Aveyron, France. His most recent works include a vocal piece for 8 voices a cappella Hymne on a text by French author Mathias Enard premièred in August. He’s currently working on an oratorio commissioned by the Abbaye de Sylvanès on the life of Russian 14th century’s figure Sergey Radoneghzky to be premiered in July 2020.

Premiered in April 2009, his one-act opera Confession received the 2010-2012 prize for best contemporary chamber opera, awarded by the National Opera Association. It has received three university productions, the most recent of which took place in March 2019 at the Westchester Performing Arts Center (NY), performed by the Purchase Opera company and the Purchase Symphony Orchestra (State University of New York college at Purchase). In September 2011, the label Albany Records (United States) released the first commercial recording of Confession in its full symphonic version, conducted by Hugh Murphy. The American Record Guide magazine wrote: "His style is lush, but does not try to pretend that the twentieth century did not exist. There are shifting harmonies, a striking orchestration and an elegant tension between darkness and beauty." His composition works also include a song cycle for baritone and piano on a selection of poems by Federico García Lorca (2012) as well as an electronic music piece, John In The Woods (2011). Raphaël Lucas was born in Sète, France, in 1983.


2nd Place:
Calvin Hitchcock    
Brooklyn  NY     

819: based on the Stanford Prison Experiment     

Calvin Hitchcock    
Described as “impressive,” and having “a fine ear for sonority” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review), Calvin Hitchcock (b. 1995) is a composer and performer currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Fascinated by the human condition and our innate affinity for polarization, his work explores bridging the gap between audience and the stage, often challenging perceptual paradigms through narrative, religious subversion, and interdisciplinary integration. He has worked with ensembles such as the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Longleash, Great Noise Ensemble, and the Beo String Quartet, and been a featured composer at Indiana State University’s Contemporary Music Festival, TUTTI Music Festival (Denison University), and the Charlotte New Music Festival & Dance Co-Lab. Calvin frequently works as a composer for theatre, and has received a Kennedy Center Certificate of Merit for his incidental music. Calvin holds a BM in Composition from Cedarville University in southwest Ohio. soundcloud.com/calvin_hitchcock



3rd Place:
Hans Bridger Heruth     
Liberty      MO 
 
A Certain Madness  

Hans Bridger Heruth     
HANS BRIDGER HERUTH (b. 1997) is an award-winning composer whose music has been praised as “lovely and delicate” (The American Prize) and for having an “invigorating richness” (KC Metropolis). In addition, he is a conductor, pianist, singer, and violinist of distinction, pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Composition at the University of Missouri. As a composer, his works have been performed by many different ensembles, most notably the KC Vitas Chamber Choir, the Show-Me Opera Program, and Deviant Septet. His chamber opera, “A Certain Madness”, was premiered with great acclaim and to sold out houses – based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, critics raved “Sherlock Holmes has never sounded so good” (KBIA). His current projects include a new work entitled “Wytchkraft” for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Gemma New. Heruth has studied composition with Stefan Freund, Ian David Coleman, Paul Seitz, and W. Thomas McKenney.


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Congratulations!

Finalists: CONDUCTORS (choral divisions), 2019-20

The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce 2019-20 FINALIST conductors in choral divisions. Congratulations!

Runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when results will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until complete the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
 
We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

COVID EXTENSION: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize 2020-21. In addition, application deadlines have been extended. We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Further extensions may be granted pending the most current information about the virus. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

***

NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—schools division, 2019-20

Philip Brown                
Angelica Cantanti Treble Singers    
Bloomington   MN 

Brian J. Winnie               
Western IL University Singers             
Macomb    IL

Michael G. Martin
HIllard Darby Symphonic Choir
Hillard OH



NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—community division, 2019-20

Carol M. Cei
Paoli Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir 
Paoli   PA  

Minji Kim
University of Maryland Summer Chorus
College Park MD

Anthony Blake Clark
Baltimore Choral Arts Society
Baltimore MD
  
Timothy  McDonnell           
Catholic University of America Chamber Choir 
Washington DC  



***

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing results in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.


Monday, April 27, 2020

Winners: COMPOSERS (pops / light music division), 2019-20

The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.
 

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, 2019-20, 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.

