Wayne Brady Hosts 2016 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards Ceremony Tonight

By: Mar. 02, 2016
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Several stage names are among the recipients of the newly renamed 2016 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, to be presented at The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center tonight, March 2, 2016.

This new event was inspired by the Martin E. Segal Awards, which for the last 30 years have recognized two early career artists of exceptional talent. The new identity for this event will allow all of Lincoln Center's resident organizations to recognize the vast amount of talent nurtured across its entire campus; the eleven organizations will honor distinguished rising artists at this year's ceremony.

The event will feature awards from all of Lincoln Center's resident organizations, including two Martin E. Segal Award winners, in addition to the newly established Hunt Family Award. Each of the award winners will receive $7,500 to be used for career advancement and to support future study. The evening, which is made possible by the generous support of lead sponsor First Republic Bank, celebrates excellence in all performing arts genres, and features a special live performance and dinner honoring the winners.

The eleven 2016 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award winners are: composer Julia Adolphe (nominated by the New York Philharmonic); tenor Ben Bliss (The Metropolitan Opera); actor Jon Viktor Corpuz (THE KING AND I, Lincoln Center Theater); filmmaker Mati Diop (Film Society of Lincoln Center); Dover Quartet (Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts/Hunt Family Award); jazz pianist and composer Sullivan Fortner (Jazz at Lincoln Center); dancer Ethan Fuller (School of American Ballet); playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (The Juilliard School/Martin E. Segal Award); singer/songwriter and actress Nellie McKay (The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts); violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky and pianist Wu Qian (Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center); and dancer Indiana Woodward (New York City Ballet/Martin E. Segal Award).

The evening will be hosted by Emmy Award-winner and Grammy Award-nominee Wayne Brady, and awards will be presented by artists including Mostly Mozart Festival Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Louis Langrée, and Tony Award-nominated and New York City Ballet principal dancer Robert Fairchild. Other presenters will be announced at a later date.

"The arts are pivotal to our world and our society, and it's our responsibility to help support the next generation of promising talented artists," said Jed Bernstein, President of Lincoln Center. "We're excited to build on the great legacy of Martin E. Segal Awards, together with the new Hunt Family Award, through the Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards. This special recognition demonstrates Lincoln Center's continued commitment to the excellent artists of today and tomorrow, and our helping them nurture their career and give them room to blossom further."

With the Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center continues its commitment to supporting rising artists and their developing craft. Each of the eleven winners will receive a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award. The Martin E. Segal Award will be given to two of the Lincoln Center Emerging Artist winners, determined by two Lincoln Center resident organizations and rotated annually. The newly established Hunt Family Award will be given to the honoree nominated by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. This recognition was created by Lincoln Center Board member David Hunt and his wife Alice, in honor of his parents Margot Bowie and Alan Reeve Hunt, and their dedication to the arts and its future.

The Martin E. Segal Awards were established in 1986 by the Board of Directors of Lincoln Center, in honor of the philanthropist, arts leader, and former Lincoln Center chairman and his commitment to rising talents. In the last 30 years, nearly a quarter of a million dollars have been given to more than 65 remarkable emerging artists associated with Lincoln Center. Past Martin E. Segal Award winners include pianists Jonathan Biss, and Shai Wosner; the Brentano, Borromeo, and JACK string quartets; mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung; violinist Augustin Hadelich; director Thomas Kail; dancer Daniel Ulbricht; cellist Alisa Weilerstein; choreographer Christopher Wheeldon; jazz saxophonist Melissa Aldana; composers Jason Robert Brown and Michael John LaChiusa; and conductor Xian Zhang, among many others.

Tickets start at $50 (awards event only). Information and tickets are available at www.lcemergingartistawards.org. For the gala evening tickets, call Kristel Kempin at 212-875-5444.

More about the 2016 honorees:

Julia Adolphe

Composer Julia Adolphe has been described as "alive with invention" (The New Yorker), "colorful, mercurial, deftly orchestrated"(The New York Times) and a "mastery of dynamic as well as harmonic complexity" (Financial Times). Her works are pesrformed by ensembles small and large, including members of the JACK Quartet, the Great Noise Ensemble, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. Adolphe's orchestral work Dark Sand, Sifting Light was premiered by the New York Philharmonic at its inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL in 2014. She has received numerous awards, including a 2015 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as grants from New Music USA and American Composers Forum. She is currently working on a large choral work for James Conlon and the Cincinnati May Festival, a Viola Concerto for the New York Philharmonic (co-commissioned by the League of American Orchestras, American Composers Orchestra, and EarShot, with support from Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Program for Commissioning Women in the Performing Arts), a chamber opera with librettist Nahal Navidar, and a choral work for English conductor Suzi Digby.

