After a three-season hiatus, the events will again take place at the Morgan Library & Museum; they will be among the first concerts at the new Gilder Lehrman Hall, part of the Morgan's recent renovation by architect Renzo Piano.
The goal of the London Foundation is to nurture young singers, which was a passion of the American bass-baritone George London. Since 1971, the foundation has been giving awards to young North American opera singers in the early stages of their careers; the roster of past winners includes Christine Brewer, Joyce DiDonato, Ren_e Fleming, Jerry Hadley, Catherine Malfitano, James Morris, Matthew Polenzani, Sondra Radvanovsky, Neil Shicoff and Dawn Upshaw.
The annual George London Foundation Recital Series was established in 1995 and pairs established singers with recent London Foundation Award winners. The 2006-07 lineup features tenor Ben Heppner and soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer (2005 award winner); soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian (2000 award winner) and baritone Russell Braun (1994 award winner) with pianists Carolyn Maule (Mr. Braun's wife) and Serouj Kradjian (Ms. Bayrakdarian's husband); and soprano Andrea Gruber and tenor Russell Thomas (2006 award winner). Each recital will be broadcast on 96.3 FM WQXR shortly after the event.
The 36th annual George London Foundation Awards competition takes place from February 26 to March 1, with the final round and award ceremony open to the public. The event is open to North American opera singers (U.S. or Canadian citizens) under the age of 35 who have performed at least one professional engagement; the competition offers more than $50,000 to the most promising performers: four George London Awards of $10,000, one George London/Kirsten Flagstad Award of $10,000 and five Encouragement Grants of $1,000.