Friday, January 12, 2018

WINNERS: The American Prize in Voice (women in opera), 2017-18—The Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners & runners-up of The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in opera and operetta), 2017-18—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, in professional, college/university and high school divisions. Congratulations!

In an exceptionally qualified field of applicants, there were ties for several runners-up slots this year, and an unprecedented tie for first place (The American Prize winner) in the college/university division. We wish all these TAP laureates great success in their future musical endeavors.

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 in 2017-18, based on submitted recordings.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in opera and operetta), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Meredith Mecum   Bronx NY  
Meredith Mecum
Meredith Mecum, praised for her “soaring soprano”, has been awarded a Grant from the Solti Foundation, Second Place in the Ades Vocal Competition at Manhattan School of Music, and an Encouragement Award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition. At the Merola Opera Program in the summer of 2015, Ms. Mecum performed in the Schwabacher Summer Concert and Merola Grand Finale, singing excerpts from Susannah (Susannah), Die Walküre (Brünnhilde) and The Queen of Spades (Lisa). Other performances include Una Coèfora and cover of Clitennestra (Cassandra) with Teatro Grattacielo, Clara Schumann (Clara) with Cutting Edge Concerts, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with The Banff Centre Opera, Berta (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) with Opera New Jersey, Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) with Prelude to Performance, and Rose Segal in John Musto's Later the Same Eveningat Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Mecum is a graduate of Penn State University and Manhattan School of Music.  More information is available at www.meredithmecum.com.


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Chelsea Basler   Waltham MA
Chelsea Basler
Grammy Award-nominated soprano Chelsea Basler continues to make her mark in an extensive array of operatic roles due to her unique combination of vocal appeal and artistry.  Praised for her "luminous voice" with its "easy soaring range", she has also been noted for her "wonderful acting" and ultimately deemed "simply superb".  Ms. Basler enjoys a particularly strong relationship with Boston Lyric Opera, which she initially joined as an Emerging Artist during the 2013–2014 season.  In the autumn of 2017, Ms. Basler will rejoin Boston Lyric Opera in their collaborative project with Music Theatre Group to present the world premiere of Mark Campbell and Julian Grant's new opera The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare, in which she will create the role of Margery Campbell. She will also be making her Nashville Opera debut as the title role in Susannah. www.chelseabasler.com


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Maggie Finnegan   Winchester MA
Maggie Finnegan
Hailed by Opera News for her 'strong voice and noteworthy acting prowess,' Maggie Finnegan is a versatile soprano, singing repertoire spanning from medieval to contemporary. She was awarded the S&R Foundation's Washington Prize and last June made her Kennedy Center debut as First and Audience Prize winner at the Washington International Competition for Voice. She has premiered operas with The American Chamber Opera Company,Vital Opera, the Center for Contemporary Opera and the Juventas New Music Ensemble. Solo performances this season include debuts with Boston Lyric Opera's Signature Series, City Choir of Washington, The New Dominion Chorale, The Avanti Orchestra and the PyeongChang Winter Music Festival in South Korea. She has performed with Paper Mill Playhouse, The Metropolitan Opera Guild School Programs Tour and The Metropolitan Opera Chorus. She splits her time between New York City and Boston, where she shares a home with her partner and her three step-kids. www.maggiefinnegansoprano.com.


3rd PLACE (there was a tie):
Christine Lyons   Baltimore MD
Christine Lyons
Praised as “especially moving” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and as a “sparkling soprano” by the Broad Street Review, Christine Lyons enthralls audiences with her fearless presence and creative approach. Most recently, she was the featured artist on WWFM Classical as a part of their “Celebrating Our Musical Future” live radio program. Upcoming performances include several company debuts as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos with Berkshire Opera Festival and Micaëla in Opera Ithaca’s production of Carmen. Highlights of previous seasons include Manon in Massenet’s Manon at the Liederkranz Foundation and at Carnegie Hall, Konstanze in Mozart’s Die Entführung at Symphony Space and at the historic Modell Lyric Opera House, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at Sant’Anna dei Lombardi in Naples, Italy, Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Racontes d’Hoffmann with the Amalfi Coast Music Festival and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at Lincoln Center. Orchestral and concert engagements include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under the baton of Marin Alsop, Frasquita in Carmen alongside Denyce Graves and performances with Lyric Fest alongside distinguished pianist Laura Ward. Appearing extensively in music theater, Ms. Lyons performed in a national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and has portrayed Sheila in A Chorus Line, Alice’s Daughter in Big River, GiGi in Miss Saigon, and Anne in A Little Night Music with companies including Portland Center Stage, Pittsburgh Music Theater, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Theater of the Stars and Goodspeed Opera House.


3rd PLACE (there was a tie):
Susan Wheeler   Burke VA
Susan Wheeler
American Soprano Susan Wheeler is a dynamic operatic and concert performer, and a trained Equity actress. Her fiery vocalism and dramatic intensity have drawn comparisons with singers of the golden Bel Canto era. Susan made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2007 (Mozart Requiem, Dvořák Te Deum). In 2015 and 2014 Susan toured Italy and Sicily as Mimi, Violetta and the Countess in concerts with former Metropolitan Opera artists, with the Mediterranean Opera Festival. In concert, she has performed with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (Cunegonde, Maria); Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Papagena); and Piedmont Symphony Orchestra (Cunegonde). Ms. Wheeler’s opera performances include Olympia, Antonia, and Giulietta (Augusta Opera); Norina (Opera Vivente); Valencienne (Maryland Lyric); and Gretel (Des Moines Metro Opera).  Ms. Wheeler’s chamber group, Third Millennium Ensemble, has been featured on National Public Radio, the Library of Congress, The Kennedy Center, and prestigious art galleries along the East coast, in contemporary American works.



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in opera and operetta), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner 
(there was an unprecedented tie for first place):
Sarah Cooper  Lincoln MA
Sarah Cooper
Sarah Cooper, soprano, recently earned her master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at Westminster Choir College. From Lincoln, Massachusetts, Sarah completed her bachelor's degree in French at Princeton University, where she began her vocal studies with Rochelle Ellis and soloed with the Princeton University Glee Club. Now a student of Sharon Sweet [Professor Sweet did not participate in the ranking or evaluation of this contestant.—DK], Sarah was a first-place winner in the 2016 Coeur d'Alene Symphony Young Artists Competition and the 2016 Westminster Choir College Voice Awards Competition.  In January 2017, Sarah performed her first mainstage role as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Westminster CoOPERAtive program. Sarah also received the 2017 Colleen and Edward Carducci Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in Columbia, South Carolina. This summer, she will perform the role of Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen with the Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance Program in New York City.


