CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program 2017 banner image featuring Diana Flores with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

CCM and CSO Announce Next Class of Diversity Fellows and Renewal Funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) have selected four outstanding musicians for the next class of the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship. Born out of a mutual desire to make American orchestras more inclusive, this groundbreaking fellowship program launched in 2015 with a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In addition, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has approved a generous renewal grant of $850,000, funding two additional classes of Fellows, through June 2021. This ensures the program will continue to develop, as the CSO and CCM strengthen different components and recruit highly qualified candidates who will achieve audition success as they embark on their careers, thus realizing the program’s mission to change the face of American orchestras. The Foundation’s continued support allows the Orchestra and University to create deep connections between students, as well as an alumni network that will impact these graduate-level musicians for years to come.

From left-to-right: CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung, Anita Graef, Weiyi Shao, Ian Saunders, Dan Wang and CSO Concertmaster Timothy Lees. Photo by Stephen Easley.

From left-to-right: CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung, Anita Graef, Weiyi Shao, Ian Saunders, Dan Wang and CSO Concertmaster Timothy Lees. Photo by Stephen Easley.

The next class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows are Anita Graef, 22 (cello); Ian Saunders, 30 (double bass); Weiyi Shao, 24 (violin); and Dan Wang, 31 (viola). These four exceptional string players will officially join the two-year fellowship program in August 2017, bringing the total number of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows to eight for the 2017–18 academic year and performance season. The inaugural class of Diversity Fellows — comprised of Emilio Carlo, Diana Flores, Vijeta Sathyaraj and Maurice Todd — will complete the second year of the program in April 2018. An additional Fellow from the inaugural class, Blake-Anthony Johnson, just accepted a cello position with the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida, and credits the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship with the next step in his professional career:

“As a Fellow I received valuable guidance and support from not only my peers participating in the Fellowship but also from the CSO and CCM conductors, musicians and administrative staff members. The resources and opportunities available to me as a Fellow were crucial in my musical career development, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this great network of people who became family in such short time.”

The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program is open to exceptional violin, viola, cello and double bass players coming from populations that are historically underrepresented in classical music. The program utilizes a broad definition of diversity that encompasses race and culture while also including underrepresented populations like first-generation college students and individuals who took non-traditional pathways to higher education. The program’s tagline — “Bravos Without Barriers” — gets to the heart of its mission: eliminating obstacles that can prevent extraordinary musicians from achieving their full potential.

“Thanks to the generosity of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Diversity Fellowship Program allows us to provide outstanding early-career musicians with access to the combined resources and expertise of the CSO and CCM,” said CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung. “The result is an unparalleled experience-based education that will empower these musicians and prepare them to succeed in their chosen fields. Our hope is that this program will also inspire the next generation of diverse young artists. This will allow us to continue making American orchestras better reflect the diversity of their communities.”

HOW THE FELLOWSHIP WORKS
Fellows perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the CSO while enrolled in a two-year Master of Music (MM) or Artist Diploma (AD) degree program at CCM. Each class of Fellows is selected through a rigorous series of auditions, which saw hundreds of graduate-level musicians audition for CCM faculty members. Fifteen string players were invited back to Cincinnati’s Taft Theatre for a final round of auditions judged by CSO musicians on March 11, 2017.

Each Fellow receives full tuition scholarship support from CCM, in addition to a $10,000 per year graduate stipend and a one-time Graduate School Dean’s Excellence Award of $3,000. Each Fellow also receives compensation of $8,000 per season while performing with the CSO.

With this collaborative Fellowship program, CCM and the CSO hope to provide new opportunities for underrepresented musicians, while simultaneously fostering a more inclusive environment in the orchestral industry. This mission is part of the appeal for Fellowship participant Anita Graef:

“I believe that adaptability and diversification are crucial to the modern landscape of classical music, and the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship is a pioneering opportunity in that field,” said Graef. “I am excited to further my education and to uphold the standards of this prestigious orchestra. I hope that my work will inspire others and show that when we embrace musicians from all walks of life, we enrich the meaning and purpose of making music.”

