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2017 Lotte Lenya Competition Semifinalists Announced!

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The KWF is pleased to announce the semifinalists for the 20th annual Lotte Lenya Competition. For the preliminary round, the Foundation received 266 audition videos, the most in the competition’s history, from singer/actors ages 19-32 hailing from thirty-one US states and sixteen countries on five continents. From that pool, thirty-two semifinalists from the US, Canada, France, Israel, Luxembourg, and Mexico have been selected to perform at the semifinals at the Manhattan School of Music on 9 and 10 March:

Meroë Adeeb, Carolyn Bacon, Curtis Bannister, Gan-ya Ben-gur Akselrod, Daniel Berryman, Felipe Bombonato, Samantha Bruce, Kristen Choi, Jil Clesse, Kellie Cundiff, Molly Dunn, Benjamin Dutton, Jasmine Habersham, Michael Hewitt, Maurio Hines, Philip Kalmanovitch, Charlotte Knight, Reilly Nelson, Lindsay O'Neil, Marie Oppert, Tony Potts, Taylor Raven, Katherine Riddle, Lisa Rogali, Mackenzie Rogers, Laura Sanders, Aaron Sheppard, Bradley Smoak, Elise Spurlock, Travis Taylor, Paulina Villarreal, Anson Woodin.

Six more contestants were recognized with Emerging Talent Awards of $500 each: Annette Berning, Tucker Breder, Kalyn Schnable, Juliane Stolzenbach Ramos, Trevor Vanderzee, and Danielle Bavli. Jennifer Witton of London, UK, received the Grace Keagy Award of $500 for Outstanding Vocal Promise. All semifinalists receive a cash award of $500. Those who move onto the finals will receive a minimum of $1,000, with individual discretionary awards of $3,500 and $5,000, and top prizes increased this year to $20,000, $15,000, and $10,000. Total prizes will exceed $75,000.

Read the complete press release.

Past LLC Winners' Accomplishments
 
While this year’s contestants prepare for the semifinals, several past prize winners are appearing on the world’s most famous stages and receiving major awards! This month sees seven LLC prizewinners on Broadway: Analisa Leaming (2007 2nd Prize) in Hello, Dolly!, Jacob Keith Watson (2012 2nd Prize) in Amelie, and Erik Liberman (2005 2nd Prize) in War Paint, all opening this month. They join Doug Carpenter (2013 1st Prize) in Beautiful, Richard Todd Adams (2004 top prize) in Cats, Amy Justman (2004 top prize) in In Transit, and Kyle Barisich (2002 2nd Prize) in Phantom of the Opera. Nearby, Lauren Worsham (2009 2nd Prize) and Kyle Scatliffe (2010 Lys Symonette Award) appeared in Big River at Encores!, 8-12 February, and Brian Charles Rooney (2007 Lys Symonette Award) appeared in Berlin to Broadway in the York Theatre Company “Musicals in Mufti” series, 11-19 February. Rebecca Jo Loeb (2008 1st Prize) made her Metropolitan Opera debut on 24 February as Flora Bervoix in La traviata, which runs through 14 April. Megan Marino (2012 3rd Prize) is the 2nd Wood Nymph in Rusalka, also at the Met, closing 2 March. Two past winners can be heard on Grammy-winning recordings: The Ghosts of Versailles, featuring Lucas Meachem (2002 Lys Symonette Award), won for Best Opera Recording and Best Engineered Recording; and The Color Purple, with Scatliffe, won for Best Musical Theater Recording.

March Performances

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MDR Sinfonieorchester, conductor Kristjan Järvi. Photo: MDR/Peter Adamik
In Dessau, the 25th annual Kurt Weill Fest continues, with appearances by renowned Weill interpreters, past Lenya Competition prize winners, and premieres of two new suites from Weill’s stage works. At the Gala Concert on 4 March, James Holmes conducts the premiere of his suite from “Der Kuhhandel.” The concert also features festival favorites soprano Ute Gfrerer, trombonist Nils Landgren, and the Ensemble Modern, on a program celebrating Kurt Weill’s birthday, and the festival’s milestone anniversary.