COVID EXTENSIONS: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize 2020-21. In addition, application deadlines have been extended. We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Further extensions may be granted pending the most current information about the virus. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

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


The American Prize in Composition—Pops/Light Music Division (professional division), 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
Penka Kouneva             
Tujunga  CA     
EARTH

Penka Kouneva              
Los Angeles-based composer Penka Kouneva is known for her "exceptional talent" (Billboard). Her orchestral music has been called "breath-taking" (NPR) and "luminous" (Forbes.) She has composed the music to the NASA attraction Heroes and Legends at the Kennedy Space Center, the iconic video games Prince of Persia and League of Legends, the primetime TV series Pandora (with composer Joe Kraemer), a 2020 Oscar contender in Foreign language films (Aga) and multiple feature films. Her orchestral music has been performed at the Hollywood Bowl by Los Angeles Philharmonic and at Lincoln Center (Amy Andersson's Women Warriors). The top soundtrack label Varese Sarabande released her orchestral albums Woman Astronaut and Rebirth of Id  to rapturous press. Penka's chamber music for the concert stage has been commissioned by Lark and Ciompi Quartets & Elixir Trio. Her awards include a Sundance Composer Fellowship, Distinguished Duke Alumna, Meet the Composer Fellowship and Recognition Award from Game Audio Network Guild. In 2019 Penka's orchestral commission "Betrayal of Technology" was premiered by Sofia Philharmonic to great critical acclaim. Penka received the first-ever Ph.D. in composition at Duke University where she studied with the renowned American orchestral composers Stephen Jaffe and Scott Lindroth.  www.penkakouneva.com

 
2nd Place:
Heather Niemi Savage              
Wood River Jct  RI     
Daughter of the Stars

Heather Niemi Savage               
Heather Niemi Savage studied composition under Dr. Larry Bell and Howard Frazien.  In composition, as in life, she explores the interaction between the old and the new, tradition and innovation, examining every nuance and implication of her experiences and musical ideas. Composer Walter Saul has described her work as “stunningly resourceful with scant material.”

Heather’s works have been performed in a variety of contexts including the national conference of the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers; the 2016 Rhode Island All-State Festival; the 2017 New Music Festival in Fitchburg, MA; and commemorative events at local churches. Her work, Daughter of the Stars, was premiered in Manhattan by the North/South Consonance chamber orchestra.

Heather resides in Rhode Island, where she is also a collaborative pianist, the music director of Carolina Free Baptist Church, and maintains a private teaching studio. More of her works and further information can be found at www.heatherniemisavage.com.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Jennifer Bellor              
Las Vegas  NV       
High Resolution    

Jennifer Bellor               
Described as "evocative" (Jazz Weekly), "lyrical," and "mesmerizing" (textura), the music of Las Vegas-based composer Jennifer Bellor has been presented by Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, American Composers Orchestra, Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, Wuhan Philharmonic Chamber Series, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Lviv Philharmonic, Transient Canvas, UNLV Wind Orchestra, Clocks in Motion, Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, Eastman Saxophone Project, Elevate Ensemble, and many others in the US and abroad.

Bellor's recent album “Reflections at Dusk” was released by Innova Recordings November 2019, and showcases instrumental music inspired by the Nevada sunsets. The album has been described as “crepuscular,” “mystical,” and “magical.” Textura stated, “She's also that rare composer whose music manages to be instantly listenable and emotionally resonant without any compromise to its sophistication.” High Resolution was one of the pieces featured on the album, and was premiered at Carnegie Hall by the Clark High School Symphony Strings. The New York Concert Review described the work as “atmospheric, dream-like quality. It is an effective work that is worthy addition to the repertoire.”

Bellor holds a PhD in music composition at Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree in composition at Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music at Cornell University. She is on the composition faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and artistic director of the new music series Nextet. www.jenniferbellor.com.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Jonathan Graybill            
Baltimore  MD     
Winter Celebration 

Jonathan Graybill             
Jonathan Graybill garners his influences from nature, field recordings, history, and the legends and stories of the indigenous people of North America in his music. Currently, Graybill is invested in an ongoing project, the Ancient Language of Birds, which consists of a series of works that pair a solo instrument with field recordings of the songs and calls of single avian species from North America. The birds are connected to stories of Native Americans origin, exploring the cultural meanings and early names of these birds. His music has been recorded on Ablaze and Navona Records. More info at: www.JonathanGraybill.com  


Finalist Honorable Mention: 
M.L. Daniels              
Round Rock  TX     
Mysterious Journey 

M.L. Daniels               
Nationally renowned composer Dr. M.L. Daniels received his doctorate at the University of North Texas where he studied composition with Samuel Adler.  He served as chairman of the music department for 15 years at Abilene Christian University and taught music theory, orchestration, counterpoint, analysis, and composition.  He has also served as staff arranger for Warner Bros. Music.

