Lawrence Basara Kiharangwa Wins Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition

By Nicolas Quiroga

The Fritz & Laviana Jensen Foundation awarded tenor Lawrence Basara Kiharangwa first place winner of the organization’s 23rd Annual Vocal Competition.

Kiharangwa sealed first place with performances of  “Se all’impero amici Dei” from Mozart’s “Clemenza di Tito” and “Salut! Demeure chaste et pure” from Gounod’s “Faust.” The win comes with a grant of $15,000.

“The money earned from this award will ease the expenses I had on the audition trip and support voice lessons and training that will refine my art,” said Kiharangwa in an official press statement. He added, “Every opportunity is a stepping stone to greatness.”

Kiharangwa earned a Master of Music degree in Opera Performance from the Maryland Opera Studio and gained a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Oregon.

Along with the first place winner, the second, third and fourth place winners were also awarded $10,000, $7,500 and $3,000 prizes. The winners were soprano Cloe SanAntonio, mezzo-soprano Edith Grossman and tenor Ryan Lustgarten.

The Jensen Foundation released the list of artists who made it to the Final Round. These included soprano Emily Blair, baritone Benjamin Dickerson, mezzo-soprano Taylor-Alexis DuPont, soprano Véronique Filloux, mezzo-soprano Shanley Horvitz, mezzo-soprano Chelsea Laggan, mezzo-soprano Lisa Marie Rogali, soprano Oznur Tüluaglu and baritone Jason Zacher.