Lotte Lenya Competition Winners Announced

By Francisco Salazar

The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music has announced the winners of the 24th annual Lotte Lenya Competition.

The final round took place at Merkin Hall on May 6 with Amanda Sheriff taking home the First Prize of $20,000.

The judges said that Sheriff “did it all,” citing her “sensual, funny, and heartbreaking” realization of a program that showed her willingness to embrace “risky repertory and acting choices.”

The second prize went to Ruth Acheampong and Katrina Galka, who both won a $15,000 award. Third prize went to Jeremy Weiss who won the $10,000.

The panel chose to award finalist Ronald Wilbur the second-ever Rebecca Luker Prize for his performance of “Night Song” from Golden Boy. The $4,000 Prize honors Luker, a six-time judge for the Competition who succumbed to ALS in December 2020. The remaining finalists received $2,000: Eric Botto, Cierra Byrd, Francesca Mehrotra, Lauren Senden, Tristan Tournaud, Ian Williams.

In a statement Kim Kowalke, President of the Kurt Weill Foundation and Founder of the Competition said this year’s winners “all triumphantly demonstrated with their idiomatic performances that they really could sing and act the diverse generic range of music theater.”

All finalist performed a continuous 15-minute program of four contrasting numbers, including a selection by Kurt Weill. The jury for the Finals included Tony Award- winning Broadway and opera composer Jeanine Tesori, Tony Award-nominated Broadway and opera performer Phillip Boykin, and acclaimed stage director Robin Guarino.

An edited version of the Finals will be streamed free and on-demand to audiences worldwide beginning Friday, May 13 via the Kurt Weill Foundation website.