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Music International Grand Prix Winners 2022!

May 27, 2022 | By Elysabeth Muscat
Director, Music International Grand Prix

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2022 Music International Grand Prix, an international music competition which culminated in a Winners Concert at Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center in NYC on Saturday, May 21, 2022.  Talented musicians from the USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia gathered in NYC to compete for the Grand Prix award. 

The Grand Prix Winner is Jodi Brielle Brown, who was 1st Place winner in the Youth Piano Category.  The Judges were extremely impressed with the maturity and artistry of Jodi’s performance and her technical skills.  They see a future star in Jodi. 


Last year’s Grand Prix Winner was soprano Kelly Glyptis who was 1st Place winner in the Adult Classical Voice category.  Glyptis is having a major international career, performing as a soloist with orchestras, singing leading roles with opera companies and Musical Theatre productions in the USA and London, and she opened this year’s Winners Concert with a powerful performance.


The Audience Favorite Award went to Hungarian Pianist János Balázs, a popular concert pianist in demand internationally, who also won 1st Place in the Adult Piano Category.  A list of all winners is at the end of this press release.


The competition categories are Voice (Classical and Popular), Piano, Strings, Woodwinds & Brass, Ensembles, and Original Composition.  There were four separate age groups:  Youth, Teen, Young Adult, and Adult.  450 people entered the competition, 400 were chosen as Semifinalists, and 100 as Finalists. 21 people plus one Ensemble won 1st place and competed for the $5000 Grand Prix award.


Additionally, over $20,000 in scholarships were awarded to the Summer Arts Camp at Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz summer program.  Another award given is a private coaching for a popular singer with Mark Cortale of Mark Cortale presents, a producer and manager of the world’s biggest musical theater stars.


Registration for MIGP 2023 opens on August 1, 2022 at


The esteemed panel of Judges for the Grand Prix Competition included Per Brevig, Mark Cortale, Stefania de Kenessey, Leslie Dunner, Shawn Marie Jeffery, and Michael Volpert.  Biographies of the Judges can be found at the end of this Press Release.


In addition to the Grand Prix Judges, Music International Grand Prix has a stellar panel of Judges for the Semifinals and Finals each year, which this year included live venues (Kaufman Music Center in NYC, The Colburn School in Los Angeles, Texas Christian University) as well as Zoom auditions.  Judges for the 2022 Semifinals and Finals included:



Shudong Braamse, Robert Chafin, Cassandra Claude, Leah Crowne, Matthew Gifford, Jae Jin, Arthur

Levy, Natalie Mallis, Jamon Maple, Colleen Mallette, Robert Osborne, Steven Rainbolt, Robynne

Redmon, Kelly Sawatski, Michael Stevens, Jeanette Thompson, Deborah Thurlow, Dr. Corey Trahan,

Marioara Trifan, Dr. Charles Wood


Gilles Bernard, Joe Burgstaller, Dr. Clay Garrett, Per Brevig, Brent Shires, Michelle Stebleton


Geoffrey Burleson, Manuel Laufer Fair, Chaerin Kim, Claudia Knafo, Andy Nevala, Minkyung Oh,

Ana Popa, Boaz Sharon, Irina Voro, Nathan Wilks


Frantisek Brikcius, Vardan Gasparyan, Yi-Fang Huang, Lenelle Morse, Daniel Panner, Charles

Stegeman, Rachel Stegeman


Kevin Beavers, Gordon Beeferman, Brent Milam


Many of the above-named Judges also judged the Ensembles category.


Jodi Brielle Brown, the Grand Prix Winner, was awarded First Place at the 2021 Rocky Mountain Piano Competition, Young Musicians Category 7-8 years old, and the 2021 North International Music Competition. She was the First Prize Winner and Exceptional Young Talent Special Prize Winner of the 2021 Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition, and was awarded Gold in the Progressive Musicians Piano, Violin & Guitar Competition 2020, 8-10 division, and will be playing at Carnegie Hall in 2022. She was also awarded third place in the Rocky Mountain Winter Classical Music Festival, and Virtual International Malaysia Music Competition, 2020. She was awarded second prize in the Group II division of the Great Composers Artist of the Year Competition, 2020, the 2021 Nomea International Piano Competition, and in the 2021 21st Century Talents Keyboard Competition, Advanced Category, 9-10 years old, and was the winner of the Best Bach Performance, Great Composers Competition for Age Group 1, 2020.


