Pictured are the winners of the 2013 Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competition. Left to right are Yunpeng Wang, Rebecca Krynski, Joan Taub Ades, Jason Cox and Rachelle Pike. Photo by Brian Hatton.

New York, NY (April 19, 2013) – Last evening (Thursday, April 18), Manhattan School of Music announced the winners of the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competition, held for a fourth year in the Ades Performance Space at the School. The winners are; First Prizewinner – Yunpeng Wang, baritone; two Second Prizewinners – Rebecca Krynski, soprano and Jason Cox, baritone; and Third Prizewinner – Rachelle Pike, mezzo-soprano. Cash prizes totaling $37,000 were awarded.

Funding for the Ades Vocal Competition was made possible by a generous gift from Joan Taub and Alan M. Ades, longtime friends and benefactors to the School. The Ades Vocal Competition was created to encourage and foster the most promising and deserving young singers at Manhattan School of Music. With this award, the winning singers (all graduating students of outstanding professional potential in opera) will be provided with career-entry funding. The funding may support career advancement in any area including private instruction (vocal technique, coaching, diction, movement, acting, audition prep); physical conditioning; creation/recording demo or debut CD; accompanists’ fees; agent’s fee; professional travel; living expenses during professional internship; wardrobe.

Sixteen vocalists competed in the preliminary round of auditions with eight singers chosen to compete in the final round. All vocalists entered the competition at the recommendation of their teachers with the requirement that they must be ready to launch a professional career. The eight finalists were showcased in a public concert held last evening that offered each singer a 10 – 12 minute interval in which to perform. They were asked to perform three arias and three art songs including from three languages.

The judges for the final round included an outside panel of F. Paul Driscoll, editor, Opera News; and Lauren Flanigan, soprano and MSM graduate; and Diana Soviero, soprano, recipient of the 1979 Richard Tucker Award.

Winners Biographies

First Prizewinner – Yungpeng Wang, baritone, was most recently seen in his Carnegie Hall debut collaborating with the Musical Olympus Festival. Mr. Wang, age twenty-five, hails from China. In February he made his Alice Tully Hall debut with the I Sing Beijing program and the New York City Opera Orchestra. In 2012, Yungpeng Wang was the second place winner of Placido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, as well as the recipient of the Zarzuela Prize and the Audience Award. As a winner of Operalia, he appeared in the Voices of 2012 concert with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. He recently performed with the Hartford Symphony as a soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and The Yellow River Cantata by Xian Xinghai. Mr. Wang has also performed at the National Centre for the Performing Arts and Zhongshan Concert Hall in Beijing, Hong Kong’s Cultural Centre, and the Tianjin Grand Theatre. His roles include Athanaël (Thaïs), Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte), Marco (Gianni Schicchi), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus) and the Sorcerer (Dido and Aeneas). He participated in the “Zurich Stiftung Opera Bel Canto Night” under the tutelage of Francisco Araiza in Switzerland. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Central Conservatory in Beijing and is a second-year Master’s degree candidate at Manhattan School of Music studying on full scholarship with Mark Oswald. Upcoming engagements include Silvio in Leocavallo’s Pagliacci at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. This summer, Yungpeng Wang will be participating in the Musical Olympus Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Rossini Opera Festival’s Rossini Academy in Pesaro, Italy. This coming fall he will join the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

Second Prizewinner – Rebecca Krynski, soprano, is currently a Professional Studies degree candidate studying with Ashley Putnam. Ms. Krynski has been hailed by The New York Times as a “vibrant soprano…with a secure, appealing sound and eye-opening volume.” A recipient of the Mae Zenke Orvis Scholarship in Opera Studies, she completed her Master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music last year and received the Shoshana Foundation’s 2012 Richard F. Gold Career Grant for “exceptional promise for a career on the operatic stage.” This past fall, Ms. Krynski sang Cynthia in the workshop production of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys with the Metropolitan Opera. Performances with the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater include Thaïs (Thaïs), The Ghosts of Versailles (Rosina), Cosi fan tutte (Fiordiligi), and La vida breve (Salud). Ms. Krynski also sang the role of Alice Ford in Falstaff in Thomas Muraco’s Opera Repertoire Ensemble. As the winner of MSM’s Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition for Voice, Ms. Krynski performed Beethoven’s Ah! Perfido with the MSM Philharmonia conducted by George Manahan in February 2013. She was also the recipient of the 2013 Liederkranz Competition as well as a Southeastern Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2011). Ms. Krynski earned her Bachelor of Music cum laude from the University of South Carolina. This summer, she returns to Des Moines Metro Opera to sing Fifth Maid in Elektra and to cover Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes. In the fall, Rebecca Krynski joins the Minnesota Opera as a Resident Artist for the 2013-2014 season.