The American Prize winner 
(there was an unprecedented tie for first place):
Kellie Motter   Bloomington IN
Kellie Motter
A native of Atlanta, GA., soprano Kellie Motter is a graduate student Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where she studies with Carol Vaness. With IU Opera Theatre, Kellie has performed the roles of Marie (La fille du régiment), Despina (Così fan tutte), and Morgana (Alcina). Other opera credits include the roles of Galatea (Acis & Galatea), La Fée (Cendrillon) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte). In 2016, Kellie was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. She joined Central City Opera as a Studio Artist for their 2017 season, covering Frasquita in Carmen. As a concert soloist, she has been featured in Carissimi’s Jepthe, Handel’s Messiah, Steve Reich’s Tehillim, the requiems of Brahms and Fauré, and in numerous works by J. S. Bach. Recently, Kellie was named a 2017 Georgia District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Previous mentors include Delores Ziegler and Elizabeth Colson.


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Clare Demer   Tucson AZ

Clare Demer
Italian-American Soprano Clare Demer is completing her undergraduate degree at The University of Arizona, where she has performed L’Enfant in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortileges, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, and Second Lady in the Magic Flute. She has received training from the International Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and was a fellow at the Toronto Summer Music Festival Art of Song program. Among her awards are two Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Arizona, 1st prize in both the undergraduate and graduate divisions of the Amelia Rieman Opera Competition, and 1st  prize in the Mari Nixon International Voice competition. She has twice won 2nd place in The American Prize Art Song Competition at the College/University level. This summer she will compete as a finalist in the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition.


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Kali Hardwick   Nevada City CA
Kali Hardwick
Kali Hardwick, soprano, is from California and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Vocal Arts at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studies with Elizabeth Ritchie and Ingrid Surgenor. Her operatic roles include Adina in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Marenka in Smetena’s The Bartered Bride, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, L'Ensoleillad in Massenet’s Chérubin, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. She has performed with Long Beach Opera (where she sang in the US premier of Philip Glass's The Perfect American), Bob Cole Conservatory Opera, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Oberlin in Italy, and Fullerton College Opera. Outside of opera, Kali has been featured as the soprano soloist for Mozart's Mass in C Minor and Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Bob Cole Conservatory Orchestra, as well as Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass and Mozart's Coronation Mass with the Los Cancioneros Master Chorale. She has won a number of awards, including scholarships from the California Women's Chorus, The New Century Singers, the Fine Arts Affiliates, The Nevada Union Choir Boosters, and numerous other organizations. Kali holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from CSU Long Beach (2017), where she was honored as the Outstanding Graduate of the College of the Arts last May.

 
3rd PLACE:
Theodora Ivanova Nestorova   Acton MA
Theodora Ivanova Nestorova
Hailing from Bulgaria and born in Britain, soprano Theodora Ivanova Nestorova is in her third year of Voice Performance at Oberlin Conservatory of Music studying with Lorraine Manz. Miss Nestorova has performed Oberto in Handel’s Alcina (Oberlin Opera Theater) and Amore in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (Oberlin in Italy). She has participated in Emmanuel Music’s Bach Institute, and was a soloist in Handel’s Messiah Sing-Along (Credo Music) and Haydn’s The Creation (Oberlin Mozart Players). Miss Nestorova attended summer programs such as Classical Singing & New York in June, Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera Institute, Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists, and Interlochen High School Vocal Artist. A recipient of the Conservatory Dean’s Talent Award, upcoming engagements include Diane in Bernier’s Diane et Endimion (Oberlin Baroque Ensemble), a tour to New York City with Oberlin Sinfonietta at the Bang on a Can 30th Anniversary Concert, and The CoOPERAtive Young Artists Program.



FINALISTS HONORABLE MENTION:
Lauren Frey   Croton on Hudson NY 
Lauren Frey
In 2016, Lauren was a finalist with The American Prize Competition and was a semi-finalist with the Annapolis Voice Competition.  In 2015, she was a semi-finalist with Brava! Opera Theater James M. Collier Vocal Competition.  Lauren won the prestigious Career Bridges Grant, received 2nd Place with The American Prize Competition, and placed 3rd in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Auditions in 2014.  She received Honorable Mention with the Philadelphia Orchestra's Albert M. Greenfield Competition in 2013.  In 2012, Lauren won the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions. Recently Lauren debuted the role of Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) with St. Petersburg Opera (cover matinee performance).  This year, Lauren also made her New York City Opera company debut in Florencia en el Amazonas and Aleko/Pagliaci.  Other role credits include Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Musetta (La Bohème), Micaela (Carmen), the title role in Alcina, Die Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), and Coaxer (The Threepenny Opera). http://www.LaurenKFrey.com



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in opera and operetta), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(high school division)

The American Prize winner:
Sarah Aaldering   Los Gatos CA
Sarah Aaldering
Sarah Aaldering is an 18 year old Senior at Los Gatos High School in Northern California. Sarah began voice lessons in 2010. Singing has always been her passion and joy! Last year she won 2nd place in the NATS Nationals Competition in Classical Voice, 1st place in VOCE (MTAC) State Competition, 1st place in William Schmidt Vocal Competition, and was a Semi-finalist in the Classical Singer Competition. This year Sarah won 1st in Lower College NATS and placed 2nd overall in both the upper and lower college divisions. Sarah has participated in The Oberlin Vocal Academy for High School Students, San Francisco Conservatory’s Lamplighter’s Gilbert & Sullivan Scenes, and The Brevard Music Center Voice Program. She has won The Dorothy Barnhouse Award, The Heritage Music Festival Maestro Award, and The Shirley Rabb Winston Scholarship Award. She has been offered scholarships to BYU’s summer program, The Utah Lyric Opera Program, and many undergraduate university programs. In Fall of 2017, Sarah began her first year at Oberlin Conservatory where she studies Vocal Performance with Daune Mahy. Sarah will be performing in La Rondine in Italy this summer, in the Oberlin in Italy Program. She is honored to have this wonderful opportunity!


2nd PLACE:
Caroline Wolfe   Dallastown PA
Caroline Wolfe
Caroline Wolfe has attended Interlochen Arts Camp (2014) and Boston University Tanglewood Institute (2015) and has sang in masterclasses with Terry Flatt, David Sabella, Paul Groves, and Nathan Gunn.  She enjoys sharing her music with her community, and she is a soloist at several local churches.  She has had the honor to sing at Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's post-election party and Mike Pence's political rally in York, Pennsylvania.  She has appeared as a soloist and concerto competition winner twice with the Dallastown Area High School String Ensemble and once with the Dallastown Area High School Orchestra.  She won first place at Allegheny Mountain Chapter and Eastern Region NATS in Upper High School Classical Women (2016) and was a semifinalist at the Classical Singer Competition (2016).


3rd PLACE:
Elisabeta Racolta   Cambridge MA
Elisabeta Racolta
Born in Boston, MA, Mezzo Elisabeta Racolta performs with the local theaters and music venues, and travels with concerts internationally. Elisabeta is a winner of multiple international voice competitions. An avid recitalist, Lisa sung with the Concert Festival international concert tours in Portugal, France and Russia, and most recently as a guest artist in Lincoln Center.  She was a First place winner of the Rising Stars 2017 European competition in Latvia.  In 2017, she also was a recipient of a merit scholarship from the FAVA William Lewis Mozart Academy, appearing as Dritte Dame & Dritter Knabe in Die Zauberflote (Magic Flute) in Salzburg, Austria. In the New England Conservatory 2016 Summer Opera Program she appeared in the concert versions of ‘Carmen’, ‘L’Egisto’ and  ‘West Side Story’.  She performed in Carnegie Hall five times winning early acclaim at International Music, Vocal and Concerto competitions in 2014-2016.



