grand prix judges 2023
MARK CORTALE is a theatre producer and an artist manager. Since 2011 he has been Producing Artistic Director of The Art House in Provincetown, MA. He has presented artists that include Vanessa Williams, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster, Kristin Chenoweth, Chita Rivera, Megan Mullally and Christine Ebersole. In 2019, he produced the Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominated Off-Broadway musical Midnight At The Never Get. He founded the international Broadway @ Concert Series featuring Seth Rudetsky in Provincetown and has presented these concerts with Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Broward Center, The Wallis, The Kimmel Center and the Leicester Square Theatre in London. In 2012 he formed the singing string quartet Well-Strung. He manages Christine Ebersole, Melissa Errico, Jeffery Roberson aka Varla Jean Merman, Well-Strung, Tori Scott and Edmund Bagnell. Mark recently joined the Board of Directors of The New York Pops. www.markcortalepresents/com
STEFANIA DE KENESSEY’s music has been heard throughout New York City, from Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center to Joe’s Pub and LaMama; internationally, it has been performed in more than 35 countries, from Australia to Venezuela. Her output ranges from choral, vocal and operatic pieces to chamber and orchestral work, as well as scores for documentary films, theater and dance companies. She has written concertos for such virtuosos as trumpeter Chris Gekker and flutist Elizabeth Mann; she has had premieres with St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Singapore Symphony, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra and the Absolute Ensemble, conducted by Kristjan Järvi. Honored repeatedly with awards from ASCAP, her music is available on several CD’s, including Gotham Siren (North/South 2014), Keeping Time (Innova 2014), Of Water and Clouds (Tugboat Music 2012), Never Broken (Center Stage 2003), Sing for the Cure (TCC 2000) and Shades of Light, Shades of Dark (North/South 2000). Her radical operatic reimagining of Tom Wolfe’s classic novel The Bonfire of the Vanities debuted at El Teatro at El Museo del Barrio in 2015. Her Spontaneous D-Combustion, a concerto for solo piano performed by pianist Mary Kathleen Ernst, is aired regularly on WQXR-FM in New York City. Her Microvids, a set of 19 piano miniatures written during the Covid 19 pandemic, has just been recorded by award-winning pianist Donna Weng Friedman and will be released in 2022. Stefania de Kenessey holds degrees from Yale (BA) and Princeton (MFA, PhD), and she has taught at The New School as a Professor of Music.
ANA DE ARCHULETA is a strategic and dynamic arts entrepreneur, quickly establishing herself as one of the most sought-after leaders in the operatic field. Founder of A.D.A. Artist Management, her focus has been to identify exciting new talent, nurturing the careers of the finest performers who excel in a variety of genres and repertoire, from emerging to internationally renowned artists. She is an active business member of Opera America, lending her expertise to many committees and panels. A board member of the new Olga Iglesias Project, helping and promoting the native lyric artists of Puerto Rico, also she is on the Advisory Board of Seagle Festival, and she co-chaired Women’s Opera Network Steering Committee, and was a panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts 2017 Arts Works Opera Grants. She has been invited to judge multiple vocal competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council, Fort Worth Opera’s McCammon Voice Competition, Shreveport Opera’s Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition, and Florida Grand Opera’s Young Patronesses of the Opera Vocal Competition.
