Lotte Lenya Competition Announces 2019 Finalists
Kim H. Kowalke, President of the Kurt Weill Foundation, has announced the finalists for the 2019 Lotte Lenya Competition. Thirteen performers will compete for top prizes of $20,000, $15,000, and $10,000.
Carolyn Bacon (Portland, OR, 28)
Danielle Beckvermit (Kingston, NY, 26)
Daniel Berryman (Seattle, WA, 28)
Timothy Bruno (Toledo, OH, 31)
Jonathan Heller (Huntington, NY, 24)
Jonah Hoskins (Saratoga Springs, UT, 22)
Trevor Martin (Fayetteville, GA, 30)
Florian Peters (Rheinbreitbach, Germany, 31)
Katherine Riddle (Washington, DC, 28)
Nyla Watson (Cleveland, OH, 28)
Amy Weintraub (Fort Collins, CO, 24)
Jeremy Weiss (Charlottesville, VA, 25)
Andrea Wozniak (Boston, MA, 28)
Finals will take place on 13 April 2019 in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY. Both the daytime and evening rounds are free and open to the public, and both will be live-streamed for free online viewing to audiences around the world for the first time. The stream will be accessible at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/live/kilbourn/ beginning at 10:45am for the daytime round and 7:45pm for the evening concert and awards presentation.
The 2019 competition drew 215 applicants from 21 countries and 29 US states and Puerto Rico, each performing a program of four selections totaling no more than fifteen minutes each.
In the semi-final round, twenty-eight contestants auditioned for and received coaching from Broadway music director and conductor Andy Einhorn and Tony Award-winning theater, film, and opera composer Jeanine Tesori. The fifteen who did not advance to the finals received a cash award of $500 each: Lily Arbisser (Davenport, IA, 32), Brittany Baratz (Gaithersburg, MD, 32), Paula Berry (Ottawa, Canada, 25), Kyle Bielfield (Miami, FL, 31), Sarah Bishop (Butler, PA, 26), Jessica Fishenfeld (Greatneck, NY, 27), Michael Hewitt (Denver, CO, 28), Suzanne Lane (Washington, DC, 28), Claire Leyden (New York, NY, 24), Scott McCreary (New York, NY, 30), Sun-Ly Pierce (Clinton, NY, 24), Claudia Roick (Schwerin, Germany, 31), Rachel Sparrow (Chicago, IL, 31), Maria Vasilevskaya (Novosibirsk, Russia, 24), Adam von Almen (Lima, OH, 32).
The three-person jury for the finals includes the Austrian opera and musical theater performer and Weill specialist Ute Gfrerer, opera and musical theater conductor Adam Benzwi, and Mark Lamos, artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse.
More than a vocal competition, the Lotte Lenya Competition recognizes talented young singer/actors who are dramatically and musically convincing in repertoire ranging from opera/operetta to contemporary Broadway scores, with a focus on the works of Kurt Weill. Since its inception in 1998, the Lotte Lenya Competition has grown into an internationally recognized leader in identifying and nurturing the next generation of "total-package performers" (Opera News) and rising stars in both the opera and musical theater worlds. The roster of prizewinners has likewise grown to over 100, many of whom have gone on to major performing careers.
The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc. (http://www.kwf.org) is dedicated to promoting understanding of the life and works of composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950) and preserving the legacies of Weill and his wife, actress-singer Lotte Lenya (1898-1981). The Foundation administers the Weill-Lenya Research Center, a Grant Program, the Kurt Weill Book Prize and the Lotte Lenya Competition, and publishes the Kurt Weill Edition and the Kurt Weill Newsletter.