Second Prizewinner – Jason Cox, baritone, is a second-year Master’s degree candidate at Manhattan School of Music studying with Maitland Peters. Among his credits are Anthanaël (Thaïs) and Don Alfonso (Cosi fan tutte), Peter (Hansel and Gretel), Sam (Trouble in Tahiti), and Professor Bhaer (Little Women). Mr. Cox is a winner of MSM’s 2013 Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition and this summer will be an apprentice artist at Des Moines Metro Opera. He has performed in master classes for Thomas Hampson, Deen Larsen, and Lauren Flanigan. Along with his work in the standard repertoire, Mr. Cox has premiered many works of young emerging composers. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music where he is a recipient of the Mae Zenke Orvis Scholarship in Opera Studies. Jason Cox hails from Dayton, Ohio and will be appearing in the role of Bill in Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater’s upcoming production of Kurt Weill’s Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny.

Third Prizewinner – Rachelle Pike, mezzo-soprano, is a Professional Studies degree candidate studying with Ashley Putnam. Ms. Pike was a Pricewaterhouse Coopers Dame Malvina Major Foundation Emerging Artist with the NBR New Zealand Opera. Among her credits are Samira (The Ghosts of Versailles), Candelas (El amor brujo), Second Maid (Elektra), Mercedes (Carmen), Third Lady (The Magic Flute), and mezzo soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Pike has performed as a soloist for the Verdi Square Festival for the Arts, Southern Opera, the Southern Symphonia, and the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra. A recipient of a Herman Lissner Foundation Scholarship and the Mae Orvis Zenke Opera Scholarship, Ms. Pike recently won the West Tennessee District Metropolitan Opera Audition. This summer she will be an Apprentice Artist with the Chautauqua Opera, where she will sing Aunty in Peter Grimes, and later this month she performs the role of Begbick in the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater’s production of Kurt Weill’s Aufsteig und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny. Rachelle Pike hails from Christchurch, New Zealand.

Joan Taub and Alan M. Ades are longtime supporters of Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Ades, a board member emeritus, was a member of the school’s board of trustees for 20 years. In 2007, Mr. and Mrs. Ades helped Manhattan School of Music christen a new performance venue, The Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Performance Space. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ades are active supporters of the Metropolitan Opera, and Mr. Ades is a former Director of the George London Foundation for Singers. For the past three years, Joan Taub Ades has been instrumental in “Joan’s Closet” a program that she established at MSM that provides concert and audition clothing for female MSM musicians.

Manhattan School of Music is a preeminent international conservatory of music granting Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. Established in 1918 by pianist and philanthropist Janet Daniels Schenck, the School is dedicated to the personal, artistic, and intellectual development of its students, who range from the precollege through the postgraduate level. Offering both classical and jazz training, Manhattan School of Music trains students in performance and composition and provides a core curriculum in music theory, music history, and the humanities. Students come from all over the world, drawn by a rigorous program that reflects the highest standards of musical heritage, and by the faculty, which includes some of the world’s best-known artists. Manhattan School of Music contributes to the city’s musical life through an active community outreach program and with concerts and performances that are recognized as some of the finest events in New York’s musical calendar. Manhattan School of Music’s alumni are active in every aspect of contemporary musical life. Many are among the most distinguished artists performing in concert halls, opera houses, and on jazz stages throughout the world today.


Debra Kinzler

Director of Public Relations,
Marketing and Publications,
Manhattan School of Music

917 493 4469

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