“The Diversity Fellowship presents students like me with not only a first-rate education from a great institution like the UC College-Conservatory of Music but also real life on-the-job training with the fantastic Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,” said Diversity Fellow Weiyi Shao. “I am very grateful that this program offers a generous scholarship, which makes it possible for me to attend. I feel very honored and humbled to be one of the participants.”

“The inaugural class of Fellows played an important role with the Orchestra throughout the 2016–17 season, and not only are we looking forward to their continued artistic contributions, but also we are seeing a very promising future for the next class starting this fall,” said Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Vice President and General Manager Robert McGrath. “Through our partnership with CCM and with the extraordinary support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we will continue to provide all of our Fellows with guidance and transformative experiences that ultimately help them achieve their goals as professional musicians.”

MEET THE FELLOWS

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Anita Graef.

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Anita Graef.

Anita Graef, Master of Music (MM) student, Cello
A native of Chicago, Anita Graef began her cello studies at age four and made her concerto debut at age 12. She went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance, where she studied with Professor Anthony Elliott. This fall, she will begin pursuing a master’s degree at CCM, under the tutelage of CSO principal cellist Ilya Finkelshteyn. She is thrilled to appear with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as part of the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship.

Previously, she has had the opportunity to work with such cellists as Stephen Geber, Johannes Moser and Felix Wang. Graef has studied with several members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including Jonathan Pegis, Richard Hirschl and Brant Taylor. She has performed in several orchestras under the baton of maestros such as Leonard Slatkin, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, JoAnn Falletta and Keith Lockhart.

She recently participated in the 79th season of the Brevard Music Festival as principal cellist, as well as Credo Chamber Music Festival at Oberlin Conservatory. She is a proud member of the Juliani Ensemble, where she has collaborated with members of both the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera Orchestra, among others. She was recently awarded the Silver Prize with Distinction at the Young Classical Virtuosos of Tomorrow international competition.

Outside of music, she is an avid reader, equestrian and lover of all things fashion. She also enjoys traveling, weight lifting, hiking and quality time with friends and family.

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Ian Saunders.

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Ian Saunders.

Ian Saunders, Artist Diploma (AD) student, Double Bass
A multi-faceted musician, Ian Saunders enjoys an exciting career as a sought-after bassist and educator. The Virginia native began his studies with Christopher White, principal bassist of the Virginia Symphony, in his hometown of Norfolk. Within a year he received his first major scholarship from R&B legend Ben E. King. Saunders completed his bachelor’s degree under the tutelage of renowned bassist Robert Nairn at the Pennsylvania State University. As an undergraduate, he took part in several world premieres by the prolific Finnish composer Teppo Hauto-Aho.

Saunders continued his graduate studies under Nairn while fulfilling numerous professional engagements with the Williamsport Symphony, Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra, Ballet Theatre of Central Pa and Manassas Ballet Theatre bass sections. In addition, he served as principal bassist of the Penn Centre Orchestra, Nittany Valley Symphony and Altoona Symphony.

In 2016, Saunders received his doctorate from the University of Maryland while studying with Robert Oppelt, principal bassist of the National Symphony Orchestra. Saunders is currently in demand within the competitive Baltimore and DC freelance community, most notably as the bassist for the critically acclaimed Post-Classical Ensemble. In addition, he has also performed with the National Philharmonic and the Collaborative Artist of Baltimore. In March 2016, he was featured on WBJC 91.5 Baltimore performing Guillaume Connesson’s Sextuor. Furthermore, he has fulfilled engagements abroad in Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas as well as across America in renowned concert halls including the Kennedy Center, Heinz Hall and Carnegie Hall.

Outside of the classical world, Saunders has been invited to participate in orchestras backing Bootsy Collins, Kansas and hip-hop artist Thee Phantom. He can also be seen in the nationally televised special Cherish the Ladies: An Irish Homecoming, backing the Irish super group Cherish the Ladies. The program was nationally syndicated on PBS in 2013.

As an educator, Saunders recently served as the interim double bass professor at Penn State. In addition, he has taught classes at the University of Maryland, Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Saunders also spends his summers as the Associate Dean of Students at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC.

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Weiyi Shao.

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Weiyi Shao.