János Balázs is a Hungarian Concert Pianist who is an awardee of nearly all professional and state accolades. He is so far the youngest recipient of the prestigious Kossuth Prize, and as such, he is in the same league as musicians like György Ligeti, György Kurtág, András Schiff or Iván Fischer. His Young Steinway Artist title and the accolade of the State of Poland stand out from his international awards, the latter being conferred upon him for the performance of Frédéric Chopin’s complete works. Since 2021 he has been corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts.  He is a returning artist of the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow, the Cologne Philharmonic, the Liszt Academy and MüPa in Budapest. He has given celebrated concerts on the stages of the Cité de la Musique, Palau de Musica, Barbican Centre, Wiener Konzerthaus and the Royal Conservatory. In the following season, he is going to collaborate with such famed orchestras and conductors as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Eötvös and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Iván Fischer and the Royal Concertgebouworkest, Mikko Franck and the Auditorium de la Maison de la Radio France.


Music International Grand Prix was founded by Elysabeth Muscat, a former professional opera singer who performed leading roles at the Zürich Opera, Staatsoper Prague, Vienna Kammeroper, Theater der Stadt Koblenz, L’Opéra Français, and more. She was a lyric colotura soprano and sang Adele in “Die Fledermaus”, Oscar in “Un ballo in maschera”, Gilda in “Rigoletto”, Musetta in “La Boheme”, Anna in “Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor”; Papagena in “Die Zauberflöte”, Zerbinetta in “Ariadne auf Naxos”, Clorinda in “La Cenerentola”, Bronislava in “Der Bettelstudent”, Stephano in “Roméo et Juliet”, Miss Wordsworth in “Albert Herring”, and various world premieres.  She was a frequent soloist with Orchestras in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.  She was the Chair of the Preparatory Voice Department at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where she was on the faculty from 2001 to 2015, and she also was Adjunct Voice Faculty of Peabody Conservatory for three years.  She was a board member for seven years of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, MD-DC Chapter, where she served as State Governor, President, and Vice President. Ms. Muscat has a Master of Music in Voice from the Mannes College of Music and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Tulane University. She has won numerous awards for voice, has given Master Classes and served as a judge for many vocal competitions. Her students have been accepted to all the top conservatories including Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music with scholarships, and many are now singing professionally, including National Broadway tours.  She currently has a private voice and piano studio in Virginia. She has been on the Board of the Prince William Arts Council since 2014.  Ms. Muscat has also been very involved in the ballet world, as Managing Director of Baltimore Ballet from 2000-2012, and Virginia National Ballet since 2013. 


With her background as a performer, administrator, teacher, and board member for a wide range of artistic organizations, and a desire to create a new, different competition to help budding and professional musicians in their careers, Music International Grand Prix was created.  Special thanks go to Ms. Muscat’s husband Rafik Hegab, a Choreographer and Artistic Director of Virginia National Ballet, for suggesting the idea!


Music International Grand Prix’s website is


Social Media Pages:







Complete List of 2022 Winners:


Youth Popular Voice

1st place        Brayden Flores

2nd place       Avery Lam

3rd place        Michael Portillo, Jr.


Youth Classical Voice

1st place        Matthew Vallero

2nd place       Ryan Wang

3rd place        Alliana Lili Yang


Teen Popular Voice

1st place        Bridget Sindelar

2nd place       Viviana Ham

3rd place        Abigayle Kate Gatton Stokes


Teen Classical Voice

1st place        Abigayle Kate Gatton Stokes

2nd place       William Scarrow

3rd place        Grace Eunhae Chung


Young  Adult Popular Voice

1st place        Katerina McCrimmon

2nd place       Abigail Storm

3rd place        Samantha Sosa


Young Adult Classical Voice

1st place        Lucy Altus

2nd place       Samantha Sosa

3rd place        Valentina Lisa Battig


Adult Popular Voice

1st place        Skye MacDiarmid

2nd place       Chin Jung Hsieh

3rd place        Annie Fitch


Adult Classical Voice

1st place         Anush Avetisyan

2nd place       Antonio Signorello

3rd place        Helen Hassinger



1st place        Helicon Trio

2nd place       Lieblich Trio

3rd place       Ishan & Dan


Original Composition

1st place        Sami Seif

2nd place       Jacob Dalager

3rd place       Hakon Magnar Skogstad


Youth Piano

1st place        Jodi Brielle Brown

2nd place       Yidi Ding

3rd place         Angelina Wu


Teen Piano

1st place        James Liu

2nd place       not awarded

3rd place        Hongyu Jasmine Zhu


Young Adult Piano

1st place        Dailin Zeng

2nd place       Jiacheng Xu

3rd place        Wenhao Shou


Adult Piano

1st place        Janos Balazs

2nd place       Mariya Akhadjanova

3rd place        Jeesoo Kim


Youth Strings

1st place       William Kim

2nd place       Caitlin Wang

3rd place       Yoojun Curtis Lee


Teen Strings

1st place         Jayna Yoon

2nd place        Cody Conley

3rd place         Justin Yi


Young Adult Strings

1st place        Elin Schlichting

2nd place       Rachel Lin

3rd place       Zeyi Sun


Adult Strings

1st place        Dan Qiao

2nd place       Olga Kossovich

3rd place       Meixuan Bi


Youth Winds & Brass

1st place        Ella Xu

2nd place       Caroline Ning

3rd place       not awarded


Teen Winds & Brass

1st place        Hannah Cho

2nd place       Jason Xu

3rd place       Sadie Goodman


Young Adult Winds & Brass

1st place        Matthew Yee

2nd place       Jiyoung Yoon

3rd place       Dayna Hagstedt


Adult Winds & Brass

1st place        Jacqueline Gillette

2nd place       Jacob Dalager

3rd place       not awarded


 Biographies of the Judges:


