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December 13, 2018

Lincoln Center Awards for Emerging Artists Celebrate Ten Remarkable and Rising Talents

Lincoln Center




Evening to Celebrate Awardees, Nominated by Lincoln Center’s Resident Organizations,

Sponsored by The Movado Group Foundation


Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, February 27 at 7:00 pm


NEW YORK (December 13, 2018) — Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts announced today the 2019 class of Emerging Artists, recognizing diverse and exceptional talents. Each recipient was nominated by one of Lincoln Center’s eleven resident organizations, acknowledging their extraordinary talent and promising career. The 2019 winners are: singer and actress Mikaela Bennett (The Juilliard School); dancer Savannah Durham (School of American Ballet); composer and sound artist Ashley Fure (Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the New York Philharmonic); actor Nadine Malouf (Lincoln Center Theater); bassist Endea Owens (Jazz at Lincoln Center); soprano Gabriella Reyes (The Metropolitan Opera); musician Adam Tendler (The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts); dancer Sebastian Villarini-Velez (New York City Ballet); filmmaker Eduardo Williams (Film Society of Lincoln Center); and violinist Angelo Xiang Yu (Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center). Each of the awardees will receive $7,500 to be used for career advancement.


In addition, several of the recipients will be acknowledged with named awards. Nadine Malouf and Angelo Xiang Yu will each receive a Martin E. Segal Award, which has annually recognized two artists of exceptional talent early in their careers since 1986. Ashley Fure will receive the Hunt Family Award, presented to the Emerging Artist nominated by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Savannah Durham will receive the Herbert Family Dance Award, presented to the nominee from the School of American Ballet.


“The Lincoln Center Awards for Emerging Artists demonstrate the continued commitment of Lincoln Center’s resident organizations to furthering excellence in the performing arts,” said Lincoln Center Acting President Russell Granet. “The arts are fundamental to our world, and we are proud to support the next generation of artistic leaders.”


The award winners will be recognized on February 27 at 7:00 pm in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, with live performances by several of the Emerging Artists.


Lincoln Center’s longtime partner, The Movado Group Foundation, is the presenting sponsor of the Lincoln Center Awards for Emerging Artists evening. In addition to its financial support, the Foundation will provide a Movado watch to each of the award recipients.


“The Movado Group Foundation is proud to partner with Lincoln Center in supporting emerging artists who shape the future of the performing arts,” said Mary Leach, Chief Marketing Officer, Movado Group, Inc. “We are thrilled to be a part of this program that celebrates each recipient’s unique perspective and extraordinary talent and supports development as leaders in their field.”


About the Awards


With the Lincoln Center Awards for Emerging Artists, Lincoln Center continues its commitment to supporting rising artists and their developing craft.


The Lincoln Center Awards for Emerging Artists continue the legacy of the Martin E. Segal Awards, which were established in 1986 by the Board of Directors of Lincoln Center in honor of the arts leader and former Lincoln Center chairman and his commitment to rising talents. Each year, the Segal Awards are given to two emerging artists, rotated annually among resident organizations. Over the last three decades, nearly a quarter of a million dollars has been given to more than 70 remarkable emerging artists associated with Lincoln Center. Past Martin E. Segal Award winners include pianists Jonathan Biss and Shai Wosner; the Brentano, Borromeo, and JACK string quartets; mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung; violinist Augustin Hadelich; director Thomas Kail; dancer Daniel Ulbricht; cellist Alisa Weilerstein; choreographer Christopher Wheeldon; jazz saxophonist Melissa Aldana; composers Jason Robert Brown and Michael John LaChiusa; and conductor Xian Zhang, among many others.


The Hunt Family Award, endowed by Lincoln Center Board member David Hunt, his wife, Alice, and his brother, Bruce, is given annually to a classical artist honoree nominated by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. This award was established as a testament to the Hunt family’s long dedication to the performing arts, beginning with David’s parents, Margot and Alan. The award marks the family’s commitment to budding talent at Lincoln Center and celebrates rising stars at the annual Lincoln Center Awards for Emerging Artists.


The Herbert Family Dance Award, established in 2016 by Lincoln Center Trustee Jim Herbert and his wife, Cecilia, recognizes a promising young dancer from the School of American Ballet as part of the Lincoln Center Awards for Emerging Artists. This award demonstrates the Herbert family’s long-standing support of dancers and dance companies.


About the 2019 Awardees:


Mikaela Bennett, nominated by The Juilliard School

Singer and actress Mikaela Bennett is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School. On stage, Bennett made her professional debut in 2017, starring as Penelope in The Golden Apple at City Center Encores! She originated the role of Norma in Dick Scanlan and Carmel Dean’s new musical Renascence and originated the title role of Acquanetta in an opera composed by Michael Gordon and directed by Daniel Fish at the 2018 Prototype Festival. In August 2018, Bennett made her BBC Proms debut at London’s Royal Albert Hall starring as Maria in the John Wilson Orchestra’s concert production of West Side Story. She debuted with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Slatkin and the Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Bennett was a featured soloist in Bernstein on Broadway at the Kennedy Center. At Carnegie Hall, she was the soprano soloist in Handel’s Israel in Egypt with conductor Ted Sperling and MasterVoices. She appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and New World Symphony, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, for the premiere of his work Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind. Bennett has performed in many of New York City’s prestigious cabaret venues, including solo concerts at 54 Below. Bennett is a native of Ottawa, Canada.