*** 
Congratulations!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

FINALISTS: Women in Art Song & Oratorio, 2017-18: The Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award

The American Prize is pleased to announce FINALIST women in art song and oratorio for 2017-18 in all divisions, The FRIEDRICH and VIRGINIA SCHORR MEMORIAL AWARD in VOICE. Congratulations! To know the exact date when winners and runners-up will be announced, please "like" our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

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. 

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.

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

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on their facebook page, tweeting the news, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

The American Prize in Voice / Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award—professional art song and oratorio division (women), 2017-18

"An impressive field of singing artists."—DK

Tamara Acosta   Ithaca NY 

Michelle Areyzaga   Rolling Meadows IL 

Melanie Ashkar   Arlington VA 

Kristina Bachrach   La Grange IL 

Veronica Bell   Studio City CA 

Savannah Etter   Lexington MO 

Jessica Fishenfeld   Great Neck NY 

Annie Gill   Baltimore MD 

Michele Elizabeth Kennedy   Astoria NY 

Thea Lobo   Medford MA 

Sarah Lonsert   Mission Viejo CA 

Elisabeth Marshall   Portland ME  

Stacey Mastrian   Seattle WA 

Ann Moss   Richmond CA 

Elizabeth Ducey Moss   Abiline TX 

Alissa Rose   Wellsboro PA 

Penelope Shumate   Macomb IL 

Loralee Songer   Cedar Rapids IA 

Christine Steyer   Oak Park IL 

Raquel Winnica Young   Pittsburgh PA 



The American Prize in Voice / Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award—college/university art song and oratorio division (women), 2017-18

Lieve Buzard   Chicago IL 

Sarah Cooper   Lincoln MA

Clare Demer   Tucson AZ 

Rachel Eve Holmes   Athens GA 

Hailey McAvoy   Natick MA 

Zoe-Elizabeth McCray   Alexandria VA 

Myka Murphy   Roswell GA 

Lauren Elizabeth Walker   Bloomington IN 

Julia Katherine Walsh   Munich Germany 

Mengyuan Yuan   Athens OH



The American Prize in Voice / Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award—high school art song and oratorio division (women), 2017-18

"To insure that contestants in the high school division have the opportunity to receive some feedback at this early stage in their singing, all semi-finalists were advanced this year."—DK

Sarah Aaldering   Los Gatos CA 

Mary Elizabeth Adler   Bellevue WA 

Monika Cachro   Lake Zurich IL 

Katelynn Cherry   Trappe MD 

Amalia Crevani   Milford NJ 

Alexandra Taylor   Naples FL 

Caroline Wolfe   Dallastown PA  



The American Prize in Voice / Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award—community division (women in art song, oratorio and opera), 2017-18

"To provide contestants in the community division with basic feedback about their quality and vocalism, all semi-finalists were advanced."—DK

Shana Evans Bassett   Atlanta GA 

Deborah M. Connelly   Stratford CT 

Samantha Isabell Gay   Oak Park IL 

Nancie Grossman   Mission Viejo CA 

Montana Monet Jaeger   Farmington MN

Luisa Kay Reyes   Tuscaloosa AL 
 


***


We encourage 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 winners 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, January 8, 2018

WINNERS: The American Prize in Piano (solo), 2017-18


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, and citation recipients of The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo), 2017-18, in professional, college/university and high school 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 in Piano Performance (solo), 2017-18
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Roberto Plano   Holliston MA
Roberto Plano
Italian native ROBERTO PLANO was the First Prize Winner at the 2001 Cleveland International Piano Competition, a prize winner at the Honens, Dublin, Sendai, Geza Anda and Valencia competitions and Finalist at the 2005 Van Cliburn. Mr. Plano’s engaging personality has made him a favorite guest on radio programs such as NPR’s “Performance Today,” and on TV shows for PBS and Japan’s NHK. He has recorded CDs for Brilliant, Azica, Arktos, Sipario, Concerto (two world premier CDs with music by re-discovered 18th century Italian composer Andrea Luchesi) and DECCA (Liszt’s “Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses”, awarded the maximum 5-star rating by Amadeus magazine). Mr. Plano studied at the Verdi Conservatory in Milan, the Ecole Normale “Cortot” in Paris and the Lake Como Academy. In 2016 Mr. Plano joined the faculty at Boston University.. He has been awarded the Lumen Claro, given to influential people like soprano Barbara Frittoli, stylist Ottavio Missoni and economist Mario Monti. www.robertoplano.com


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Quynh Nguyen   New York NY
Quynh Nguyen
Praised by the Boston Globe as “a musical and expressive player,” pianist Quynh Nguyen has performed extensively throughout the US and Europe. As a concerto soloist, she has performed with the Jager Meister Chamber Orchestra, the Berlin University Orchestra, the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra, the Regional Wind Orchestra of Paris, among others. Her performances have been featured on numerous radio stations throughout the US, as well as TV programs such as “Grand Piano,” “Study With the Best,” a CUNY TV program, Japanese TV Fujisankei and Vietnamese national television.

A graduate of the Juilliard School and Mannes College, she received her Doctoral degree from the Graduate Center of CUNY in 2009. She is the recipient of several highly prestigious scholarships and awards, including the United States Presidential Academic Excellence Award and a Fulbright Fellowship to Paris, and serves on the faculties of Hunter College and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival.


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Gabriel Quenneville-Belair   Minneapolis MN
Gabriel Quenneville-Belair
Born in Montreal, Gabriel Quenneville-Belair is a French Canadian pianist who regularly performs in the US and Canada. He has performed Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 with the OSI and OPMEM Orchestras (Canada) as well as with the Kenwood Symphony and the University of Minnesota Orchestra (USA). His performances have been broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio, Radio Ville-Marie, Baby Blue Arts, and Pulsar. More recently, he was invited to perform a solo recital and masterclass by the Musicians’ Association of Tai’an, China.

Gabriel has been the recipient of many competitions and scholarships. Among other prizes, the Fondation de soutien aux arts de Laval rewarded him with the prestigious Career Development Scholarship Claude F. Lefebvre, which will sponsor his next solo album.

Gabriel Quenneville-Belair earned his Doctorate in Piano Performance from the University of Minnesota in 2016, studying with Lydia Artymiw and his Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal in 2013, with Richard Raymond.

