NFMC is proud to announce the outstanding winners of 2015 Young Artist Awards selected in Fargo, North Dakota.
Nicholas Susi, piano
Current NFMC Young Artist, pianist Nicholas Susi has performed extensively as recitalist, soloist, and accompanist across the United States and Europe. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, he continued his piano studies at the University of Kansas (B.M. Piano, minor in German), the University of Michigan (M.M. Piano), and at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln as a two-time DAAD grantee. Primary teachers include Zena Ilyashov, Jack Winerock, Zitta Zohar, Arthur Greene, and Nina Tichman.
Christie Conover, soprano
Described as a “jewel” with a “lovely timbre, perfect trill, and soaring top,” soprano Christie Conover is a rapidly rising star. Her voice, rich and warm, is partnered by a personal grace both on and off the stage. Her sensitive portrayal of characters such as Liù (Turandot), Juliette (Romeo et Juliette) and Micaëla (Carmen) have garnered her critical acclaim, as well as her fiery portrayal of Musetta (La bohème) and effervescent, comedic rendition of Clorinda (La Cenerentola). Most recently, however, Ms. Conover was “the standout, expressing her character’s reticence and yearning with radiant vocalism” singing Caroline Abbott in Opera San Jose’s world premier Where Angels Fear to Tread.
Matthew Lipman, viola
The recipient of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, American violist and NFMC Young Artist Matthew Lipman has been hailed by the New York Times for his “rich tone and elegant phrasing.” He recently recorded Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Rachel Barton Pine and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with Sir Neville Marriner and has performed with the Juilliard, Grand Rapids Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber, Ars Viva Symphony, and Montgomery Symphony Orchestras. The only violist featured on WFMT Chicago’s recent list of “30 Under 30” top classical musicians, highlights of Mr. Lipman’s 2014-15 season included collaborations with Leon Fleisher at the Caramoor Center and a three continent tour with David Finckel and Wu Han culminating in a Wigmore Hall debut. He recently performed Penderecki’s Cadenza for solo viola live on WQXR with the composer himself in attendance and is a member of CMS2 at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
It is with great sadness that AFMC announces the death of two of its members: Lorain Danner and Patsy Pryor.
Lorain Duffin Danner (1924-2015) was a member of the Searcy Beethoven Club and a Life Member of the Arkansas Federation of Music Clubs. She was active in the music ministry at First Baptist Church in Searcy and served for years as the Chaplain of AFMC. A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church in Searcy on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Mrs. Danner’s obituary and online guestbook are located at the Roller-Daniel Funeral Home website.
Patsy Ruth Pryor (1938-2015) was a member of the Searcy Beethoven Club and a member of the Arkansas Federation of Music Clubs. She was an elementary school teacher for 42 years and a talented musician and artist. Mrs. Pryor designed the beautiful AFMC state insignia. A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church in Searcy on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. Mrs. Pryor’s obituary and online guestbook are located at the Powell Funeral Home website.
The deadline to enter the NFMC/AFMC Junior Composer Contest is January 15, 2015. For more information, see Linda Kennedy’s Junior Composer Contest letter.
As part of National Music Week, the National Federation of Music Clubs offers an Essay Contest. The contest is open to students in grades 7-12. The essay must be typed and not exceed 500 words in length. Membership in NFMC is not required.
The National Music Week Theme for 2015 is “Music — the Heartbeat of the Soul.” An award of $50 will be presented to the winner in each of the 50 states where a winner is declared. An Award of Merit certificate will be presented to each winner and teacher.
Please see the application form for more information. Entry form and essay must be postmarked by January 15, 2015 and sent to the South Central Region Chairman (Jan Hansen).
The Arkansas winner will be invited to present his/her essay at the AFMC Convention in Bentonville, April 17-18, 2015.
AFMC is pleased to announce the AFMC William Yick Collegiate Award. Established in 2014 by Mr. William Yick, Past AFMC President, this annual award is available to music majors at an AFMC Federated Institution. For more information, please visit the AFMC William Yick Collegiate Award page.