Friday, May 8, 2020

Winners: WOMEN in ART SONG & ORATORIO, 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—women in art song, 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.

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.

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.


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

The American Prize winner:
Ann  Cravero
West Des Moines IA

Ann  Cravero
Ann Belluso Cravero, acclaimed mezzo-soprano recitalist and soloist, has been heard on stages in Italy, China, and throughout the United States including repeat performances at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. She recently made her debut at Symphony Hall in Chicago as the 2019 Winner of The American Prize in Oratorio, and performed as soloist of Mahler's 2nd Symphony with soprano, Michèle Crider for the re-dedication of Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City.

Highly sought after for her interpretation of new music, Cravero’s “strong” portrayal of Virginia Woolf in the 2016 staged adaptation of The Diary of Virginia Woolf under the direction of Håkan Hagegård, honored Dominick Argento – the composer in attendance (Ordway Center, Source Song Festival). Cravero also coached with the late Stephen Paulus and soloed two performances of his work, To Be Certain of the Dawn. She premiered and toured commissioned works by the Iowa Composers’ Forum with pianist Miko Kominami, and has frequently soloed with the Center for New Music in Iowa City. In 2019, Cravero returned to the opera stage to perform the role of ‘Ma’ in Copland’s The Tender Land with the American Gothic Performing Arts Festival.

Ann is the recipient of the 2019 Vocal Pedagogy Award from the NATS Foundation. Likewise, she is the district winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award competition, and received honorable mention for the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Audition. She was awarded the Donald Walker Vocal Scholarship for Outstanding Vocal Achievement at the University of Iowa, Outstanding Academic Achievement in the field of Music Education from Bradley University, and 1st place winner of the Bradley University Piano Concerto Competition.

Dr. Cravero is Associate Professor of Voice at Drake University, and is President of The National Association of Teachers of Singing Iowa Chapter. Cravero has served on the faculty of Sherrill Milnes' Savannah Voice Festival, and the International Lyric Academy Italy.

Ann Cravero holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Iowa where she studied with Stephen Swanson and Katherine Eberle, and a Bachelor of Music Education with emphasis on Piano and Voice from Bradley University. For further information on the artist please visit anncravero.com or at https://www.facebook.com/anncraveromezzosoprano/


2nd Place:
Melissa Zgouridi
Salzburg   Austria 

Melissa Zgouridi
Described as an “eye-catching” singer with an “attractive, ample voice” (Beckmesser.com) and “superb dramatic instinct” (El País), Brazilian-American mezzo-soprano/alto Melissa Zgouridi, is quickly making a name for herself both in Europe and in her native USA. Most recently she was awarded 5th Prize as well as the Extraordinary Prize “Mercedes Viñas” at the 57th International Tenor Viñas Singing Competition in Barcelona. She was a District Winner in the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, has been the recipient of the Young Talent Award at the Immling Festival's International Singing Competition, First Place in the Friends of Eastman Opera Vocal Competition, and the winner of a 2015-2016 Fulbright Grant.

Melissa graduated with distinction from the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg (Austria) in 2018 with a Master’s Degree in Lied and Oratorio performance, where she studied Lied with Thérèse Lindquist and voice with Michèle Crider. Melissa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York (USA), where she studied with Dr. Robert McIver. Some of Melissa’s performance highlights include the Alto Solo in Händel’s Messiah with Scratch Muziekdagen Leiden in the Netherlands, performing as a Lehrbuben Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, conducted by Christian Thielemann and directed by Jens-Daniel Herzog at the 2019 Salzburg Easter Festival, and the role of Roßweiße in a concert version of Die Walküre with the Staatstheater Augsburg in Germany.

In September 2020, Melissa will be a featured Britten-Pears Young Artist at the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), where she will work with Anne Sofie von Otter and Malcom Martineau. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Melissa was scheduled be a featured Festival Artist with Opera Saratoga (USA) from May through July 2020, where she would have sung Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, performed the Alto Solo in Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, and covered the role of Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert & Sullivan).

Melissa will join the ensemble of Saarländisches Staatstheater in January 2021. Her upcoming roles include Siegrune (Die Walküre), Mercédès in (Carmen), and the title role in the new opera, Marlène Baleine.

For a full biography and more information, please visit www.melissazgouridi.com.

