Winners Of The Music Academy Of The West’s Marilyn Horne Song Competition To Set Off On U.S. Concert Tour

By David Salazar

March is upon us and that means that the Music Academy of the West’s Marilyn Horne Song Competition winners are slated for a busy tour in coming weeks.

Baritone Ben Lowe and pianist Madeline Slettedahl, the artists in question, will be heading on a recital tour that takes them through Houston (March 9), Santa Barbara (March 11), Chicago (March 14) and New York City (March 17). Moreover, the duo will each receive the Regina Roney Prize of $4,000 and will see their Chicago showcase broadcast live on WFMT radio. The New York performance will take place at the National Opera Center. The program will be all-English language with music by Barber, Holst, Ireland, William Bolcom, Moses Hogan, and Music Academy 2017 Mosher Guest Artist Matthew Aucoin.

Clinching it all will be a coaching from Marilyn Horne and the Academy Voice Program faculty artists, in addition to professional photos and consultations with New York-based communications firm 21C Media Group.

Lowe hails from Anchorage Alaska and is a graduate of UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music where he learned his craft under Vladimir Chernov. Among his major accomplishments is the top prize at the 2014 Mu Phi Epsilon Performance Scholarship Competition. He was also a Finalist in the 2014 Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition and has performed as a soloist at such venues as Our Lady of Angels Cathedral, the Broad Stage, and Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Meanwhile, Slettedahl has worked with the Marrowstone Festival and Western Washington University. She made her collaborative debut with the Icicle Creek Chamber Players and worked as a rehearsal pianist for Music Academy of the West and for Opera in the Heights. She was also part of Carnegie Hall’s 2017 “The Song Continues” series in masterclasses by Marilyn Horne, Margo Garrett, and Dame Felicity Lott.