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.

 

Master Classes by David Roode

In 2013, grant recipient and trombonist David Roode returned to Memphis from London to hold a series of free master classes at Memphis area high schools and colleges. IFS assisted with a $2,000 grant. David, accompanied by his wife, pianist Mika Komuro, found the students to be especially curious about life outside the USA. David states that moving abroad was a life-changing experience for him, and he is passionate about sharing the benefits of international exchange.

It is with great pleasure that IFS announces pianist Zsolt Bognar's acceptance of a position on The International Festival Society's Artistic Advisory Board.

Zsolt BognarZsolt Bognar was first brought to IFS' attention by former IFS president Joe Piropato. Audiences across the globe have found his playing to be absolutely brilliant.

His debut album, Franz and Franz, featuring works of Schubert and Liszt, was recorded at the B-Sharp Studios in Berlin and released in November 2013. Also in 2013, IFS made Zsolt a grant of $3,000 to help with expenses related to his performances at the Lugano Festival in Switzerland, and at the Concerts in the Box series in Vienna, Munich and Berlin.

When not performing, Zsolt is the host of Living the Classical Life, an Internet film series where he has interviewed, among other musical luminaries, Joshua Bell, the Jupiter Quartet, and Nathan Gunn. Watch for an upcoming interview with Emanuel Ax.

As the first member of IFS' Artistic Advisory Board, Zsolt will advise on potential grant recipients, will recommend potential contributors and board members, and will enhance the global footprint of IFS through his artistic talent and professional stature.