 
3rd PLACE:
Mirna Lekic   Bayside NY
Mirna Lekic
Mirna Lekić is a Bosnian-American pianist active as a recitalist, chamber musician and educator. Praised for her “intelligent and sincere pianism” (Examiner), and “natural inventiveness and emotion” (Žena 21), she has performed in the United States, Canada, and Europe, at venues including New York’s Carnegie-Weill Hall, Symphony Space, World Trade Center, Chicago Cultural Center, St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, and Théâtre de l'Ile Saint-Louis and Théâtre de la Vieille Grille in Paris. Mirna’s solo performances have been broadcast on WQXR, WNYC, WFMT, WPRB, and Bosnian TV and radio stations, and her solo debut album, Masks, was released in January 2017 on Centaur Records. Mirna serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Queensborough Community College, City University of New York. (www.mirnalekic.com)


SPECIAL JUDGES' CITATION: "Exceptional Commitment to Music by Americans"
Kris Carlisle   Rome GA
Kris Carlisle
Kris Carlisle is a professional pianist and educator.  A native of California, he has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Specializing in contemporary music, his CD The American Evolution: Piano Sonatas received 2015’s The American Prize in Piano Performance Special Judge’s Citation: “Championing Piano Music by American Composers”.  The CD is part of a larger project that explores the way contemporary composers use traditional genres.

The latest phase The American Evolution: Piano Preludes was released in December of 2016.  The CD is available through CDBaby and Curvepoint Media.  For more information go to kriscarlisle.com.



The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo), 2017-18
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner 
& SPECIAL JUDGES' CITATION: Best Concept Album, 
for "Scarlatti Now"
Nicholas Susi   Saint Louis MO
Nicholas Susi
2015-17 National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) Young Artist, pianist Nicholas Susi enjoys a multifaceted career living out his deep love for music. The 2016-17 season saw over 25 engagements across the country as performer, masterclass clinician, competition adjudicator, lecturer, and community outreach speaker.

Performance highlights from previous seasons include two concerts for the Princess von Hohenzollern at her castle in Namedy, Germany, his performance during the semifinals of the 2014 International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, and concerto solos with the Omaha Symphony, Wiener Residenz Orchester, and Taneycomo Festival Orchestra among others. Past recognitions also include 2nd place at the 2014 Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition, 1st prize at the international 2013 Klavierfestival Rösrath competition, and prestigious grants from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst.

Nicholas recently completed his doctorate in Piano Performance at the University of Michigan. For details on upcoming performances, booking information, and further listening, please visit www.nicholas-susi.com.
 
 

2nd PLACE (there was a tie): 
Natasha Stojanovska   Chicago IL
Natasha Stojanovska
Pianist, Natasha Stojanovska was born in Prilep, Macedonia. She has appeared numerous times with symphony orchestras including: South Bend Symphony, Macedonian Philharmonic, Lynn Philharmonic and Brevard Music Center Orchestra. She has performed in Concert Halls including: Steinway Piano Gallery of Miami- in Florida; The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center of University of Notre dame, Indiana; The Forth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, 2015; Chicago Cultural Center. Her performances have been broadcasted on the following radio and TV Stations: Macedonian Radio and Television; WFMT Chicago; WNIT Public Television. Ms Stojanovska has been  awarded many honors including: Third prize at the Thaviu-Isaak Piano Competition, 2017;  The Kenneth G. and Helen C. Merrill Scholarship Fund with the Bienen School of Music; 1st prize at the Southern Illinois Young Artists Competition in April 2015; Finalist, Astral Artists Auditions, Philadelphia, PA, 2014; Top prize at the 2012 Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Collegiate Competition; Prize winner of "Isidor Baich International Piano Competition" Novi Sad, Serbia; Prize winner of the " Liszt and Bartok International Competition" Sofia, Bulgaria. Ms. Stojanovska completed her Master’s Degree and Artist Diploma at Indiana University; and is currently working on her Doctorate of Musical Arts at The Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University, in the studio of James Giles.
 


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
John Wilson   Miami Beach FL
John Wilson
Hailed for his “expressive sensitivity” (Baltimore Sun) and “assured touch” (South Florida Classical Review) John Wilson is one of the most in-demand pianists on the classical music scene. A Piano Fellow at the New World Symphony Orchestral Academy, he has performed in North America, South America and Europe. Mr. Wilson has performed recently as a soloist with the New World Symphony, Napa Valley Symphony Orchestra, New Amsterdam Symphony, and Orchestra Camerata. A top prize winner in international piano competitions, he  most recently won the prize for the "Best Performance of an American Work" at the 2017 Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition. Dedicated to contemporary music, he has performed on the U.S and World Premiere of works by Michael Tilson Thomas, Reinbert de Leeuw, HK Gruber, Timo Andres, and Bernd Deutsch. He has performed in duo recital with violinist Joshua Bell, and cellist Johannes Moser, where Classical Miami Magazine called his playing “elegant and full of energy”. He has additionally collaborated with Daniel Hope, Robert McDuffie and Alisa Weilerstein. At home in many styles and instruments, he has also collaborated with David Foster, on synthesizer, and Audra McDonald, on piano. Through the New World Symphony, Mr. Wilson has studied with Emanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson, Murray Perahia, Ingrid Fliter, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. At Peabody Conservatory, he studied with Benjamin Pasternack and Marian Hahn, and earned the Presser Award. For more information visit JohnWilsonPianist.com


3rd PLACE (there was a tie):
Chia-Ying Chan   Urbana IL
Chia-Ying Chan
Chia-Ying Chan, originally from Taiwan, brings passion, color, sensitivity and creativity to her interpretations of classical music. She is an active soloist and collaborator, who has given performances internationally, including at Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Austurias in Oviedo, Spain; National Recital Hall in Taipei, Taiwan; and Carnegie Weill Hall in New York, and have been invited to perform at Wiener Saal Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.  Chan has won top prizes, such as the 2016 American Fine Arts International Concerto Competition (First Place), and the 2014 West Virginia University Keyboard Competition (First Prize). Her most recent performances include solo recital at PianoForte Foundation in Chicago, solo Performance at Schubertiade in Chicago, and concerto performances with Kostroma Symphony Orchestra contacted by Pavel Gershtein in Russia. Chan is currently a DMA candidate of Timothy Ehlen (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Other mentors include Paul Schenly and Kathryn Brown (Cleveland Institute of Music).


3rd PLACE (there was a tie):
Gabrielle Chou   Pembroke Pines FL
Gabrielle Chou
Gabrielle Chou, 21, is a New York-based pianist and violinist. She is currently in the Accelerated Bachelors/Masters program at The Juilliard School, where she studies with Jerome Lowenthal on piano, Lewis Kaplan on violin, and is the recipient of the Vladimir Horowitz Scholarship and the Susan W. Rose Piano Fellowship. Gabrielle has been a piano and violin soloist with orchestras in the US, Spain, Italy, and Taiwan, and has performed in Alice Tully Hall, the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall,  and the Taipei National Theater and Concert Hall. Gabrielle was the silver medalist at the 6th Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition, and a two-time recipient of the Chopin Foundation Scholarship. She has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School both as a pianist and on a two-year violin fellowship, and she was a Solo Piano fellow at the 2016 Music Academy of the West. Her website is gabriellechou.com.