Savannah Durham, nominated by School of American Ballet

Dancer Savannah Durham is an advanced student at the School of American Ballet (SAB). Now 18, Durham started focused ballet training at age eight in Winston Salem, North Carolina, at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, eventually progressing to UNCSA’s high-school division and training with Dayna Fox. After attending SAB’s five-week Summer Course from the ages of 12 to 14, she enrolled at Boston Ballet School for the 2015–16 school year. She was accepted into SAB’s year-round program in the fall of 2016 and currently trains in the most advanced level. She performed in George Balanchine’s La Source and Western Symphony at SAB’s 2018 Workshop Performances.


Ashley Fure, nominated by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the New York Philharmonic

The music of American composer and sound artist Ashley Fure has been called “raw, elemental” and “richly satisfying” by the New York Times. Her work explores the kinetic source of sound, bringing focus to the muscular act of music-making and the chaotic behaviors of raw acoustic matter. She holds a PhD in Music Composition from Harvard University and joined the Dartmouth College Music Department as Assistant Professor in 2015. A finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Music, Fure’s most recent accolades include a 2017 DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Prize, a 2017 Rome Prize in Music Composition, a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant for Artists. Her work has been commissioned by major ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Klangforum Wien, and International Contemporary Ensemble. Notable recent projects include Filament, for Trio, Orchestra, and Moving Voices, which premiered on the New York Philharmonic’s 2018 Opening Gala, conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden; The Force of Things: An Opera for Objects, an immersive intermedia opera called “staggeringly original” in The New Yorker; and Bound to the Bow, for Orchestra and Electronics, premiered in a concert presented by the New York Philharmonic in 2016.


Nadine Malouf, nominated by Lincoln Center Theater

Nadine Malouf born in Australia, is a New York City–based actor described by the New York Times as “ferocious and radiant.” At Lincoln Center Theater’s LCT3, she has appeared in Martyna Majok’s queens and Ayad Akhtar’s The Who & The What. Recent theatrical work includes world premieres of A Thousand Splendid Suns at American Conservatory Theater (ACT) and Yaël Farber’s Salomé at Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC). Other recent New York work includes Intractable Woman, Dead Are My People at New York Theatre Workshop, Today is My Birthday with Page 73, and The Play Company's site-specific solo show Oh My Sweet Land, performed in kitchens throughout the city. Some of her TV and film appearances include The Looming Tower, High Maintenance, and the Sundance Official Selection May in the Summer. Malouf holds a BFA from Syracuse University, and also trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).


Endea Owens, nominated by Jazz at Lincoln Center

Detroit native Endea Owens is a vibrant up-and-coming bassist. She has been mentored by the likes of Marcus Belgrave, Rodney Whitaker, and Ron Carter. She has toured and performed with Jennifer Holliday, Jazzmeia Horn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Steve Turre, and Lea DeLaria. Owens has done music exchange programs in Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago, and has performed in London, India, Australia, Ukraine, South Korea, and many other countries. Recently Owens has been featured on ABC7 News with Sandy Kenyon, as well as ABC7 Here and Now. She has also been featured on The Indie Beat with the Manhattan Neighborhood Network. This year Owens graced the cover of Japan’s The Walker’s magazine and was featured in The Wall Street Journal and Billboard Magazine. Owens also works with students in NYC public schools through Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Let Freedom Swing program. She recently received her master’s degree from The Juilliard School.


Gabriella Reyes, nominated by The Metropolitan Opera

A current member of The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Nicaraguan-American soprano Gabriella Reyes made her Met company debut in the Summer Recital Series this past summer and recently made her house debut singing the Priestess in Aida. Reyes is currently appearing as Nella in Gianni Schicchi (Il Trittico) at the Met and will later be seen as First Lady in The Magic Flute. Highlights of last season include excerpts of Die Zauberflöte in concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Maestro Gustavo Dudamel, and her debut with the New York Choral Society for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. She was also chosen as a finalist in the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and honored earlier this year by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation with a Sara Tucker Study Grant. Reyes received her bachelor’s degree from Boston Conservatory.


Adam Tendler, nominated by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

A “remarkable and insightful musician" (LA Times), Adam Tendler is a recognized figure in new music and leading interpreter of living and modern composers. Between 2005 and 2006 Tendler appeared in all fifty states in a grassroots recital tour he called America 88x50, which became the subject of his memoir, 88x50, a Kirkus Indie Book of the Month and Lambda Literary Award nominee. Tendler has recorded performances and masterclasses for the digital music platform, Tido, collaborated with Edition Peters on a new edition of John Cage's In a Landscape, released the premiere recording of Edward T. Cone’s 21 Little Preludes, and his album, Robert Palmer: Piano Music, will appear on New World Records in 2019. He has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, (le) Poisson Rouge, The Kitchen, ISSUE Project Room, Symphony Space, Rothko Chapel, and The Broad Museum, where he co-curated a series in dialogue with Jasper Johns's Something Resembling Truth. Tendler has performed the complete major piano works of Aaron Copland and collaborates with the John Cage Trust in presenting Cage’s work internationally. He just released his second book, tidepools, in December 2018.