On 12 March HK Gruber and the Ensemble Modern give the world premiere of Chansons des quais, a new suite of music from Marie Galante for soprano, male quartet, and chamber orchestra. Gfrerer and ensemble amarcord provide the vocals. The new suite will be recorded for a forthcoming all-Weill release from the Ensemble Modern. The concert also features Weill’s Symphony No. 2.

Other main events include concerts by resident artists the MDR Sinfonieorchester and conductor Kristjan Järvi. On 5 March, Järvi leads the orchestra in a performance of Die Verheißung. Soloists include three past Lenya competition prizewinners, Matt Grills (2012 1st Prize), Justin Hopkins (2012 2nd Prize), and Jeanine DeBique (2007 Symonette Award). Järvi and the MDR wrap up the festival on 12 March with a performance of Braver Soldat Johnny, a concert adaptation of Johnny Johnson. Tom Schimon, winner of a Carolyn Weber Award at the 2016 Lenya Competition, appears as a featured soloist on the concert.
Read more about this special anniversary year here.

Other March Performances

Other performances of note coming up this month include Symphony No. 2 at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, 10 March; Suite panaméenne with the Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt, 16 March; and Symphony No. 1 with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, conducted by Frank Strobel, 18 March, also in Frankfurt. The final run of Robert Wilson’s iconic production of Die Dreigroshenoper with the Berliner Ensemble kicks off 17 March.

Bowling Green State University presents two performances of Street Scene, 24–26 March. Performances of Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock bookend the month with performances at Connecticut College 3-5 March and Ithaca College 28 March through 8 April.

For the complete list of performances coming up this month, view the performance calendar.

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Reminder: 2017 Kurt Weill Prize Submission Deadline
The KWF is accepting submissions for the 2017 Kurt Weill Prize. Awarded biennially, the Kurt Weill Prize encourages distinguished scholarship in the disciplines of music, theater, dance, literary criticism, and history addressing music theater since 1900.

Two prizes are awarded: a prize of $5,000 for a winning book entry, and $2,000 for a winning article published in a scholarly journal. The 2017 prize is open to works published in 2015 and 2016. Nominations will be accepted through 30 April 2017. For complete information about eligibility, submission requirements, and past winners, visit our website.
Upcoming Performances

Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny
Theater und Philharmonie Thüringen: Bühnen der Stadt Gera 
Roland Schwab, director; Takahiro Nagasaki, conductor
3, 5, 17–18 March, and 7 June


Die Verheißung
Kurt Weill Fest Dessau 
MDR Symphony Orchestra and Radio Chorus; Kristjan Järvi, conductor; featuring previous winners of the Lotte Lenya Competition as soloists
5 March

Quodlibet, op. 9
Kurt Weill Fest Dessau 
Anhaltische Philharmonic Orchestra Dessau; Markus L. Frank, conductor
9
10 March

Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny
Staatstheater Cottbus
Matthias Oldag, director; Evan Christ, conductor
11 March, in repertory through 31 May


Chanson des quais, new suite from Marie Galante; Symphony No. 2
Kurt Weill Fest Dessau 
Ensemble Modern; HK Gruber, conductor; Ute Gfrerer, vocals
12 March


Braver Soldat Johnny (concert adaptation of Johnny Johnson)
Kurt Weill Fest Dessau 
MDR Symphony Orchestra; Kristjan Järvi, conductor
12 March

Suite panaméenne
Ensemble Modern, Frankfurt
Alte Oper Frankfurt
David Philip Hefti, conductor
16 March


Symphony No. 1
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Alte Oper Frankfurt; Frank Strobel, conductor
18 March


Die Dreigroschenoper 
Berliner Ensemble 
Robert Wilson, director; Hans-Jörn Brandenburg and Stefan Rager, conductors
17–18 March, 16-18  April
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KWF Performance Calendar