10 Young Conductors Receive 2019 Career Assistance Awards From Solti Foundation U.S.
The Solti Foundation released its 2019 Career Assistance Awards today, raising the number of Career Assistance Awards the organization has granted since turning its focus to exclusively assisting young American conductors in 2004 to 78. Penny Van Horn, Board Chair of The Solti Foundation U.S. and Elizabeth Buccheri, Artistic and Awards Committee Chair, announced the names of the ten recipients of the 2019 Solti Foundation Career Assistance Awards. The young conductors work throughout the United States, and abroad, and hold posts in California, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Utah,Washington, Wyoming, and abroad in Brazil and Canada.
"The future of classical music is indeed bright," stated Ms. Van Horn. "Each year, the Foundation receives applications from all over, demonstrating the need for an organization such as ours. It is exciting to learn of new talent and to watch the growth of some former award recipients.
"This year's award recipients include first time recipients and some young conductors whom we have supported in the past, and who have proven themselves to be deserving of additional support in their musical journeys. We congratulate each of the 2019 awardees."
Ms. Van Horn revealed Conner Gray Covington, Associate Conductor, Utah Symphony; Aram Demirjian, Music Director of Knoxville Symphony Orchestra; Joshua Hong, Music Director of the Campanile Orchestra; Stilian Kirov, Music Director of the Bakersfield Symphony (CA), Illinois Philharmonic and New Jersey's Symphony in C; Benjamin Manis,Resident Conductor of the Houston Grand Opera beginning September 2019; Lee Mills, Resident Conductor of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, and Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony beginning September 2019; Gemma New, Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, beginning 2019-2020 season; Stefano Sarzani, former Associate Conductor of the Des Moines Metro Opera, Stephanie Rhodes Russell, recently appointed Associate Conductor of the Grand Teton Music Festival; and Kensho Watanabe, Assistant Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, as the 2019 Award recipients.