Past awardees


The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

Christopher Allen, The 2017 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Fellow

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

The 2017 Solti Fellow from The Solti Foundation U.S., Christopher Allen is rapidly gaining attention as a rising conductor on the operatic and symphonic stages. His conducting career was launched when he received the Bruno Walter Conducting Award and Memorial Career Grant, and fostered by Plácido Domingo and James Conlon, who brought him to Los Angeles Opera as an Associate Conductor. He is also a recipient of a 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.

Recently named The John L. Magro Resident Conductor for Cincinnati Opera, Christopher Allen will return in the summer of 2017 to conduct Barrie Kosky’s production of Die Zauberflöte. He has previously been seen conducting the new production of Tosca, the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star and the Cincinnati Opera’s Washington Park Concert leading the Cincinnati Symphony. In the 2016-2017 season, Mo. Allen made his Washington National Opera debut in Donizetti’s La fille du régiment and Florida Grand Opera debut in Cuban-American composer Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls. He was seen at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas and will debut at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the new revised version of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Grapes of Wrath. Mo. Allen also made his Atlanta Symphony Orchestra debut conducting a program of Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven. Next season, Mo. Allen will return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to conduct a new production of La traviata directed by acclaimed soprano Patricia Racette. He will also conduct the North Carolina premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain and debut at The Atlanta Opera conducting La fille du régiment.

Recently, Christopher Allen made his UK debut conducting The Barber of Seville at the English National Opera and debuted at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City in a production of L’elisir d’amore directed by James Robinson. He was nominated as a finalist for 2015 International Opera Awards in London in the “Newcomer” category, and was named Musical America Artist of the Month in July 2015. Mo. Allen made his Los Angeles Opera conducting debut in Patrick Morganelli’s Hercules vs. Vampires. He also returned to the company as Associate Conductor in La traviata with Plácido Domingo as Germont and in The Ghosts of Versailles with James Conlon. He made his debut with Opera Santa Barbara in Rigoletto and returned to Intermountain Opera in Bozeman, MT to conduct a double-bill of Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica, as well as Don Giovanni. Mo. Allen made his Asian debut conducting Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Daegu Opera House. He prepared I due Foscari for Theater an der Wien assisting James Conlon with Plácido Domingo as Francesco Foscari and was the associate conductor to James Conlon on Lucia di Lamermoor, Falstaff, and the Britten Centennial Concerts at LA Opera. He returned to the Atlanta Symphony to assist Robert Spano on Britten’s War Requiem, as well as preparing a world premiere with Spano at the Ojai Music Festival. Other past assignments at LA Opera include productions of Don Giovanni, Tosca, Carmen, The Rape of Lucretia, Holdridge’s Dolce Rosa, and Madama Butterfly.

Since 2011, Christopher Allen has maintained a close relationship with the Atlanta Symphony working with Music Director Robert Spano and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles. He was on the music staff of Cincinnati Opera as an assistant conductor to Carlo Rizzi in Aida, Joana Carneriero in John Adams’ A Flowering Tree, Bernard Labadie in Die Zauberflöte, Carlo Montonaro in La traviata and Edwin Outwater in Astor Piazolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires. He made his debut at the Intermountain Opera Bozeman in Montana conducting La traviata.

Christopher Allen has been a recipient of numerous piano awards which have led to debuts in venues such as Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Juilliard School and the Tenri Cultural Institute. While a student at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, his production of Benjamin Britten’s Turn of the Screw was awarded a National Opera Association prize.


Karina Canellakis, The 2016 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Fellow

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

Karina Canellakis has rapidly gained international recognition as one of today’s most dynamic and exciting young American conductors. Praised for both her technical and lyrical command of the music, Canellakis has received glowing critical endorsements of her performances since first making headlines in 2014 filling in last-minute for Jaap van Zweden with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich’s 8th symphony. She made her European conducting debut last June with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe at the Styriarte Festival in Graz, Austria, replacing the late Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and has been re-invited to Graz this coming June to conduct his orchestra, Concentus Musicus Wien, in four symphonies of a Beethoven Cycle.

Already known to many in the classical music world for her virtuoso violin playing, Ms. Canellakis was initially encouraged to pursue conducting by her mentor Sir Simon Rattle while she was playing regularly in the Berlin Philharmonic for two years as a member of their Orchester-Akademie. In addition to appearing frequently as soloist with various North American orchestras, she subsequently played regularly in the Chicago Symphony for over three years, and appeared on several occasions as guest concertmaster of the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway. She spent many summers performing at the Marlboro Music Festival, and her approach to conducting is firmly rooted in her detailed and dedicated experience as a chamber musician. She plays a 1782 Mantegazza violin on generous loan to her from a private patron.

Ms. Canellakis is a recipient of a 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, was the winner of the 2013 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, and was a conducting fellow at the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Music Center for the summer of 2014.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in violin from the Curtis Institute of Music and a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School, where she was the recipient of the Charles Schiff Award for Excellence in Orchestral Conducting, the American Conductors Award, and the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship. In addition to Rattle and Zweden, her most prominent mentors are Alan Gilbert and Fabio Luisi.