Per Brevig has been the president of the Musicians Club of New York since June 2018. He has served on the Board of Directors since 2010 and on every Jury of the Club's Serge & Olga Koussevitzky Young Artist Awards since 2009. He was the principal trombonist of the Metropolitan Opera for 26 years, leaving the Met in 1994 to embark on an international conducting career. During his time at the Metropolitan Opera and continuing to the present, he has been a faculty member of The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New York University and the Aspen Music Festival and School, where a scholarship in his honor has been established. He has taught literally hundreds of students, many of whom hold top performance positions around the world. In 2016, the International Trombone Association honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.  Norwegian born, Mr. Brevig began playing trombone professionally at age 16 in his native country. His first position in ‘a symphony orchestra was with the Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic. After his tenure in Bergen, he moved to New York City, where he was appointed principal trombonist with the American Symphony Orchestra under the legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski,as well as a featured soloist with the orchestra, and became a first call freelancer. During these early years in New York, he completed his formal education at The Juilliard School, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree, the only trombonist to have received a DMA from Juilliard.  He was one of the first trombonists to give full length recitals in New York. As a soloist, he has concertized worldwide. Highlights are performances at The Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center. He has given master classes in the US, Japan, Europe, Korea, and Brazil.  Per Brevig has studied the medical problems faced by musicians and he serves on the Advisory Boards of Medical Problems of Performing Artists and Musikphysiologie und Musik Medizine, a publication from Stuttgard, Germany.  As a conductor, he has guest conducted internationally and was for many years music director of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra. A champion of Scandinavian music, he is founder and president of the Edvard Grieg Society, Inc., New York. In 1990,  King Olav V of Norway awarded him the Royal Medal of St. Olav in recognition of his efforts on behalf of Norwegian music and culture in the United States.


Mark Cortale is an artist manager and producer who has worked with world stars including Kristen Chenowith, Vanessa Williams, Chita Rivera, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster, Chita Rivera, Megan Mullally, Christine Ebersole, and many more.  He founded the international Broadway @ Concert Series featuring Seth Rudetsky in Provincetown and has presented these concerts with Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Broward Center, The Wallis, The Kimmel Center and the Leicester Square Theatre in London. In 2012 he formed the singing string quartet Well-Strung. Since 2011 he has been Producing Artistic Director of The Art House in Provincetown, MA.   In 2019, he produced the Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominated Off-Broadway musical Midnight At The Never Get which is slated to move to the Greenwich House Theatre in June of 2020. He manages Christine Ebersole, Melissa Errico, Jeffery Roberson aka Varla Jean Merman, Well-Strung, Tori Scott and Edmund Bagnell.  Mark is a former professional opera singer and has a B.A. in Voice from the Mannes College of Music. 


Stefania de Kenessey is a leading figure in contemporary classical music: “Shades of Light, Shades of Dark”, a CD of her compositions, received rave reviews as “fully worthy to share a program or disc with the masterpieces by Mozart or Brahms” (Fanfare).   Honored repeatedly with awards from ASCAP, her music is performed nationally at; venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and throughout the world. Her output ranges from choral, vocal and operatic pieces to chamber and orchestral work, as well as scores for documentary films, theater and dance companies. Her opera adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s best-selling novel “Bonfire of the Vanities” premiered in NYC in 2015 to considerable acclaim: “melodically ingratiating…skillfully wrought…caustically witty” (Financial Times); “Stefania de Kenessey’s musical setting was, unlike a lot of contemporary opera, tuneful and grateful to the voice” (The Observer); “an enterprising opera company would do well to give de Kenessey’s opera a look” (Opera Magazine).  She has written concertos for such virtuosos as Chris Gekker and Elizabeth Mann; she has had premieres with the Singapore Symphony, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra and the Absolute Ensemble, conducted by Kristjan Jarvi.   Active in the realm of opera, she has collaborated with Golden Fleece Chamber Opera as well as Underworld Productions.  Her work can be heard on Center Stage Records as well as on the North/South, TCC, ERM, Opus One, Leonarda and Tugboat Music labels. Innova Records issued pianist Mary Kathleen Ernst’s solo recording of “Spontaneous D-Combustion” during the fall of 2013, and North/South released the first disc devoted excusively to de Kenessey’s vocal music, “Gotham Siren”, sung by soprano Adina Aaron, mezzo Adriana Zabala and baritone Christopheren Nomura.  Ms. de Kenessey currently serves on the board of the Martina Arroyo Foundation and the International Alliance for Women in Music.  She received her BA in music summa cum laude from Yale and her Ph.D. in composition from Princeton University, where she studied with Milton Babbitt.  She is currently a professor of music at The New School and has served as the Dean of Eugene Lang College, its undergraduate division, as well as the Chair of the MA in Liberal Studies at the graduate level.


