In 1998, to honor the centenary of the birth of Lotte Lenya (1898-1981), an extraordinary singer/actress and one of the foremost interpreters of the music of her husband, Kurt Weill (1900-1950), the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music established an annual Lotte Lenya Competition.
The 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. More than a vocal competition, the Lotte Lenya Competition is a theater singing competition that emphasizes wide-ranging repertoire and the acting of songs and arias within a dramatic context.
Previous Lenya Competition winners are making careers playing leading and featured roles in major theaters and opera houses around the globe. They have performed:
Peabody Award winner Michael Lasser's profile of the Competition (from the Spring 2009 Kurt Weill Newsletter)
"The Lenya Competition at Fifteen" (from the Spring 2013 Kurt Weill Newsletter)