Classical 91.5

Singers from around the world take the stage at the Eastman School of Music

Apr 13, 2018

Finalists for the 2018 Lotte Lenya Competition; top row (l to r): Christine Amon; Gan-ya Ben-gur Akselrod; Daniel Berryman; John Brancy; Nkrumah Gatling; Richard Glöckner; Caroline Hewitt. Bottom row (l to r): Christian Hoff; Andrea Lett; Christof Messner; Reilly Nelson; Benjamin Pattison; Laura Sanders; Philip Stoddard; John Tibbetts. 

On Saturday, April 14, 2018 fifteen performers from Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy and the United States will take the stage of Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music to compete for top prizes in the 2018 international Lotte Lenya Competition.  Founded by President and CEO Kim Kowalke in 1998 to celebrate the centenary of Lotte Lenya’s birth (and celebrating its 20th anniversary year), the competition recognizes talented young singer/actors who are dramatically and musically convincing in wide-ranging theatrical repertoire, with a focus on the works of composer Kurt Weill.

"No vocal contest better targets today's total-package talents." - Opera News, August 2014

During the daytime round (11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.), all contestants will perform four selections from the operatic, “Golden Age,” and contemporary music theater repertoires, including at least one number by Kurt Weill.  In the evening concert (8:00 p.m., doors open at 7:30 p.m.), each contestant will sing one selection from their daytime program.  The performances will be adjudicated by a star-studded jury that includes: Tony Award-winning actress and singer Victoria Clark; renowned opera and musical theater conductor James Holmes; and Broadway producer, author and Artistic Director of New York City Center Encores, Jack Viertel.  The awards presentation will immediately follow.  Both the daytime and evening rounds are free and open to the public.

In 2017 Classical 91.5 host Marianne Carberry spoke 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, hear 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.


Learn more about composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950), his wife, actress-singer Lotte Lenya (1898-1981) and the Kurt Weill Foundation.

Learn more about the annual Lotte Lenya Competition.