September 2016


Fall Performance Preview



David Robertson (photo credit: Dan Dreyfus), Charles Lindbergh
The 2016/17 season offers many exciting performances of Weill’s and Blitzstein’s music, featuring hits and rarities, performed by the world’s leading ensembles and soloists.

  • The Flight of Lindbergh in St. Louis
The season gets off to a flying start on 16 & 17 September when the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra presents Weill and Brecht’s innovative The Flight of Lindbergh (​Der Lindberghflug) on its season opening concert.

This cantata for soloists, chorus and orchestra, originally composed for the radio in 1929, celebrates Lindbergh’s historic 1927 solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. The Flight of Lindbergh is right at home in the city which lent its name to Lindbergh’s single-engine, single-man airplane, the Spirit of St. Louis.

SLSO Music Director David Robertson conducts, with tenor Clark Sturdevant singing Lindbergh, Jeffrey Heyl as baritone soloist, and radio host Charlie Brennan (The Charlie Brennan Show on KMOX) as the Narrator. Amy Kaiser directs the St. Louis Symphony Chorus. The work will be performed in English.

  • 7 x Seven Deadly Sins
Fans of the sordid and irreverent are in luck this season, with seven productions of The Seven Deadly Sins coming up throughout North America and Europe.

Virginia Opera’s season opens with seven performances in three cities, 30 September through 16 October, in a fully-staged production directed by Keturah Stickann, starring Ute Gfrerer as Anna I and Gabrielle Zucker as Anna II. VA Opera Principal Conductor Adam Turner, recipient of the inaugural Julius Rudel/Kurt Weill Conducting Fellowship, leads the orchestra.

Two performances follow almost immediately in the UK—first the BBC Scottish Symphony in Glasgow on 20 October (Measha Brueggergosman as Anna I); and then the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London, 23 November (Storm Large, Anna I). Other performances: the Detroit Symphony, 2 & 3 December (Large); Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, 22 January (Large); Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, 4 May (Tora Augestad, Lenya Competition prizewinner); and Toronto Symphony, 14 June (Wallis Giunta).

  • Blitzstein
Well-known and rarely-heard works of Marc Blitzstein also feature on this season’s calendar. The Orchestra Now, a program of Bard College, performs Orchestra Variations at New York City’s Rose Theater, 6 November, conducted by Leon Botstein.

Radio host Guy Livingston will release a Podcast exploring Blitzstein’s life and music as part of his American Highways series. The four-part, four-hour radio documentary will be broadcast on ConcertZender Radio in the Netherlands and distributed on the WFMT radio network in the US in October. Listen to a preview here.

Even more prescient during this election year, Blitzstein’s attack on the plutocracy, The Cradle Will Rock, will be seen in several productions, including: Kent State University, 21-25 September; Cast Aside Productions (Portland, ME), 14-23 October; Boston University, 13-18 December; Connecticut College, 4-5 March; Ithaca College, 1-8 April. These performances, all with piano accompaniment, point toward the major Blitzstein event of the season next summer, when Opera Saratoga presents the work as it was originally intended–fully staged, with the original orchestration. Opera Saratoga Artistic and General Director Lawrence Edelson directs, with John Mauceri conducting, 9-16 July, 2017. Visit the official Marc Blitzstein website for more information.

  • Other Highlights
Other performances to look forward to this fall include Lost in the Stars at Highbury Opera Theatre in London, 17-19 October; Violin Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, UK, 5 November; Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny directed by Graham Vick, at the Royal Danish Theatre, 20 November through March 5. Later in the season, the New York Philharmonic ushers in the new year with three performances of Kleine Dreigroschenmusik, 5-7 January.

The Threepenny Opera continues its run at London’s National Theatre, through October 1, and will be broadcast to movie theatres around the world beginning on September 22. To find a screening at a theater near you, visit the NT Live website.

To see the complete list of performances coming up this season, view the performance calendar.

