Fredonia alumnus a winner in George London Foundation for Singers annual competition; second alumna receives Encouragement Award
Kyle van Schoonhoven, a tenor and 2011 graduate of the Fredonia School of Music, was one of five winners of the prestigious George London Foundation for Singers annual competition, held Feb. 22 at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City.
He received a $10,000 award, singing “Mein Lieber Schwan” from Wagner’s “Lohengrin.”
Mr. Schoonhoven, who was a Music Education major at Fredonia, was also a Winner in the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) Grand Finals Concert and was a former George London competition award recipient. He will perform in “Carmen” in Concert in early June with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
In addition, Fredonia 2014 alumna and mezzo-soprano Amanda Lynn Bottoms, who was also a finalist in the competition, received a $1,000 George London Encouragement Award. She sang “Charlotte’s Letter Scene” from Massenet’s “Werter.”
The New York Classical Review website noted, “The evening ended appropriately, with the most stunning performance of all: Kyle van Schoonhoven showed the makings of a star heldentenor with “Mein lieber Schwan” from Lohengrin. He has that coveted combination of full tone, brightness, power and flexibility perfectly suited to Wagner’s demanding tenor roles. Moreover, he matched that remarkable power with keen emotional sense, channeling grief through his ringing farewells.”
Earlier in the review, the website noted, “It was surprising that mezzo-soprano Amanda Lynn Bottoms did not earn a top prize for her moving account of the Letter Scene from Werther. Her weighty, colorful voice and deep velvet texture were an ideal fit for the aria and she found real emotional depth in the text, singing with power and focus all the while.”
Judges for the competition included soprano Harolyn Blackwell, George London Foundation Executive Director John Hauser, George London Foundation President Nora London and tenor and voice professor George Shirley.
The George London Foundation for Singers is a non-profit organization that gives awards to outstanding young professional opera singers during their early careers through the annual George London Competition. It also presents a recital series in collaboration with the Morgan Library & Museum as well as supporting students in the pre-college vocal programs at the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School.