Walter W. Naumburg Foundation

The Walter W. Naumburg Foundation sponsors competitions and provides awards for young classical musicians in North America. It was founded in 1925 by Walter Wehle Naumburg, a wealthy amateur cellist and son of noted New York City music patron and philanthropist Elkan Naumburg. Elkan Naumburg, owner of the eminent Wall Street bank E. Naumburg & Co., founded the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts in 1905. The Concerts were originally performed at the Bandstand on the Concert Ground of New York's Central Park, and starting in 1923 were performed in the Naumburg Bandshell at the same location.

The Naumburg Competition is one of the oldest and most prestigious music competitions in the world. The website San Francisco Classical Voice writes that "the Naumburg Competition has one of the best track records of selecting young musicians who, in short order, build significant careers".[1] The first competition was held in 1926. In an open audition format, pianists, violinists, and cellists were all eligible to compete. In 1928 it was expanded to include vocalists. The prize included cash awards and the opportunity to play concerts in New York's Town Hall, which virtually insured reviews by New York's most influential music critics. In 1946, Aaron Copland and William Schuman joined the Naumburg Foundation board of directors, and shortly afterwards the Foundation began awarding composers with recording projects. In 1961, the format of the competition was changed into a professional competition with a single winner, for one particular discipline. In 1965, the competition was expanded to include chamber music ensembles.

Since the early 1970s, the Naumburg Competition has generally rotated three different categories - piano, strings, and voice - on a triennial basis (although there have also been competitions for flute, clarinet, and classical guitar). Winners receive a cash prize and two recital appearances in Alice Tully Hall. Other opportunities include a recording project, a commission (to be premiered in one of the Alice Tully Hall recitals) and many performance opportunities throughout the United States.

Previous winners of the International Naumburg Competition include Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Elmar Oliveira, Dawn Upshaw, Robert Mann, Leonidas Kavakos, and Harvey Shapiro. Winners of the Chamber Music Award include the American, Brentano, Miro, and Muir string quartets, and the Eroica Trio.

List of Past Winners of the International Naumburg Competition

Catherine Wade-Smith, violinist
Adeline Masino, violinist
Bernard Ocko, violinist

Phyllis Kraeuter, cellist
Margaret Hamilton, pianist
Sonia Skalka, pianist

Dorothy Kendrick, pianist
William Sauber, pianist
Sadah Schwartz-Shuchari, violinist
Daniel Saidenberg, cellist
Julian Kahn, cellist

Adele Marcus, pianist
Helen Berlin, violinist
Louis Kaufman, violinist
Olga Zundel, cellist
George Rasely, tenor
August Werner, baritone

Helen McGraw, pianist
Ruth Culbertson, pianist
Mila Wellerson, cellist
Louise Bernhardt, contralto

Lillian Rehberg Goodman, cellist
Marguerite Hawkins, soprano
Edwiria Eustis, contralto
Kurtis Brownell, tenor

Milo Miloradovich, soprano
Foster Miller, bass-baritone
Dalies Frantz, pianist
Huddie Johnson, pianist
Inez Lauritano, violinist

Catherine Carver, pianist
Harry Katzman, violinist

Joseph Knitzer, violinist
Ruby Mercer, soprano

Benjamin De Loache, baritone
Judith Sidorsky, pianist
Aniceta Shea, soprano
Harvey Shapiro, cellist
Florence Vickland, soprano
Marshall Moss, violinist

Frederick Buldrini, violinist

Jorge Bolet, pianist
Ida Krehm, pianist
Pauline Pierce, mezzo-soprano
Maurice Bialkin, cellist

Carroll Glenn, violinist

Mara Sebriansky, violinist
William Home, tenor
Zadel Skolovsky, pianist
Gertrude Gibson, soprano

Abbey Simon, pianist
Harry Cykman, violinist
Thomas Richner, pianist

William Kapell, pianist
Robert Mann, violinist
Lura Stover, soprano

Jane Rogers, contralto
Annette Elkanova, pianist
David Sarser, violinist

Dolores Miller, violinist
Constance Keene, pianist
Ruth Geiger, pianist

Jeanne Therrien, pianist
Jean Carlton, soprano
Carol Brice, contralto

Jane Boedeker, mezzo-soprano
Paula Lenchner, soprano

Leonid Hambro, pianist
Jeanne Rosenbium, pianist
Anahid Ajemian, violinist

Berl Senofsky, violinist
Abba Bogin, pianist
Jane Carlson, pianist

Sidney Harth, violinist
Paul Olefsky, cellist
Theodore Lettvin, pianist

Lorne Munroe, cellist

Angelene Collins, soprano
Esther Glazer, violinist
Betty Jean Hagen, violinist
Margaret Barthel, pianist