Weiyi Shao, Master of Music (MM) student, Violin
Born in Daqing, China, Weiyi Shao began studying the violin at age five. She attended the Middle School of the Shenyang Conservatory of Music, where she was concertmaster of the school orchestra as a student of Professor Tong Mu. She came to the United States in 2011 with a full scholarship to the Texas Christian University (TCU), where she earned a bachelor’s degree in violin performance under the tutelage of Curt Thompson, Swang Lin and Michael Shih.

During her studies at TCU, Shao received numerous awards and prizes, including the Modena Rogers Clark Spitler Violin Scholarship in 2013 and the Faculty and Friends Chamber Music Society Award in 2014. In 2015, she was a Strings Department Winner of TCU’s annual Concerto Competition. She has also attended the Aspen Music Festival and School as a pupil of Naoko Tanaka, and performed in master classes given by Karen Gomyo, Augustin Hadelich, Gary Levinson and Midori.  Since 2013, she has been a member of the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra in Texas.

Currently, Weiyi is pursuing a Master of Music degree at CCM as a student of Professor Won-Bin Yim.

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Dan Wang.

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Dan Wang.

Dan Wang, Artist Diploma (AD) student, Viola
Dan Wang is a first-year Artist Diploma student in viola performance at CCM. She is currently being mentored by CSO principal violist Christian Colberg and CCM visiting scholar Jan Grüning, violist of CCM’s string quartet-in-residence, the Ariel Quartet. She came to the United States from Shenyang, China to study at CCM in 2009, graduating with a master’s degree in violin performance in 2012. She previously studied at the Shenyang Conservatory of Music and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). During her previous musical training, she had been mentored by CCM Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus, Professor Michael Ma and Professor Tong Mu.

Wang has also performed with the Shenyang Conservatory of Music Orchestra and HKAPA Symphony Orchestra as concertmaster, and with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta as section/substitute section violin. She has served as concertmaster of the CCM Philharmonia and CCM Concert Orchestra. In 2017, she won a permanent position in the viola section of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.

Wang received a full scholarship from HKAPA and CCM. She has also won several music competitions, most notably fourth prize in the seventh China National Violin Competition.

LEARN MORE
CCM and the CSO will begin accepting applications for the 2018-20 class of Fellows on Aug. 1, 2017. The application deadline is Friday, Dec. 1, 2017.

Live auditions with CCM faculty will be held on Jan. 13, Jan. 27 and Feb. 17, 2018Finalists will audition for the CSO at the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati in March of 2018. Fellowship decisions will be sent in April of 2018.

Learn more by visiting ccm.uc.edu/chance2perform.

CCM News Student Salutes

The Application Deadline is Approaching for the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship!

Time is running out to apply for the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship! The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra are accepting applications for the next class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows through Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2016!

Diversity Fellow Emilio Carlo in rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Diversity Fellow Emilio Carlo in rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this one-of-a-kind program provides an unparalleled learning experience for violin, viola, violoncello and double bass players coming from populations that are historically underrepresented in classical music. The inaugural class of fellows are halfway through their first year in the program; read more about them in this UC Magazine feature story.

Fellows receive full tuition scholarship support while earning a Master of Music or Artist Diploma degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The inaugural class of Diversity Fellows with CSO music director Louis Langrée.

The inaugural class of Diversity Fellows with CSO music director Louis Langrée.

Fellows perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Each fellow receives compensation of $8,000 per season while performing with the CSO.

Fellows receive a $10,000 per year graduate stipend and one-time Graduate School Dean’s Excellence Award of $3,000 from CCM.

The deadline to apply is Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. For application and audition requirements, visit us at ccm.uc.edu/chance2perform.

Apply online now at ccm.uc.edu/admissions/application/gradapplication.

Questions? Email us at ccmadmis@uc.edu.

CCM News
Header for CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship program.

The Application Deadline is Approaching for the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship!

Time is running out to apply for the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship! The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra are accepting applications for the inaugural class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows through Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015!

Study at the UC College-Conservatory of Music.Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this one-of-a-kind program provides an unparalleled learning experience for violin, viola, violoncello and double bass players coming from populations that are historically underrepresented in classical music.

Fellows receive full tuition scholarship support while earning a Master of Music or Artist Diploma degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Perform with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.Fellows perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Each fellow receives compensation of $8,000 per season while performing with the CSO.

