Benjamin Bliss Makes MET Opera Debut

Also a member of Los Angeles Opera’s Young Artist Program, tenor Benjamin Bliss made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Vogelgesang in “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg,” with Maestro Levine in the pit, in November and December 2014. In April 2014, Benjamin entered the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation’s Annual International Vocal Competition in New York City, where he won the top prize – the Rose Braverman Trust Prize. The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation’s Annual International Vocal Competition is regarded as a major American competition, requiring the highest standard of vocal performance. Since 1974, this fine organization has given awards to hundreds of young singers, many of whom have since risen to international stardom.

 

David Roode Joins Danish Symphony on Trombone

In Fall 2014, trombonist David Roode won a position as second solo trombone with the Odense Symfoniorkester (The Odense Symphony Orchestra) in Odense, Denmark. After a grueling nine hour audition, David became the first non-Dane to be appointed to the trombone section in the history of the orchestra.

 

Dr Lee EdwardsDr. Lee MacCormick Edwards passed away on April 19, 2014 of ovarian cancer. She died in Edgecliff, Australia, an eastern suburb of Sydney, as she looked out to Point Piper where she was born on October 20, 1937. Lee lived in Locust Valley, NY; in addition to Edgecliff she also had homes in New York City and Vail. Lee was the granddaughter of the renowned Sydney surgeon and international yachtsman, Sir Alexander MacCormick, who after studying medicine under Joseph Lister at Edinburgh University in the 1880s, introduced antiseptic surgery to Australia. Lee's maternal grandfather, the chemist W. Howard Wright, founded Schenectady Varnish Company in 1906; the company grew to become the multinational SI Group, Inc., and Lee served on its Board of Directors up until the time of her death. Lee was an accomplished art historian and consultant and artist with a M.A. (1978), M. Phil. (1981), and Ph.D. (1984) from Columbia University. She lectured and taught widely in the United States, Europe and Australia and specialized in the arts and social history of the nineteenth century. She was on the art history faculty of her alma mater (class of 1976) Sarah Lawrence College from 2000 2008. Her book, "Herkomer: A Victorian Artist," was awarded the Henry-Russell Hitchcock prize by the Victorian Society of America for the best book of the year in 2001.
 
Lee was the President of the International Festival Society (IFS) from 2002 until 2013. The IFS makes grants to promising young American classical musicians on the cusp of their professional careers. She served on the boards of many other charitable organizations including the International Foundation for Art Research, The American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia and The American Australia Foundation.
 
A keen photographer, Lee exhibited her work annually; she considered it as an extension of her interest in the arts of the nineteenth century. Her last show in the United States, "My World," photographs of her native Australia, was held at Heimbold Visual Arts Center at Sarah Lawrence College in November 2012. All proceeds from her final exhibition, "Capturing the Moment" at Maunsell Wickes in Sydney in October 2013, were donated to support ovarian cancer research at the Garvan Institute for Medical Research and the St. Vincent's Curran Foundation in Sydney.
 
She was active in tennis, golf, kayaking, ocean swimming and golf croquet. She was a member of The Century Association, Colony Club, Metropolitan Opera Club, Piping Rock Club, The Creek, Sonnenalp Golf Club, Game Creek Club, Royal Sydney Golf Club as well as the club co-founded by her paternal grandfather, the Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club in Sydney. With her husband, the artist Michael Crane, Lee attended the Salzburg Festival for thirty years. She was awarded the Goldene Kreuz of the State of Salzburg in 2005 for her work as head of the American Friends of the Salzburg Festival.
In addition to her husband she is survived by her loving daughter Alison Edwards Curwen, son-in-law Austin Curwen and grandchildren Darcy, Tag and Stapley Curwen. A memorial service in New York will be scheduled for a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Lee's honor can be made to the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation, c/o Tina Albright, Secretary, Curtis Mallet, 101 Park Ave., New York, NY 10178.


Published in The New York Times on Apr. 22, 2014 View here.