Classical 91.5

The Lotte Lenya Competition: An Interview with Kim Kowalke

Apr 19, 2017

Teresa Stratas and Lotte Lenya, 1980 (Teresa Stratas is an honorary guest this year at the Lotte Lenya Competition)

The finals of the Lotte Lenya Competition, a competition for singing actors, are this Saturday, April 22, 2017, in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music.  The Daytime Round, the major portion of the competition, runs 11:00 AM to 3:45 PM.  The Evening Round, during which winners are announced and prizes are awarded, takes place from 8:00 to 10:00 PM, also in Kilbourn Hall.

Sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation, the Lenya Competition has grown exponentially from its first years in the late 1990’s when it was composed primarily of Eastman School students, to a larger and highly competitive international competition.  In honor of this year, the 20th year of the competition, cash prizes have been increased to $20,000 for the First Prize Winner and $15,000 for the Second Prize Winner.  A distinguished panel of judges adjudicates, including  Tony award-winning actor and singer Shuler Hensley, renowned stage director Anne Bogart, and Broadway music director and conductor Rob Berman.  Special guest of honor this year is soprano Teresa Stratas, who has a long association with the Lenya Competition.  (read more)

WXXI’s Marianne Carberry chats with Kim Kowalke about the prestigious annual Lotte Lenya Competition, the finals of which are held in Rochester every April.  They talk about Lotte Lenya and her husband composer Kurt Weill and about why Kowalke founded the Lenya Competition.  Learn what it takes to succeed in the finals of this prestigious completion, hhear background on how the judges score each competitor, and more in this extended interview with Kim Kowalke, President of the Kurt Weill Foundation and renowned Kurt Weill scholar.  

Bonus track: "An Now for Something Completely Different"  - from when Opera News visited the Lotte Lenya Competition