The Kurt Weill Foundation establishes new fellowship program honoring the legacy of conductor Julius Rudel

September 10, 2015: The Kurt Weill Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Adam Turner as the inaugural recipient of the Julius Rudel/Kurt Weill Conducting Fellowship. In keeping with Maestro Rudel’s artistic vision, this annual award enables a young conductor in the early stages of a career to assist a conductor in the preparation and performance of a work by Kurt Weill or Marc Blitzstein and expand his or her knowledge of the works of Weill and Blitzstein. The fellowship carries a stipend of $10,000.

Turner, age 32, currently serves as the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor at Virginia Opera, where he has garnered critical acclaim for the breadth of his repertoire, artistic vision, and polished technique. He says of his appointment, “To be closely associated with the enduring legacies of Julius Rudel and Kurt Weill is an exceptional distinction for which I am deeply honored. I look forward to the opportunities of the year ahead.” Turner will serve as cover conductor under John DeMain for the upcoming Washington National Opera production of Weill’s Lost in the Stars, during the February 2016 run at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. DeMain says, “Adam Turner is a brilliant young conductor, with one foot in opera and another in musical theater. His involvement with Lost in the Stars at this level will allow him to bring all his talents to the production and encourage him to take on the stylistic complexities of other Weill works in the future.”

DeMain was himself a recipient of the New York City Opera’s Julius Rudel Award, which granted him an apprenticeship there. “It provided an opportunity to learn a variety of aspects of artistic direction and programming beyond just being Julius’s assistant,” DeMain recalls. “And his knowledge of Weill made his performances of those works stunning.” Rudel was an avid promoter of Weill’s works during his long career. He served as a trustee of the Foundation from 1980 to 2008.

Kim H. Kowalke, President of the Foundation, says of the award, “This fellowship has been established in recognition of Julius’s enormous contributions to musical theater in its broadest definition and in particular to the development of American opera for more than fifty years. It is so fitting that Turner will serve as cover conductor for Lost in the Stars, a work which Rudel introduced to the City Opera repertoire in 1958 and subsequently recorded. Fifty years later, it was the last work by Weill that Rudel conducted.”

Lost in the Stars runs at the WNO February 12-20, 2016, in a revival of Tazewell Thompson’s 2012 Glimmerglass Opera production, and will feature many of the same artists, including Eric Owens in the lead role and tenor Sean Panikkar. Lauren Michelle, winner of the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition, will play Irina. Lost in the Stars anchors a 2015/16 DC-area season chock full of major performances of Weill and Blitzstein, including The Threepenny Opera at American University (October 15-24); Street Scene at the Peabody Institute (November 13-15); Blitzstein’s Regina at University of Maryland, College Park (April 8-16); The Seven Deadly Sins at National Symphony Orchestra (April 28-30) and a staged performance thereof by Virginia Opera (September 30-October 4, with Turner conducting).


If you’d like more information about this topic, please contact Elizabeth Blaufox at the Kurt Weill Foundation: (212) 505-5240 x210 or