Friday, March 1, 2013

Baritones win two top awards at George London competition & three encouragement awards

Steven LaBrie and John Brancy
The 42nd annual George London Foundation Awards Competition was held Friday night and baritones took two of the top prized and three of the encouragement awards. Nicholas Pallesen and Jamez McCorkle both were awarded the top prize which comes with a $10,000 financial gift. Encouragement awards went to John Brancy, who received the Theodor Uppman memorial award; Steven LaBrie won the Herbert J. Frank memorial award; and, a final baritone winner was Jonathan Michie. Aubrey Allicock, who has been featured on this site along with Pallesen, Brancy and LaBrie, was awarded an Honorable Mention.

The competition took place in a front of a capacity audience at Gilder Lehrman Hall at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. A total of $82,000 was given in awards. After three days of preliminary auditions during which ninety singers were heard, 24 were selected as finalists. Of these, seven were selected as winners of George London Awards of $10,000 each and seven were given George London Foundation Encouragement Awards of $1,000 each. The remaining 10 finalists received $500 Honorable Mention awards.

Theodor Uppman as Billy Budd in 1951
Other winners of the $10,000 top prize included tenor Dominic Armstrong, tenor Noah Baetge, soprano Felicia Moore, soprano Jessica Muirhead, and  Additional $1,000 encouragement awards went to tenor Adam Bonanni, mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb, soprano Marina Costa - Jackson, and mezzo-soprano Shirin Eskandani.

This year’s panel of judges included soprano Harolyn Blackwell, mezzo-soprano Nedda Casei, opera stage director Bruce Donnell, former Metropolitan Opera administrator Alfred F. Hubay, George London Foundation President Nora London, former Metropolitan Opera leading tenor and current voice professor George Shirley, and performing arts consultant Thurmond Smithgall.

Since 1971, the annual competition of The George London Foundation for Singers has been giving its George London Awards, and a total of more than $2 million, to an outstanding roster of young American and Canadian opera singers who have gone on to international stardom – the list of past winners includes Christine Brewer, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Catherine Malfitano, James Morris, Matthew Polenzani, Sondra Radvanovsky, Neil Shicoff, and Dawn Upshaw.


  1. a nice pair very deserving of the attention

  2. Marcy Stonikas was also a $10,000 award winner. A great group!