Kurt Weill Foundation For Music Announces 2021 Lotte Lenya Competition Finalists

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Photo Credit: Kurt Weill Foundation)

Kim H. Kowalke, the President of the Kurt Weill Foundation, has announced the finalists for the 2021 Lotte Lenya Competition.

Fifteen performers will compete for top prizes of $20,000, $15,000, and $10,000. The following performers have made it to the finals: Gan-ya Ben-gur Akselrod, Max Chernin, Ty Chiko, Monica Dewey, Taylor-Alexis DuPont, Charles Eaton, Nicole Fernandez-Coffaro, Kaden Forsberg, Katrina Galka, Rebekah Howell, Helen Zhibing Huang, Victoria Okafor, Andrew Polec, Katherine Riddle, and Kaileigh Riess.

Julie Benko and Sacha Smith were named alternate finalists. In the semifinal round, thirty-one contestants auditioned via video submission and were coached remotely with bass Zachary James, soprano Lisa Vroman, and Analisa Leaming. Leaming and James took home top prizes themselves in 2007 and 2009, respectively, and are the first prize winners who have returned to the competition to judge.

“I was inspired by their passion and command of their craft. This competition is a global search for the game changers of the musical theatre and opera stages, and we are in good hands,” said Zachary James.

The Finals will take place in-person on August 28 2021 in either New York City or Rochester, NY, and will be live-streamed worldwide at www.kwf.org/LLC. The finals presentation will also be broadcast on OperaVision beginning in September 2021.