Fellows receive a $10,000 per year graduate stipend and one-time Graduate School Dean’s Excellence Award of $3,000 from CCM.

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. For application and audition requirements, visit us at ccm.uc.edu/chance2perform.

Apply online now at ccm.uc.edu/admissions/application/gradapplication.

Questions? Email us at ccmadmis@uc.edu.

CCM News
Through this new Diversity Fellowship Program, students will get to perform with the CSO while completing a graduate degree at CCM.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Awarded $900,000 by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) are honored to announce the two institutions are the combined recipient of a $900,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This grant will be used to pilot a groundbreaking collaborative fellowship program aimed at developing young, graduate-level musicians from underrepresented populations and preparing them for the professional orchestra world.

The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program responds to a need among American orchestras and professional music conservatories, which face issues of underrepresentation, and is driven by the mutual desire of the CSO and CCM to foster a more inclusive environment in the orchestral industry. Selected graduate school Fellows from underrepresented populations will participate in a specialized two-year program that is already garnering attention among leaders throughout the music world. This educational opportunity will consist of frequent performances with the CSO, focused mentorship by professional CSO musicians, and simultaneous enrollment in a master’s or artist diploma degree program at CCM where fellows will be guided by CCM’s illustrious faculty.

Learn more at Cincinnati.com.

Learn more at Cincinnati.com.

“We looked at the data and saw that only four percent of American orchestra musicians were African-American or Latino, a figure that is also reflected in conservatory settings,” said Trey Devey, CSO President. “The CSO and CCM felt it essential to address this issue head-on and provide life-changing experiences within a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment for graduate-level musicians across the country.”

“There are many fine programs designed to address underrepresentation in our industry, but none of those experiences include both a major American symphony orchestra and a major conservatory. Together, CCM and the CSO will provide unparalleled experiential learning opportunities for young musicians on the verge of a professional career,” said CCM Dean Peter Landgren.

“CCM and the CSO are perfectly positioned for this initiative. Our organizations’ recent partnership with the Cincinnati World Piano Competition, our joint Conducting Fellowship, as well as the large number of CSO musicians who are CCM alumni and serve as CCM faculty, speak to the deep connections between our two institutions. As the birthplace of cooperative education, the University of Cincinnati also serves as the perfect backdrop for this new approach to professional mentorship for musicians,” said Mr. Landgren.

CCM's Concert Orchestra, performing at the annual Moveable Feast gala event.

CCM’s Concert Orchestra, performing at the annual Moveable Feast gala event.

How the Fellowship Works
The four-year pilot program, as funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will graduate two classes of up to five Fellows each through June 2019. Fellows will consist of graduate level string musicians who are simultaneously enrolled in CCM’s master’s or artist diploma degree programs. Each class of Fellows will include up to two violins, and one each of viola, cello and double bass. They will perform five weeks per season with the CSO in a progressive sequence of concert weeks based on program difficulty, with one week focused on community engagement and educational activities.

These Fellows will be provided with a unique support system built on intensive professional mentorship. In addition to the community formed with other Fellows, they will receive focused mentorship by CSO musicians, which includes advance coaching sessions prior to a rehearsal cycle, ongoing stand partner coaching throughout rehearsal weeks and post-performance feedback. There will also be structured time for non-performance related mentorship such as career counseling and audition preparation.

Additionally, Fellows will receive a CCM Fellowship Stipend and one time Graduate Dean’s Excellence Award, with opportunities for additional performing and non-performing community engagement activities through CCM, eight career development seminars including mock auditions and full tuition scholarships.

Application procedures and deadlines will be announced at a later date.

The Anticipated Impact
It is anticipated this new fellowship opportunity will attract talented young musicians from throughout the nation.

“I think I speak for all the musicians of the CSO, and particularly those of us who will be deeply involved in mentoring, that in seeking to identify and prepare more underrepresented musicians for orchestral auditions, we will be helping make American orchestras richer,” said Stacey Woolley, CSO violinist. “There is such a varied career path available to musicians in every facet of professional music, and fostering this awareness with the next generation will continue to serve orchestras and communities for decades to come.”

