Who Will Win a 2017 George London Award? The 46th Annual Competition Presents Public Finals 2/17

On Friday, February 17, 2017, 24 of the best young American and Canadian opera singers will perform with pianist Craig Rutenberg before a panel of judges and an enthusiastic audience at The Morgan Library & Museum, hoping to win a George London Award, an honor that has been conferred upon hundreds of the best young singers since 1971.

This will be the final round of the 46th annual George London Foundation Awards Competition, one of the oldest and most prestigious vocal competitions in the U.S. and Canada. Over three days of preliminary auditions on February 13-15, 90 singers will compete to reach the finals.

At the event, each singer performs one selection, and the winners are announced, all at The Morgan Library & Museum's Gilder Lehrman Hall on Friday, February 17, at 4:00 PM. After the finalists' performances, the audience is invited to a reception while the judges deliberate. The audience is then asked back into the hall for the announcement of the winners.

The competition will be awarding $75,000 in prizes. This year's panel of judges includes soprano Harolyn Blackwell, mezzo-soprano Rosalind Elias, former Metropolitan Opera administrator Alfred F. Hubay, George London Foundation President Nora London, mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, tenor and voice professor George Shirley, and baritone Richard Stilwell (who won a George London Award at the first competition, in 1971). The competition pianist is renowned collaborative pianist Craig Rutenberg.

The 2016 George London Award winners were sopranos Antonina Chehovska, Kirsten MacKinnon, and Claudia Rosenthal; tenor A.J. Glueckert, and baritones Steven LaBrie and David Pershall.

A selection of award-winning performances from the 2016 and 2015 competitions is available to view on the foundation's website:http://www.georgelondon.org/videos.html.

Many George London Award winners have gone on to international stardom - the list of past winners includes Christine Brewer, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Christine Goerke, Catherine Malfitano, James Morris, Matthew Polenzani, Sondra Radvanovsky, Neil Shicoff, and Dawn Upshaw (see below).

One of the oldest vocal competitions in the United States and Canada, the George London Foundation Awards Competition offers among the most substantial awards. As is seldom the case in musical competitions, no fee is charged to the applicants or competitors, a pianist is provided for the competition rounds, and prizes are awarded immediately.

After the competition, the George London Foundation's 2016-17 season continues with two duo recitals:

  • Paul Appleby, tenor, and Sarah Mesko, mezzo-soprano. Mr. Appleby won his George London Award in 2011, and Ms. Mesko won hers in 2015. Sunday, March 5, 2017, at 4:00 pm

  • Amber Wagner, soprano, and Reginald Smith, Jr., baritone. Ms. Wagner won her George London Award in 2010, and Mr. Smith won his in 2015. Sunday, April 2, 2017, at 4:00 pm

The Legacy of George London

The goal of the London Foundation, the support and nurturing of young singers, was an abiding interest of the great American bass-baritone George London, who devoted a great part of the time and energy of his later years to this purpose. "Remembering his difficult road to success, George wanted to devise a way to make the road a little easier for future generations of singers," said George London Foundation President Nora London. Initially created under the auspices of the National Opera Institute, the George London Awards program has been administered since 1990 directly by the Foundation as a living legacy to George London's own exceptional talent and generosity. As The New York Times noted last year, "this prestigious competition ... can rightfully claim to act as a springboard for major careers in opera." Visit www.georgelondon.org.




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