Soprano Alexandra LoBianco has received a $1,000 grant to help with coaching expenses related to performing in the Viva Verdi Concerts with Mobile Productions in Zurich, in December 2012.

American soprano Alexandra LoBianco has been hailed as possessing “a true Verdian voice of velvet-covered steel,” capable of “effortlessly tossing off trills and roulades” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). She has been awarded First Prize in the 2013 Altamura International Vocal Competition and was named a First Prize winner of the William Sullivan Foundation 2013 Awards. Since earning first prize at the 2011 Liederkranz Vocal Competition, and taking first prize and being named “Audience Favorite” at the 2011 Irene Dalis Competition, she has continued to win praise whenever she performs. San Francisco Classical Voice noted her “lyrical-to-heroic range,” calling to mind “the ease and magnetism of a young Monserrat Caballe.” 

The Angel City Chorale, based in Los Angeles, received a $500 grant in 2012 and a $1,000 grant in 2013, to assist with expenses incurred in performing Christopher Tin's 12-song cycle composition, Calling All Dawns, in Los Angeles in June 2013.

 

 Soprano Ashley Buckhout received a $500 grant to assist with continuing voice lessons (grant underwritten by Rita Mehos) in 2014.

Ashley is a Boston-area native, recently returned home from Montreal where she received her BM in Voice Performance from McGill University's Schulich School of Music. While at McGill, Ashley studied with renowned baritone, Sanford Sylvan, and had the opportunity to work with notable coach Michael McMahon, and conductor Jordan de Souza. Other education has come from her work with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, where she studied and performed Helena in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream (2012), and more recently, Blanche in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites (2013).

Soprano Aubry Ballaro-Hagadorn received a $1,500 grant to assist with expenses related to attending, and performing at, the Oberlin in Italy program in Arezzo, Italy, in Summer 2014 (grant underwritten by Betty Gates).

She received a $1,500 grant to help with travel expenses related to attending and performing at the Oberlin in Italy program in Summer 2013. She is a Vocal performance major at Oberlin Conservatory or Music and will sing Despina in Cosi fan tutti at the Oberlin in Italy program.

“I was able to grow as an artist, continue my Italian language education and make invaluable connections - thank you. Words cannot describe how grateful I am." - Aubry

Tenor Ben Bliss has received a $2000 grant, to attend a 3-month program at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, in Summer 2012, to study with Marilyn Horne. He is a graduate of Chapman University; currently a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program at LA Opera. He covered the roles of Fernando in Cosi fan tutte and Albert in Albert Herring for LA Opera, and sang two roles in LAO’s Recovered Voices series under James Conlon, as well as the tenor solo and duet in Bach’s Magnificat with Jeffrey Kanane and the LA Chamber Orchestra.

 

 Violinist Benjamin Scott received a $1,500 grant to assist with expenses related to attending the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria in Summer 2014.

Benjamin Scott is a member of the New World Symphony, and was also recently accepted as a substitute for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Benjamin toured with NWS, Michael Tilson-Thomas, and Yo-Yo Ma in Miami and at Carnegie Hall in 2007.

Benjamin was concertmaster of the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra (Japan) in 2010, and also performed chamber concerts with Clive Greensmith of the Tokyo String Quartet.

In May 2007, Benjamin completed his Master's degree at the New England Conservatory, with Valeria Kuchment, member of the Boston Symphony.

"Thank you for the grant to attend AIMS this past summer. I had a wonderful time and a grand experience playing orchestra and chamber music." - Benjamin

Cassandra Cardenas, Mezzo-soprano, received a $2,000 grant to participate in the intensive 4-week opera training program, at the Taos Opera Institute, in June 2013. Cassandra holds a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

April 2015 grant of $1,500 to coach and pianist Chan Mi Jean to attend the TOP program in Austria in Summer 2015.

Chris Venditti holds bachelor and master's degrees in music from The Juilliard School. He has recorded with the American Brass Quintet, and has toured with Eurobrass. He was a finalist for the New World Symphony. The IFS made Chris a grant of $2,000 to attend the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) program in Graz, Austria in the summer of 2010.

Mezzo-soprano Christina DeMaio received a $500 grant to assist with continuing voice lessons (grant underwritten by Rita Mehos) in 2014.

