Friday, July 24, 2020

Winners: CONDUCTORS (opera division), 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, chief judge, is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Conducting, 2019-20, in the opera divisions. Congratulations!

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

REMINDER—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, we will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new Covid-extended deadline date of 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 he virus. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

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


The American Prize in Conducting—opera (professional division), 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
Walter Morales              
Pittsburgh Festival Opera
Pittsburgh  PA     
Das Rheingold  (Wagner/Dove) 
Walter Morales         

Walter Morales is the Music Director of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra. His previous positions include Music Director of Undercroft Opera, Music Director of the Carnegie Mellon University Contemporary Ensemble, Head of Music of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, Assistant Director of Orchestral Studies at Carnegie Mellon University and Assistant Conductor of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic. He has been a guest conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, Heredia Symphony Orchestra, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, Butler County Symphony Orchestra, McKeesport Symphony Orchestra, University of Costa Rica Symphony Orchestra, University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Duquesne University Opera & Orchestra, Pittsburgh Youth Chamber Orchestra and Rutgers Chamber Orchestra.  For more information please visit: www.waltermoralesmusic.com


2nd Place:
Isaac Selya                
Queen City Opera 
Cincinnati   OH        
Iolanta

Isaac Selya                
A musician of remarkable versatility, Isaac Selya is a conductor, pianist, vocal coach, cellist, and entrepreneur. In recognition of his work as Founder and Artistic Director of Queen City Opera, he was featured in Musical America as a Spotlight Artist. He holds a Doctorate with specialization in Mozart’s operas, and has conducted all of Mozart’s German-language operas. At the Glimmerglass festival, he coached and conducted the first-ever reading of the revised version of Philip Glass’s Appomattox, with the composer present. Equally at home in symphonic repertoire, Isaac’s guest conducting credits include the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Xiamen Philharmonic, the Dayton Philharmonic, the National Symphony of Guatemala, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and the Chelsea Symphony. Committed to ensuring that musical education is accessible to anyone, Isaac teaches cello and conducts orchestras at the MYCincinnati Youth Orchestra, a free, El Sistema inspired program. He has two cats, named Tosca and Aida.


3rd Place: 
Eric Peterson             
Savoynet Performing Group            
Harrogate UK  
Patience (Gilbert and Sullivan)

Eric Peterson             
Eric Peterson is a New York City-based musical director, instrumentalist and coach.  Studying horn at William & Mary and Peabody Conservatory, he soon branched out as a singer, accompanist and conductor.  He worked for years with LGBT community music groups, helping to found the Philadelphia Freedom Band and conducting New York City’s Big Apple Corps concert band for seven seasons.  As a theater conductor, he has led The Mikado, The Gondoliers and Die Fledermaus with Troupers Light Opera in Connecticut, Mame, Forum and A Little Night Music with NYC’s Blue Hill Troupe, and served as BHT’s choral director for two seasons.  At the annual International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in northern England, he has conducted three productions with the Savoynet Performing Group, most recently their 2018 festival-winning production of Patience.
 www.ericpetersonmusic.com


The American Prize in Conducting—opera (college/university division), 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
Kirk Severtson            
The Crane School of Music—SUNY       
Potsdam NY          
MAYO (Cipullo)

Kirk Severtson            
Kirk Severtson is a conductor and coach on the faculty of The Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam) and on the music staff at numerous opera companies, including The Dallas Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, The Atlanta Opera, and Opera Saratoga. He serves as music director and administrator for the Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize, which commissioned and premiered Mayo by Tom Cipullo in November 2018. He has conducted or coached at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Opera Viva (Verona, Italy), the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, Opera North (NH), the Opera Theater of Lucca (Italy), and the Cincinnati Opera outreach program, among others.  He serves as music director of the Crane Opera Ensemble and Orchestra and was a recipient of the SUNY Potsdam President’s Award and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award.  He holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati (D.M.A. and M.M.) and Luther College.


2nd Place:
Peter Perret
University of North Carolina—Greensboro                
Greensboro  NC 
Falstaff 
    
Peter Perret
Peter Perret (Conductor) was Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony from 1978 to 2004 and served on the faculty of the UNC School of the Arts.  In addition, Maestro Perret was the Principal Conductor of the Capetown Symphony (South Africa) and served the Buffalo Philharmonic as Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductor.  Perret has conducted concerts in Belgium, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Spain, South Africa, and Switzerland as well as in many major metropolitan centers in the USA, and has recorded frequently with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Switzerland) and the Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester (Frankfurt, Germany).  Currently, Perret directs the Philharmonia of Greensboro and contributes reviews to the Classical Voice of North Carolina (CVNC.org).  Maestro Perret is the co-author of the book, “A Well-Tempered Mind; Using Music to Help Children Listen and Learn,” published by the Dana Press in October 2004 and in paperback in 2006. (Maestro Perret did not participate in judging during the 2019-20 season of The American Prize.)


3rd Place:
Matthew Mailman              
Bass School of Music—Oklahoma City University  
Oklahoma City  OK              
Cendrillon

Matthew Mailman              
Dr. Matthew Mailman is Professor of Conducting in the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University, a position he has held since 1995. He serves as a Music Director for the Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company and Conductor of OCU's Wind Philharmonic. He teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting and coordinates OCU's Masters in Conducting program.

At OCU, Dr. Mailman has conducted forty-six operas and musicals. Recent opera performances include Le Nozze di Figaro, La Bohème, Die Zauberflöte, and Dialogues des Carmélites, Cendrillon, and Nico Muhly’s opera Dark Sisters. As Conductor/Artist in Residence at Opera in the Ozarks, he conducted Carlisle Floyd's opera Susannah in 2007 and Mozart's Cosí fan Tutte in 2008.

Dr. Mailman earned his bachelor of music and master of music degrees from Northwestern University. He earned his doctorate in conducting at the University of North Texas.


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Congratulations!

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