•  Field of twenty-eight contestants selected from an international pool of 259 applicants.
  • Competition Finals to take place 6 May for first time in a public New York City event.
  • Inaugural award made for Outstanding Performance of a Lenya Competition Songbook Selection.

The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music today named Tony Award winner Victoria Clark and Drama Desk Award winner Lauren Worsham as coach-judges for the semifinal round of the 24th Lotte Lenya Competition. The Foundation simultaneously announced the field of twenty-eight artists who have advanced as semifinalists in the internationally renowned theatrical singing contest. These contestants, selected from a pool of 259 applicants, will compete for the opportunity to advance to the final round, which takes place on Friday, May 6 in a first-time public event at New York City’s Merkin Hall.

Clark and Worsham are exceptionally qualified to serve in the coach-judge role. Unique among major competitions, the Lenya Competition semifinals combines the contestants’ performance of four contrasting selections with immediate feedback in the form of coaching from the judges. Clark, who will be opening on Broadway later this year as the lead in Jeanine Tesori and David Lindsay-Abaire’s new musical Kimberly Akimbo, explained her enthusiasm for the Lenya Competition:

“It is one of my favorite competitions because it’s so rewarding to work with and encourage these talented young artists to grow and take risks.”

Worsham, herself a past prizewinner of the Lenya Competition, adds:

“I learned so much as a semifinalist and a finalist and built lasting relationships with all of the judges who coached me. I hope to do the same as a judge this year!”

This year’s semifinalists were selected from a pool of 259 applicants from twenty-one countries and range in age from 21 to 32. Finalists will compete for top prizes of $20,000, $15,000, and $10,000, with total prizes exceeding $75,000.

Hana Abrams (Baltimore, Maryland)
Ruth Acheampong (Toronto, Canada)
Danielle Beckvermit (Manhasset, New York)
Valeria Bibliowicz (Bogotá, Colombia)
Eric Botto (Boulder, Colorado)
Cierra Byrd (Akron, Ohio)
Ruby Dibble (Kansas City, Missouri)
Taylor-Alexis DuPont (Orlando, Florida)
Katrina Galka (Portland, Oregon)
Jonathan Heller (New York, New York)
Matthew Hill (Washington, DC)
Elena Howard-Scott (Toronto, Canada)
Rebekah Howell (Nashville, Tennessee)
Angela Lee (Houston, Texas)
Gaby Manuell (Mexico City, Mexico)
Francesca Mehrotra (Boston, Massachusetts)
Conor Murphy (Toronto, Canada)
Michael Pandolfo (Fort Worth, Texas)
Christine Price (New York, New York)
Piero Regis (Houston, Texas)
Pepita Salim (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Lauren Senden (North Mankato, Minnesota)
Amanda Sheriff (Smyrna, Delaware)
Tristan Tournaud (Antioch, Tennessee)
Jeremy Weiss (Charlottesville, Virginia)
Ronald Wilbur (Lexington, Kentucky)
Ian Williams (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
Ryan Wolfe (Cincinnati, Ohio)

In addition, seven applicants received Emerging Talent Awards with a cash prize of $500 each: Nick Capodilupo, Grace Craig, Victoria Hill, Tess Levine, Zach Simpson, Layla Vafiadis, Gillian Weatherford. Recipients of the Grace Keagy Award for Outstanding Vocal Talent in the amount of $500 were Valeria Gorbunova and Hallie Schmidt.

Claire Leyden received the inaugural Prize for Outstanding Performance of a Lenya Competition Songbook Selection (with a cash award of $1,000) for her performance of “The Kettle Song” by Daniel Zaitchik.