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Thea Lobo
Sarasota FL

Thea Lobo
Hailed as "excellent", "impeccable", "limpidly beautiful", "impressive", "stunning", and "Boston's best", Grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano Thea Lobo's recent engagements include performances with The Shakespeare Concerts, EnsembleNewSRQ, Callithumpian Consort, College of the Holy Cross, True Concord, and MassOpera. Ms. Lobo has previously appeared under conductors Gunther Schuller, Stephen Stubbs, Joshua Rifkin, and Andris Nelsons, and has been featured by Boston Baroque, Naples Philharmonic, Handel + Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Europäisches Musikfest Stuttgart. Her dedication to new music, art song, and early music has seen her featured on True Concord's 2016 Grammy winning recording of Stephen Paulus's 'Prayers & Remembrances', a prizewinner at the Bach Vocal Competition for American Singers, and creating the duo ‘Songeaters’ and archive ‘Indictus Project' with pianist Eunmi Ko, among many other endeavors. Thea Lobo is a graduate of New England Conservatory and Boston University, and represented by Vocal Artists Management.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Penelope Shumate
Macomb  IL

Penelope Shumate
Praised by The New York Times for singing with “bell-like clarity and surpassing sweetness,” and by The New York Concert Review for “her sparkling coloratura perfection,” Penelope Shumate debuts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London for a recording at Abbey Road Studios this summer 2019. She has appeared as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, and both David Geffen Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. She has sung with opera companies and orchestras across America including Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Roanoke, Opera Saratoga, Des Moines Metro Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Charlottesville Opera, Annapolis Opera, Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma Philharmonic, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Heartland Festival Orchestra, Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, among others. She has been an award winner with the Gerda Lissner Foundation, The American Prize, and the MacAllister Awards, among others. Visit penelopeshumate.com



The American Prize in Vocal Performance—women in art song (college/university division),  201920-, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards
The American Prize winner:
Leah Brzyski
Branford  CT  

Leah Brzyski
Soprano Leah Brzyski has performed as a soloist with esteemed companies including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Opera Grand Rapids, and Orchestra New England. Ms. Brzyski has also had lead roles with the Michigan State University Opera Theater including that of Despina in Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte and Atalanta in Handel’s Xerxes.  Ms. Brzyski was the Young Artist Award winner of the 2017 Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition and took 2nd place in this year’s Opera Ithaca Competition. Ms. Brzyski was recently seen in the role of Königin der Nacht in Yale Opera Theater’s production of Die Zauberflöte, Sandmädchen and Taumädchen in Hänsel und Gretel, and as the soprano soloist for New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s Messiah. Upcoming engagements include the title role in Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and as a studio artist with Central City Opera. 

2nd Place: 
Clare Demer 
Tucson AZ   

Clare Demer 
Italian-American soprano Clare Demer recently completed her masters in vocal performance at the University of Houston Moores School of Music, where she studied with Melanie Sonnenberg. This past season, she performed Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, and Paula Jordan in Bolcom's Dinner at Eight. Other roles include Mary in the world-premiere of Robert Nelson's The School for Scandal, Monica in The Medium, L'Enfant in L'enfant et les sortilèges, and Second Lady in The Magic Flute.
Clare has participated in many festivals across the United States, Canada, and Europe, including the inaugural season of Teatro Nuovo in 2018, IVAI in Montréal, the Aspen Summer Music Festival and School, SongFest at Colburn, and the Saarburg Festival in Germany. In 2016, Clare was an Art of Song Fellow at the Toronto Summer Music Festival.

Clare completed her undergraduate degrees at The University of Arizona, where she earned a B.M. in Vocal Performance, a B.S. in Psychology, and a minor in Italian. While at the University of Arizona, she was the recipient of a Creative Achievement Award for the Fred Fox School of Music and won 1st prize in both the undergraduate and graduate levels of the Amelia Riemann Competition. With the Arizona Choir she performed Dvorak's Stabat Mater on tour in the Dvorak Hall in Prague and the Musikverein in Vienna.

Clare is the recipient of many awards, including two Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, 3rd place in the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition, 1st place in the Marni Nixon International Voice Competition, and numerous accolades from the American Prize Foundation for both art song and opera performance.


3rd Place:
Alexandra Colaizzi
Hollywood  FL   

Alexandra Colaizzi
Alexandra Colaizzi, mezzo-soprano, is an active performer of concert, ensemble, and operatic repertoire. Originally from South Florida, she has enjoyed a career on stages from Carnegie Hall to the Salzburg Festspielhaus, serving as a soloist and/or ensemble member with esteemed organizations such as the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Seraphic Fire Professional Choral Institute (Aspen School of Music), the International Baroque Institute at Longy (Cambridge, MA), the Frost School of Music at Salzburg College, the Master Chorale of South Florida, and the Illinois Bach Academy. Most recently, Ms. Colaizzi had the pleasure of singing with Grammy and The American Prize-award-winning ensemble  Roomful of Teeth in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ms. Colaizzi holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Miami Frost School of Music, and is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree in vocal pedagogy at the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. https://www.facebook.com/alexandracolaizzimusic/ 



