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:
Singing the Story: The Lotte Lenya Competition (documentary film posted on YouTube)
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)