Judges


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James Conlon

Conductor

One of today’s most versatile and respected conductors, James Conlon has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic, and choral repertoire. Since his 1974 debut with the New York Philharmonic, he has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra. Through worldwide touring, an extensive discography and videography, numerous essays and commentaries, and frequent television appearances and speaking engagements, he is one of classical music’s most recognized interpreters.

Conlon is Music Director of both Los Angeles Opera and the Cincinnati May Festival, America’s oldest choral festival, where he has served as Music Director for 36 years, more than any other in the festival’s 143-year history. He takes up the post of Principal Conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Torino, Italy in 2016.

Conlon previously served as Music Director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony; Principal Conductor of the Paris National Opera; General Music Director of the City of Cologne, where he was Music Director of both the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne and the Cologne Opera; and Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic. He has led more than 270 performances at the Metropolitan Opera since his debut there in 1976, and has conducted at La Scala, Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.

After devoting himself to extensive programming throughout Europe and North America of lesser-known works by composers silenced under the Nazi regime, Conlon received the Crystal Globe Award from the Anti-Defamation League in 2007. He was also awarded the Légion d’Honneur by then-President Jacques Chirac in 2002.

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Kathryn Enticott

Director of Enticott Music Management

Kathryn Enticott is the founding director of Enticott Music Management (EMM), where she manages an elite roster of conductors and instrumentalists and consults to artistic institutions and organizations. At EMM and in her numerous years running the Conductors and Instrumentalists Department at IMG Artists, she has worked with many of the world’s leading artists and is one of the most respected international artist managers in the business.

After graduating in Music and English from the UK’s University of Birmingham, Enticott joined Intermusica Artist Management to work on Artist Management and Orchestra Touring. In 1987, she joined Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group in the Music Production Department for touring and special projects, where her five-year tenure spanned the openings of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and Aspects of Love in London’s West End; a new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium; and the UK’s inaugural “Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber” tours.

In 1991, Enticott returned to her classical roots, joining IMG Artists as a manager. She was promoted to Associate Director in 1998, Director in 2004 and Managing Director of Artists’ Management in 2009. She has managed and worked with many of the world’s foremost conductors and soloists, including Sir James Galway, Joshua Bell, Lang Lang, Hilary Hahn, Thomas Dausgaard, Stéphane Denève, and her current EMM artists: conductors Semyon Bychkov, Alan Gilbert (for Europe), and Franz Welser-Möst; conductor and violinist Nikolaj Znaider; violinist Daniel Lozakovitj; pianist Leif Ove Andsnes; and guitarist Miloš Karadaglić.

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Ara Guzelimian

Provost and Dean of the Juilliard School

Ara Guzelimian is Provost and Dean of New York’s Juilliard School, where he works closely with the President in overseeing the faculty, curriculum, and artistic planning of the performing arts conservatory in its three divisions: dance, drama, and music.

Before taking up this appointment in 2006, he was Senior Director and Artistic Advisor of Carnegie Hall, overseeing the opening of Zankel Hall and hosting and producing the “Making Music” series. Previous positions include Artistic Administrator of Colorado’s Aspen Music Festival and School, Artistic Director of California’s Ojai Festival, and Artistic Administrator of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He currently serves on the Music Visiting Committee of New York’s Morgan Library and Museum.

Guzelimian has lectured at the Metropolitan Opera, Salzburg Easter Festival, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Banff Centre for the Arts, Chicago Symphony, Taipei’s National Center for the Performing Arts, and the Jerusalem Music Center, where he was on the faculty of the 2000 International Chamber Music Encounter. He has also been heard on Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts and public radio’s Saint Paul Sunday.

The editor of Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (Pantheon Books, 2002), Guzelimian has also contributed to publications including the New York Times, Musical America, Opera Quarterly, Opera News, Symphony, and Tokyo’s Record Geijutsu. His performing edition of Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been performed by the Chicago, Boston, and London Symphony Orchestras. In September 2003, he was honored by the French government with the title “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.”

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Deborah Voigt

Singer and musical personality

Deborah Voigt is one of the world’s most versatile singers and music’s most endearing personalities. Her HarperCollins memoir, Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva, comes out in paperback in January, and 2015-16 also sees her reprise her beloved one-woman show, Voigt Lessons; star in The Pirates of Penzance in New York City; and host events and judge competitions throughout the season.

Having made her name as a leading dramatic soprano, Voigt has given definitive performances of iconic German operatic roles from Salome to Isolde. Also a devotee of Broadway and American song, she has sung with Rufus Wainwright at London’s BBC Proms, Kristin Chenoweth at Carnegie Hall, and Barbara Cook and Dianne Reeves at the Hollywood Bowl. Her extensive discography includes two EMI solo albums – All My Heart, named one of the “Best of the Year” by Opera News, and the Billboard bestseller Obsession – and Deutsche Grammophon’s Grammy Award-winning Blu-ray set featuring her Brünnhilde in Robert Lepage’s visionary Metropolitan Opera “Ring” cycle. She appears regularly as both performer and host in the Met’s “Live in HD” series.

Voigt’s numerous honors include first prizes in Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition and Philadelphia’s Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition. A Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, she was Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year 2003, won a 2007 Opera News Award for distinguished achievement, and has received Honorary Doctorates from Smith College and the University of South Carolina. She was named one of the Los Angeles Times’s 25 cultural tweeters to follow.

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Donald A. Wagner

Director, Warner Music Group

Donald A. Wagner is a Managing Director of Access Industries, where he has worked since 2010. In this position he is responsible for the company’s North American direct investment portfolio, overseeing current holdings and sourcing new investments. He has also served as a member of the board at Warner Music Group since 2011 and at NYSE-listed EP Energy since 2012. Previously, he was a Senior Managing Director of Ripplewood Holdings, a private equity firm, and a Managing Director of Lazard Frères, where his 15-year career spanned both New York and London. Since 2006, he has served on the board of governors at Mannes School of Music, the music conservatory of The New School university. A scholar and champion of music by unjustly neglected composers of the 19th and 20th centuries, he has curated and led a number of concerts featuring their work. He graduated summa cum laude with an A.B. in physics from Harvard College.