Karina Canellakis was born and raised in New York City, where she is currently based. She speaks French, German and Italian, and is equally at home performing all genres of the repertoire.


Vladimir Kulenovic, The 2015 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Fellow

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

Recently appointed Music Director of the Lake Forest Symphony, Mr. Kulenovic also serves as Associate Conductor of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera and the Resident Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra in Serbia. Vladimir Kulenovic formerly served as the Principal Conductor of the Kyoto International Music Festival in Japan and remains in high demand as a guest conductor of leading orchestras in the U.S. Europe in Asia.

In addition to studying with Kurt Masur from 2008-2012, Vladimir Kulenovic is an alumnus of the Juilliard School and was awarded the Charles Schiff Conducting Prize for Excellence upon the completion of his post-graduate studies with James DePreist and Alan Gilbert. He also earned graduate degrees from the Peabody Institute, where he studied with Gustav Meier, and the Boston Conservatory where he graduated summa cum laude as valedictorian and was awarded Alfred B. Whitney Award for the highest scholastic achievement. He is also winner of the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship, 2012 Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Fellowship, as well as 2012, 2013 and 2014 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards and the $25,000 2015 Solti Conducting Fellow.


Cristian Macelaru, The 2014 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Fellow

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, $25,000

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

An exciting and highly regarded presence known for his thoughtful interpretations, poise and energetic conviction on the podium, Cristian Macelaru is Associate Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Macelaru began his tenure at the Philadelphia Orchestra as Assistant Conductor in September 2011; in recognition of his artistic contributions to the orchestra, his title was elevated to Associate Conductor in November 2012. Mr. Macelaru’s upcoming season includes return engagements with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago, Houston and Baltimore symphony orchestras. His season also includes debuts with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Toronto, Seattle, Milwaukee and Indianapolis, and the Metropolitain Orchestra (Canada) in North America, and with the Halle Orchestra (UK) and the Residentie Orkest (The Hague) abroad. Macelaru received Solti awards in 2012 and 2014. For more about Cristian Macelaru: www.macelaru.com/.


The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

James Feddeck, The 2013 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Fellow

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

James Feddeck recently served four years as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. Since his Cleveland Orchestra debut in August 2009, he has led the orchestra in a number of new initiatives including collaborative performances with the Cleveland Play House and the Cleveland Museum of Art. He made his Severance Hall debut in 2011, stepping in for Franz Welser-Most in the fully-staged Zurich Opera production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and recently led sold-out subscription performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana to critical acclaim. In June 2012, he led the youth orchestra’s first-ever international tour to the musical capitals of Prague, Salzburg, and Vienna. An Oberlin Conservatory alumnus, Mr. Feddeck holds the distinction of having been admitted in four areas: piano, oboe, organ, and conducting. He further studied as a protege of David Zinman at the Aspen Music Festival and School where he received both the Robert J. Harth Conductor Prize and the Aspen Conducting Prize. Feddeck also received a Solti award in 2009.


The Sir Georg Solti Conducting AwardCase Scaglione, The 2011 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Fellow

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

Case Scaglione began his tenure as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic in September, 2011. For three years he served as music director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles where he followed in the footsteps of such renowned conductors as Michael Tilson-Thomas, Lawrence Foster, and Myung-Whun Chung. He was also chosen as one of three conducting fellows to attend the 2011 Tanglewood Music Center. A former student of David Zinman at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen for three summers, he won the James Conlon Prize and, in 2010, the esteemed Aspen Conducting Prize. As a result he made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in July of 2010. Scaglione first received the Solti award in 2009. For more information: www.casescaglione.com/.


The Sir Georg Solti Conducting AwardErik Nielsen, The 2009 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Fellow

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

Erik Nielsen took up the position of Kapellmeister of the Frankfurt Opera from the beginning of the 2008/9 season. He studied as a double-major in oboe and harp at the Juilliard School New York, before studying conducting at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Prior to moving to Frankfurt he played harp in the Berlin Philharmonic as a member of its Orchester-Akademie. In December 2010 Erik Nielsen made his Met debut in New York with The Magic Flute and his Dresden debut at the Semper Oper with Henze’s new stage work Gisela. For more information: www.ingpen.co.uk/artist_detail.php?aid=112.


The Sir Georg Solti Conducting AwardAnthony Barrese, The 2007 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Fellow

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award

Currently Mr. Barrese works as a freelance composer and conductor. He has led several productions with Sarasota Opera (Lakmé, Le nozze di Figaro, Hansel and Gretel), and with Opera Southwest (Le nozze di Figaro, Die Fledermaus, La cenerentola) where he is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor. He was the Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Opera in 2006-2007 and returned there as Guest Conductor for a production of Tosca in 2008. For more information: www.anthonybarrese.com.