She recently gave a Bachelor of Music recital The New England Conservatory in Boston in 2013, where she was a student of Lisa Saffer, with Justin Williams, piano and Laura Soto-Bayomi, soprano.

The US premiere of “The Drop That Contained the Sea,” Christopher Tin’s sequel to “Calling All Dawns,” was performed at Carnegie Hall, New York, on April 13, 2014. The new work contains ten new pieces in ten languages, featuring another all-star collection of world and classical artists, including the Soweto Gospel Choir, Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Anonymous 4, Dulce Pontes, and many more. Also featured is the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which Chris conducted at legendary Abbey Road Studios.

 

The West Coast premiere was performed by IFS grant recipient Angel City Chorale on June 13, 2014 in Los Angeles.

The CD of “The Drop That Contained the Sea” entered the Billboard Classical Music Chart at No. 1, and entered at No. 6 on the Billboard World Music Chart.

Christopher Tin's 2009 classical/world fusion album, Calling All Dawns, received two Grammy Awards at the awards ceremony in Los Angeles on February 13, 2011. Tin, a Fulbright scholar at the Royal College of Music who won the Horovitz Composition Prize, received a $3,000 IFS grant in 2007, and a $1,500 grant in 2009. The album features a variety of diverse soloists including Frederica von Stade, the Soweto Gospel Choir, and Iranian vocalist Sussan Deyhim, among others.

Composer Christopher Tin married his long-time girlfriend Dyna Kau on Saturday, November 2, 2013 in a beautiful, very emotional ceremony in Los Angeles. The usual wedding stress was enhanced by the shooting and resulting mass confusion at LAX on Friday, November 1, when many wedding guests from around the U.S. and the world were flying in.

A Choreographer from Brooklyn NY, Christopher Williams received a $2,500 grant to help with expenses in accepting a fellowship at the Liguria Study Center for Arts & Humanities in Bogliasco, Italy in Spring 2013, including performing at the Danzareteatro Festival in Genoa. Will bring dancer Caitlin Scranton to perform with him.

Christopher has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence; diploma of study from Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris; graduate of Merce Cunningham Dance Studio professional traning program. Performed with major companies in the US and internationally; and worked in collaboration with Peter Sellars on Sellars’ opera The Indian Queen, among other international appearances.

Repetiteur Dallas Heaton has received a $3000 grant to attend TOP Opera Program in Austria, in Summer 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Music from BYU Idaho, full scholarship; graduate studies at Arizona State, also full scholarship.

 

Baritone Daniel Keeling is emerging onto the international musical stages as an accomplished performer of both contemporary and traditional classical music. The IFS made Mr. Keeling a grant of $3,000 to participate in the Musica Lirica Music Festival in Novafeltria, Italy in the Summer of 2010, where he performed the role of Germont in Verdi's La Traviata.

Daniel shared the exciting news that in September 2015, he will make his debut at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, singing Dewain in John Adams' I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky. Teatro dell'Opera di Roma is a major venue, and a huge step for any opera singer.

April 2015 grant of $2,500 to pianist Daniel Linder, to attend the Academie de Fourviere in France from July 27 to August 6, 2015; underwritten by a $2,500 grant from Joe Piropato. 

Daniel Linder lives in Los Angeles and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance at the University of Southern California’s esteemed Thornton School of Music, where he studies with pianist Bernadene Blaha and teaches piano as a graduate teaching assistant.

Dan grew up in Westport, New York, where he studied piano with Dr. Rose Chancler and attended Westport Central School. He holds a B.M. in piano performance and a B.A. in history from Northwestern University, where he studied piano with Alan Chow. In May 2014 he graduated with a M.M. in piano performance from the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he studied with Dr. John Milbauer. He has spent multiple summers of concentrated music study at the Chautauqua Institution Music Festival in western New York, and in July 2014 he gave performances in East Hampton and Southampton, NY as a participant of Pianofest in the Hamptons. He has performed in master classes for Stephen Hough, Jerome Lowenthal, Jeremy Denk, Paul Schenley, Anton Nel, Rebecca Penneys, and Emanuele Arciuli.

