The Solti Foundation U.S. marks 20th Anniversary with a “Special Edition” announcement

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The Solti Foundation U.S.
announces special 20th Anniversary edition
of its Career Assistance Awards

Evanston, IL – Anniversaries are meant to be celebrated, and The Solti Foundation U.S. won’t be deterred from so doing. Today, announced remotely from their respective homes, Foundation Board Chair Penny Van Horn and Elizabeth Buccheri, Artistic and Awards Committee Chair, released the names of the young conductors who have been selected as 2020 recipients of The Sir Georg Solti Career Assistance Award.

“One of Sir Georg’s favorite things to do was to work with young musicians,” stated Ms. Van Horn. “This is the impetus for The Solti Foundation U.S.’s focus in assisting young conductors. Sir Georg’s wife, Lady Valerie Solti, has said, ‘He was always willing to take time to talk to them, give advice about their careers and often helped them financially. He never ceased to be grateful for the help he received from others during the bleak days before he found work.'”

“Remembering this, the members of the Board and the Artistic and Awards Committee wanted to do something extra special to commemorate the 20th anniversary of The Solti Foundation U.S., “said Ms. Buccheri. “While we hope to be able to hold a celebratory event in Chicago later this year, with the uncertainty of COVID-19, we thought it more fitting to begin the celebration now, when a ray of sunlight truly warms the spirit.”

“It is therefore, with great pleasure, that we announce a special 20th Anniversary edition of the Solti Foundation Career Assistance Awards,” added Ms. Van Horn. “In keep with Sir Georg’s magnanimous spirit and generosity, the Solti Foundation U.S. happily announces the awarding of 19 Career Assistance Awards, the largest number ever given by the Foundation in a single year! These 19 awards, when added to the Solti Fellow announced earlier this year, total 20 awards to match our 20 years!”

Ranging in age from 25 to 36, this year’s recipients hold posts throughout the United States, in Canada, and in Switzerland, and are frequent guest conductors on both the national and international stages.

Receiving a 2020 Career Assistance Award (in alphabetical order) are conductors :
Tiffany Chang,Visiting Assistant Professor of Conducting, artist faculty, Oberlin Conservatory and Assistant Professor, Berklee College of Music; Holly Choe, Music Director, Orchesterverein Wiedikon, Music Director, University of St. Gallen Alumni Symphony Orchestra; Maurice Cohn, Music Director, New Horizons Orchestra and Assistant Conductor, Eastman School Symphony Orchestra; Conner Gray Covington, Associate Conductor, Utah Symphony and Principal Conductor, Deer Valley Music Festival; Andrew Crust, Associate Conductor, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra;
Kevin Fitzgerald, Assistant Conductor, Alabama Symphony Orchestra; Lina Gonzalez-Granados, Solti Conducting Apprentice, Chicago Symphony Orchestra;
Keitaro Harada, Music & Artistic Director, Savannah Philharmonic; Jonathon Heyward, Chief Conductor Designate, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie; Joshua Hong, Music Director, Campanile Orchestra; Jacob Joyce, Associate Conductor, Indianapolis Symphony; Roger Kalia, Music Director, Evansville Philharmonic, Symphony NH, Orchestra Santa Monica, Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Lake George Music Festival and Associate Conductor, Pacific Symphony; Matthew Kasper, Resident Conductor, The Phoenix Symphony and Artistic Director, Phoenix Youth Symphony; Lee Mills, Associate Conductor, Seattle Symphony Stephen Mulligan, Associate Conductor, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Music Director, Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra; Gemma New, Music Director, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Resident Conductor, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Music Director, St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor, Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Michael Repper, Music Director, New York Youth Symphony and Northern Neck Orchestra of Virginia; Stefano Sarzani, international guest conductor; Kensho Watanabe, international guest conductor.

Artists’ official bios are attached below.

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Tiffany Chang, Holly Choe, Maurice Cohn

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Conner Gray Covington, Andrew Crust, Kevin Fitzgerald

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Lina Gonzalez-Granados, Keitaro Harada, Jonathon Heyward

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Joshua Hong, Jacob Joyce, Roger Kalia

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Matthew Kasper, Lee Mills, Stephen Mulligan

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Gemma New, Michael Repper

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Stefano Sarzani, Kensho Watanabe

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About The Solti Foundation U.S.

Entering its twentieth year of assisting outstanding young U.S. conductors to further develop their talent and careers, The Solti Foundation U.S. is the foremost organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to helping young conductors.

Established in 2000 to honor the memory of the legendary conductor Sir Georg Solti by lending significant support to career-ready young American musicians, in 2004, the Foundation concentrated the focus of its award program to solely assist talented young American conductors early in their professional careers (its original mission was of a more general arts nature). Since then, it has awarded over $900,000 through grants and residencies to American conductors.

The Foundation endeavors to seek out those musicians who have chosen to follow a path similar to that followed by Sir Georg himself. In keeping with the spirit of Sir Georg’s active approach to his career, young conductors must apply to be considered for the awards.

While dedicated to identifying and assisting young conductors early on, the Foundation is also concerned with the long-term development of its award recipients, continuing to offer support and maintaining a constant interest in their growth and achievements.

The Foundation currently awards the following grants annually:

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award.

The largest grant currently given to American conductors in the formative years of their careers, the prestigious $30,000 grant is given annually to a single promising American conductor 38 years of age or younger. The Award, also known as The Solti Fellow, includes door-opening introductions, ongoing professional mentoring, and introductions to two of Chicago’s most prestigious performing organizations: Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Recipients include Aram Demirjian,Yaniv Dinur, Roderick Cox, Christopher Allen, Karina Canellakis, Vladimir Kulenovic, Cristian Macelaru, James Feddeck, Case Scaglione, Eric Nielsen, and Anthony Barrese.

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.
The amounts given for the Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards vary, but the intent behind them does not.

The Elizabeth Buccheri Opera Residency.
Introduced in the 2014-15 season, the program places former award recipients with a distinguished opera house for one-on-one mentoring and coaching of an opera during the company’s professional season. Recipients have worked with numerous stellar opera companies renowned for their artistic excellence across the country, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Florentine Opera Company in Milwaukee, North Carolina Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Michigan Opera Theatre. Conductors cannot apply, but are instead selected by the Artistic and Awards Committee.

The Foundation is currently the only American Foundation to grant these kinds of awards each year to young American conductors. Citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are career-ready artists in the field of conducting are eligible to apply.

Applicants for all Solti Foundation U.S. awards must be able to demonstrate that he/she is developing a career as a symphonic/operatic conductor. All applications from The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award are considered for a Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award. Applications are reviewed by an awards committee comprised of a panel of professionals with broad musical and conducting experience. The Foundation reserves the right to withhold a grant in any given year if the Awards Committee does not find suitable applicants in one or more of the various award categories.

For further details on The Solti Foundation U.S., its past awardees, their biographical information, the Foundation’s newsletter, as well as guidelines for the upcoming 2021 Awards, and a downloadable application form, please visit the Foundation’s website at: www.soltifoundation.us.

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