 

The Solti Foundation’s Career Assistance Awardees

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Christopher Allen

A 2016 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

The John L. Magro Resident Conductor for Cincinnati Opera and Associate Conductor of Los Angeles Opera, Christopher Allen’s conducting career was launched when he received the Bruno Walter Conducting Award and Memorial Career Grant. 2015 – 2016 season highlights include his UK debut conducting The Barber of Seville at the English National Opera and at Lyric Opera of Kansas City in a production of L’elisir d’amore directed by James Robinson. As Resident Conductor of Cincinnati Opera, Mr. Allen will return for productions in the 2016 and 2017 summers, as well as conduct Opera in the Park, the annual free concert in Washington Park that opens the Opera’s summer season. Mr. Allen makes his Washington National Opera debut conducting The Daughter of the Regiment in fall 2016. Conducting credits include Cincinnati Opera, LA Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Santa Barbara, Montana’s Intermountain Opera, and Korea’s Daegu Opera House. Since 2011, Christopher Allen has maintained a close relationship with the Atlanta Symphony, working with Music Director Robert Spano and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles. He served on the music staff of Cincinnati Opera as Assistant Conductor, prior to receiving his current post. Recently, Allen was nominated as a finalist for 2015 International Opera awards in London in the “Newcomer” category.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Gene Chang

A 2016 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Named Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati May Festival commencing at the beginning of the 2015-16 season, Gene Chang’s season highlights include his engagement with the Cincinnati Symphony, as part of which he will also lead the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra programs, as well as performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony and the UC Berkeley Opera. He was recently invited to participate in public masterclasses with Myung-Whun Chung and the Seoul Philharmonic, and has been engaged to guest conduct concerts during the 2016-17 season. He has also been engaged as a cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Chang was named one of only four finalists in the Second International Chicago Symphony Orchestra Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprenticeship in 2013. In 2012, he was named the Conducting Fellow for the Atlantic Music Festival. Mr. Chang previously served as Assistant Conductor for the Juilliard Opera Company and for the Juilliard Dance department. Among his honors and awards are a Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship, a Hertz Fellowship, and the Eisner Prize for Creative Achievement in the Arts.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Yaniv Dinur

A 2016 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Recently appointed Assistant Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Yaniv Dinur has performed with orchestras in Israel, Europe, The United States, Canada and Mexico. Dinur started his conducting career performing with the Israel Camerata at the age of 19, making him the youngest conductor ever to conduct an orchestra in Israel. Since then, he also conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, New World Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, Orchestra Giovanile Italiana, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese, Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan, Solisti di Perugia, Torino Philharmonic, Portugal Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Festival Orchestra, State Orchestra of St. Petersburg, Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM in Mexico, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Mr. Dinur has worked closely with such world-class musicians as Lorin Maazel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Pinchas Zukerman, and Kurt Masur, and is a winner of numerous conducting awards, among them 2nd Prize at the 2009 Mata International Conducting Competition in Mexico, and the Yuri Ahronovitch 1st Prize in the 2005 Aviv Conducting Competitions in Israel. He was chosen by the League of American Orchestras to be a featured conductor in the 2011 Bruno Walter Conducting Preview.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Stefano Sarzani

A 2016 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Appointed Associate Conductor of the Des Moines Metro Opera for summer 2016 and also connected with L’Opéra National de Lorraine (Nancy), Stefano Sarzani is cultivating an international career on the orchestral and operatic stages. His collaborations with orchestras and opera houses include the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra (Colorado), Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana, Atlanta Opera, and Sarasota Opera. A recent finalist for the New World Symphony’s 2015-16 conducting fellowship, he has received recognition in the competition arena as well, earning 2nd prize in The American Prize 2012;” and by such competitions as the 1st Memphis Symphony Orchestra International Conducting Competition and Spoleto’s L. Capuana International Conducting Competition.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Stilian Kirov

A 2016 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Recently appointed Music Director of California’s Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and of New Jersey’s Symphony in C, Stilian Kirov has also served as Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, and as Music Director of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program, as well as cover conductor for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include performances with the symphonies of West Virginia, Kalamazoo, South Bend, Tucson, and the National Repertory Orchestra (Breckenridge), in the U.S., as well as Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet. International appearances include the Victoria Symphony (British Columbia), Orchestre Colonne (Paris), Thüringen Philharmonic Orchestra (Germany), Leopolis Chamber Orchestra (Ukraine), Orchestra of Colors (Athens), Sofia Festival Orchestra, State Hermitage Orchestra (St. Petersburg), the Zagreb Philharmonic (Croatia), and the Musical Olympus International Festival in St. Petersburg, among others. A prize winner at Denmark’s 2015 Malko Competition, and a 2013 Tanglewood Conducting Fellow, his numerous awards include an Emmy for the Memphis Symphony’s Soundtrack Project, the Orchestra Preference Award and Third Prize at the 2010 Mitropoulos Conducting Competition, France’s 2010 ADAMI Conducting Prize and Chautaqua Music Festival’s 2010 David Effron Conducting Fellowship.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Michelle Merill

