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Soprano Rachel Schutz Wins National Artist Award Competition
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Rachel Schutz

STONY BROOK, NY--July 25, 2016-- Soprano Rachel Schutz ‘07 a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) student  in the College of Arts & Sciences at Stony Brook University and critically acclaimed performing artist, won first place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Artist Awards Competition finals. Her winning performance included four pieces:  

  • “Anne Boleyn” ( Try Me, Good King ) by Libby Larsen

  • “Davno-l’, Moj Drug Op. 4, No. 6” by Sergei Rachmaninoff

  • “Hark the Echoing Air”  ( The Fairy Queen ) by Henry Purcell

  • “Non, Monsieur Mon Mari” ( Les mamelles de Tirasias ) by Francis Poulenc  

Schutz was accompanied by pianist Jonathan Korth ‘08, a Stony Brook DMA alumnus and her husband.

Schutz won $5,000 cash, a New York solo debut in a major choral work with orchestra and chorus sponsored by Distinguished Concerts International New York; a $4,000 Scholarship to attend the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria; a $1,000 gift certificate from Hal Leonard Corporation; and a solo recital at the next NATS National Conference.

Schutz chose to attend Stony Brook University so she could study singing with celebrated faculty member Elaine Bonazzi. According to Perry Goldstein, then the department’s director of undergraduate studies and now  chairman of the department of music, from the moment Rachel stepped on campus, she was exceptional. He said she exhibited deep insights into music and a natural  ability to communicate those insights. As an undergraduate student, she integrated quickly into the opera program, Goldstein said, which is traditionally dominated by graduate students.  Schutz  graduated with her Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude in 2007.    

After receiving her Master’s degree from Bard College and performing/teaching  in Hawaii, Schutz returned to Stony Brook to pursue her DMA and she took the program by storm.

“Rarely have we seen a singer who has had the talent and skill to so persuasively perform music spanning from the early Baroque period to the present,” said Goldstein. “Her versatility is remarkable. Rachel is also a natural actor, ranging widely from furious to copy to love-struck, as the role requires."  

Schutz, began singing at the age of three and performed in her first professional touring opera at 12. She has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia and won previous awards including third prize in the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition this past May, the Sorel Fellowship Award (Songfest) and the Lillian Caroff Meyer Award (Sante Fe Opera). She was a New York district winner and regional finalist at the Met Opera National Council Auditions.

Equally at home in the opera house as on the concert stage, Schutz’s recent roles include Johanna in “Sweeney Todd” and Diana in “Siren Song” (Hawaii Opera Theatre); Thérèse in “Les Mamelles de Tirésias” and Jessie in “Mahagonny Songspiel” (Opera Parallèle); and Susanna in “Le Nozze di Figaro” (Stockton Opera). She has also performed with The Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops as well as at Zankell Hall at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood Music Center and Tongji University in Shanghai.  

Schutz will perform a recital tour in Thailand in September (Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket), followed by a performance of Ligeti's "Mysteries of the Macabre" with the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra in October. She will be doing Philip Glass's opera "Les Enfants Terrible" with Opera Parallele in San Francisco in May 2017.

Schutz, who was born in Wales and currently resides in Honolulu and locally in Plainview while attending Stony Brook, is an adjunct teacher at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where her husband Korth teaches full time.  She also earned a Masters in Linguistics degree from the University of Hawaii in 2012.

To hear two performances by Rachel Schutz, please go to:   “Heart, We Will Forget Him” (Copland) and Aux Langueurs d'Apollon (Rameau)

About Stony Brook University
Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,450 acres. Since welcoming its first incoming class in 1957, the University has grown tremendously, now with more than 25,000 students and 2,500 faculty. Its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 100 universities in the nation and top 40 public universities, and Kiplinger names it one of the 35 best values in public colleges. One of four University Center campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, putting it in an elite group of universities that run federal research and development laboratories. A global ranking by U.S. News & World Report places Stony Brook in the top 1 percent of institutions worldwide.  It is one of only 10 universities nationwide recognized by the National Science Foundation for combining research with undergraduate education. As the largest single-site employer on Long Island, Stony Brook is a driving force of the regional economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounts for nearly 4 percent of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.

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Reporter Contact:  
Joan Behan-Duncan631 632-6310 
Twitter:  @sbunewsdesk