The Sembrich
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Simon Mulligan at The Sembrich. Photo credit: YM Photography

Bel Canto Institute Announces This Year’s Scholarship Winners

Bel Canto Institute Announces This Year’s Scholarship Winners

—Set to perform Italian songs and arias at The Sembrich—


BOLTON LANDING, NY —  On Thursday, August 9th at 7:30 pm, scholarship winners from the Bel Canto Institute’s Summer Session in Florence come to The Sembrich to perform a selection of songs and arias in the Italian vocal tradition of bel canto (“beautiful singing”). Tickets are $30.  Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling (518) 644-2431.

“We’ve just completed our four-week program of study,” says Jane Bakken Klaviter, former Metropolitan Opera Prompter and Assistant Conductor who founded The Bel Canto Institute in 1987, “And we’ve selected our 2018 award winners.”

This year’s Performance Award recipients include three sopranos, Johanna Nylund from Finland, Sofie Lund-Tonnesen from Denmark and 16 year-old Astrid Westberg from the U.S. along with American mezzo-soprano Danielle Alexis Smith and Danish pianist Laurits Dragsted.

Finnish soprano Johanna Nylund completed her undergraduate studies at Savonia University of Applied Sciences in Kuopio, Finland and is currently working toward her graduate degree in voice at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen.

A native of Denmark, soprano Sofie Lund-Tonnesen received her Bachelor of Music degree in voice and opera at the Royal Danish Conservatory in Copenhagen, where she will begin her Master’s Degree in September, 2018.

Soprano Astrid Westberg is a junior in central Phoenix’s North High School where she studies in the International Baccalaureate program, focusing on Theatre.

A native of Los Angeles, mezzo-soprano Danielle Alexis Smith received her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Stanford University, graduating with Honors.

Danish pianist Laurits Dragsted received his Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance from the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen.  He has performed solo recitals in Copenhagen, as well as chamber music recitals at the Bornholm Chamber Music Festival.

“This annual showcase in the intimate salon setting of Marcella Sembrich’s teaching studio is a memorable conclusion to our Bel Canto program in Florence,” states Klaviter, “And a valuable experience for these up-and-coming young artists.”