Dr. Leslie B. Dunner is currently conductor of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra. He is also interim artistic director of the South Shore Opera Company, where he has been music director since 2014, and resident conductor of New Jersey's Trilogy: An Opera Company since 2018. His stirring performances with the Long Beach Opera of Anthony Davis' historical work The Central Park Five received the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Music.  Dunner served as music director of the Joffrey Ballet and music director for the symphony orchestras of Annapolis, Dearborn, and Nova Scotia. He spent 11 seasons at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO), first as assistant, then associate, and finally as resident conductor, while serving concurrently as music director of the DSO's youth orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra. Besides holding principal conducting positions at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Harlem Festival Orchestra, and Louisville Ballet, he undertook a season as interim music director of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico.  Dunner's guest engagements with major orchestras include two years with the Chicago Symphony and five with the New York Philharmonic as cover conductor, where he also assisted during a four-week European tour. He has appeared with such distinguished ensembles as the Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, San Francisco, and Seattle Symphonies, the Cleveland, Minnesota, and Philadelphia Orchestras, as well as orchestras in Canada, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ukraine, Russia, and South Africa. An avid ballet conductor, Dunner has taken the podiums of the American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Michigan Opera Theatre, Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and South African Ballet Theatre, among others.  In addition to his professional conducting work, Dr. Dunner is a dedicated music educator. He began his career in music education as assistant professor at Minnesota's Carleton College and has continued to lead youth orchestras throughout his career. The first American prize-winner in the Arturo Toscanini International Conducting Competition, he is also a recipient of the Leonard Bernstein American Conductors Award and the NAACP's James Weldon Johnson and Distinguished Achievement Awards. not conducting, Dr. Dunner continues to perform as a clarinetist.



Shawn Marie Jeffery is Managing Director of ADA Artists, and is stepping in for Ana de Archuleta as a Grand Prix Judge. Founded in 2004, ADA Artist Management has established itself as a leader in the music industry by being an artist-led and artist-focused firm. They represent a versatile and well-respected roster of opera artists, both emerging and seasoned professionals.  She has been an integral part of the ADA team since 2005, bringing with her a wide array of performance, directorial, and administrative experience. Her work with ADA has taken her to companies throughout the US. Deeply dedicated to providing the next generation of artists with the tools to succeed, she often speaks with young artists sharing her insight on business and artistic trends within the industry in lecture and masterclass settings, having presented at the Atlanta Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Charlottesville Opera, Pensacola Opera, Opera Company of Middlebury, New England Conservatory, Hartt School of Music, Seagle Music Colony, Spotlight on Opera, and others. She has served as as a judge for the Opera Birmingham Vocal Competition, Opera Connecticut’s American Opera Idol, and the AMICI Vocal Competition, and as a panelist for feedback auditions at the Classical Singer Convention.  Shawn recently added the title of Executive Producer to her skillset, bringing several regional opera companies together to produce the World Premieres of The Trial of Susan B. Anthony, and most recently Unknown, a work which she also conceived, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. 



Michael Volpert serves as the Director of Artistic Planning for Orpheus.  Founded in 1972, the Grammy award-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has recorded over 70 albums on all major classical labels, toured to 46 countries across four continents, and collaborated with hundreds of world-class soloists. Orpheus’ 34 member musicians work together as a collective and rotate leadership roles for all works performed, giving flight to unconventional interpretations. This democratic structure also extends to organizational functions including programming and governance: the orchestra elects three members to Artistic Director positions and three to the Board of Trustees.  An essential part of New York City’s cultural landscape, Orpheus presents annual series at Carnegie Hall. Orpheus tours to major international venues and has appeared regularly in Japan for 30 years; recent engagements include the Prague Spring and Dresden Music Festivals and a 12-concert tour of Asia. The orchestra’s extensive discography includes a June 2021 release on Nonesuch Records with pianist Brad Mehldau, and the monumental 55 CD box set of Orpheus’ complete recordings on Deutsche Grammophon released in August 2021. Orpheus has commissioned and premiered over 50 new works.






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