An alumnus of CCM, Landgren has a first-hand understanding of the life changing opportunities this new initiative will provide. “As a student at CCM, I had the rare privilege of performing as an extra musician with the CSO. That transformative learning experience led to my 29-year career as a musician with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,” he explained. “When I returned to CCM as the Dean, developing a program to provide similar opportunities for tomorrow’s professional musicians became a driving priority.”

Both the CSO and CCM extend sincere gratitude to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its extraordinary impact in making this Diversity Fellowship Program a reality.

“Without the extraordinary support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this groundbreaking new fellowship program simply wouldn’t be possible,” said Mr. Devey. “It advances the Orchestra’s already strong and award winning commitment to more inclusiveness, a goal we share with the community we serve.”

“This generous gift from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will enhance the already world-class UC College-Conservatory of Music and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra by enabling a unique partnership between two great Cincinnati institutions,” said UC Foundation President Rodney Grabowski. “The collaboration is a great example of the university’s commitment to inclusion initiatives, focus on the cooperative education and dedication to the performing arts.”

For more information about about this historic announcement, check out Janelle Gelfand’s coverage on Cincinnati.com today and be sure to pick up the Sunday, July 19, edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer for the full story!

CCM News

CCM Artist Diploma Student Talya Lieberman Wins Outstanding Performance Award at 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition

CCM artist diploma student Talya Lieberman.

CCM artist diploma student Talya Lieberman.

We are happy to report that soprano Talya Lieberman, an Artist Diploma candidate in CCM’s Opera program, won the Lys Symonette Award for Outstanding Performance of an Individual Number during the final round of the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition.

Sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, this year’s competition was held at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music on April 18. Named in honor of Weill’s musical assistant on Broadway, the Lys Symonette Award comes with a cash prize of $3,500.

Now in its 18th year, the Lotte Lenya Competition is an international theatre singing contest that recognizes exceptionally talented young singer/actors, ages 19-32, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire, from opera and operetta to contemporary Broadway musicals, with a focus on the works of Kurt Weill. The judges of this year’s competition were Rebecca Luker, James Holmes and Theodore S. Chapin. You can view a full list of this year’s competition winners by visiting www.kwf.org/previous-winners.

Lieberman is the latest in a long line of CCM-trained singers to take home top honors at the Lotte Lenya Competition. CCM alumna Lauren Roesner (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013) took Third Prize in the 2013 installment of this prestigious international theater singing contest. CCM alumna Caitlin Mathes (MM Voice, 2009; Artist Diploma in Opera, 2010) earned First Prize in 2011 and fellow alumna Alisa Suzanne Jordheim (BM Voice, 2008; MM Voice, 2010; DMA candidate) progressed to the final round of the competition that same year.

About Talya Lieberman
Originally from Forest Hills, New York, Talya Ilana Lieberman is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at CCM as a student of CCM Professor of Voice William McGraw.

A soprano, Lieberman will be singing Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with Wolf Trap Opera as a Filene Young Artist this coming summer. She has been invited to make her recital debut with the San Francisco Opera Center as part of their Schwabacher Debut Recital series this spring. She was most recently seen performing Gretel in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.

This past summer she sang the title role in Handel’s Semele as part of the Schwabacher Concert Series (Merola Opera Program). Highlights from 2013-14 include performing selections from Canteloube’s “Chants d’Auverge” with the CCM Philharmonia, as well as performing David del Tredici’s “Haddock’s Eyes” with CCM’s Café MoMus ensemble. She won the Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition (Columbus Opera, 2014) and Alida Vane International Voice Competition (2013) in Latvia, where she studied on a Fulbright scholarship for the 2012-13 school year.

Lieberman made her New York City debut prior to departing for Latvia, singing in concert with Schubert & Co. In the summer of 2012 she participated in the voice program at the Chautauqua School of Music, where she was featured in Villa-Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras” with the cello studio.

Lieberman is a convert from the orchestra pit and started singing after receiving her master’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the tutelage of Judith Saxton. She completed her BA at Duke University with highest distinction in linguistics (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude). She is a two-time winner of full tuition and stipend—winning the Russell-Seybold Award and Italo Tajo Award, respectively—at CCM’s annual Opera Scholarship Competition.