The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo), 2017-18
(high school division) 

The American Prize winner:
Victor Shlyakhtenko   Los Angeles CA
Victor Shlyakhtenko
Victor Shlyakhtenko, age 16, has been studying piano at the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts under the direction of Teresa de Jong Pombo since the age of five. Last year, Victor performed at Carnegie Hall in New York under the auspices of the InterHarmony International Music Festival, and at the Walt Disney Concert Hall as a Grand Prize Winner of The Music Center’s Spotlight competition. He received first prize and a Special Prize in the 2016 Los Angeles International Liszt Competition and was an invited performer at the annual Liszt Society Festival at Northwestern University. Victor’s other recent honors include first prizes at the 2017 Parness Concerto competition, 2017 ENKOR International Music Competition, 2016 California MTNA  Piano Competition, 2016 California MTNA Composition Competition, 2017 Robert Turner Piano Concerto Competition, and the Orange County CAPMT Young Musicians Concerto Competition. In 2015–2016, Victor was chosen as the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust’s Musical Ambassador, also performing in their Annual Gala and their 2015 Lisa Jura Young Pianist Showcase Recital. Victor has appeared as soloist with the Orange County Symphony, Los Angeles Doctors Symphony, Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Huntington Beach Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Collective of Orange County, as well as the Colburn Youth Orchestra and Colburn Concert Choir, performing concerti by Mendelssohn, Chopin, Grieg, and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. Victor is a recipient of the Richard D. Colburn scholarship at the Colburn School of Performing Arts.
 

2nd PLACE: 
Avik Sarkar   Chestnut Hill MA
Avik Sarkar
Avik Sarkar is a sixteen-year-old pianist, cellist & composer, who is currently a sophomore at Buckingham Browne & Nichols (BB&N), Cambridge, MA. He studies piano with Mana Tokuno and Alexander Korsantia. Avik has also won prizes at several international, regional, and state piano competitions, including 1st prize at Forte International Music, 2nd prize at New York International Artists and 3rd prize at Louisiana International and Hartford Chopin International Piano competitions. He has won multiple prizes at NEPTA, MTNA, MMTA & Steinway Society of Massachusetts piano competitions. He has performed in recitals at Cadogan Hall in London, UK, Symphony Hall in Boston, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and was heard on WGBH Radio, NPR, Boston. Avik brings music to the community as a member of From the Top’s Center for the Development of Arts Leaders (CDAL) in Boston. Aside from music, he enjoys competition math, writing poetry and watercolor painting.


3rd PLACE:
Jarrett Mitsuhiro Takaki   Willmette IL 
Jarrett Mitsuhiro Takaki
Jarrett Takaki, age 18, is a senior at New Trier High School, and a student of Sueanne Metz. He has performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the University of Alicante in Perugia Italy, the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago, the Harper College Symphony Orchestra and the MostArts Orchestra at Alfred University in New York. He was a winner in the 2017 YoungArts Competition. In the summer of 2016, he was a semifinalist in the Southeastern Piano Festival and Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition, won the Grand Prize in the Senior Solo and Concerto Divisions of the Indiana Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition, and won second place in the ENKOR International Music Competition. He has received first place awards at the De Paul University Concerto Festival for Young Performers, the American Fine Arts Festival International Piano Competition, The Walgreens National Concerto Competition, the Emilio Del Rosario Concerto
Competition, the Young Artist Piano Competition at Tennessee Tech University, and The Lee Piano Competition at Augustana College. Jarrett was a semifinalist at the Yamaha International Piano Competition, the Kaufman Music Center International Youth Piano Competition, and won second place in the 2012 Cleveland International Piano Competition.


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Congratulations!

Friday, January 5, 2018

WINNERS: The American Prize in Voice (men in art song & oratorio), 2017-18—The Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in art song and oratorio), 2017-18—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, in professional, college/university and high school 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 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 in 2016, based on submitted recordings.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in art song and oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Justin John Moniz   Tallahassee FL
Justin John Moniz
Winner of the 2015 American Prize in Voice – Chicago Musical Theatre Award, Justin John Moniz’s “superb high tenor” (South Florida Classical Review) and “commanding stage presence” (TalkinBroadway.com) has been thrilling audiences in opera houses, theaters and concert halls across the nation, among them Opera Grand Rapids, Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, Sarasota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, the Opera Company of Middlebury, Opera New Jersey, DreamCatcher Theatre/Adrienne Arsht Center, Orchestra Miami, Gulfshore Opera, Palm Beach Dramaworks, the Orchestra of Northern New York, and Chicago Symphony Center. His unique style and versatility have afforded him an active career in opera, concert and musical theatre, having sung over 50 roles to date. Most recently, Mr. Moniz’s star turn as Prince Karl Franz in The Student Prince with Opera Grand Rapids received high praise and great acclaim, the press hailing his performance as “simply outstanding…glorious” (Encore Michigan). His performance also earned him the prestigious BroadwayWorld Award for Best Actor in a Musical. For more information: www.justinjohnmoniz.com
 

2nd PLACE:
Andrew Chukwuka Egbuchiem   Brooklyn NY
Andrew Chukwuka Egbuchiem
Andrew Egbuchiem made his debut as a Countertenor soloist in the performance of G.F. Handel’s Judas Maccabeus in Nigeria in 1999. He studied at the Department of Music, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education between 2001 and 2004. He was an artist in residence for the Singers of United Land Project an International residency program – SINGERS OF UNITED LANDS he was involved in between December 2013 and June 2014 touring through the east half of the united states, Kenya, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland and Latvia. He performed with the Schola Cantorum in Hudson for their 2015/2016 choral season singing performing as an Alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah and a modern composition. He sang the role Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in the Summer Vocal Arts Program at the Brooklyn Music School in August 2016. He was a Finalist at the Oratorio category of the Lyra International Vocal Competition in New York in 2016. In January 2017, he sang some roles from Opera scenes by Handel, Mozart and Offenbach in the Brooklyn Music School’s Winter Program Scherzo. He would be involved in the summer production of Gluck’s Echo et Narcisse.


3rd PLACE:
Vahagn Hovents   Glendale CA
Vahagn Hovents
Vahagn Hovents - bass, received international recognition as a performer of Sacred Music, displayed his talent in various cities of Russia, USA, Canada, Austria, Germany, Italy, Monaco, France, Poland, Iran, Syria. Mr.Hovents received top honors as First Prize winner of American Protege International Concerto Competition with a performance at Carnegie Hall, and Second Place from New York Oratorio Society Solo Competition in Carnegie Hall. Having a vast oratorial repertoire, the singer participated in internationally prominent festivals and his recitals were presented at the most prominent concert halls and cathedrals in the world. V.H. was a featured soloist of The Camerata of Los Angeles, ASMS ( Armenian Sacred Music Singers) and world-renowned  'Oshagan' - sacred music ensemble (Marseille, France),  presently soloist of The New Hope Singers of Los Angeles, Elite Chorus & Orchestra,  has performed as a bass soloist in monumental sacred works by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Handel, Beethoven, Verdi , Dvorak, Schubert, Gounod; under conductors Ogan D'Narc, Loris Tjeknavorian, Cliff Yang, Vincent Metzelfelt, Johanna Medawar-Nacheff, Thomas Sekaian, Gamma Skupinsky, Grigor Arakelyan, Tigran Hekekyan, Harutyun Topikyan, Robert Mlkeyan.
 



