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The Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition Finals Concert

Saturday April 15, 2023, 1:30 pm

Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall

Congratulations to the 2023 Winners

Elisse Albian, First Place
Elijah McCormack, Second Place
Nicholas Burns, Third Place

Kendra Berentsen, Esther Korshin Award
Edward Vogel, Betty Brummett Award

Andrew Bearden Brown, William Grogan Award

Michelle Mariel Mariposa, Robert & Winifred Connelly Green Award

All photos: Steve Karger


Elisse Albian (MM, Mannes School of Music (2023); BM, UCLA) has appeared in opera roles such as Eurydice (Orfeo nell’Inferi) and Endimione (La Calisto).  Oratorio credits include Mozart Mass in C with Kollective366, Messiah with Seraphic Fire and St. John Passion with Voices of Ascension.


Jessica Beebe (MM Indiana University; Performance Certificate-Handel Program, Royal College of Music) has a 14-year history of solo performances of the standard and contemporary oratorio and opera repertoire. Recent highlights include Rachmaninoff Vespers with Clarion Choir at Carnegie Hall and an upcoming tour of London, Madrid, Los Angeles and New York as the Queen in Handel’s Solomon with the English Concert/Clarion Choir.  (Jessica Beebe was unable to participate in the finals concert.)


Kendra Berentsen (MM Eastman School of Music; Merola Opera Program) has performed oratorio solos with the Fairfield County Chorale and the Astoria Symphony Orchestra.  Opera roles include Adele (Die Fledermaus), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and Juliette (Roméo et Juliette) with New York Opera Exchange.


Andrew Bearden Brown (MM, Royal College of Music; Performance Diploma in Opera, Boston University) has sung solo roles in St. John Passion with Providence Baroque and the Academy of Ancient Music and Voces8, among others, to complement professional choral experience and staged scenes with the BU Opera Institute.


Nicholas Burns (Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme) has an 8-year career in early music and baroque performances with such organizations as American Bach Soloists, Early Music Vancouver, Ottawa Bach Choir, Tafelmusik and the JSB Ensemble, Stuttgart.  He recently appeared with the Vancouver Opera in Benjamin Britten at the VPL.


Michelle Mariel Mariposa (MM, Northwestern University) has appeared in a wide variety of contemporary music, opera and oratorio repertoire in her native Philippines, including as alto soloist in Messiah with the Philippine Philharmonic. She was a featured soloist in the 2023 A Concert of Goodwill in Taiwan. She starred as Baba/Madame Flora in The Medium at Northwestern University.


Elijah McCormack (MM in Historical Performance, Indiana University) includes Bach, Handel, Monteverdi, Mozart, Humperdinck, and Britten in his opera and oratorio repertoire. Credits include performances with Seraphic Fire, American Bach Soloists, Haymarket Opera Company, and Washington Bach Consort, as well as several world premieres with The Crossing.


Edward Vogel (MM, Yale School of Music; Young Artist, Britten-Pears Young Artist Program) has sung solo roles in Bach and Handel oratorios across the US and abroad. A member of Apollo’s Fire and True Concord Voices, he has sung with the Bach Collegium Japan, Trinity Choir of Men and Boys and others.  He will make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in October, 2023


 Amir Farid

Winner of the 2006 Australian National Piano Award, U.S-born Iranian-Australian pianist Amir Farid has been described as “a highly creative musician – a pianist of great intelligence and integrity”. Residing in both Melbourne and New York City, Amir has performed as a solo recitalist, concerto soloist and collaborative artist in concert halls and festivals internationally, including Carnegie Hall, St. Martin in the Fields, Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, Al-Hashemi-II in Kuwait, as well as other venues in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand and China. He is the official pianist of the Oratorio Society of New York.


Steven Blier is the Artistic Director of the New York Festival of Song, a faculty member at the Juilliard School, and the recipient of a Grammy Award for his recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles. 

Leslie Fagan pursues an active international career on the concert and opera stages of the world.  She nurtures new vocal talent through master classes in New York and elsewhere and is Assistant Professor and Co-ordinator of Voice at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo in her native Canada.


Laquita Mitchell is a young professional with a burgeoning career in the opera houses of the US and abroad.  She has a robust presence on the concert stage, including as the soprano soloist in Paul Moravec’s Grammy-nominated Sanctuary Road with the Oratorio Society of New York.  She was recently appointed to the faculty of the Mannes School of Music.


Susanna Phillips is one of today’s most sought-after singing actors and recitalists. Celebrating her 12th consecutive season at the Metropolitan Opera in her debut role as Musetta, she is also in demand by the world’s most prestigious orchestras.  She appears regularly in the oratorio repertoire, in chamber music and solo recitals.


Kent Tritle, one of America’s leading choral conductors, is Music Director of the Oratorio Society of New York and Musica Sacra (NY). He is Director of Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Organist of the New York Philharmonic and a member of the graduate faculty at The Juilliard School.



First Place                                                                                                      $7,000

    The Richard Pace Award is donated by Bruce Patrick honor of OSNY Chairman Richard Pace. Janet Plucknett will present the award.


Second Place                                                                                                  $5,000

    The Meyerson/Zwanger Award is donated by Linda Amster & Susan Zwanger in memory of Stanley C. Meyerson and Bernice and Jerome Zwanger.  Linda Amster and Susan Zwanger will present the award.


Third Place                                                                                                    $3,000

    The Janet Plucknett Award is created in her honor by chorus members Judith E. and Mary A. Vaughn-Williams.  Judy Williams will present the award.


Esther Korshin Award                                                                                  $2,500

    The Esther Korshin Award is created by chorus member Jennifer Herring in honor of her grandmother, a wonderful natural singer.  Jennifer Herring will present the award.


Betty Brummett Award                                                                                 $1,500

    The Betty Brummett Award is donated by Albert Watson in memory of his late wife, who nurtured generations of Juilliard music, drama and dance students.  DiAnn Pierce will present the award. 


William Grogan Award                                                                                 $1,000

    The William Grogan Award is donated by Karen McCahill in honor of her late husband.  Karen McCahill  will present the award.


Robert & Winifred Connelly Green Award                                                 $1,000

    The Robert & Winifred Connelly Green Award is donated by Cate Green in honor of her parents.  Janet Plucknett will present the award.


Leopold O. Damrosch Award                                                                      $1,000

    The Leopold O. Damrosch Award is donated by Deirdre O. Schell.  Deirdre O. Schell will present the award.
    (This award was not given this year.)

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