May 11, 2020
Massachusetts - New York

The Solti Foundation U.S.
recognizes 15 young conductors recognized with Career Assistance Awards

Evanston, IL - Solti Foundation U.S. Board Chair Penny Van Horn and Elizabeth Buccheri, Artistic and Awards Committee Chair, today announced remotely from their respective homes the young American conductors who have been selected as 2021 recipients of The Sir Georg Solti Career Assistance Award. 
"The 2020-21 season has been a time of joy and sadness. Our Foundation has lost a shining light, Lady Valerie Solti, who passed away earlier this season. Her committment to her late husband's legacy and joy in helping up and coming musicians in the conducting world made our Foundation a reality. We celebrate her and Sir Georg's lives as we announce fifteen Solti Career Assistance Awards," stated Ms. Van Horn.

"We look forward to the return of live music," said Ms. Buccheri. "Today's recipients are a part of keeping music alive, and we look forward to observing their growth."
Receiving a 2020 Career Assistance Award (in alphabetical order) are conductors:

Nathaniel Efthimiou, founding Music Director of Orchestra Contempo, Assistant Conductor, Boston Civic Symphony, Assistant Director of Music at Boston's historic Park Street Church and acting Assistant Conductor, Rhode Island Philharmonic; Kevin Fitzgerald, Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra, he is also the founder of the Michigan-based contemporary music ensemble ÆPEX Contemporary Performance; Taichi Fukumura, newly appointed Fellow and Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Summer Opera in 2021, Director of Orchestras, Merit School of Music,and Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Northwestern Medical Orchestra; Lina Gonzalez-Granados, Solti Conducting Apprentice, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Conducting Fellow with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Seattle Symphony; Keitaro Harada, Music & Artistic Director of the Savannah Philharmonic and Associate Conductor of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; Jonathon Heyward, Chief Conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie; Roberto Kalb, international guest conductor; Roger Kalia, Music Director, Evansville Philharmonic, Symphony NH, Orchestra Santa Monica, and the Lake George Music Festival; Earl Lee, Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Lee Mills, Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony; Vinay Parameswaran, Associate Conductor, The Cleveland Orchestra,and Music Director, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra; Michael Repper, Music Director, New York Youth Symphony and Northern Neck Orchestra of Virginia; Stefano Sarzani, international guest conductor; Kensho Watanabe, international guest conductor; Lidiya Yankovskaya,
Music Director, Chicago Opera Theater.
Artists' official bios are attached below.

About The Solti Foundation U.S.
Entering its twenty-first year of assisting outstanding young U.S. conductors to further develop their talent and careers, The Solti Foundation U.S. is the foremost organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to helping young conductors.
Established in 2000 to honor the memory of the legendary conductor Sir Georg Solti by lending significant support to career-ready young American musicians, in 2004, the Foundation concentrated the focus of its award program to solely assist talented young American conductors early in their professional careers (its original mission was of a more general arts nature). Since then, it has awarded over one million dollars through grants and residencies to American conductors.
The Foundation endeavors to seek out those musicians who have chosen to follow a path similar to that followed by Sir Georg himself. In keeping with the spirit of Sir Georg's active approach to his career, young conductors must apply to be considered for the awards.
While dedicated to identifying and assisting young conductors early on, the Foundation is also concerned with the long-term development of its award recipients, continuing to offer support and maintaining a constant interest in their growth and achievements.
The Foundation currently awards the following grants annually:

The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award.
The largest grant currently given to American conductors in the formative years of their careers, the prestigious $30,000 grant is given annually to a single promising American conductor 38 years of age or younger. The Award, also known as The Solti Fellow, includes door-opening introductions, ongoing professional mentoring, and introductions to two of Chicago's most prestigious performing organizations: Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Recipients include Gemma New, Aram Demirjian, Yaniv Dinur, Roderick Cox, Christopher Allen, Karina Canellakis, Vladimir Kulenovic, Cristian Macelaru, James Feddeck, Case Scaglione, Eric Nielsen, and Anthony Barrese.
The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.
The amounts given for the Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards vary, but the intent behind them does not.
The Elizabeth Buccheri Opera Residency.
Introduced in the 2014-15 season, the program places former award recipients with a distinguished opera house for one-on-one mentoring and coaching of an opera during the company's professional season. Recipients have worked with numerous stellar opera companies renowned for their artistic excellence across the country, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Florentine Opera Company in Milwaukee, North Carolina Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Michigan Opera Theatre. Conductors cannot apply, but are instead selected by the Artistic and Awards Committee.
The Foundation is currently the only American Foundation to grant these kinds of awards each year to young American conductors. Citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are career-ready artists in the field of conducting are eligible to apply.
Applicants for all Solti Foundation U.S. awards must be able to demonstrate that he/she is developing a career as a symphonic / operatic conductor. All applications from The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award are considered for a Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award. Applications are reviewed by an awards committee comprised of a panel of professionals with broad musical and conducting experience. The Foundation reserves the right to withhold a grant in any given year if the Awards Committee does not find suitable applicants in one or more of the various award categories.
For further details on The Solti Foundation U.S., its past awardees, their biographical information, the Foundation's newsletter, as well as guidelines for the upcoming 2021 Awards, and a downloadable application form, please visit the Foundation's website at:
Click here for Dropbox link to pdf of this release and biography and photos.

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Press Contact:
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