Sebastian Villarini-Velez, nominated by New York City Ballet

Dancer Sebastian Villarini-Velez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He began his dance training at the School for the Performing Arts in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, before studying ballet locally at the Andanza school. Villarini-Velez studied at the School of American Ballet, New York City Ballet’s (NYCB) official school, during the summers of 2008 and 2010, before enrolling as a full-time student in fall 2010. He received additional training at the Miami City Ballet School and Pacific Northwest Ballet School summer courses. In August 2012 Villarini-Velez became an apprentice with NYCB and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in August 2013. He was promoted to the rank of soloist in October 2018. Since joining NYCB, Villarini-Velez has performed featured roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Robert Binet, Peter Martins, Justin Peck, Jerome Robbins, and Peter Walker, and has originated featured roles in ballets by Kyle Abraham and Nicolas Blanc. Villarini-Velez is a recipient of the 2014 Comité Noviembre “Orgullo Puertorriqueño” Puerto Rican Heritage Award.


Eduardo Williams, nominated by Film Society of Lincoln Center

Filmmaker Eduardo Williams was born in Argentina and studied at Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires, before joining Le Fresnoy in France. Williams’s short films Could See a Puma (2011) and That I’m Falling? (2013) premiered at Cinéfondation and Director’s Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival, followed by Tôi quên r?i! (2014), which had its premiere at the Marseille International Film Festival. It was later shown at the opening night of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Art of the Real series. Retrospectives of his short films have been shown, among other places, at the Cinémathèque Française in Paris. His first feature, The Human Surge (2016) won the Filmmakers of the Present prize at the 69th Locarno Film Festival and was later shown at the Toronto International Film Festival: Wavelengths, New York Film Festival: Projections, Tate Cinema, Viennale, and Mar Del Plata International Film Festival.


Angelo Xiang Yu, nominated by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Winner of the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, violinist Angelo Xiang Yu has won the enthusiastic response of audiences worldwide for his astonishing technique, exquisite tone, and exceptional maturity. His recent and upcoming engagements include concerto performances with the Pittsburgh, Toronto, Vancouver, Colorado, North Carolina, Houston, San Francisco, and New Zealand Symphonies. He has performed in world-renowned venues such as the Konzerthaus Berlin, Paris Louvre Auditorium, Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts, Singapore’s Victoria Theatre, Oslo Opera House, Auckland Town Hall, Jordan Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Boston Symphony Hall. Yu currently performs on a 1729 Stradivarius violin. He is a member of The Bowers Program at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (formerly known as CMS Two).





The Movado Group Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of Movado Group, Inc., which is the owner of the Movado brand of timepieces. Movado has earned more than 100 patents and 200 international awards for artistry and innovation since its founding in 1881. It is a brand renowned for its modern design aesthetic and is closely associated with the fine and cultural arts, as illustrated by the Museum Dial’s inclusion in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. The Movado Museum® Watch, with its celebrated single-dot dial, is one of the most iconic dial designs of all time. Today, all Movado watches are distinguished by this legacy of design innovation and excellence.


Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers a variety of festivals and programs, including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Awards for Emerging Artists, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, LC Kids, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award–winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating more than four decades enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.


Lincoln Center has become a leading force in using new media and technology to reach and inspire a wider and global audience. Reaching audiences where they are—physically and digitally—has become a cornerstone of making the performing arts more accessible to New Yorkers and beyond. For more information, visit


Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, contact Accessibility at Lincoln Center by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 212.875.5375.

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The Movado Group Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of

the 2019 Lincoln Center Awards for Emerging Artists.


Nespresso is the Official Coffee of Lincoln Center.


NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center.


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High Resolution Images Return to Top

Yu, Angelo_headshot_2019 LC Awards
Caption: Angelo Yu
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Villarina-Velez,Sebastian_headshot_2019 LC Awards
Caption: Sebastian Villarina-Velez
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Reyes, Gabriella_Headshot_2019 LC Awards
Caption: Gabriella Reyes
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Owens, Endea_headshot_2019 LC Awards
Caption: Endea Owens
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Malouf, Nadine_headshot_2019 LC Awards
Caption: Nadine Malouf
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Fure, Ashley_headshot_2019 LC Awards
Caption: Ashley Fure
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Durham, Savannah_headshot_2019 LC Awards
Caption: Savannah Durham
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Bennett, Mikaela_headshot_2019 LC Awards
Caption: Mikaela Bennett
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Tendler, Adam_headshot_2019 LC Awards
Caption: Adam Tendler
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