2009 Laurie Coon Foundation Scholarship announcement
Posted on 3 June 2009
Young baritone awarded top scholarship
Well known Hawkes Bay baritone Phillip Rhodes, has been named as the winner of the 2009 Laurie Coon Foundation Scholarship in Singing. The scholarship which carries a cash prize of $10,000, is sponsored by the Laurie Coon Foundation and presented by the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation.
The scholarship will enable Phillip to continue his study at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice. He is currently studying at the Academy with a small number of exceptional international singers at the early- professional stage, selected and recruited globally, to develop and polish their talent to the highest professional standards.
Announcing the scholarship, Dame Catherine Tizard, Deputy Chair of the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, said the review panel had a difficult task because the standard of this years’ applicants was very high.In several cases, said Dame Catherine, singers were outstanding both in quality of voice and in musical communication. She said ‘it was a great pleasure for both foundations to provide the catalyst for Phillip to continue his very special study programme which will undoubtedly boost his focus on an international career’.
Commenting on the result the scholarship review panel said it was.a very difficult decision. “There were two outstanding candidates for the scholarship and at least one other singer with a voice of great potential. In the end the ‘X’ factor kicked in with Phillip being the possessor of an outstanding and rare type of voice with ample range, power and lovely dark quality – potentially Verdi baritone plus a great deal of personal charisma and musicianship”
“In addition to a voice of very special beauty and size, and which has developed considerably over the past two years, Phillip also brings a powerful and charismatic emotional and dramatic commitment to his performances”
Phillip Rhodes, who was the winner of the Lexus Song Quest in 2007, said he was “absolutely overjoyed and honoured to be the recipient of the 2009 Laurie Coon Scholarship. It will further create the opportunity to concentrate solely on my studies at the Academy. I realise the exceptional talent of all the applicants and I am very humbled to be the recipient. Many thanks to Laurie Coon for his generosity and to the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundaton for their tireless efforts in helping young singers”.
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