A 2016 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Currently in her second season as Assistant Conductor, and Phillip and Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador, of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO), Michelle Merrill was recently named as one of Hour Detroit Magazine’s 3 Cultural Organization Leaders to Watch, and made her classical subscription debut with the DSO in April 2016. Recent and upcoming engagements include the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Symphoria (Syracuse), Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, Boise Philarmonic, Orlando Philharmonic, New Music Detroit, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic (where she formerly served as Assistant Conductor) and the St. Augustine Music Festival. In March of 2014, Ms. Merrill stepped in on short notice with the Meadows Symphony Orchestra for their performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4, which was then named to the Dallas Morning News’ Top Ten Classical Performances of 2014. In 2013, she was awarded the prestigious Ansbacher Conducting Fellowship by members of the Vienna Philharmonic and the American Austrian Foundation. A strong advocate of new music, Ms. Merrill recently collaborated with composer Gabriela Lena Frank and soprano Jessica Rivera on Frank’s work La Centinela y la Paloma (The Keeper and the Dove), as a part of numerous community programs related to the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Sameer Patel

A 2016 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Currently in his first season as Assistant Conductor of the San Diego Symphony, Sameer Patel previously spent three seasons as Associate Conductor of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Detroit, Knoxville, Phoenix, Toledo, Alabama, Reading, Muncie and Jacksonville, the Fresno Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Sinfonietta. Additionally, Mr. Patel has worked with the Tonhalle-Orchestra Zürich, Orquestra Sinfónica Simón Bolívar of Venezuela, Lucerne Festival Strings, Orchestra da Camera di Trento, the Ensemble Zandonai, the Festival Orchestra of Sofia at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, the Oslo Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Northern College of Music Orchestra at the Stresa Festival. He has also conducted at the David Oistrakh Festival and the Leigo Music Days Festival in Estonia in appearances with the Estonian National Youth Symphony and the St. Petersburg Festival Orchestra. Among his honors are participating in the League of American Orchestras’ 2013 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, being named a 2011 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholar, an honor given to him by former New York Philharmonic Music Director Kurt Masur. He has also held conducting fellowships with the Boston Philharmonic and the Chicago Sinfonietta.


The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Kazem Abdullah

A 2015 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

A vibrant, versatile and compelling presence on the podium,American conductor Kazem Abdullah is one of the most watched up-and-coming talents on the international stage today. Since 2012 he has been Generalmusikdirektor of the City of Aachen, Germany, where he leads both the orchestral and operatic seasons. His predecessors in this tradition-rich post include Fritz Busch, Herbert von Karajan, and Wolfgang Sawallisch.

Born in Indiana, Kazem Abdullah began his music studies at the age of ten. After graduating from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet, he then studied at the University of Southern California before joining The New World Symphony as a clarinetist under Michael Tilson Thomas for two seasons.  He then continued his musical studies at The Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University. Mr. Abdullah served as Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, a three-year post to which he was appointed by Music Director James Levine. In addition to Levine, while at the Met he worked with conductors such as Louis Langree, Kirill Petrenko, Lorin Maazel, and Fabio Luisi.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Joseph Young

A 2015 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

American conductor Joseph Young was recently appointed asAssistant Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony and Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Recent highlights include debuts with Orquesta Sinfonica y Coro de RTVE, Chicago Sinfonietta, Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra and numerous reengagements with the Colorado Symphony, as well as performances with the  Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, Tucson Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Amarillo Symphony, and Sante Fe Symphony.

Joseph Young completed graduate studies with Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar at the Peabody Conservatory in 2009, earning an artist’s diploma in conducting. From 2007-2010, he was one of five recipients of the League of American Orchestras’ prestigious American Conducting Fellowship. In 2011, he was one of six conductors featured in the League of American Orchestras’ prestigious Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, hosted by the Louisiana Philharmonic. In 2013, Joseph was a Semi-finalist in the Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition (Bamberg, Germany).  Joseph is also the recipient of 2008, 2014 and 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Ankush Kumar Bahl

A 2015 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Now in his fourth season as Assistant Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, Ankush Kumar Bahl has appeared with such distinguished  orchestras as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, National Opera Orchestre de Nancy, and Copenhagen Philharmonic,  This upcoming season, Maestro Bahl will debut with orchestras in Canada and South America as well.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Ankush Bahl received a double degree in music and rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley. He was appointed a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and completed his master’s degree in orchestral conducting at the Manhattan School of Music with teachers Zdenek Macal and George Manahan.  Following his participation in the 2009 Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar, Mr. Bahl was personally invited by Maestro Masur to study and work with him as an assistant at the Orchestre National de France, at the Royal Concertgebouw, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Mr. Bahl has participated in master classes with Sir Colin Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, David Zinman, David Robertson, James Conlon, Sergiu Comissiona, Gunther Schuller, Gustav Meier, Larry Rachleff, David Effron, Michael Stern, and Jorma Panula. His mentors and primary conducting teachers have included Kurt Masur, Christoph Eschenbach, Kenneth Kiesler, Alasdair Neale, and David Milnes. Mr. Bahl is the recipient of a 2009 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship, and 2011, 2013 and 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards.