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in art song and oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
David John Davani   Sea Cliff NY
David John Davani
Baritone, David John Davani, performances include those with Stony Brook Opera, Art Song Preservation Society of NY "Spring into Song" Series at the National Opera Center, solo appearances with the Stony Brook University Orchestra, as well as recitals at the Staller Center. In December 2016, he performed in the world premier of celebrated composer Jonathan Dawe's new opera, "Nero and the Fall of Lehman Brothers" at the Italian Academy in NYC. In 2017 he performed with pianist, Joseph Holt in Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s Festival of French Music, where he also soloed in the Duruflé Requiem. David has also appeared in master classes with tenors George Shirley and Frank Lopardo, baritone William Stone, as well as Mikael Eliasen and Mark Markham. In 2017, he was invited as a Colburn Fellow to attend SongFest in Los Angeles. David is a National YoungArts award winner in voice and clarinet. Visit www.davidjohndavani.com.
 

2nd PLACE:
James Ley   Elkton MD
James Ley
Tenor James Ley, originally from Maryland, studied voice at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, with Dr. Carolyn Hart. While at Wheaton, James was involved in several opera productions. His most recent roles include a staged production of Britten’s Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac and Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. James also enjoyed participating as the tenor soloist in Wheaton’s production of Handel’s Messiah. During his sophomore year, James performed as Uriel in Haydn’s The Creation, under the baton of John Nelson. James looks forward to graduate studies in the fall of 2017.


3rd PLACE:
Ben M. Reisinger   Rochester NY
Ben M. Reisinger
Ben Reisinger, baritone, is honored to be selected as a Finalist for the prestigious American Prize Award in Vocal Performance in the Art Song/Oratorio and Opera/Operetta division, 2016-2017. Ben has recently been selected for the Martina Arroyo Foundation Prelude to Performance Young Artists Program for the summer of 2017.  He is a finalist in the Classical Singer Competition to be held in Chicago this May.  He has performed ‘Faure Requiem’ in Poland with the Philharmonic of Rzeszow.  He is a frequent soloist at the Rochester Lyric Opera.  Ben is in his 4th year at Nazareth College majoring in Vocal Performance.  He has been awarded 1st place for 3 years, Classical Vocal Competition in the NATS student auditions held at the Eastman School of Music, Nazareth and Hofstra. Ben was selected as one of the vocalists to tour with Josh Groban & Orchestra this past October & July, as well as one of the Northeast Vocal Finalists for the Michael Feinstein ‘Great American Songbook’ Competition in NYC.


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Congratulations!

WINNERS: The American Prize in Voice (men in opera), 2017-18—The Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipient of The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in opera and operetta), 2017-18—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial 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 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 in 2017-18, based on submitted recordings.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in opera and operetta), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Ryan Francis Burns   Vernon CT
Ryan Francis Burns
Baritone, Ryan F. Burns, performs extensively with opera companies and orchestras in the Northeast. Ryan was a 2016 national finalist in the American Prize competition in the performing arts (Art Song Division) and toured with the Jessica Lang Dance company in their staged production of The Wanderer (Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin). Most recently, Ryan sang the role of “Il Conte” in Le nozze di Figaro with UCONN Opera Theater and performed as part of the Ukrainian Institute of America’s MATI Series in New York City.

Ryan has performed with the former Opera Boston, Salt Marsh Opera, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Opera Theater of Connecticut, Opera Providence, Hartford Opera Theater, Greater Worcester Opera, and Opera del West. Ryan graduated with a doctorate of musical arts in vocal performance from the University Connecticut in May 2017. Ryan received his MMus in vocal performance in 2012 from the University of Connecticut and a BA in criminal justice from Saint Anselm College in 2007. He is a student of soprano, Dr. Constance Rock.
www.ryanfburns.com
  

2nd PLACE:
Scott J. Brunscheen   Chicago IL
Scott J. Brunscheen
During the 2016-17 Season, Scott J. Brunscheen was seen in productions of Haydn's L’isola disabitata with Haymarket Opera, Purcell's The Fairy Queen with Chicago Opera Theater and Long Beach Opera, the world premiere of Stewart Copeland's The Invention of Morel at Chicago Opera Theater, and Mozart's Die Zauberflote with Madison Opera. Previous operatic engagements include Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites at the Caramoor Bel Canto Festival, Britten’s The Turn of the Screw with Chicago Fringe Opera, Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment, Puccini’s Tosca, and Heggie's Dead Man Walking (Madison Opera); Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher, Mose in Egitto, Giasone, and Die Zauberflote (Chicago Opera Theater); Chin’s Alice in Wonderland and Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd (Opera Theater of St. Louis); Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Dean Burry's The Brothers Grimm (Lyric Opera of Chicago Lyric Unlimited); Britten's The Rape of Lucretia (Chicago Fringe Opera) and Mozart's Don Giovanni with Opera New Jersey. www.scottjbrunscheen.com
 


3rd PLACE & JUDGES' CITATION "Excellence in the music of Benjamin Britten"
Kyle van Schoonhoven   Chicago IL
Kyle van Schoonhoven
Tenor Kyle van Schoonhoven is currently a first year Adler at the San Francisco Opera.   He will make his debut on the San Francisco Opera stage this coming fall as Young Servant in Strauss’ Elektra,  and will cover other leading roles, including Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Aegisth in Elektra, Froh in Das Rheingold, and Siegmund in Die Walküre. Mr.  Van Schoonhoven was recently awarded the Nicolai Gedda Memorial Award, from the prestigious George London Foundation, and was a finalist in the 2016 Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition. In March 2017, he will be a semifinalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council semifinal auditions in NYC. In addition to participating in numerous young artist programs, van Schoonhoven holds a Masters of Music from Westminster Choir College as well as a Bachelors of Music from Fredonia School of Music. www.kylevs.com



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in opera and operetta), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
Ben M. Reisinger   Rochester NY
Ben M. Reisinger
Ben Reisinger, baritone, is honored to be selected as a Finalist for the prestigious American Prize Award in Vocal Performance in the Art Song/Oratorio and Opera/Operetta division, 2016-2017. Ben has recently been selected for the Martina Arroyo Foundation Prelude to Performance Young Artists Program for the summer of 2017.  He is a finalist in the Classical Singer Competition to be held in Chicago this May.  He has performed ‘Faure Requiem’ in Poland with the Philharmonic of Rzeszow. He is a frequent soloist at the Rochester Lyric Opera.  Ben is in his 4th year at Nazareth College majoring in Vocal Performance.  He has been awarded 1st place for 3 years, Classical Vocal Competition in the NATS student auditions held at the Eastman School of Music, Nazareth and Hofstra. Ben was selected as one of the vocalists to tour with Josh Groban & Orchestra this past October & July, as well as one of the Northeast Vocal Finalists for the Michael Feinstein ‘Great American Songbook’ Competition in NYC.

