Thirteen performers selected to compete for top prizes of $20,000, $15,000, and $10,000; total prizes to exceed $75,000; an all-star team of musical theater, opera, and Kurt Weill experts to adjudicate finals.
March 12, 2019: Kim H. Kowalke, President and CEO of the Kurt Weill Foundation, is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2019 Lotte Lenya Competition. Thirteen performers will compete for top prizes of $20,000, $15,000, and $10,000.
Carolyn Bacon (Portland, OR, 28)
Danielle Beckvermit (Kingston, NY, 26)
Daniel Berryman (Seattle, WA, 28)
Timothy Bruno (Toledo, OH, 31)
Jonathan Heller (Huntington, NY, 24)
Jonah Hoskins (Saratoga Springs, UT, 22)
Trevor Martin (Fayetteville, GA, 30)
Florian Peters (Rheinbreitbach, Germany, 31)
Katherine Riddle (Washington, DC, 28)
Nyla Watson (Cleveland, OH, 28)
Amy Weintraub (Fort Collins, CO, 24)
Jeremy Weiss (Charlottesville, VA, 25)
Andrea Wozniak (Boston, MA, 28)
Finals will take place on 13 April 2019 in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY. Both the daytime and evening rounds are free and open to the public, and both will be live-streamed for free online viewing to audiences around the world for the first time. The stream will be accessible at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/live/kilbourn/ beginning fifteen minutes prior to the start of each round.
During the daytime round, which begins at 11:00, contestants will each perform a program consisting of four selections–one each from opera/operetta, Golden Age musical theater, contemporary musical theater, and the stage works of Kurt Weill–not to exceed fifteen minutes in length. The daytime round is the only time that performers will present their entire program, on which the majority of the judges’ decisions will be based. At 8:00 that evening, the contestants return for the concert to sing one or two selections from their programs as requested by the judges, followed by the awards ceremony. In addition to top prizes, the judges may bestow discretionary awards of $3,500 in recognition of outstanding performances of individual numbers or particular aspects of performance. All finalists will receive a minimum award of $1,000. Total prizes will again exceed $75,000.
The three-person jury for the finals includes the Austrian opera and musical theater performer and Weill specialist Ute Gfrerer, opera and musical theater conductor Adam Benzwi, and Mark Lamos, artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse.
The 2019 competition drew 215 applicants from 21 countries and 29 US states and Puerto Rico, each performing a program of four selections totaling no more than fifteen minutes each. In the semi-final round, twenty-eight contestants auditioned for and received coaching from Broadway music director and conductor Andy Einhorn and Tony Award-winning theater, film, and opera composer Jeanine Tesori. The fifteen who did not advance to the finals received a cash award of $500 each: Lily Arbisser (Davenport, IA, 32), Brittany Baratz (Gaithersburg, MD, 32), Paula Berry (Ottawa, ON, 25), Kyle Bielfield (Miami, FL, 31), Sarah Bishop (Butler, PA, 26), Jessica Fishenfeld (Great Neck, NY, 27), Michael Hewitt (Denver, CO, 28), Suzanne Lane (Washington, DC, 28), Claire Leyden (New York, NY, 24), Scott McCreary (New York, NY, 30), Sun-Ly Pierce (Clinton, NY, 24), Claudia Roick (Schwerin, Germany, 31), Rachel Sparrow (Chicago, IL, 31), Maria Vasilevskaya (Novosibirsk, Russia, 24), Adam von Almen (Lima, OH, 32).
About the Lotte Lenya Competition
More than a vocal competition, the Lotte Lenya 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. Since its inception in 1998, the Lotte Lenya Competition has grown into an internationally recognized leader in identifying and nurturing the next generation of “total-package performers” (Opera News) and rising stars in both the opera and musical theater worlds. The roster of prizewinners has likewise grown to over 100, many of whom have gone on to major performing careers.
If you’d like more information about this topic, please contact Elizabeth Blaufox at the Kurt Weill Foundation: (212) 505-5240 x210 or