David Bernard serves as Music Director of the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, Massapequa Philharmonic and the Eglevsky Ballet. He is an active guest conductor, appearing with the Brooklyn Symphony, the Dubuque (IA) Symphony, the Greenwich (CT) Symphony, Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Island Symphony, the Litha Symphony, the South Shore Symphony and ensembles from the Manhattan School of Music. Called “the Johnny Appleseed of Classical Music” by Long Island Weekly, Maestro Bernard has helped the arts thrive through his innovative approaches to audience and orchestra building as music director and guest conductor. Bernard is the First Prize winner of The American Prize Orchestral Conducting Competition (professional division) 2019. His recordings include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Carnegie Hall (“ taught and dramatic” -Superconductor) , Stravinsky’s "The Rite of Spring" at Lincoln Center (“transcendent...vivid...expertly choreographed” -LucidCulture), a complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies praised for its “intensity, spontaneity, propulsive rhythm, textural clarity, dynamic control, and well-judged phrasing” by Fanfare magazine, Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique Symphony (“parts emerge like newly scrubbed details in a restored painting. Bernard and his musicians frequently shed new and valuable light on a thrice-familiar standard” -Gramophone) and an album of Dvořák’s Late Symphonies (“David Bernard treats each of the symphonies with alert and respectful acuity. He trusts Dvořák’s metronome markings, often to surprising and exciting effect, and makes sure the narratives unfold with seamless assurance. Bernard shapes the score with fine control, savouring its tender and invigorating material minus mannerism or bluster.” -Gramophone)
Ariel Rudiakov, Violist and Conductor, is co-founder and artistic director of Taconic Music in Manchester, Vermont; Music director and conductor of the Danbury (Conn.) Symphony Orchestra, and adjunct faculty at the University of Indianapolis, where he conducts the chamber orchestra and coaches chamber music. He attended pre-college at Manhattan School of Music and went on to receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees at SUNY Purchase and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a scholarship student at Yale’s master’s program, where he studied performance with Jessie Levine and chamber music with members of the Tokyo String Quartet. He enjoys a diverse musical life, performing to critical acclaim throughout the U.S. and abroad with many fine musicians and ensembles, including the Shanghai, Jupiter and Indianapolis Quartets, current and former members of the Tokyo, Juilliard and Guarneri quartets, pianists Ruth Laredo, David Deveau, Michael Brown, Andre Michel Schub, and Drew Peterson, among many others. He is a former member of the New York Piano Quartet and Equinox String Quartet, and a founding member and president of SONYC (String Orchestra of New York City). Ariel Rudiakov was Artistic Director of the Manchester (Vt.) Music Festival from 2000 to 2016. At the podium, he has collaborated with noted musicians Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Michael Rudiakov, Bernard Greenhouse, David Deveau, Christopher O’Reilly, and others. Resident and guest conducting positions have included the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan Symphony, Bergen, and Yonkers Philharmonics, Antara Ensemble, Manchester Chamber Orchestra, Harlem Chamber Players, Sage City Symphony and recording sessions with Dance Theater of Harlem.
Per Brevig was the principal trombonist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 26 years. He was born in Norway and his first position in a symphony orchestra was with the Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic. After eight seasons with the orchestra, he came to New York to complete his education at Juilliard, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. While at Juilliard, he freelanced in New York City and upon auditioning for the legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski, became principal trombonist of his American Symphony Orchestra. In 1968, Brevig became principal trombonist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; he held that position until 1994, at which time he left in order to embark on a full-time international conducting career. He was the music director and conductor of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra for nine years, during which time he kept his trombone teaching positions at Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. He was one of the first trombonists to give full-length recitals in New York and has concertized worldwide and given master classes in the U.S., Japan, Korea, Brazil, and Europe. Highlights of solo performances of trombone concertos took place at Lincoln Center in New York and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Brevig has studied medical problems faced by musicians and serves on the advisory boards of the journal Medical Problems of Performing Artists and the German publication Musikphysiologie und Musik Medizin. The founder and president of the Edvard Grieg Society since 1990, Brevig has led the society to produce recitals, chamber performances, radio broadcasts, and symposia at Columbia University as well as orchestra concerts at Lincoln Center that he has conducted. He is a member of the board of Musicians Club of New York.
Manuel Campos, Young conductor, educator and trainer of children's and youth orchestras, of Venezuelan origin, he completed his musical studies, within the State Foundation of the System of Children's and Youth Orchestras of Venezuela, the Simón Bolívar Conservatory, University of the Arts of Venezuela, Conservatory Regional Music of Paris and the Latin American Academy of Violin. Invited and regular conductor in several child-youth and professional groups in Venezuela and Ecuador; He has been the creator of important projects, such as the “Antonio Neumane” Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Guayaquil Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has recently participated as guest conductor of the Ecuadorian Philharmonic Orchestra, Cuenca Symphony Orchestra, Guayaquil Symphony Orchestra, Guayaquil Municipal Philharmonic Orchestra, Loja Symphony Orchestra, University of Cuenca Symphony Orchestra, Strasbourg Symphony Orchestra (France) . As of January 2017, he combines his pedagogical activity in the violin area, with the musical direction of the project, Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil de la Prefectura del Guayas, a group, with which he has carried out intense educational, social and cultural work, through the length and breadth of the province. Last August, Maestro Campos, participated as a guest conductor, in the Festival "Les Promenades Musicales de Lalouvesc", in France, invited by the organization of the same name, which every year brings together great musicians from all over Europe, for 2018 his commitments include concerts in Europe, the United States and South America.