Two beautiful and talented young women who have already made their mark on the world did the same in Burbank this past week by taking top honors in the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra and Hennings-Fischer Foundation’s 10th annual Young Artists’ Competition Finals held at Forest Lawn’s Hall of Liberty in the Hollywood Hills.
Flutist Maia Perduca Shipman, who was a regular performer at Argentina’s birthplace of the tango — the Café de los Angelitos, and sorprano Jacquelynne Fontaine, a former Miss California who Italian opera critics hailed as being: “elegantissima, piena di passion” (full of passion), edged out a field of eight vocalists and instrumentalists to earn an invitation to perform as featured artists with the Burbank Phil during its 2011 season.
Carlos Gardel who is considered by many to be the most prominent figure in the history of tango.
Fontaine, a Southern California native who was crowned Miss California in 2006, went on to place in the top 10 at the 2007 Miss America Pageant where she also won the talent award for her performance of Puccini’s “Vissi d’arte.” She recently completed her second year of doctoral studies at the Thornton School of Music and gained fame in Viterbo, Italy for her passionate performance of Donna Anna in “Don Giovanni.” Here in the states she has performed with numerous symphony orchestras including Southern California’s South Coast Symphony and the Conejo Pops.
Established in 2001, the Hennings-Fischer Foundation is the legacy of violinist and teacher, Noumi Fischer and his wife, fellow violinist and teacher, Audrey Hennings Fischer. The foundation perpetuates the goals of musical tradition and excellence.
Last week’s competition gave judges Fung Ho, Barry Brisk, Mark Artusio, Patricia Shanks and Larry Lippold a difficult task as they ultimately selected Fontaine and Shipman over sopranos Marina Boudart Harris, Emma-Grace Dunbar and Stephanie Elsayed, baritone Bernardo Bermudez, violinist Caitlin Kelley and cellist Indira Rahmatulla.
Among the special guests in attendance who were welcomed by the orchestra’s assistant conductor, Beth Pflueger, who also served as the evenings mistress of ceremonies, were the Burbank Phil’s president, Lynda Willner and vice-president, Judy Daniels. Other special guests included members of the orchestra’s board of directors Lisa Perry, Bob Diller, Judy Gragg, Larry Lazar, Anne McDonald, Aaron Petersen, Mari Angela Pitittoi and Gary Reissman.
According to President Willner, the orchestra has just launched its 2011 fundraising campaign. It is also putting the finishing touches on the “Family Concert of Symphonic Masterpieces,” that will take place on April 16 at the Hall of Liberty, and have already begun working on its Fourth of July Starlight Bowl performance that will include the music of John Williams, Cole Porter, John Philip Sousa and George Gershwin.
For more information on donating to the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra and the 2011 season, call (818) 771-7888 or visit www.burbankphilharmonic.org.