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.