Dr. Daniels has won the National School Orchestra Associations composition contest five times.  He has over 100 published compositions including works for brass ensemble, solo wind instrument and piano, full orchestra, string orchestra, band, and string quartet.

Dr Daniels is the Composer-in-Residence for the Williamson County Symphony Orchestra.  So far, the Orchestra has played over twenty of his compositions, many of them premier performances.  He currently has 42 pieces listed at Luck’s Music.


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Congratulations!

Finalists: CONDUCTORS (band/wind ensemble), 2019-20

The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce 2019-20 FINALIST conductors in band/wind ensemble divisions. Congratulations!

("What a happy time listening and watching. Many semi-finalists have been advanced; many privileged encounters with fine conductors, which all translates to: respect for the most experienced practitioners and encouragement to the younger professionals."—DK)

Runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when results will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until complete the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
 
We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

COVID EXTENSION: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize 2020-21. In addition, application deadlines have been extended. We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Further extensions may be granted pending the most current information about the virus. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

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NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—professional and college/university band division, 2019-20

Eddie W. Airheart             
TCU Wind Symphony
Fort Worth  TX                

Lindsay Bronnenkant          
University of Michigan Students      
Ann Arbor   MI             

Jack A. Eaddy, Jr.           
US Army Band "Pershing's Own"        
Washington   DC       

T.  Andre Feagin               
Colorado State University Symphonic       
Fort Collins  CO                

Joel M. Graham               
George Mason University Wind Symphony     
Fairfax   VA         

Michael Hancock              
University of Oklahoma Wind Symphony      
Norman  OK                

Tremon Kizer                
University of Central Florida        
Orlando  FL                

Verena Mosenbichler-Bryant  
Duke University Wind Symphony        
Durham  NC                

Devin Otto                 
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Wind Ensemble      
Oshkosh   WI                

Lauren Reynolds             
University of Delaware Wind Ensemble      
Newark   DE                

Corey Seapy                
Bands at the UMKC Conservatory       
Kansas City   MO                

Marc Sosnowchik           
University of South Florida Symphonic     
Tampa  FL                

Shayna  Stahl                
University of Washington Wind Ensemble    
Seattle   WA                

Boyang Yu                   
New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble     
Boston   MA                


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—community and school division, 2019-20

Nicolas Propes               
Big River Brass Band                 
Quad Cities  IA/IL    

Matthew Salvaggio            
University Heights Symphonic Band    
University Heights  OH       

Greg Jackson              
Saint James Symphonic Ensemble       
Montgomery    AL

***

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing results in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.


Friday, April 17, 2020

FINALISTS: bands / wind ensembles, 2020

The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce FINALIST bands/wind ensembles for 2019-20 in all divisions. Congratulations!

Runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when results will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

"At The American Prize, there is never a set number of finalists in any category or division. We also try hard to not be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination. That is one reason why we post the following statement with every finalist listing."—DK

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
 
We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.


REMINDER: Because of the current national and international situation, The American Prize 2020-21 will accept applications from CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new extended deadline date of Monday, June 23, 2020. Applications from COMPOSERS, CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS MARKETERS and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Monday, July 20, 2020. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

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NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance—college / university division, 2019-20

NEC Symphonic Winds
William Drury                
Boston   MA                  

Texas A&M Kingsville Wind Symphony  
Scott Jones               
Kingsville  TX                  

Liberty University Wind Symphony     
Dr. Stephen Kerr
Lynchburg  VA                  

UNLV Wind Orchestra
Thomas G. Leslie
Las Vegas  NV                  

William & Mary Wind Ensemble         
Richard Marcus               
Williamsburg VA                  

University of Delaware Wind Ensemble      
Lauren Reynolds             
Newark   DE                  


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance—community division, 2019-20

The Allentown Band 
Ronald Demkee      
Allentown  PA

Boulder Concert Band
Marilyn R. Kroner               
Boulder  CO

Connecticut Flute Orchestra          
Nadya Potemkina            
Middletown  CT


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance—high school division, 2019-20

Cuthbertson Blue Note Winds         
Todd Ebert                
Waxhaw   NC                   

James Bowie Wind Symphony            
Rumaldo Solis                
Arlington TX                   

Rivera Wind Ensemble
Alex R. Torres               
Brownsville  TX                 


***

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! Our ensemble has just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing results in the division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.


