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Music Academy of the West Presents Benjamin Dickerson & Alden Gatt – Winners of Marilyn Horne Song Competition – in Recital at NYC’s Greene Space (March 11)

On Friday, March 11, the Music Academy of the West presents the winners of the 2015 Marilyn Horne Song Competition – baritone Benjamin Dickerson and pianist Alden Gatt – in recital at WQXR’s Greene Space. Comprising songs by Brahms, Poulenc, Rachmaninoff, and Vaughan Williams, their program will be hosted by the station’s Nimet Habachy, and will stream live at both and The legendary Marilyn Horne will be on hand to talk about her illustrious career and her role in the competition, and there will be a special song performance and interview with Grammy Award-winning mezzo Isabel Leonard, laureate of the 2005 competition.

The nation’s premier song recital competition, the Marilyn Horne Song Competition is a showcase for Music Academy singers and vocal pianists. Top awards are presented to the Academy singer and vocal pianist who best demonstrate excellence in the performance of song repertoire and an exceptional gift for audience communication. Winners each receive $3,000 Regina Roney Prizes, east and west coast recital appearances underwritten by the Academy, career development assistance, and coaching from Marilyn Horne and Academy Voice Program faculty artists. Past winners include Metropolitan Opera star Isabel Leonard, San Francisco Opera star Nadine Sierra, and Steinway Artist Spencer Myer; unsurprisingly, then, the competition regularly attracts industry insiders eager for a glimpse of emerging talent.

About Benjamin Dickerson, baritone
From Burlington, VT, 22-year-old Benjamin Dickerson is a 2015 vocal alumnus of the Music Academy of the West. He currently studies with Ruth Golden as an undergraduate at the Manhattan School of Music, where he sang the title role in Don Giovanni and portrayed Gustl in Lehár’s Das Land des Lächelns last year. In the 2014-15 season, he covered the role of Dandini in La Cenerentola at Green Mountain Opera Festival and sang solo in François-Joseph Gossec’s rarely performed Grande Messe des morts with the Burlington Choral Society. Other recent roles include Ben from Menotti’s The Telephone, Gaudenzio from Il signor Bruschino, Ottone from L’incoronazione di Poppea, Papageno and Sprecher from Die Zauberflöte, and the title role of Le nozze di Figaro. Click here to see Benjamin Dickerson at the 2015 Marilyn Horne Song Competition.

About Alden Gatt, piano
Also a 2015 alumnus of the Music Academy, 27-year-old pianist and conductor Alden Gatt was born in Naples, Florida, and is now based in New York City. Besides serving as Music Director of New York Opera Exchange and vocal coach at New Jersey City University, Gatt frequently makes both solo and collaborative concert appearances. He studied with Barry Snyder at the Eastman School of Music, while also minoring in Chinese at the University of Rochester, having lived in Beijing for a year during high school. Gatt began his musical training at age eight and won top awards in many local and regional piano competitions, including the Turiel Prize in the Naples Music Club. He went on to win the 2006 Southwest Florida Concerto Competition, and performed Prokofiev’s First Piano Concerto with the Southwest Florida Symphony. Click here to see Alden Gatt at the 2015 Marilyn Horne Song Competition.

About the Music Academy of the West
The Music Academy of the West brings together the world’s finest young musicians, faculty, and guest artists, collaborating and performing for enthusiastic and engaged audiences in idyllic

Santa Barbara, California. One of the nation’s preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted young classical musicians, the Academy provides advanced study and performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists, at its ocean-side campus in Santa Barbara. Admission to the Academy is strictly based on merit, and fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room, and board). The Academy’s distinguished faculty roster has included famed soprano Lotte Lehmann, composers Darius Milhaud and Arnold Schoenberg, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, pianist Jeremy Denk, and current Voice Program Director Marilyn Horne. Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world, many enjoying careers as prominent solo artists. In 2014 the Music Academy entered into a four-year partnership with the New York Philharmonic, resulting in unprecedented training and performance opportunities for Academy fellows, and Summer Festival residencies for Philharmonic musicians. The Music Academy of the West cultivates discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences, presenting more than 200 public events annually, nearly half of them free of charge. These include performances by faculty, visiting artists, and fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and a fully staged opera. For more information, visit

To download high-resolution photos, click here.


Music Academy of the West presents winners of Marilyn Horne Song Competition in NYC
March 11
New York, NY
The Greene Space
With live streaming at and

Benjamin Dickerson, baritone
Alden Gatt, piano

“Wie Melodien zieht es mir”
“Meine Liebe ist grün”

“Chanson gaillardes”

“Oh stay, my love, forsake me not!”
“Morning (I love thee well!)”
“In the silence of the secret night”

“Silent Noon”
“Heart’s Haven”
“Love’s Last Gift”

Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano
Alden Gatt, piano

“Verdi prati” from Handel’s Alcina

Program is subject to change.

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© 21C Media Group, February 2016


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