$71,000 in prizes and awards granted to thirteen finalists; over $1 million awarded in Competition’s twenty-one-year history.

April 16, 2019: The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music awarded $71,000 in prize money at the finals of 2019 Lotte Lenya Competition, which took place in a packed Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY, on April 13. The $20,000 First Prize went to Daniel Berryman, 28, of Seattle, WA. Andrea Wozniak, 28, of Boston, MA, won the $15,000 Second Prize, and Trevor Martin, 30, of Fayetteville, GA, received Third Prize of $10,000.

Judges Adam Benzwi, Ute Gfrerer, and Mark Lamos compared the process of selecting the winners to “looking for needles in the haystack–the singing actors, the acting singers who can do it all. They are a rare breed.”

In addition to top prizes, the judges bestowed discretionary awards in the amount of $3,500 each on four performers: Jeremy Weiss (26, Charlottesville, VA) received the Carolyn Weber Award in recognition of outstanding creativity in the design of a diverse program and exceptional sensitivity to text/music relationships; Katherine Riddle (28, Washington, DC) received the Marc Blitzstein Award for outstanding performance of a “Golden Age” musical theater selection for her performance of Weill’s “Mr. Right”; and Lys Symonette awards went to Nyla Watson (28, Cleveland, OH) for her performance of “Beautiful” from It Shoulda Been You and Jonah Hoskins (22, Saratoga Springs, UT) for extraordinary artistic promise.

The remaining six finalists each received an award of $2,000: Carolyn Bacon (28, Portland, OR), Danielle Beckvermit (26, Kingston, NY), Timothy Bruno (31, Toledo, OH), Jonathan Heller (24, Huntington, NY), Florian Peters (31, Rheinbreitbach, Germany), and Amy Weintraub (24, Fort Collins, CO). The total amount awarded over the course of the competition’s history now exceeds $1 million to 400+ performers.

During the daytime round, each contestant performed a program of four selections, including at least one number by Kurt Weill. All contestants returned in the evening to perform one or two selections, chosen by the judges. Both rounds were live-streamed and seen by more than 1,300 viewers in 12 countries, and 35 US states and the District of Columbia.

Berryman, who competed in the finals for the third time since 2013, “created four vivid, believable characters,” according to the judges, “and we got to know Tamino, Rodney, Sammy, and Evan Hansen absolutely.” Wozniak impressed the panel with her “brave choices, fearless delivery, inventive acting choices ranging from the demure to the vulnerable to the furious, fantastic vocal technique, all wrapped in a charismatic package.” Martin was described by the judges as “a rare classically trained heroic baritone, perfect for the Golden Age of musical theater” who presented “risky repertoire . . . and made solid acting choices.”

The winners’ performances are available to view at www.youtube.com/KurtWeillFoundation.

The 2019 competition drew 215 applicants from 21 countries, and 29 US states and Puerto Rico. In the semifinal round, 28 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.

Founded by Foundation president Kim H. Kowalke in 1998 to celebrate the centenary of Lotte Lenya’s birth, the Competition recognizes talented young singer/actors who are dramatically and musically convincing in wide-ranging theatrical repertoire, with a focus on the works of Kurt Weill. Since its inception, the LLC 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. Beyond the competition, the Foundation has distributed over $200,000 in support of past laureates through professional development grants and artist sponsorships.

Click on the image below for a printable image of the top Prize winners:

2019 Lotte Lenya Competition top Prize winners
Caption: 2019 Lotte Lenya Competition top Prize winners (L to R): Daniel Berryman, Andrea Wozniak, Trevor Martin. Photo: Matt Wittmeyer Photography.


Click on the image below for a printable image of the Award winners:

2019 Lenya Competition Award winners
Caption: 2019 Lotte Lenya Competition Award winners (L to R): Jonah Hoskins, Jeremy Weiss, Katherine Riddle, Nyla Watson. Photo: Matt Wittmeyer Photography.

Download press release


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