In summer 2015 he studied and performed at the Académie de Fourvière in Lyon, France, funded by a grant from the International Festival Society, and performed a solo recital at the Rønnebæksholm in Næstved, Denmark. 

April 2015 grant of $1,500 to baritone Darius Gillard, to attend the Connecticut Lyric Opera's Summer Institute, in the leading role in "Cosi fan tutte", in Summer 2015. 

Baritone Darius Gillard received a $500 grant to help with attending the Tyrolean Opera Program in Summer 2013. Darius is a Master’s student in music at Michigan State University and hopes to perform in the great opera houses, and eventually to teach.

Grants from the IFS in 2007 and 2008 totaling $5,500 permitted trombonist David Roode, formerly with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, to participate in the Zywiec Trombone Festival in Poland, and to perform and teach at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. He was offered the position of brass coordinator for the 2009 AIMS festival, for which the IFS granted him an additional $1,800.

David received another grant of $2,000 in 2013 to help with holding a series of 3-4 free recitals and master classes at high schools and universities in Memphis, in April 2013.

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.

“I wanted to say thank you again so much for all of your help! I'm really grateful to you for everything, so please let me know if I can ever help you or IFS in any way. You have helped me so much in the past seven years and I deeply appreciate it!” - David

Pianist David Sytkowski is completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Sytkowski's interest in opera was awakened, and his full potential for piano realized, when he began accompanying performers in Mozart and Wagner operas. The IFS made him a grant of $1,500 to help with expenses in studying at the TOP Opera Program in Maurach, Austria in the summer of 2010.

February 2015 grant of $3,000 to baritone DeRon McDaniel, to attend the Oberlin in Italy program in Summer 2015; supported by a $500 grant from Sidonie Smith. 

February 2015 grant of $3,000 to soprano Elissa Pfaender, to attend the Oberlin in Italy program in Summer 2015; supported by a $1,000 Grant from Carol Hallowitz. 

Elizabeth Bachman is the founder of the Tyrolean Opera Program (TOP), situated on the Achensee in Maurach (Tyrol), Austria. The TOP program concentrates on introducing gifted performers to the European opera system, as well as to the business of performing. TOP provides a unique opportunity for singers and pianists to receive training in classical opera in the birthplace of the art form—the heart of Europe.

Emil received a $1,200 grant in 2013 to help with travel expenses related to auditioning as principal clarinet for Metropolitan Orchestra, New York and Montreal Symphony, and Virginia Symphony. He holds a MM from Yale University; BM from Cleveland Institute of Music; Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition winner, New York 2011; Yale Chamber Music Society Competition winner, 2010; Thomas Daniel Nyfender Prize, Yale University, for highest achievements in the Arts. Emil is from Los Angeles.

Emil Khudyev has accepted a position with the Kansas City Symphony.

Clarinetist Eric Jacobs is completing a doctorate in clarinet performance at USC. As a chamber musician, he has performed with members of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony. The IFS made Eric a grant of $2,000 to attend the Thy Chamber Music Festival in Denmark and the International Ensemble Modern Academy in Austria during the summer of 2010.

Clarinetist Eric Schultz received a $1,500 grant to assist with expenses related to performing at the AlpenKammerMusik Festival in Austria in Summer 2014.

“I am writing to let you know how grateful I am for your support this summer. My experience at AlpenKammerMusik Festival was everything I expected and so much more. . . . I had the incredible opportunity to collaborate with musicians from all over the world . . . This has been the most incredible opportunity for me . . .” - Eric

Find our more about this talented performer at his website www.ericdschultz.com.

Bass Erik Anstine has received a $2000 grant to help with expenses related to apprenticing with Santa Fe Opera in Summer 2012, and with moving to Zurch for a 3-year contract with Zurich Opera in September 2012. He is a singer with the Los Angeles Opera Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program. He studied at Northwestern and Indiana Universities, and London’s Royal Academy of Music.

 

Baritone Geordie Alexander received a $500 grant to assist with continuing voice lessons (grant underwritten by Rita Mehos) in 2014.

January 2015 grant of $1,500 to composer Gregory Spears, to assist with expenses related to premiere performances of his cantata “Virginiana” in the Hague, Netherlands in February 2015. 

