Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Winner Samantha Hankey Among Annenberg Fellowship Finalists

By Francisco Salazar

Mezzo-Soprano Samantha Hankey has been tapped as one of the eight finalists for the Annenberg fellowship.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania will announce the recipients of its annual fellowship program Wednesday, April 26, 2017. Eight artists have been tapped to receive $50,000 to advance their careers.

It’s the last time the center will award the fellowships. After 10 years, the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts program is calling it quits.

Hankey has been on a steady run this year as she recently won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was a recipient of a 2016 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. She has also won awards from The Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship, The Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, both the Gerda Lissner Foundation Opera Competition and Lieder/Song Competition, Opera Index, Hal Leonard, and the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music at Juilliard.

She is also a recipient of the Kovner Fellowship at The Juilliard School, where she is pursuing her Masters of Music degree under the tutelage of Professor Edith Wiens.

This Friday she is set to perform in the Julliard School’s production of Janacek’s “Katya Kabanova.”

The other seven finalists are painter Herman Aguirre,  cellist Jia Kim, actor Ruibo Qian, singer, dancer, and actor Ato Blankson-Wood, cellist Khari Joyner, soloist with American Ballet Theatre Cassandra Trenary and Philadelphia artist Emily Erb.