KarinaCanellakisKarina Canellakis

A 2015 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Currently in her first season as Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Symphony, Karina Canellakis is rapidly gaining recognition as one of the most promising and dynamic young American conductors. She recently made headlines as a last-minute replacement for Jaap van Zweden in two subscription concerts with the Dallas Symphony, conducting Shostakovich 8th Symphony and Mozart Piano Concerto K.449 with soloist Emanuel Ax.
Born and raised in New York City, Karina Canellakis speaks French, German and Italian. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in violin from the Curtis Institute of Music, and a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School. Ms. Canellakis won the 2013 Charles Schiff Conducting Award for outstanding achievement in orchestral conducting, as well as the American Conductors Award, Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship, and the Isidore Komanoff Award. Among her most prominent mentors are Alan Gilbert, Fabio Luisi, and Sir Simon Rattle. She was a selected conductor in a Lucerne Festival master class with Bernard Haitink, and conducted the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan, as well as the Tonhalle Orchestra in Switzerland, as part of international master classes. Ms. Canellakis is the winner of the 2013 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, founded by Marin Alsop. She served as one of only two 2014 Conducting Fellows at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Music Center. She is a recipient of a 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.

Joshua David GersenGersen

A 2015 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Recently named Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Joshua David Gersen is also Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony, a post he began in September 2012. Highlights of the current 2014-15 season guesting engagements include a return to the San Francisco Symphony.

Joshua David Gersen holds a Bachelor of Music degree in composition (2006) from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Michael Gandolfi.  He is also a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music¸ where he studied conducting under Otto Werner Mueller. Early in his music education, Mr. Gersen studied theory, composition, and conducting with conductor Robert Genualdi, Music Director of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra (GBYO) in Bridgeport, Connecticut. At age 11, he made his conducting debut with the GBYO, and made his professional conducting debut 5 years later, leading the Greater Bridgeport Symphony in a performance of his own composition, A Symphonic Movement. In 1999, at the age of 15, Gersen was invited to study with internationally renowned conductor and teacher Gustav Meier, with whom he studied for the next 6 years. Mr. Gersen has also attended numerous conducting workshops and summer festivals, most recently the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival in the summers of 2010 and 2011, where he worked such distinguished conductors as Larry Rachleff, Hugh Wolff, and Robert Spano.  As a result of winning the 2011 Aspen Conducting Prize, he served as the festival’s assistant conductor for the 2012 summer season.  Mr. Gersen is the recipient of a 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.

CohlerYuga Cohler

A 2015 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

At 25 years of age, conductor Yuga Cohler has already accumulated several years of experience on the podium. He currently serves as music director of the Weill Cornell Medical College Orchestra, and as New York City Director of the Asia America New Music Institute. Former posts include serving as conductor of the Norwalk Youth Symphony Chamber Orchestra, and Assistant Conductor of the World Civic Orchestra. As Music Director for the Harvard Bach Society Orchestra (Harvard College), he conducted the group in several sold-out performances, including those with frequent collaborator and renowned violinist Ryu Goto.  As Music Director of Harvard’s Dunster House Opera, he led the 2009 production of The Rake’s Progress, which marked the first Boston performance of the work in over twenty years.

Yuga Cohler is the youngest graduate of the Juilliard School’s Master of Music program in orchestral conducting. As a recipient of the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship, he studied with New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert and worked extensively with the Juilliard Orchestra, with whom he made his professional debut in 2013. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, where he studied computer science, and was a recipient of the David McCord Prize for Artistic Excellence, the Detur Book Prize, and the John Harvard Scholarship.  Mr. Cohler has been awarded fellowships to American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, Aspen Music Festival, under Robert Spano (2013), the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Conductor/Composer Workshop (2012), the National Arts Centre Summer Music Institute Conducting Program (2012), and was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic as an Ansbacher Fellow at the 2012 Salzburg Festival. He has participated in a conducting seminar at the Tanglewood Music Center, and a Carnegie Hall Workshop with John Adams and David Robertson, where he was selected to perform a program of modern American orchestral works, and in in masterclasses given by Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson-Thomas, and Christoph von Dohnányi. Mr. Cohler is the recipient of a 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.

Black

Daniel Black

A 2015 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Daniel Black  began his new post as Assistant Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra this 2014-2015 season, and received critical acclaim for his performance of Handel’s Messiah– a concert in which he was a last-minute step-in. Previous posts include serving a five-year tenure as Music Director of the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the 2014 Spoleto Festival USA, Assistant Conductor of the Peninsula Music Festival (Wisconsin), and Conductor-in-Residence of the 2012-2013 Beethoven Festival in Chicago, Illinois.