GREGORY SPEARS writes music for modern and period instruments that blends aspects of romanticism, minimalism, and early music.  His work has been called “astonishingly beautiful” (New York Times), “coolly entrancing” (The New Yorker), and “some of the most beautifully unsettling music to appear in recent memory.” (The Boston Globe) 

Much of his work involves period instruments and is inspired by baroque and renaissance music. His recent dramatic cantata VIRGINIANA, commissioned by New Vintage Baroque and the Damask ensemble, was inspired by eighteenth-century music.

Harish KumarBassist Harish Kumar received a $2,000 grant to assist with expenses related to attending and performing at the Aspen Music Festival in Summer 2014 (grant contribution by Jane Morrison).

Tenor and conductor J. Warren Mitchell received $1,000 for expenses related to studying at Tyrolean Opera Program in Austria in Summer 2011. He holds a BME in Vocal Music Education from Auburn University, and a Master of Music in Choral conducting from Oklahoma City University.

He received an additional $550 travel grant in May 2012 to perform at TOP Opera Program’s event in San Francisco.

Tenor Jack Swanson has received a $1000 grant to help with expenses related to attending the TOP Opera Program in Austria, in Summer 2011. He holds a Bachelor in Vocal Performance, from the Unversity of Oklahoma, and has performing experience with Oklahoma University Opera, Minnesota Opera, as well as the recipient of several awards.

 

Baritone James Taylor received a $1300 grant to assist with travel expenses related to auditioning for European companies through NYIOP, in New York in the Fall of 2012.

 

Pianist Jessica Westerman has received a $1,000 grant, to help with expenses related to studying at the Tyrolean Opera Program in Austria in Summer 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Piano Performance, State University of New York at Potsdam, and participated in the 2011 Bavarian Voice and Piano Collaborative Workshop.

 

Pianist Jonathan Ware obtained a Bachelor of Music from Eastman School of Music, and a Master of Music degree from Juilliard. The winner of many awards, he has presented solo recitals across the U.S., and has performed and Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York. Jonathan received $2,000 to help with expenses related to improving his German language skills prior to his Summer 2011 stint at the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie.

Baritone Joseph Bartning received a $3,000 scholarship in 2007 to continue voice studies. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the Juilliard School.

Clarinetist Joseph Morris of Los Angeles received a $1,000 grant in 2012 to help with travel expenses in representing the U.S. in the 5th Carl Nielsen International Competition and Festival, held in Odense, Denmark from May 30 to June 9, 2013.

Joseph graduated cum laude from USC with a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance. A first prize winner at a number of competitions, he has been invited to attend the Aspen Music Festival and the Music Academy of the West.

Tenor Joshua Guerrero received a $1,500 grant to assist with expenses related to attending and performing at the Aspen Music Festival in Summer 2014 (grant underwritten by Brigitta Troy and Alden Lawrence).

Tenor Joshua Guerrero is a member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. His LA Opera appearances in the 2013/14 season include his mainstage LA Opera debut as Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor, followed the role of Steve Hubbell in A Streetcar Named Desire. In the summer of 2013, he made his debut at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of James Conlon, singing the role of the Messenger in Aida. He has performed Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and the title role in Orpheus in the Underworld for Opera UCL. In 2011, he studied intensively in Payerbach, Austria, with Vladimir Chernov. He is a former member of the Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Artist program. In the summer of 2014, he will perform Don Jose in Carmen with the Aspen Music Festival.

Soprano Julia Bell holds a Master of Music from Rice University, and was granted $2,000 to study at the Lyric Opera Studio in Weimar, Germany, in Summer 2011.

Julie HamonSoprano Julia Hamon of San Antonio TX received $2000 from the Festival Society to help with expenses related to attending a 4-week program at the Scuola Italia Program for Opera Singers in Sant’Angelo in Vado, Italy, in Summer 2012.

Julie holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance, 2013, University of Texas at Austin. She attended the Franco American Vocal Academy 2009-2010 and the Austrian American Mozart Academy in 2011.

Trumpeter Justin Nurin has received a $1000 grant to assist with expenses related to attending the AIMS program in Graz, Austria in Summer 2012. He holds a Master’s degree from University of Missouri–Columbia, played with the Faculty Brass Quintet, and is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory.

 

Conductor Justin Pressman received a $1,500 grant to assist with expenses related to conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra in a master class setting in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2014.