Ben Bliss

American tenor Ben Bliss has, in recent years, performed on opera and concert stages across and country and around the world. He is a recent graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera, and made his stage debut with the company performing Vogelgesang in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, conducted by James Levine. He has also appeared in several roles with the Los Angeles Opera, as a member of their Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. This season he will return to the Met to sing Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (a role he will also sing for his European debut with Glyndebourne Festival on tour), and perform with the Los Angeles Opera, New York Philharmonic, New York Choral Society, and Cincinnati May Festival. He has been recognized with other awards including the Mozart and Plácido Domingo awards at the 2015 Francisco Viñas International Competition in Barcelona, and first prize in the 2014 Gerda Lissner and Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation competitions.

Jon Viktor Corpuz

Actor Jon Viktor Corpuz is currently featured as Prince Chulalongkorn in Lincoln Center Theater's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I, his Broadway debut. He has performed in several off-Broadway productions including A Midsummer Night's Dream (TFANA, dir. Julie Taymor), The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Patrick/Radio City Music Hall),Godspell: Cast of 2032 (Circle in the Square), The King and I (Prince Chulalongkorn/2012 and 2006). Other productions includesCabaret (Emcee), Rent (Angel), Into the Woods (Jack). Additionally, he has opened for Pentatonix, performed at the legendary cabaret venues Birldand Jazz Club and Feinstein's/54 Below, and sung the National Anthem for MLB. He is also a graduate of Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music (Tisch/NYU, full scholarship) and New York City's Professional Performing Arts School.

Mati Diop

The French-born actress and director Mati Diop has made a name for herself through a unique storytelling style. She has directed several films, including Liberian Boy (2015), A Thousand Suns (2013), Snow Canon (2012), Big in Vietnam (2011) and Atlantiques (2009). Collectively, these films have been selected and received awards from international festivals including the Venice, Rotterdam, FID Marseille, Toronto and New York film festivals. She has had retrospectives in New York at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Museum of the Moving Image, at the BFI London Film Festival, the Viennale Film Festival and Valdivia Int. Film Festival. As an actress, Diop starred in Claire Denis's 35 Shots of Rhums (2008), Antonio Campos's Simon Killer (2012), and in Benjamin Crotty's Fort Buchanan (2014).

Dover Quartet

The Dover Quartet (Joel Link, Bryan Lee, violin; Milena Pajaro-Van De Stadt, viola; Camden Shaw, cello) have been called "the young American string quartet of the moment" by The New Yorker. They have had the honor of being the Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music and at the Caramoor Festival. They have performed throughout the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe, including appearances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and London's Wigmore Hall. They have performed at numerous festivals, such as Chamber Music Northwest, La Jolla SummerFest, Bravo! Vail, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Festival Internacional de Música de Cartagena. The Dover Quartet is dedicated to sharing their music with underserved communities and is an active members of Music for Food, an initiative to help musicians fight hunger in their home communities. They will perform at the David Rubenstein Atrium in February 2016 as part of Lincoln Center's Great Performers 2015-16 season.

Ethan Fuller

Ethan Fuller is an advanced student at the School of American Ballet (SAB). He began his dance training at New Dimensions Dance Company in Florida at the age of 7. At 12, he won the leading role in the national Broadway tour of Billy Elliot, alternating performances with four other boys during 2010-11 tour dates. He subsequently returned to Florida to train at Next Generation Ballet with Peter Stark (an alumnus of School of American Ballet and New York City Ballet) before successfully auditioning for the School of American Ballet in 2014. Fuller has trained in the School of American Ballet's Advanced Men's class for the past two years and performed principal roles in Valse Fantaisie and Fanfare at the School's 2015 Workshop Performances.

