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Press Releases

Two Singers Win Pro Musicis International Award

November 7, 2019 | By John E. Haag
Executive Director

Mezzo soprano Solange Merdinian and soprano Rachel Schutz won the Pro Musicis International Award at auditions chaired by Gil Kalish last month at Yamaha Piano Salon in New York City. The criteria were high level of performance and passion for social outreach.

Jury members were Gil Kalish, chair, Christina Dahl, Kayo Iwama, Marcy Rosen, Lucy Shelton and Carmit Zori.

Finalists included Emily Birsan, Leah Claiborne, Nefeli Mousoura, Emely Phelps and Angie Zhang.

About Solange Merdinian

American-Argentinean mezzo-soprano Solange Merdinian has an international reputation as a recitalist, chamber musician, and opera singer in repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary, folk, tango, cabaret and world music. She is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the non-profit organization, New Docta(US/Argentina) and the New Docta Festival. This season she sang the title role of Maria in Piazzolla’s Tango Opera “Maria de Buenos Aires” with the Fort Worth Opera, The Atlanta Opera, as well as a brand new production in the opening season of the new opera house Teatro del Bicentenarioin San Juan, Argentina. She has also appeared in “Dawn Upshaw and Friends” (Classical Singer Convention) and Dawn Upshaw and Osvaldo Golijov’s Composing Song(Zankel Hall at Carnegie).

Ms. Merdinian's project, "Find the Musician Within You," uses classical music and its power of expression to educate children on the joys and power of music and the role it plays in their everyday lives, and to build bridges between different communities through one unified voice.

http://solangemerdinian.com

About Rachel Schutz

Welsh-American soprano Rachel Schutz is known for her sensitive and evocative performances and wide range of repertoire. She enjoys a multi-faceted career that includes opera, concert, and recital performances. Her 2019-20 season engagements include a return to Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium giving the premier of an oratorio by Zhou Long, her debut with Opera Ithaca, and performances at numerous festivals and concert series. She has performed at venues around the world including Carnegie Hall's Stern, Zankel and Weill Halls, the Ravinia, Yellow Barn, Ojai, and Tanglewood Festivals, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, the Honolulu Chamber Music Series, the Hawai?i Concert Society, the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and venues in China, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, and Germany.

In 2017 Rachel founded Artists for Social Justice, a community arts collective in Honolulu. Her project is to open a chapter in upstate New York to foster community engagement with her new community. While a completely non-partisan group, the aim is for artists to participate in healing the division in our society, standing with marginalized communities, and bringing about thoughtful discussions about difficult topics through the unifying vehicle of the arts. 

http://rachelschutz.com

About Pro Musicis

Pro Musicis combines a classical music award with a social mission for the world's finest concert artists. Auditions are held annually. Eligible instruments vary from year to year. The award includes a NYC debut in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, $4,000 grant for applicant's social project, recording by Yamaha Artist Services, professional consultation servcices, and additional performances. 

http://promusicis.org


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