Visit his website to learn more about this talented conductor at www.justinpressman.com/

Heldentenor Kevin Hanek is embarking upon a career in the Wagnerian and dramatic tenor repertoire. IFS awarded him a $1500 grant to assist with role preparation for upcoming performances, including his June 2012 debut in the title role of Verdi’s Otello in a new production with New York’s Delaware Valley Opera. He received a grant in 2010 to attend the TOP Opera Program in Maurach, Austria, where he prepared and performed parts of the role of Siegmund in Wagner’s Die Walküre with noted stage director Elizabeth Bachman and coach/conductor Kathryn Wright of the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Margalit CantorCellist Margalit Cantor received a $1,600 grant to assist with expenses related to attending the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria in Summer 2014 (grant underwritten by Carol Hallowitz);

 

April 2015 grant of $1,500 to tenor Mark Edward Storey, to attend the TOP program in Austria in Summer 2015; supported by a $500 grant from the Donnelly Family Foundation. 

He has studied with Patricia Miller and Arlene Shrut, and appeared in masterclasses with Frederica von Stade, Elizabeth Bishop, and Anthony Dean Griffey.  Mark has also enjoyed lead roles in multiple musical theater productions, including Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, Rachel Sheinkin and William Finn’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Fred Ebb and John Kander’s Curtains, and Richard Adler and Jerry Ross’ Pajama Game.  His recent opera roles include Alfred in Joann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Orphee in Darius Milhaud’s Les Malheurs d’Oprhee, and Marco in both Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schichi and Michael Ching’s Buoso’s Ghost.

Double-bassist Martin Jaffe has received a $1750 grant to assist with travel expenses, and bass rental, related to participation in the Traveling Notes program in Tbilisi, Georgia in August 2012.

 

Pianist Megan Jolley has received $3000 to attend TOP Opera Program in Austria, in Summer 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Utah, which she attended on full scholarship, and a Master of Music from USC.

Soprano Michelle Trovato has received a $2,500 grant to enable her to participate in the International Vocal Arts Institute, taking place in Tel Aviv in 2012, in its 26th year. The 4-week program includes fully staged operatic productions, concerts, and a series of master classes, as well as daily voice lessons, coaching, movement classes, etc.

Michelle is the winner of the 2011 Bertha Koempel Award from the Liederkranz Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and is the winner of a number of awards and honors. She has performed with, among others, the Crimea Philharmonic in Yalta, Ukraine, Seattle Opera, and Utah Festival Opera, in title roles in Anna Bolena and Lucia di Lammermoor, Violetta in La Traviata, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Micaela in Carmen.

www.michelletrovato.com

March 2015 grant to Pacific Opera Project, to help with hiring a 40-piece orchestra for the May 2015 performances of "Ariadne auf Naxos".  

Formed in 2011 Pacific Opera Project presents quality, low-cost operas in the Los Angeles area, including free performances for children. Both Stephen Karr, the music director, and Josh Shaw, the artistic director, do not receive salaries. They received a $2,500 grant in 2013 to bridge the gap between ticket sales and production costs of Le nozze di Figaro, presented in April 2013.

In 2014 they received a $2,500 grant for its ongoing presentation of accessible opera performances in Los Angeles. (This grant was made possible by a $2,500 donation to IFS from The Donnelly Family Foundation.)

Visit them online at www.pacificoperaproject.com.

Soprano Parvathi Subbiah received a $1200 grant to assist with expenses related to attending master classes at the Young Opera Singers Convocation in Modena, Italy, in October 2012. Parvathi received her undergraduate degree at Oberlin Conservatory, and her master’s degree at USC. She is currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Vocal Arts Performance at USC.

 

Soprano Rebecca Hargrove received a $1,000 grant in 2013 to help with travel expenses related to singing as a Young Artist in the Siena Music Festival in Summer 2013. Rebecca is from Columbia, MD and has attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Robert Walker Clarinetist Robert Walker received a $1,000 grant to help with travel expenses related to performing at the Aspen Music Festival in Summer 2013. Robert is a Juilliard graduate; master’s student at USC; Chamber music coach for the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra; 2nd prize winner at the International Clarinet Association Solo Competition in 2011.