Richard Tucker Music Foundation

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The Richard Tucker Music Foundation, founded in 1975, is a "non-profit cultural organization dedicated to perpetuating the artistic legacy of the great American tenor through the support and advancement of the careers of talented American opera singers by bringing opera into the community. The Foundation seeks to heighten appreciation for opera by offering free performances in New York Metropolitan area and by supporting music education enrichment programs."[1]

Through awards, grants for study, performance opportunities and other career-enhancing activities the foundation provides professional development for singers at several levels of career-readiness.

The Sara Tucker Study Grant awards $5,000 unrestricted grants to singers under the age of 27 who are selected through a vocal competition. Applicants must be recent graduates from a university or music conservatory and should be making the transition from student to professional singer. A candidate should have recently completed a graduate degree program or work in a young artist or Apprentice program at a regional company. Notable winners of this awards include: Michael Maniaci (2002), Sarah Coburn (2004), Lisette Oropesa (2007).[2]

The Richard Tucker Career Grant awards $10,000 unrestricted grants to singers, selected through a vocal competition, who have begun professional careers and who have already performed roles with opera companies nationally or internationally. A Career Grant candidate must be 36 years old or younger and should have a fair amount of performing experience in professional companies. Notable winners of this awards include: June Anderson, Brian Asawa, Harolyn Blackwell, Stephanie Blythe, Christine Goerke, Susan Graham, Nathan Gunn, Jerry Hadley, John Keyes, Chris Merritt, Kelley Nassief, Stephanie Novacek, and Chad Shelton.[3]

The Richard Tucker Award is awarded to a single performer who has "reached a high level of artistic accomplishment and who, in the opinion of a conferral panel, is on the threshold of a major international career". The Richard Tucker Award is selected by committee and not audition. This prestigious award carries not only the name of Richard Tucker and a cash prize of $30,000, but also a prestigious list of past recipients. The operative guideline for the Richard Tucker Award is that it be awarded to "an American singer poised on the edge of a major national and international career, and it is hoped that the award acts as a well-timed catalyst to elevate the artist's career to even greater heights." In 2012, Ailyn Pérez was named as the winner of the Richard Tucker Award, making her the first Hispanic singer to receive the award.[4][1]

The Richard Tucker Music Foundation also offers programs such as master classes and concerts in a variety of community settings which provide performance opportunities for award winners and enrich the cultural life of the communities in which they take place. These concerts are frequently broadcast on the radio.[1]

Richard Tucker Award recipients[edit]

References[edit]