Mezzo soprano Solange Merdinian and soprano Rachel Schutz win this year’s prize at auditions chaired by Gil Kalish.

Acclaimed for her “smoldering stage presence,”  (New York Times) her “richly-hued voice” (BBC Music magazine) and how she “brought many to tears” (New York Times), the New York based American-Argentinean mezzo-soprano Solange Merdinian has garnered an international reputation for her versatility and interpretation as a recitalist, chamber musician, and opera singer in repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary, folk, tango, cabaret and world music.

Hailed for her “diamantine high notes, witty characterization, and giddily delirious coloratura” (Boston Globe), Welsh-American soprano Rachel Schutz is increasingly in demand throughout the US, Asia and Europe for her sensitive and evocative performances and wide range of repertoire. A passionate supporter of new music, Rachel enjoys working relationships with young composers and new music ensembles. An active community organizer, she is the founder of “Artists for Social Justice.”