Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota is pleased to announce the winners from two divisions in its second annual Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota Competition. The first-prize vocalists from the Advanced and Young Artists' Divisions of the competition, Bariton Harrison Hintzsche and Soprano Froya Olson will perform in a special concert recital at Mindekirken concluding the EGSMN 2018-2019 Season.
Tickets are $20 at the door or in advance. Students are free with valid identification. A reception and meet-and-greet at Norway House will follow the concert.
This event is generously sponsored by Karen and Ertugrul Tuzcu, in honor of Karen’s mother Beverly Owen, a retired music teacher.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION
Nine artists competed for six prizes in open auditions on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at Mindekirken Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, followed by a Winners’ Recital that featured 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners in both categories. The auditions and recital drew a warm and appreciative audience of friends, family, voice teachers, notable singers and Nordic music lovers. The singers and their pianists offered a wide variety of songs by Edvard Grieg and other Nordic composers, exquisitely performed. Said Augsburg Assistant Professor of Music and Competition Chair, Sonja Thompson, “The Edvard Grieg Society was very impressed with the level of skill and preparation exhibited by all performers and thrilled by their commitment to
the Nordic repertoire.”
Winning First Prize in the Advanced Division (ages 24-35) with a $1500 cash award and performance opportunity on the Edvard Grieg Society’s 2018-2019 season calendar was Harrison Hintzsche, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The baritone has been praised for his warm lyric tone, musical subtlety, and dedication to text. In January, 2018, Mr. Hintzsche made his international debut at Wigmore Hall in London with pianist Graham Johnson as a part of Johnson’s recital series, “Franz Schubert: The Complete Songs.” Mr. Hintzsche holds a
Bachelor of Music degree from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota and will pursue a Master of Music degree from Yale University this fall. His collaborative pianist was Mary Trotter.
Representatives of The Edvard Grieg Society of America, hailing from Sarasota, FL, Salt Lake City, UT, Seattle, WA and Aberdeen, SD were in attendance to award their newly established William H. Halverson Award to Harrison Hintzsche. This award of $300 recognizes an outstanding performance of Grieg's songs, and will be awarded at regional or national competitions in the U.S. that feature the music of Edvard Grieg.
Winning First Prize in the Young Artist Division (ages 18-23) and a $1,500 cash cash award and performance opportunity on the Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota’s 2018-2019 season calendar was soprano Froya Olson, of Roseville, Minnesota. Before graduating magna cum laude from Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin in 2017 with a Bachelor of Music degree, Ms. Olson appeared in National Opera Association award-winning productions of The Tender Land, The Beggar’s Opera, and Hydrogen Jukebox. Ms. Olson has played the role of “Governess” in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, “Drusilla” in L’incoronazione di Poppea, and “Zweite Knabe” in Die Zauberflöte. In 2016, Ms. Olson won first place at the Wisconsin National Association of Teachers of
Singing (NATS) competition.
EGSMN Voice Competition Winners
Young Artist Division
1st place/$1,500 award - FROYA OLSON, Roseville, Minnesota
2nd place/$1,000 award - ELSA SWANSON, Chaska, Minnesota; Northern State University, Aberdeen, South Dakota
3rd place/$500 award- GRETA RAMSEY, Park Ridge, Illinois; St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota
1st place/$1500 award - HARRISON HINTZSCHE, Minneapolis, Minnesota
2nd place/$1,000 award - ANIKA KILDEGAARD, Minneapolis, Minnesota
3rd place/$500 award- THORE DOSDALL, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Competition qualifying was held in March in an audio screening round. Competitors were required to submit three songs in Norwegian or Danish by Edvard Grieg and two other pieces of their choosing in any Nordic language by another composer. Judges included Norwegian-American soprano Dr. Melissa Culloton, a St. Olaf College and University of Minnesota graduate who is an active performer, voice teacher and Norwegian coach;
Dr. Dan Dressen, Associate Provost and former Music Department Chair at St. Olaf College, and familiar tenor soloist; Dr. Marla Fogderud, a recitalist and voice teacher who studied at the Norwegian National Academy of Music in Oslo, and is in demand as a vocal adjudicator, language coach, and translator; and soprano Maria Jette, who has graced virtually every Twin Cities stage, as well as national and international venues.
The purpose of the competition is to expose the Twin Cities community to the music of Edvard Grieg and promote the best of Norwegian and Nordic music from past and present. Congratulations to all finalists and winners and thank you to all finalists, their pianists, and friends and family for participating and attending in the competition’s festivities.
THE EDVARD GRIEG SOCIETY OF MINNESOTA is an organization that promotes the study and performance of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and his Nordic counterparts. The Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota and its season are affiliated programs of Norway House. For more information or to apply, please visit http://www.norwayhouse.org/egsmn
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
HARRISON HINTZSCHE won first prize in the Advanced Division of The Edvard Greig Society of Minnesota's Voice Competition and the first ever recipient of the William H. Halverson Award for Outstanding Performance of Grieg's Music, presented by the Edvard Grieg Society of America. The Minneapolis-based baritone has been praised for his warm lyric tone, musical subtlety, and dedication to text, and is quickly gaining recognition as an avid recitalist, concert singer, and ensemble musician. In January 2018, Harrison made his international debut at Wigmore Hall in London with pianist Graham Johnson as part of Johnson’s recital series, “Franz Schubert: The Complete Songs.” He can be found singing in a variety of vocal ensembles, such as the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, the Minnesota Chorale, and MPLS (imPulse). Harrison holds a Bachelor of Music degree from St. Olaf College, and looks forward to pursuing a Master of Music degree from Yale University starting in the Fall of 2018.
FROYA OLSON is a soprano based in the Twin Cities. Froya won first prize in the Young Artist Division of The Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota's Voice Competition. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music from Lawrence University in 2017, where she presented recitals exploring themes of women and the moon, and the kaleidoscopic navigation of identity. She has appeared in several productions with National Opera, and in 2016 she won first place at the Wisconsin National Association of Teachers of Singing competition. She will perform this summer in Minnesota’s Source Song Festival, and will join Harrison in presenting a Winners Recital for our final concert next April.
Known for her lyrical and expressive sound, pianist MARY J. TROTTER has been referred to as a “poet at the piano.” Equally at home with operatic and concert repertoire, she is in high demand as a collaborative artist. In February 2018, she performed as guest pianist with the Spokane-based Cathedral Kantorei Choir in their program entitled Spokane Mid-Winter, featuring Morten Lauridsen’s Mid-Winter Songs as well as the premieres of works by Spokane-area composers. Her work as a music director has included performances with Opera Coeur d’Alene’s “Opera-tunities” program as well as Peabody Opera Outreach, where she music directed and accompanied a world premiere production of Ariel’s Tempest by Douglas Buchanan. She also served as assistant music director and orchestra pianist for Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s productions of Singin’ in the Rain and The Music Man, and as performance accompanist for Opera Coeur d’Alene’s “Opera on the Lake” productions of The Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore.
Originally from Snohomish, WA, Mary earned her B.A. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Whitworth University and her M.M. in Vocal Accompanying from Peabody Conservatory. She is currently a second-year DMA student in Collaborative Piano at the University of Minnesota.