Monday, June 4, 2012


Friedrich Schorr as Wotan
The American Prize is very pleased to announce the winners of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2012, in the art song division. 

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.  

Information about The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2013, will be posted to our website in several weeks. In addition to competitions in art song and opera for professional, college/university, community and high school vocalists, the contests will also include an additional performance opportunity in oratorio for 2013.

Please note that the final rounds of the art song and opera competitions are judged separately and independently. Do make us aware of any misprints in the listings below:

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2012—PROFESSIONAL ART SONG DIVISION (women) 

The American Prize winner:
Soprano Sharin Apostolou’s roles include Susanna, Nannetta, Gilda, Musetta, Adina, Rodelinda, Le Feu, Belinda, and Fortuna at Portland Opera, Utah Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, and The Macao International Music Festival. She has been in seen in concert with the Oregon Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, National Chorale, Bremen Philharmoniker, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center, Caramoor Festival, and New England Baroque Soloists.  She holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Manhattan School of Music.

2nd Place:
Soprano Rebekah AuYeung is a versatile singer, equally at home in opera, oratorio, and recitals. Her most recent concert highlight was singing Bach’s Cantata 51 on the New York Philharmonic’s Chamber Series. Her opera roles include Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Susanna (Marriage of Figaro) and Almirena (Rinaldo). Upcoming performances include Haydn’s Creation, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and Grieg’s Peer Gynt. You may read more about Rebekah at her newly launched website:

3rd Place:
Maggie Schwenker’s recent stage credits include The Medium (Baba) and Hänsel und Gretel (The Sandman). She has competed in and won voice competitions hosted by such organizations as NATS and MTNA. Maggie’s extensive solo engagements include the alto soli in Schubert’s Mass in G, Mozart’s  Requiem, and Handel’s  Messiah. Maggie recently completed her MM in Vocal Performance from the UNCG School of Music. She has studied under Levone Tobin-Scott, Daniel Weeks and Dr. Randall Black.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2012—PROFESSIONAL ART SONG DIVISION (men) 

The American Prize winner:
Tenor Matthew Garrett is a graduate of Brown University and the Juilliard School. Operatic engagements include Scottish Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Omaha, Glimmerglass Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Connecticut Opera, Eugene Opera, Syracuse Opera, Jacksonville Symphony, and others.  Recent concert appearances have included the Los Angeles and Las Vegas Philharmonics, Cincinnati May Festival, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Arion Ensemble, Basel Festival Orchestra, Opera Orchestra of New York, Virginia Symphony, and others. 

2nd Place:
Tenor, Christian Ketter most recently had the pleasure of being musically coached and staged by composer Carlisle Floyd in a concert celebrating his works. A 2012 Shreveport Opera Semi-Finalist (3/12), Mr. Ketter has studied under and sung in masterclasses with renowned artists: Tito Capobianco; Nathan Gunn; Diana Soviero; Enrique Patrón de Rueda; Joan Dornemann; David Friedman; and Sherrill Milnes. For more information about Mr. Ketter go to 

3rd Place:
Jeffrey Hill, 26, tenor was a featured young artist at both Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Music Academy of the West. Carnegie Hall recital debut 2011. Recital debuts in Paris and New York, and winner of several competitions, including the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition, and The American Prize (2011). Featured in reviews as “a force to be reckoned with, [a voice] that sounds effortless but absolutely commands the listener’s attention,” “impressively rich and full-bodied” and “a born entertainer.”

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2012—COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY ART SONG DIVISION (women) 

The American Prize winner:
A lyric soprano with an engaging presence on stage, Ruth Hartt has been praised for her “warm and flexible” singing and genuine character portrayals. For her recent performance of Beatrice in Jake Heggie's Three Decembers she was hailed as "simply lovely." Ruth recently returned from the Gerdine Young Artist Program at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where she covered the role of Donna Elvira. Roles performed include Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), and Clorinda (La Cenerentola). 

2nd Place:
Elizabeth Mary Sutphen, mezzo-soprano, is a fourth year undergraduate at The Juilliard School. In 2011 she won First Place National in Shirley Winston Rabb Scholarship and The National Young Musicians Showcase. Elizabeth was a soloist in The New York Festival of Song at Juilliard and appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Juilliard Opera Theater and Aspen Music Festival. She will appear as Il Cavalier Ramiro in the Juilliard Opera Theatre’s  La Finta Giardiniera.