2016-17 Julius Rudel/Kurt Weill Conducting Fellowship Awarded


Jonathon Heyward
The KWF is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathon Heyward as the recipient of the 2016/17 Julius Rudel/Kurt Weill Fellowship. In keeping with Maestro Rudel’s artistic vision, this annual award is designed to nurture the developing career of a young conductor while allowing the recipient to expand his or her knowledge of the works of Weill and Blitzstein. The fellowship carries a stipend of $10,000. Under the fellowship, Heyward will serve as assistant conductor to Fellowship Mentor Jeffrey Kahane for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras upcoming production of Lost in the Stars in January 2017.

In 2015, at the age of 23, Heyward won the Grand Prize of the 54th International Competition for Young Conductors in Besançon. For the 2016/17 season, he has been appointed Assistant Conductor at the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, UK, where he will assist Music Director Sir Mark Elder and act as Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra.

Announcing the 20th Annual Lotte Lenya Competition


Preparations for the 20th Lotte Lenya Competition are underway, and it promises to be the competition's biggest year yet! Prize amounts have been increased to $20,000 for 1st Prize, $15,000 for 2nd Prize, and $10,000 for 3rd Prize. Total prizes will exceed $75,000. Newly established for 2017, the Kurt Weill Award ($5,000), may be given for outstanding performances of two contrasting selections by Kurt Weill. Applicants interested in delving deeper into the Weill canon should view the new Suggested Repertoire list.

Complete guidelines, eligibility, repertoire and application information is available on the newly redesigned Lenya Competition webpages: The deadline to apply is 23 January 2017.

As we gear up for the next competition, past winners are staying busy:

  • Talya Lieberman, 2016 3rd Prize – Soprano at Komische Oper starting 1 September 2016.
  • Lauren Michelle, 2015 1st Prize – Jessica in The Merchant of Venice (André Tchaikowsky) at Welsh National Opera, 16 September–22 November.
  • Doug Carpenter, 2013 1st Prize – joined the ensemble of Beautiful in August, marking his Broadway debut.
  • Justin Hopkins, 2012 2nd Prize – Il Servo/Il Medico in Macbeth at Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie in Belgium, Medico/Servo 13-20 September.
  • Megan Marino, 2012 3rd Prize – Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, 17-25 September.
  • Lauren Worsham, 2009 2nd Prize – Lisa in Dog Days (David T. Little and Royce Vavrek), premiere recording available from VIA Records on 9 September.
  • Zachary James, 2009 3rd Prize – Terry in the world premiere of Breaking the Waves (Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek) at Opera Philadelphia, 22 September–1 October.
  • Analisa Leaming, 2007 2nd Prize – Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Ogunquit Playhouse, 7 September-1 October.
2017-18 Grants Cycle Now Open
KWF is now accepting applications for its 2017 Grant Program. The KWF Grant Program awards financial support worldwide to not-for-profit organizations for performances of musical works by Kurt Weill and Marc Blitzstein, to individuals and not-for-profit organizations for scholarly research pertaining to Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya, and Marc Blitzstein, and to not-for-profit organizations for relevant educational or scholarly initiatives. Applications are now being accepted for performances and initiatives occurring between 1 January 2017 and 1 July 2018. Grant applications are due 1 November 2016. Complete information may be found here.


Adrienne Haan performs Weill Songs at the Metropolitan Room in NYC, Sept. 28
Upcoming Performances

Der Lindberghflug
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, St. Louis
David Robertson, conductor

16 - 17 September
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
Redwood Symphony, Redwood City
Phil Lowery, director; Eric Kujawsky, conductor
Cañada College Main Theater
24 September

Weill Songs
Metropolitan Room, New York City
Adrienne Haan, vocals; Richard Danley, piano
28 September

The Seven Deadly Sins
Virginia Opera, Norfolk
Keturah Stickann, director; Adam Turner, conductor; Ute Gfrerer, Anna I; Gabrielle Zucker, Anna II
Harrison Opera House
30 September, 2 and 4 October.

Kleine Dreigroschenmusik
University of Michigan School of Music, Ann Arbor
Michael Haithcock, conductor
30 September

KWF Performance Calendar