Sullivan Fortner

Sullivan Fortner began playing the piano at age four, and quickly began performing around his native New Orleans. He received scholarships to the Skidmore Jazz Studies Summer Camp and the Val Jazz Institute. Sullivan later went on to study at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and later at the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Jason Moran, Phil Markowitz, and David Liebman. He is the recipient of the prestigious Leonore Annenberg Fellowship, enabling him to study in South India, and the 2015 Cole Porter Fellow of Jazz of the American Pianists Association. He currently performs and travels with the Roy Hargrove Quintet and the Roberta Gambarini Quintet, in addition to being active in the New York jazz scene. His debut recording, "Aria" was released by Impulse Records in October 2015, and garnered acclaim from The New York Times andDownbeat Magazine.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins's credits include Gloria (Vineyard Theatre), Appropriate (Obie Award; Signature Theatre, New York), Neighbors (The Public Theater), An Octoroon (Obie Award; Soho Rep, Theatre for a New Audience), and War (Yale Rep; forthcoming at Lincoln Center/LCT3). He is currently a Residency Five playwright at the Signature Theatre. His work has been seen at Actor's Theater of Louisville, Woolly Mammoth Theater, The Matrix Theater in LA, Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis, CompanyOne in Boston, and the HighTide Festival in the UK. He is under commission from Lincoln Center/LCT3 and Manhattan Theater Club. Honors include the 2015 Steinberg Playwriting Award, the Helen Merrill Award, the Paula Vogel Award, and the inaugural Tennessee Williams award. He has taught at NYU-Tisch, Princeton University, and Queens University of Charlotte. He holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University and is also a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at The Juilliard School.

Nellie McKay

Nellie McKay has released six full-length albums, including Normal As Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day and her latest, My Weekly Reader, music of the '60s produced by Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick. McKay has indulged an extended run in the off-Broadway hit Old Hats and written three acclaimed musical biographies - I Want to Live!, the story of Barbara Graham, third woman executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin, Silent Spring: It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature, an exploration of environmental pioneer Rachel Carson, and A GIRL NAMED BILL - The Life and Times of Billy Tipton, named one of the Best Concerts of 2014 by The New York Times. She has won a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of Polly Peachum in the Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera and performed onscreen in the films PS I Love You and Downtown Express, as well as writing original music for the Rob Reiner film Rumor Has It and contributing to the Emmy winning documentary, Gasland. Aside from her artistic pursuits, she is an outspoken and fierce advocate for many deeply felt progressive ideals.

Alexander Sitkovetsky

The Moscow-born violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky performs chamber and symphonic music with a wide range of international ensembles, including the Netherlands Philharmonic, London Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. He recently recorded Andrzej Panufnik's Violin Concerto for the CPO label to great acclaim, winning the 2015 ICMA Special Achievement award. As a chamber musician, he received first prize at the Trio di Trieste Duo Competition in 2011 with pianist, and fellow Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award-winner, Wu Qian. He is a founding member of the Sitkovetsky Piano Trio and, since 2012, has played in a string quartet with fellow violinist Julia Fischer. Sitkovetsky is a recent graduate of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's CMS Two program, an internationally acclaimed three-season residency for exceptionally gifted young chamber music artists.

Wu Qian

Pianist Wu Qian was selected as classical music's bright young star for 2007 by The Independent (UK), and has appeared as soloist in many international venues including the Wigmore, Royal Festival, and Bridgewater halls in the UK, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. As an orchestral performer, she has appeared with the Konzerthaus Orchester in Berlin, the Brussels Philharmonic, the European Union Chamber Orchestra, the Munich Symphony Orchestra, and many others. She is a first prize winner at the Trio di Trieste Duo Competition along with fellow Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award-winner Alexander Sitkovetsky, and with him, a founding member of the Sitkovetsky Piano Trio. She has released two recordings on the BIS label, and is a current member of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's CMS Two program, an internationally acclaimed three-season residency for exceptionally gifted young chamber music artists.

Indiana Woodward

Indiana Woodward began studying at the School of American Ballet during the summer of 2010 and was later enrolled as a full-time student that fall. By August 2012, she was an apprentice with the New York City Ballet, and jointed the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in December 2012. Since that time, she has performed featured roles in George Balanchine'sChaconne, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and George Balanchine's The Nutcracker (Sugarplum Fairy, Marzipan, Doll); August Bournonville's Bournonville Divertissements; Peter Martins' Swan Lake; Alexei Ratmansky's Pictures at an Exhibition; Jerome Robbins' Interplay; and Christopher Wheeldon's Mercurial Manoeuvres and Soirée Musicale (in the NYCB Premiere). She originated corps roles in Kim Brandstrup's Jeux, Justin Peck's Everywhere We Go, and Liam Scarlett's Acheron. Additionally, in 2010 Ms. Woodward won first place in the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive in New York City and was invited to perform at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy gala in Moscow.

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