Mr. Black has a strong connection to the Russian tradition of conducting, having studied conducting at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, and Northwestern University.  He counts among his mentors Leonid Korchmar, Neil Varon and Victor Yampolsky.  In addition, Mr. Black has studied composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and privately with internationally-renown composer Richard Danielpour. He has served as a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and the Brevard Music Festival, where he studied with widely acclaimed conductors Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff, Larry Rachleff, Marin Alsop, Daniel Lewis, David Effron, and Gunther Schuller.  Mr. Black has also participated in high-profile conducting master classes with Kurt Masur at the Manhattan School of Music, and Edo de Waart with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic in Belgium. He is the recipient of a 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Keitaro Harada

A 2015 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Conductor Keitaro Harada began his appointment as Associate Conductor of Richmond Symphony this past fall 2014. He also continues in his current posts as Associate Conductor for Arizona Opera, Principal Guest Conductor for Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra, and conductor of the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Early in his career, Mr. Harada served as Music Director of the Phoenix Youth Symphony. During his tenure, he elevated the organization profile, expanded their season, added more challenging repertoire and took the symphony on a European performance and education tour that culminated with a master class on the main stage of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Keitaro Harada holds BM and MM degrees from Mercer University and completed his formal training at University of Arizona with Thomas Cockrell and Charles Bontrager. Conducting studies have been under Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Oliver Knussen, Herbert Blomstedt, Adrian Gnam and Stefan Asbury. Harada is also a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy. Mr. Harada was a student of Fabio Luisi at the 2011 Conducting Academy, Pacific Music Festival, a recipient of the 2010 Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Festival, and a student of Lorin Maazel at the 2009 Castleton Festival Conducting Workshop. Further honors and awards include being one of only six conductors selected by the League of American Orchestras for the 2013 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, being a semi-finalist at Poland’s 9th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in 2012, and one of ten semi-finalists invited by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony to participate in the First Chicago Symphony Orchestra Solti International Conducting Competition in 2010. A three-time winner of the International Conductors Workshop and Competition in Georgia, Mr. Harada received an Honorable Mention in the International Academy of Advanced Conducting in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was a semi-finalist for the 2009 Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition in Mexico City, Mexico.  Most recently, Mr. Harada was the recipient of 2014 and 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Nicholas Hersh

A 2015 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Currently Assistant Conductor with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, conductor Nicholas Hersh has served as Music Director of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in Indiana and as Assistant Conductor with the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado.

Mr. Hersh has appeared in concert with the New World Symphony in Miami and the Southern Great Lakes Symphony in Detroit, and he has served as cover conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and the Aspen Music Festival.

Nicholas Hersh grew up in Evanston, Illinois and started his musical training with the cello studies.  He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Stanford University and a Master’s Degree in Conducting from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying with David Effron and Arthur Fagen. He counts Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff and Larry Rachleff among his conducting mentors, and has participated in master classes with Bernard Haitink and Michael Tilson Thomas. In 2011 and 2012 Mr. Hersh was a Conducting Fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen.  Mr. Hersh is a recipient of 2012 and 2015 Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Awards.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Lee Mills

A 2014 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Recently appointed as the Assistant Conductor for the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Lee Mills is internationally recognized as a passionate and energetic conductor. His recent engagements include the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, the Gran Teatro La Fenice, the Moscow Ballet Company, the Montana Ballet Company, Towson University Opera Theater, Peabody Opera Theater, and Concert Artists of Baltimore. From 2011 to 2014, Mr. Mills was the Music Director of the Towson University Symphony Orchestra in Maryland, and he was founding Music Director of the Divertimento Chamber Orchestra in Walla Walla, Washington. He received the prestigious BSO-Peabody Institute Conducting Fellowship in 2011 at the invitation of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop. For more information: www.leemillsconductor.com/.

Yaniv AttaThe Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awardr

A 2014 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Newly appointed Music Director of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra in Bellingham, Washington, Attar recently completed a two-year residency as Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Orchestras with which he has worked include the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Haifa, Jerusalem, Lithuanian State, Memphis, Milan, Milwaukee and Virginia, the Duna Szimfonikus Budapest, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali Milan, London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Mihail Jora Philharmonic Romania, National Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Rochester Philharmonic, Russe Philharmonic Bulgaria, and the Salzburg Chamber Soloists. Attar is the 1st prize winner of the Duna Szimfonikus Conducting Competition Budapest, recipient of Solti Foundation Career Assistance Awards in 2010 and 2012, and a 2009 Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Award. For more information: www.yanivattar.com/.

 

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance AwardConnor Gray Covington

A 2014 Solti Foundation U.S.

Career Assistance Award

Currently in his second season as Assistant Conductor of the Memphis Symphony, Conner Gray Covington is also Music Director of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program. He has also served as a regular cover conductor for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for the past two seasons. In May of 2012, Mr.Covington competed in the prestigious Malko Conducting Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he was the youngest participant to advance to the third round. He also recently advanced to the semi-final round in the Tokyo International Conducting Competition. Covington has worked with various orchestras around the U.S. and internationally including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Fort Worth Symphony, and the Alabama Symphony.