  

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Finalists: MUSICAL THEATER PRODUCTION, 2019-20

Marilyn Miller, 1930s Broadway star
The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce NATIONAL FINALISTS in musical theater performance for 2019-20. Congratulations!

Runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when results will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: theamericanprize@gmail.com

"At The American Prize, there is never a set number of finalists in any category or division. We also try hard to not be about "winners" and "losers," but always seek to encourage excellence, creativity and imagination. That is one reason why we post the following statement with every finalist listing."—DK

If you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.
 
We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

REMINDER: Because of the current national and international situation, The American Prize 2020-21 will accept applications from CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new extended deadline date of Monday, June 23, 2020. Applications from COMPOSERS, CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS MARKETERS and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Monday, July 20, 2020. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

*** 

NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Musical Theater Performance, 2019-20

Belmont University
School of Music       
Nancy Allen                
Nashville  TN 
Side Show
                                   
Denison University                   
Belinda Andrews-Smith        
Granville  OH   
Chicago                                 

Bob Jones University                 
Dr. Darren P. Lawson               
Greenville  SC       
Titanic     

Schwob School of Music
Columbus State University
Joshua May  
Columbus   GA     
Speed Dating Tonight                       

University of Wisconsin—Madison          
David Ronis                
Madison  WI  
Into the Woods
                                 
***

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog.

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! Our ensemble has just been selected as a finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing results in the division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

WINNERS: The American Prize in Piano Performance (concerto), 2019-20: The Lorin Hollander Award

The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.
Lorin Hollander


The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Piano Performance (concerto), 2019-20—The Lorin Hollander Award, in professional and college/university divisions. Congratulations!

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

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

The American Prize LORIN HOLLANDER AWARD celebrates the artistry of one of the greatest pianists of his generation. Lorin Hollander has appeared as guest soloist with virtually every major symphony orchestra in the world and is a veteran of over 2,500 performances across the globe. The American Prize is delighted to share the legacy of this legendary artist through the re-naming of the award for Piano Concerto Performance in his honor. For more about the extraordinary life and career of Lorin Hollander, please visit http://lorinhollander.com/

COVID EXTENSION: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize 2020-21. In addition, application deadlines have been extended. We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Further extensions may be granted pending the most current information about the virus.Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

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The American Prize 
in Piano Performance (concerto), 2018-19—The Lorin Hollander Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Anna Dmytrenko    
Newark DE     
Prokofiev—Concerto No. 2 in G minor
Anna Dmytrenko    
Ukrainian-American pianist Anna Dmytrenko has performed extensively at such renowned venues as Carnegie Hall, Kimmel Center of Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, Auditorium Gaber, Paris Philharmonie, and Salle Cortot, among others.

Anna Dmytrenko has won prizes in many international piano competitions including Cantu International Piano Competition (First Prize), Olga Kern International Piano Competition (Second Prize, Audience Prize, Contemporary Piece Prize), Manhattan International Music Competition (First Prize), Dorothy MacKenzie Artist Recognition Competition (First Prize), Viardo International Piano Competition (First Prize), Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition (First Prize), and Ricard Viñes International Piano Competition (Third Prize).

Recent performances with orchestras include the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, the New Mexico Philharmonic, KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orquestra Simfonica del Valles.
Anna studied at the Juilliard School with Oxana Yablonskaya, the Royal Academy of Music in London with Christopher Elton, and the University of the Arts in Berlin with Pascal Devoyon.
www.annadmytrenko.com