2nd PLACE:
Jake Hemminger   Greensboro NC
Jake Hemminger
Jake Hemminger is pursuing a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2016, he made his international debut as the tenor soloist for Schubert’s Mass in G and Mozart’s Missa Brevis in F during the MidAmerica Productions Choral Series in Florence, Italy. ​Jake’s favorite roles performed include Henrik in A Little Night Music, Fracasso in Mozart’s La finta semplice, and Count Danilo in The Merry Widow. He has also been seen in scenes from L’elisir d’amore, Falstaff, and The Tender Land. This summer, he will be a Resident Artist with Opera North, performing the role of Ajax 2 in La belle Hélène. Jake graduated from The University of Alabama at Birmingham with a degree in Music Technology. He intends to continue his vocal study and education, aspiring to a career in performance and voice science. Visit JakeHemmingerMusic.com to learn more!
 
 

3rd PLACE:
David John Davani   Sea Cliff NY
David John Davani
Baritone, David John Davani, performances include those with Stony Brook Opera, Art Song Preservation Society of NY "Spring into Song" Series at the National Opera Center, solo appearances with the Stony Brook University Orchestra, as well as recitals at the Staller Center. In December 2016, he performed in the world premier of celebrated composer Jonathan Dawe's new opera, "Nero and the Fall of Lehman Brothers" at the Italian Academy in NYC. In 2017 he performed with pianist, Joseph Holt in Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s Festival of French Music, where he also soloed in the Duruflé Requiem. David has also appeared in master classes with tenors George Shirley and Frank Lopardo, baritone William Stone, as well as Mikael Eliasen and Mark Markham. In 2017, he was invited as a Colburn Fellow to attend SongFest in Los Angeles. David is a National YoungArts award winner in voice and clarinet. Visit www.davidjohndavani.com.
  

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Congratulations!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

WINNERS: The American Prize in Piano (concerto): Lorin Hollander Award, 2017-18


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipient of The American Prize in Piano Performance (concerto), 2017-18—The Lorin Hollander Award, in professional, college/university and high school 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/


The American Prize 
in Piano Performance (concerto), 2017-18—The Lorin Hollander Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Richard Bosworth   Portland OR
    Tchaikovsky Concerto in B flat minor

Richard Bosworth
Critically acclaimed for "the kind of artistry which captivates, transports and communicates deeply," Richard Bosworth brings to the concert stage a broad spectrum of musical tastes and experience.  His travels have taken him to nearly every major continent in the capacities of a piano recitalist, soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and competitor.

Some of Bosworth’s unusual career highlights include a guest appearance at the White House by invitation of President Clinton and a debut of the first interactive music program aired over the Internet at Lincoln Center in 2005.  He has played on live radio from the studios of WQXR (New York), Sirius Satellite (New York), and WGBH (Boston).

His interpretations have equally garnered praise from the international community. On a number of occasions, he has made guest appearances with conductors, Erich Kunzel and Keith Lockhart, and collaborated with the baritone, Hermann Prey.

For more information, visit the website, www.richardbosworth.com.


2nd PLACE:
Quynh Nguyen   New York NY
    Mozart K. 453 (G major)
 
Quynh Nguyen
Praised by the Boston Globe as “a musical and expressive player,” pianist Quynh Nguyen has performed extensively throughout the US and Europe. As a concerto soloist, she has performed with the Jager Meister Chamber Orchestra, the Berlin University Orchestra, the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra, the Regional Wind Orchestra of Paris, among others. Her performances have been featured on numerous radio stations throughout the US, as well as TV programs such as “Grand Piano,” “Study With the Best,” a CUNY TV program, Japanese TV Fujisankei and Vietnamese national television.

A graduate of the Juilliard School and Mannes College, she received her Doctoral degree from the Graduate Center of CUNY in 2009. She is the recipient of several highly prestigious scholarships and awards, including the United States Presidential Academic Excellence Award and a Fulbright Fellowship to Paris, and serves on the faculties of Hunter College and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival.


3rd PLACE:
Roberto Plano   Holliston MA
    Busoni Concerto in D minor

Roberto Plano
Italian native ROBERTO PLANO was the First Prize Winner at the 2001 Cleveland International Piano Competition, a prize winner at the Honens, Dublin, Sendai, Geza Anda and Valencia competitions and Finalist at the 2005 Van Cliburn. Mr. Plano’s engaging personality has made him a favorite guest on radio programs such as NPR’s “Performance Today,” and on TV shows for PBS and Japan’s NHK. He has recorded CDs for Brilliant, Azica, Arktos, Sipario, Concerto (two world premier CDs with music by re-discovered 18th century Italian composer Andrea Luchesi) and DECCA (Liszt’s “Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses”, awarded the maximum 5-star rating by Amadeus magazine). Mr. Plano studied at the Verdi Conservatory in Milan, the Ecole Normale “Cortot” in Paris and the Lake Como Academy. In 2016 Mr. Plano joined the faculty at Boston University.. He has been awarded the Lumen Claro, given to influential people like soprano Barbara Frittoli, stylist Ottavio Missoni and economist Mario Monti. www.robertoplano.com


JUDGES' CITATION: "Excellence in Unusual Repertoire"
Jacob Clark   Beaumont TX
    Hartley Concerto #2 for Piano and Wind Ensemble

Jacob Clark
Pianist Jacob Clark received his musical education primarily in Texas, completing his BM, MM, and DMA in piano performance at the University of Texas at Austin where his primary solo instructors were David Renner and Nancy Garrett. Dr. Clark joined the faculty of Lamar University in the fall of 2014 as Assistant Professor of Piano, specializing in applied and group instruction. Previous faculty appointments include assistant professor at South Carolina State University, and adjunct instructor at Northern Virginia Community College.

An active performer, he has presented recitals nationally both as a soloist and with his wife, pianist Sujung Cho, as Duo Korusa. Dr. Clark’s concerto performances include appearances with the Washington Sinfonietta Orchestra, Lamar Civic Orchestra, SC State Wind Ensemble, and Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra, and most recently appearing with the Lamar Wind Ensemble for the premiere of “Among the Woodlands,” a newly commissioned concerto for piano duet and wind ensemble by composer Thomas Dempster.


The American Prize 
in Piano Performance (concerto), 2017-18—The Lorin Hollander Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
Xiao Chen   Los Angeles CA
    Rachmaninoff Concerto #2

Xiao Chen
Chinese-born pianist Xiao Chen is actively engaged as a solo and chamber musician. She received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree under Inna Faliks from University of California, Los Angeles. She obtained her Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School in New York, where she studied with Jerome Lowenthal. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Bard College Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Language and Literature from Bard College. She studied with Melvin Chen at Bard.

Ms. Chen has performed numerous concerts and recitals throughout the U.S., China, and Europe. Her recent solo recital in Shanghai Concert Hall was well received and interviewed by Shanghai Youth Daily (“Her energetic, exquisite, breathtaking performance… impressed the audience”). Her performance of Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto with UCLA Symphony was the highlight of the concert season. She is the prize winner of many competitions including Frances Wlaton Competition, American Protege International Competition, The Muse International Competition, ‘London’ Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition, and Steinway & Sons International Youth Piano Competition China Regional Competition. As a winner of Frances Walton Competition, she played a concert tour in Washtington State and performed a solo piano program on radio live broadcast concert at Classical KING FM 98.1. She has been invited to perform in numerous music festivals including The Morningside Bridge Summer Festival, Yellow Barn Music Festival, Pianofest Summer Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Manchester Music Festival, and Italy Perugia Music Fest.