3rd Place:
Deborah Blakesley’s most recent roles include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, La Principessa in Adriana Lecouvreur, Mrs. Grose in Turn of the Screw and Aunt March in Little Women (Banff Opera Centre), the Witch in Hansel and Gretel (Whatcom Symphony Orchestra), as well as several leads at Western Washington University. Upcoming roles include Bersi in Puget Sound Concert Opera’s Andrea Chénier, Mozart's Magic Flute in both the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and the Astoria Music Festival, and Clotilde in a production of Norma featuring Angela Meade and Ruth Ann Swenson (Astoria). She will be attending the University of British Columbia for a Masters in Opera in the Fall.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2012—COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY ART SONG DIVISION (men)

The American Prize winner:
Baritone Matthew J. Daniels was born and raised in Ft. Pierce, FL. He holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts degrees from Florida Atlantic University. He is currently in the Doctor of Musical Arts program at Louisiana State University, where he studies with Dr. Loraine Sims. He taught as adjunct professor of voice at Florida Atlantic University and Indian River State College prior to attending LSU. He frequently performs opera and musical theatre roles. 

2nd Place:
Originally from Springfield, Illinois, Andrew Bawden, a doctoral student studying with Professor Kevin McMillan, is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Urbana Center for Alexander Technique, and the Eastman School of Music. In 2007, he was the first place winner and audience favorite winner of the Rochester Classical Idol Competition. Recent credits include roles with Opera Vivente, Ash Lawn Opera Festival, Hubbard Hall Opera Theater and Tri-Cities Opera. Mr. Bawden was a winner of The American Prize Chicago Opera Award in 2012.

3rd Place:
Baritone Michael Orlinsky has performed with Nevada Opera Theatre, Opera Las Vegas, UNLV Opera Theatre, Sin City Opera, Sieur Du Luth, Opera On Tap, RagTag Entertainment, North Park University, and more.  He also produced, directed and portrayed Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief in a production that toured Las Vegas.  Michael recently started his Graduate studies at North Park University (NPU) in Chicago studying with Dr. Karen Bauer.  He will be singing the baritone solos The Seven Last Words of Christ in March 2012, Papageno The Magic Flute in April 2012 with NPU and Schlemil/Hermann in Tales of Hoffman with Katydid Productions in June of 2012.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2012—HIGH SCHOOL ART SONG DIVISION (women)

The American Prize winner:
Clare Demer is a 17 year old senior at University High School in Tucson, AZ.  Clare began her music studies with piano at age 6 and discovered her love for singing when she was 13.  In 2009 and 2010 she sang with the Youth Choral Academy, as part of the Oregon Bach Festival.  In 2011, she attended the Walnut Hill Summer Opera Intensive in Natick, MA, and Italy.  A student of Stephanie Morgan Fox, Clare is a 2012 NFAA YoungArts Honorable Mention winner.

2nd Place:
Soprano Grace Canfield, won first place in the Chicago NATS competition in 2011.  A high school senior, Grace placed second in the Elgin Opera competition and performed in the 2010 Songfest season at Pepperdine University.  Last summer she participated in the Castleton Festival season, making a cameo appearance in Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins under the baton of Lorin Maazel.  A student of Nancy Gustafson, Grace hopes to continue her musical studies at a conservatory next fall. 

3rd Place:
Maddie is a high school freshman who loves all kinds of music and spends every available minute learning, performing, or listening to music. She sings in her high school Chorale as well as the Columbus International Children's Choir.  Maddie is in her eighth year of piano lessons and holds certificates in piano and music theory. She is also in her high school drama club and, when time permits, participates in musicals at the community theater.


The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2012

Special Judge's Citation for Unique Achievement in Artistry and Enrichment
Called “fearless” and “intense” by the Baltimore Sun, Alyssa Bowlby “acted as impressively as she sang” (Houston Press).  She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2007 singing Manon (Massenet).  Roles include: Queen of the Night, Adele, Fiordiligi, Clorinda, Nannetta, Frasquita, Marzelline, Mme. Herz, Queen of the Night, and Miss Wordsworth. She holds a BA - Haverford College (Magna cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Departmental High Honors) and an MM - Peabody Conservatory (Pi Kappa Lambda).


Congratulations to all winners and runners-up.

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