2nd Place:
Susan Merdinger    
Highland Park IL      
Brahms—Piano Concerto No. 2
Susan Merdinger    
Steinway Artist, Susan Merdinger has been internationally acclaimed in prestigious newspapers and journals for her stunning performances. Among her many honors, Merdinger is a two-time First Prize Winner of the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in Professional Solo and Duo Piano, a two-time Gold Medalist of the Global Music Awards, Winner of Best Classical Album in the Clouzine international Music Awards, Winner of the Dewar’s Young Artists Award in Music, Winner of the Artists International Young Musicians Competition, and 2nd Prize Winner in the American Prize for Chamber Music. Performing her sold-out solo recital debut in Carnegie Recital Hall at age twenty-four, Merdinger has continued to grace the stages of some of the world’s best concert halls. She has appeared as soloist with professional orchestras such as the Chicago Philharmonic, the State Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, the Ridgewood Symphony, the Rockland Symphony and the Northbrook Symphony and has been a frequent Visiting Artist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series. Merdinger’s live performances and recordings have been broadcast worldwide on WQXR, WFMT, BRT-3 (Belgian National Radio), NPR and BBC Television. Merdinger received her formal education at Yale University, the Yale School of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music. She is on the Faculty of Summit Music Festival in New York, Burgos Music Festival in Spain, and is Founder and Artistic Director of Sheridan Music Studio LLC, The Five Greene, Sheridan Solisti, and Pianissimo! Ensemble.


3rd Place:
Hyekyeong Hannah Cho 
Lacey   WA      
Stenhammar—Concerto No. 2 in D minor
Hyekyeong Hannah Cho 
South Korean-born pianist Hannah Cho is an active and versatile piano performer as a soloist and collaborative pianist.  She also actively involves piano pedagogy as a piano adjudicator of WSMTA and a jury member of many piano competitions.


     She holds the B.A. degree of Piano performance Dong-A University under Prof. HyeSun Park and Prof. YoungMoon Cho. She also earned Master Degree and “Konzertexamen” of Piano Performance from Pancho Vladigerov National Music Academy at Sofia, Bulgaria under Prof. Anton Dikov.

     She won several competitions including the Korea Music Association piano Competition, American Prize 2013 of piano solo division(2nd Prize) and at American Protégé International Competition in 2015(1stPirze).   She has been having numerous concerts as a soloist with several orchestras and as a chamber musician in Korea, Bulgaria, Japan and U.S at many venues includes Carnegie Weill Hall.

     Currently, she is working at St. Martin’s University as a piano faculty of Lacey, WA and as a worship pianist at Tacoma First Baptist Church of Tacoma, WA.  She is a performing member of Ladies Musical Club in Seattle, WA.


The American Prize 
in Piano Performance (concerto), 2018-19—The Lorin Hollander Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
Bogyeong  Lee 
North Liberty   IA        
Mozart—Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor

Bogyeong  Lee 

 Bogyeong Lee was born in South Korea. She was admitted to the Korean Educational Center for Gifted Children. Later on, she graduated the Incheon Arts School and Dankook University. Lee was proud to be admitted, and graduate, as a top fellowship student. She earned Master of Music Degree, studying with Emile Naoumoff, in Indiana University with Graduate Tuition Award and Artistic Excellence Fellowship. Currently, she is pursuing DMA under Ksenia Nosikova at the University of Iowa, while holding the position of Teaching Assistant and Pre-College Piano Conservatory. Lee is a winner of Concerto Competition at University of Iowa in 2018. Special Award for Contemporary Work from E-Piano Musik Fest in Minnesota in 2017. She achieved the 1st prizes of Carl Czerny National Music Competition. Korean Herald Music Competition, the classic music magazine “Edu-classic” Competition, The Superintendent Youth Music Competition, Seo-got Cultural Festival Competition, Central Music Daily competition, South Korea.



2nd Place:
Eunhae Choi
Savoy   Il     
Beethoven—Concerto No. 3  in C minor

Eunhae Choi

An active pianist and lifelong educator, Eunhae Choi is currently a Doctoral candidate for the Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Literature at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was awarded scholarships and fellowships while she was studying. Also, she holds a Master of Music degree at University of Texas at Austin, a Bachelor of Music degree at Hanyang University in South Korea. Her primary teachers include Prof. William Heiles, Gregory Allen, Young-In Lee, and Lilie Jang.


 As a dedicated teacher, Ms. Choi has studied Piano Pedagogy as her cognate minor while her doctoral studies and her teaching experience includes serving as the instructor from Piano Project program at the UT Austin and served as a President of the U of I Music Teachers National Association Collegiate chapter in 2016-2017. She was invited to present at the ISMTA conference in 2017 and now teaching at Piano Laboratory Program at Illinois. Also, she is a member of ensemble Seonmul which presents fusion of Korean traditional and western music.



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Congratulations!