2nd PLACE:
Lishan Xue   Urbana IL
    Bartok Concerto #2

Lishan Xue
Pianist Lishan Xue was born in Shanghai, China who is the prizewinner of various national and international piano competitions. She has performed in prestigious venues such as the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts, the Simon Bolivar Hall, the Shanghai Concert Hall and Beijing Concert Hall. Music Journalist Philip Dewolf (RTBF, Culture/Music) praised her performance “Excelled marvelously in the art of arranging the complexity of sound” and Pascal Goffoux acclaimed “a complete musician, absorbing, captivating and inventive” (RTBF, Journal Culture). She was awarded her Bachelor of Arts (2007) and Master of Arts (2011) in Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Additionally, she had studied in Vienna, Austria from 2009 to 2010. She also holds two Artist Diplomas from Oberlin Conservatory and Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University since 2015. Her principle teachers include Monique Duphil, Arnaldo Cohen, and Menahem Pressler. Currently, she is pursuing her doctoral degree in University of Illinois with William Heiles.  www.1219195220.wix.com/lishan


3rd PLACE:
Pei-Sin Chen   Columbus OH
    Prokofiev Concerto #1

Pei-Sin Chen
Pei-Sin Chen is currently a doctoral candidate pursuing her DMA degree in piano performance with Professor Steven Glaser at The Ohio State University. During her graduate study, she has received numerous scholarships and awards. Ms. Chen has been a collaborator to a variety of ensembles in special events including vocal performances, string recitals, woodwind concerto competitions, and opera outreach program. In 2015, she was nominated by School of Music at The Ohio State University as the musical director of Opera Outreach Program, and has performed dozens of times throughout central Ohio. In 2016, she achieved recognition from the School of Music Honors Convocation as the annual award winner of ensembles.

In addition to collaborating in various fields, she has achieved remarkable accomplishments and rewards as a soloist in international piano competitions in Taiwan and United States. In 2014, she performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City as the first prize winner of American Protégé International Piano Competition. In 2015, she was selected as a concerto winner and performed Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.1 with Ohio State Symphony Orchestra. In 2017, Ms. Chen was appointed and invited to perform with Kenyon’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble.


The American Prize 
in Piano Performance (concerto), 2017-18—The Lorin Hollander Award
(high school division) 

The American Prize winner:
Leyla Kabuli   Davis CA
    Rachamninoff Concerto #2

Leyla Kabuli
Leyla Kabuli, 17,­ is a senior in high school. She is a pre-college scholarship student of Yoshikazu Nagai at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the pianist of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. She is a Chopin Foundation scholarship recipient, and winner of National YoungArts awards in 2016 and 2017. Her piano competition awards include first prizes in Los Angeles Young Musician International, eMuse, American Protége, Wildflower Music International, Pacific Musical Society, MTAC, CAPMT, Kruschke, Mindell, Ghiglieri, Classical Masters, East Bay, Berkeley Etude Club, US Open, and MTNA Piano Duet. She performed with Ensemble SF in 2015, and as third prize winner with the Virginia Waring IPC Festival Orchestra. In 2016, she appeared on NPR’s From the Top, and was featured in San Francisco’s Noontime Concerts as the Helen von Ammon Emerging Artist Award recipient. She has also performed with the Nova Vista Symphony, Palo Alto Philharmonic, and El Camino Symphony orchestras as winner of their concerto competitions, and with the Sonoma Philharmonic as their Young Artist of the Year award recipient. Leyla especially enjoys chamber music and collaborative piano, and also plays the bassoon and violin.


2nd PLACE:
Victor Shlyakhtenko   Los Angeles CA  
    Beethoven Choral Fantasy




Victor Shlyakhtenko
Victor Shlyakhtenko, age 16, has been studying piano at the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts under the direction of Teresa de Jong Pombo since the age of five. Last year, Victor performed at Carnegie Hall in New York under the auspices of the InterHarmony International Music Festival, and at the Walt Disney Concert Hall as a Grand Prize Winner of The Music Center’s Spotlight competition. He received first prize and a Special Prize in the 2016 Los Angeles International Liszt Competition and was an invited performer at the annual Liszt Society Festival at Northwestern University. Victor’s other recent honors include first prizes at the 2017 Parness Concerto competition, 2017 ENKOR International Music Competition, 2016 California MTNA  Piano Competition, 2016 California MTNA Composition Competition, 2017 Robert Turner Piano Concerto Competition, and the Orange County CAPMT Young Musicians Concerto Competition. In 2015–2016, Victor was chosen as the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust’s Musical Ambassador, also performing in their Annual Gala and their 2015 Lisa Jura Young Pianist Showcase Recital. Victor has appeared as soloist with the Orange County Symphony, Los Angeles Doctors Symphony, Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Huntington Beach Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Collective of Orange County, as well as the Colburn Youth Orchestra and Colburn Concert Choir, performing concerti by Mendelssohn, Chopin, Grieg, and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. Victor is a recipient of the Richard D. Colburn scholarship at the Colburn School of Performing Arts.

3rd PLACE:
Xiaoping Wang, Jr.   Highland Park IL
    Saint-Saens Concerto #2 (G minor) 

Xiaoping Wang, Jr.
Texas-born piano prodigy Xiaoping Wang first began his piano studies at age five studying with Dr. Oscar Macchioni at the University of Texas, where his musical gifts were recognized at an early age. He made his Carnegie Recital Hall debut at age seven performing Beethoven, and by age eight made his concerto debut with orchestra performing a concerto by J.S. Bach. After moving to Chicago, he continued his studies with Meng-Chieh Liu, Brenda Huang, Sandro Tsomaia, winning in 3rd prize in the Sejong Music Competition in 2012. In 2013 Xiaoping began studies with Steinway Artist Susan Merdinger and subsequently won Honorable Mention in the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, and a $9,000 Full Scholarship to Interlochen Arts Camp from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions in Piano in 2014, followed by a Second Prize in the 2015 Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition. Xiaoping has also studied chamber music at the Music Institute of Chicago, Midwest Young Artists, Montecito Music Festival in California and at Summit Music Festival in New York- where he was the only pianist in both Junior and Senior divisions selected to be a finalist in the Mary Smart Concerto Competition and was awarded an Honorable Mention. In September 2015, he entered the Interlochen Arts Academy where he began studying with Dr. T. J. Lymenstull, while continuing private lessons and recording sessions with Ms. Merdinger when back in Chicago during school vacations. He has participated in Master Classes and has had additional lessons or coachings with Efrem Briskin, Vadim Monastirsky, Phillip Kawin, and Lydia Boguslavsky. In 2017 Xiaoping performed Saint-Saen's Concerto No.2 with FullScore Chamber Orchestra in Chicago, Illinois, with the Juarez Symphony Orchestra in Mexico, and will perform with the North Shore Chamber Orchestra in Evanston, IL  in May. will compete in several national and international competitions.


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Congratulations!