 

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance AwardShizuo Z. Kuwahara

A 2014 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Shizuo Z Kuwahara is Music Director of Symphony Orchestra Augusta. A former League of American Orchestras Conducting Fellow with The Philadelphia Orchestra, he served as apprentice to Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, leading numerous concerts, Mr. Kuwahara has served as an Associate Conductor of the Virginia Symphony. His guest conducting credits include the Nice Philharmonic, Japan Philharmonic, Frankfurt Museum Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Century Orchestra Osaka, Nagoya Philharmonic, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Polish Chamber Philharmonic, Philharmonia Slaska, Sinfonieorchester den Nationalen Philharmonischen Gesellshaft der Uklaine Kiew, Nice Philharmonic, German Radio Symphony Orchestra and L’Orchestre Pasdeloup. For more information: www.shizuokuwahara.com/.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Roger Kalia

A 2013 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Roger Kalia is the newly appointed Assistant Conductor of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra beginning in the 2013-14 season. As a recipient of the BMI/Lionel Newman Conducting Scholarship and YMF Conducting Grant, Mr. Kalia recently completed his first season as Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles. For more information: www. roger-kalia.com/.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Development Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Development Award

Robert Trevino

A 2012 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Since his professional debut in 2003 at the age of 20, Robert Treviño has become an emerging force on the international music scene and is currently the Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony. He has conducted numerous orchestras across North America, Europe, and Asia including the Cleveland Orchestra, New York City Opera Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New World Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic, Napa Valley Symphony, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, Suwon Philharmonic of South Korea, Wuppertal Symphony of Germany, Montpellier National Orchestra of France and Universidad Nacional Autonoma De Mexico Philharmonic of Mexico. Trevino also received the Solti award in 2010. For more information: www.roberttrevino.org/.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance AwardChristopher James Lees

A 2013 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Recipient of a Gustavo Dudamel Conducting Fellowship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic this season, Christopher James Lees made his debut with the orchestra in April 2013. Mr. Lees has conducted performances with the Detroit, Toledo, and Portland (Maine) Symphonies and served as an assistant conductor for multiple concert programs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit, Atlanta, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Charlotte Symphonies for noted conductors including Leonard Slatkin, David Robertson, Stéphane Danève, Robert Spano, Bramwell Tovey, and many others. For more information: www.christopherjameslees.com/.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance AwardFrancesco Lecce-Chong

A 2012 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

American conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, active with both the orchestral and opera repertory on the international stage, currently serves as Assistant Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In addition to working closely with renowned Music Director Edo de Waart, Mr. Lecce-Chong provides artistic leadership for the orchestra’s extensive community and education programs. In his first season with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 2011-2012, he conducted over forty performances, including an acclaimed mainstage debut with pianist Joyce Yang. In the 2012-2013 season, he makes his MSO subscription debut with violinist Augustin Hadelich and leads a gala performance with Itzhak Perlman. For more information: www.lecce-chong.com/.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance AwardJoshua Weilerstein

A 2012 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Immediately after completing his graduate studies in conducting and violin at the New England Conservatory in May 2011, Joshua Weilerstein was named assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic. In May 2009, Mr Weilerstein, then twenty-one years old, was named the winner of the international 2009 Malko Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen. His first-prize honors included conducting engagements over three years with such major Scandinavian orchestras as the Oslo Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and the Danish National Symphony, among others. One month later, in the first of this series of Malko engagements, Joshua made his professional conducting debut with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. For more information: www.opus3artists.com/artists/joshua-weilerstein.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance AwardWard Stare

A 2011 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Described as “a compelling figure on the podium” and “one of the hottest young conductors in America” by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ward Stare is currently the Resident Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony, a position created for him in the fall of 2008 by Music Director David Robertson. In April 2009, Stare made his highly successful Carnegie Hall debut with the orchestra, stepping in at the last minute to conduct while Robertson made his debut as chansonnier in H.K. Gruber’s Frankenstein!!. In addition to his duties with the St. Louis Symphony, Stare is the Music Director of the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and, in June 2010, led the group in its New York City debut at the historic Riverside Church. The New York Times praised the orchestra for their “terrific concert,” noting that “Mr. Stare inspired the musicians to impressive heights.” For more information: www.wardstare.com.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance AwardSean Newhouse

A 2011 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Sean Newhouse made an acclaimed last-minute debut with the Boston Symphony in February 2011, conducting Mahler’s Ninth Symphony on two hours’ notice in place of James Levine. The Boston Globe wrote that “The BSO often played beautifully for him, the strings digging in deeply in the final movement to produce a glowing and expressive tone.” No stranger to eleventh-hour substitutions, he also stepped in for Mario Venzago on short notice to open the Indianapolis Symphony season in 2008, to rave reviews commending his “expert” conducting and hailing the performances as “electrifying.” He is the first American-born conductor in fifteen years to be appointed Assistant Conductor to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a position he assumed in 2010 at the invitation of James Levine. For more information: www.seannewhouse.com.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award

Christopher Hill

A 2010 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

In 2012, Christopher Hill was selected amongst a pool of more than 500 applicants to participate in the Nikolai Malko competition in Copenhagen, Denmark. He recently concluded a two-year tenure as the music director and conductor of the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra and also served as the director of orchestras at the University of New Hampshire. In November, 2010, Mr. Hill was one of two American-born and resident participants of the Dmitri Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition in Athens, Greece. He was also a finalist in the Cadaqués International Conducting Competition near Barcelona, Spain in June of the same year. For more information: www.christopherhillconductor.com.

Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor AwardRyan McAdams

A 2010 Sir Georg Solti Emerging
Conductor Award

Ryan McAdams is the 15th Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS), a Fulbright scholar and former Apprentice Conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic under the tutelage of then-Chief Conductor (now Music Director of the New York Philharmonic) Alan Gilbert. Upcoming engagements include appearances with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, New York City Opera, New York City Ballet, Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, the Louisville Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and CityMusic Cleveland, in addition to his three Carnegie Hall performances with the NYYS. For more information: www.ryan-mcadams.com/.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance AwardKelly Kuo

2009 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Kelly Kuo’s recent conducting engagements include debuts at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Kentucky Opera, Madison Opera, Lexington Philharmonic, Anchorage Opera and Orchestra Nova San Diego. Mr. Kuo was also recently named Artistic Director of the Oregon Mozart Players and Music Director and Conductor of the Butler Opera Center at The University of Texas at Austin. In the past he served as Music Director of the Xavier University Chamber Orchestra and, for three years, Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. For more information: kellykuo.com.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance AwardSara Jobin

A 2006 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Grammy-nominated conductor Sara Jobin has a passion for opera, American, and new music. She has conducted the San Francisco Opera in performances of Tosca, Der fliegende Holländer, Norma, and the world premiere of Philip Glass’ Appomattox; she also led them in a production of Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince. As Music Director of the Center for Contemporary Opera, she premiered Michael Dellaira’s The Secret Agent in New York, and within a year reprised it in New York, at the Armel Opera Festival in Hungary, and in Avignon, France. For more information: www.hughkaylor.com/Jobin-Sara-Bio.html.

The Solti Foundation U.S. AwardEric Melear

A 2006 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Eric Melear returns to Houston Grand Opera in 2012 as Associate Music Director and Music Director of the Studio after a year on the music staff of the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera), where he assisted on fourteen productions and conducted two children’ s operas. Previously, he was Associate Conductor/Assistant Chorusmaster with Houston Grand Opera and served as Head of Music Staff and Studio Manager at Wolf Trap Opera. For more information: www.ericmelear.com.

The Solti Foundation U.S. AwardCarlos César Rodríguez

A 2005 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Carlos César Rodríguez has gained recognition as a virtuoso pianist who not only generates unusual excitement in the Hispanic keyboard repertoire (in recordings on the Omicron, Brioso labels) but also displays an extraordinary flair for Mozart and avant-garde scores. An expert on early instruments as well, enjoying entrée to the Smithsonian Institution’s rare collection, he was chosen by the Smithsonian to perform in its 150th anniversary concert in Washington, DC as well as a solo recital celebrating the 300th anniversary of the piano as part of the museum’s Piano300 exhibit. He has won acclaim moreover, as a music director of Mozart operas and a composer/improviser of ballet and Spanish dance scores. Mr. Rodríguez made his New York debut at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall at age 21, and has since has performed in such major venues as the Kennedy Center, The Corcoran Gallery, Merkin Hall, and the Royal Palace of Music in Salzburg, Austria. For more information: www.nationalchamberensemble.org/musicians.php?group=1&person=17.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Award

Thomas Rimes

A 2004 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Thomas Rimes is an Australian musician currently based in Germany. In recent years he has worked throughout Europe, the United States and Australia in the field of opera as a coach, conductor and composer. He lives in Kassel, Germany, and works at the Staatstheater Kassel as a conductor and pianist. Thomas recently finished composing his first full-length opera The Long Ride Home, based on a story and libretto he had written himself. He is currently writing his second opera, titled “O.T.O.” For more information: www.tomrimes.com.

Tappan was named one of Symphony magazine's 2005 "Upwardly Musical Artists on the Move."Stacey Tappan

A 2003 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Stacey Tappan continues to distinguish herself as a world-class musical artist. In stellar reviews for her “witty and sexy” Adele in Die Fledermaus with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, she was praised for the production’s “most polished singing… her coloratura bright and well-focused.” In 2008 she made her French debut with Opéra de Lille as Gilda in Rigoletto, which she reprised with the Opéra de Dijon in 2010. Other recent engagements include Adina in L’elisir d’amore and Despina in Così fan tutte with the Jacksonville Symphony, Woglinde and the Woodbird in the Ring Cycle with Los Angeles Opera, and a return to Lyric Opera of Chicago for multiple roles in Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten, covering Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and the title role in Lulu, and singing the role of Nannetta in Verdi’s Falstaff. For more information: www.staceytappan.com

Named Musical America's "New Artist of the Month"Quinn Kelsey

A 2003 Solti Foundation U.S.
Career Assistance Award

Quinn Kelsey (baritone) is an alumnus of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center (formerly the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists). Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i, Kelsey received his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa under John W. Mount. In 2012, the baritone makes a much-anticipated company debut with Dresden’s Semperoper alongside wife and soprano Marjorie Owens in the role of Count Di Luna in Verdi s Il Trovatore. He then continues with Verdi’s AÏDA with the Hawaii Opera Theatre, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Vancouver Opera in British Columbia, as well as a role debut with the San Francisco Opera as Ezio in Verdi’s Attila. For more information: www.quinnkelsey.com