Lieberman has lived a few lives before coming to opera full-time; she worked on sleep apnea research as a research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, served as program coordinator for the El Sistema inspired program Play On, Philly!, and had a short stint as a singer-songwriter. She is an avid student of contact improvisation and various forms of meditation. She loves reading, writing, editing, working with children, teaching and being an aunt.

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Alumni Yi Li and Amanda Woodbury Named Grand Finalist Winners of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2014 National Council Auditions

From left to right, CCM alumni Yi Li and Amanda Woodbury.

From left to right, CCM alumni Yi Li and Amanda Woodbury.

CCM alumni Yi Li (AD, ’13) and Amanda Woodbury (MM, ’12) have been named Grand Finals Winners of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2014 National Council Auditions.

A tenor, Li is a member of the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.

Woodbury, a soprano, is in her second year at the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at LA Opera.

Li and Woodbury were among nine singers competing in the Met’s prestigious and highly competitive Grand Finals Concert this past Sunday, March 30. The finalists were accompanied by the Met Orchestra led by Marco Armiliato. You can learn more about all of the 2014 National Council Winners here.

This marks the second consecutive year that CCM trained singers have won the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions: bass-baritone Thomas Richards was named a Grand Finals Winner in 2013.

WQXR, New York’s Classical Music Radio Station, will broadcast performances and interviews with all of this year’s winners at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1. Learn more by visiting www.wqxr.org/#!/story/video-webcast-metropolitan-opera-national-council-award-winners.

Learn more courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer here.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News

CCM Student Named Grand Finalist Winner of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2013 National Council Auditions

Artist Diploma student Thomas Richards, bass-baritone.

Artist Diploma student Thomas Richards, bass-baritone.

CCM Artist Diploma candidate Thomas Richards, bass-baritone, has been named a Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2013 National Council Auditions.

A student of CCM Professor of Voice William McGraw, Richards was one of 10 singers competing in the Met’s prestigious and highly competitive Grand Finals Concert this past Sunday, March 10. The finalists were accompanied by the Met Orchestra led by Marco Armiliato. Richards and five other young artists were named the winners of this year’s National Council Auditions.

WQXR, New York’s Classical Music Radio Station, will broadcast performances and interviews with all of this year’s winners at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 11. Visit www.wqxr.org to listen online or watch a live video stream of the performances and interviews.

The Cincinnati Enquirer also published an interview with Richards on the eve of his Grand Finals-winning performance this weekend. You can read that interview online at news.cincinnati.com/article/20130310/ENT07/303100029/CCM-student-finals-Met-contest.

Local audiences can next see Richards in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, running April 4-7 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

CCM News Student Salutes

UC Fulbright Winners Earn Prestigious Professional Opportunities in Europe

Jennifer Williams, Fulbright Scholar

Jennifer Williams, Fulbright Scholar

Three University of Cincinnati students and spring graduates – and one faculty member – are heading abroad in the coming academic year to pursue prestigious opportunities for professional development via teaching and work. As previously reported, this group includes recent CCM alumna Jennifer Williams.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News

Five CCM Students Win Awards At The Gerda Lissner Foundation’s Annual International Vocal Competition

The Gerda Lissner Foundation has announced the winners of its 2012 International Vocal Competition and three current and two former CCM students received top prizes at the prestigious event, which took place in late March and early April in New York City.

Artist Diploma candidate Jacqueline Echols and CCM alumna Audrey Luna (MM ’03, AD ’05) both received second prize in the competition, which came with a $5000 cash award and a Carnegie Hall Recital Hall debut.

Artist Diploma candidate Yi Li and CCM alumnus Norman Garrett (MM, ’09) both received third prize, which came with a $3000 cash award.

Artist Diploma candidate Marco Cammarota received the competition’s Encouragement Award, which came with a $2000 award. Congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients!

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Artist Diploma Candidate Jennifer Williams Receives Fulbright Award

CCM Artist Diploma candidate Jennifer Williams.

CCM Artist Diploma candidate Jennifer Williams.

Congratulations to CCM student Jennifer Williams for receiving a Fulbright grant to study in Germany next year!

A second-year artist diploma candidate in Opera Stage Direction, Williams directed CCM’s acclaimed staged production of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion last November. You can learn more about that performance here and see Williams discuss the production here.

CCM News Student Salutes