The American Prize in Vocal Performance—women in art song (high school division),  2019-20, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards

The American Prize winner:
Malaina Kapoor
Redwood City   CA 

Malaina Kapoor
Malaina Kapoor is a home-schooled high school senior. She is a recipient of the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship, a merit-based academic scholarship awarded to 30 students annually nationwide. This year she was named a 2019 Coolidge Senator, an honor designated annually by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation to 100 students who demonstrate academic excellence and an interest in public policy and service. Her work has been published or featured by the Mercury News, the Clayton Christensen Institute, Good Housekeeping Magazine, Education Next, and others. She is the recipient of two national gold medals from the Scholastic Arts and Writing Competition. 

Malaina’s music awards include the gold medal in the 2017 U.S. International Music Competition and first place at the 2019 Crescendo Competition. She has won second place in the 2018 International Grande Music Competition and the 2017 International American Protege Competition and has performed solo twice at Carnegie Hall.



2nd Place:
Krystal Y. Mao   
Fremont  CA 

Krystal Y. Mao   
Krystal Mao is 16 years old and is a junior at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California. She has been singing for 9 years and studying classical music for 4 years. She has studied with Eugene Brancoveanu, Edna Garabedian, D'Ana Lombard and is currently studying with Kathleen Ludowise. She has been participating in many competitions, local and international. This year, Krystal participated in the 67th Junior Bach Festival and was the only singer chosen to perform live at a local radio station, as well as perform in the Final Winners Concert. Last summer, she competed in the Beijing Water Cube Cup, where over 7,000 people from all over the world participated, and won 3rd place. She also hosted her own solo concert in Hangzhou, China, with an audience of over 700 people. Other than singing, Krystal also studies violin and art.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Pauline Rogers
Fremont  CA 

Pauline Rogers
Pauline Rogers is a student at Valley Christian High School, San Jose, CA, currently in the music honors program. Her current teachers include Fang Hong, a soprano, Eugene Brancoveanu, a baritone and a Tony award winner, and Hao Wu for piano. She has performed in famous theaters across the globe, from Oscar Venue Dolby Theater, Los Angeles, Herbst Theater, San Francisco, and Carnegie Hall, New York, to Grand Churches in Vienna, Austria to The Water Cube Stadium in Beijing, China. Silver Award Winner of 2014 Golden Key Festival, Performed in Carnegie Hall, New York.Best Vocal Ensemble Winners of MTAC 2014, 2015, and 2016 Silicon Valley Branch Competition. Title winner of Golden State Junior Ambassadress at California State Youth Accolade scholarships competition in 2014. The first place winner in 2015 Silicon Valley Chinese Songs singing competition. The second place winner in Solo competition in MTAC 2016 Silicon Valley Competition. The Grand prize winner for the 2016 Watercube Chinese Songs singing Competition in San Francisco, represented the Northern California in the final singing competition in Beijing. Top -30 in the final competition in Beijing. The First Place Winner for  the 2017 San Francisco International New Concept Film Songs Competition. As a Team USA member, she performed in the 2017 World Championship for the Performing Arts in Long Beach, CA. The First Place Winner for the 2018 Watercube Cup Chinese Songs singing competition in Chicago, and represented the Chicago in the final singing competition in Beijing. Top -30 in the final competition in Beijing. The second place winner for the American Prize in voice/Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award-Art song/Oratorio, high school division, 2018-2019. She played double Bass in the Hopkins Advance Orchestra in 2016-2017, She played Cello in the El Camino Youth Orchestra from 2015-2016.
 

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Michelle Skylar
Sunny Isles  FL   

Michelle Skylar
Michelle Skylar, born in 2005, is a soprano vocalist who resides in Russia, England, and USA. In 2018 and 2019, Michelle was awarded 1st Prize in AFAF Golden Voices International Competition, 1st Place and Judge's Distinction Award in American Protege International Competition of Romantic Music, 1st Prize in Golden Classical International Vocal Competition, Grand Prix in Concert Festival International Competition, 1st Place in Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, 1st Prize in Great Composers Competition Music of the 17th and 20th Centuries.  Michelle has performed numerous times at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Baruch Performing Arts Center, and Musikverein in Vienna.  Michelle has also performed in concerts with orchestras in Moscow and St. Petersburg at the invite of the Spivakov Foundation.  In 2018, Michelle was accepted to study voice at Guildhall School of Music and accepted in 2018 and 2019 to New York Lyric Opera's summer program.  Michelle sings in English, Russian, French, Italian, and German. 


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Congratulations!

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