June Kovach, pianist
Laurel Hurley, soprano
Joyce Flissler, violinist

Diana Steiner, violinist
Yoko Matsuo, violinist
Lois Marshall, soprano

Gilda Muhlbauer, violinist
Lee Cass, bass-baritone
Georgia Laster, soprano

William Doppmann, pianist
Jean Wentworth, pianist
Jules Eskin, cellist
Martha Flowers, soprano

Ronald Leonard, cellist
Mary MacKenzie, contralto
Nancy Cirillo, violinist

Donald McCall, cellist
Wayne Connor, tenor
George Katz, pianist

Regina Sarfaty, mezzo-soprano
Angelica Lozada, soprano
Michael Grebanier, cellist

Joseph Schwartz, pianist
Shirley Verrett, mezzo-soprano
Elaine Lee, violinist

Howard Aibel, pianist
Sophia Steffan, soprano
Ralph Votapek, pianist

Joseph Silverstein, violinist

Werner Torkanowsky, conductor

Elizabeth Mosher, soprano

Jorge Mester, conductor

Kun-Woo Paik, pianist
Zola Shaulis, pianist

Robert Davidovici, violinist

Edmund LeRoy, baritone First Prize
Barbara Hendricks, soprano Second Prize
Susan Davenny Wyner, soprano Third Prize

André-Michel Schub, First Prize
Edith Kraft, Second Prize
Dickran Atamian, Third Prize

Piano: Dickran Atamian, pianist
Voice: Clamma Dale and Joy Simpson, sopranos (co-winners)
Violin: Elmar Oliveira, violinist

Nathaniel Rosen, First Prize
Thomas Demenga, Second Prize
Georg Faust, Third Prize

Carol Wincenc, First Prize
Marya Martin, Second Prize
Gary Schocker, Third Prize

Peter Orth, First Prize
Miryo Park, Second Prize
Panayis Lyras, Third Prize

Faith Esham, soprano
Irene Gubrud, soprano
Jan Opalach, bass-baritone
Lucy Shelton, soprano

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

Colin Carr

Thomas Riebl

Stephen Hough, First Prize
David Allen Wehr, Second Prize
William Wolfram, Third Prize

Carmit Zori, Second Prize
Ian Swenson, Second Prize (co-winners)

Dawn Upshaw, soprano, First Prize
Christopher Trakas, baritone, First Prize

Charles Neidich, First Prize
John Grey, Second Prize
Daniel McKelway, Third Prize

Andrés Diáz, First Prize
Truls Mørk, Second Prize
Peter Wiley, Third Prize

Anton Nel, First Prize
Andrew Wilde, Second Prize
William Wolfram, Third Prize

Leonidas Kavakos, First Prize
Peter Winograd, Second Prize
Peter Matzka, Third Prize

Stanford Olsen, tenor, First Prize
David Malis, baritone, Second Prize
Marietta Simpson, mezzo-soprano, Third Prize

Hai-Ye Ni, First Prize
Gustav Rivinius, Second Prize
Marius May, Third Prize

Misha Amory, First Prize
Paul Coletti, Second Prize
Roberto Diáz, Third Prize

Awadagin Pratt, First Prize
Mikhail Yanovitsky, Second Prize
Alan Gampel, Third Prize

Tomohiro Okumura, First Prize
Yehonatan Berick, Second Prize
Michael Shih, Third Prize

Theresa Santiago, soprano, First Prize
Leon Williams, baritone, Second Prize
Christópheren Nomura, baritone, Third Prize

Jorge Caballero, First Prize
Jason Vieaux, Second Prize
Kevin Gallagher, Third Prize

Steven Osborne, First Prize
Anthony Molinaro, First Prize (co-winners)

Axel Strauss, First Prize
Jasmine Lin, Second Prize
Jennifer Frautschi, Third Prize

Stephen Salters, baritone, First Prize
Randall Scarlata, baritone, Second Prize
Hyunah Yu, soprano, Third Prize

Clancy Newman, First Prize
Li Wei Qin, First Prize (co-winners)

Gilles Vonsattel, First Prize
Konstantin Soukovetski, Second Prize
Lev Vincour, Third Prize

Frank Huang, First Prize
Ayano Ninomiya, Second Prize
Sharon Roffman, Third Prize

Sari Gruber, First Prize
Thomas Meglioranza, Second Prize
Tyler Duncan, Third Prize
Amanda Forsythe, Honorable Mention

David Carpenter, First Prize
Eric Nowlin, Second Prize
Jonah Sirota, Third Prize
David Kim, Honorable Mention

David Requiro and Anita Leuzinger, First Prize Winners
Sebastien Hurtaud, Third Prize Winner
Saeunn Thorsteindottir, Zara Nelsova Prize
Umberto Clerici, Honorable Mention
David Eggert, Honorable mention

Soyeon Lee, First Prize
Alexandre Moutouzkine, co-Second Prize
Ran Dank, co-Second Prize
Christopher Guzma, Honorable Mention


  1. Serinus, Jason Victor (2010-12-28). "The Naumburg Comptetition: Formula One for Finding Talent".
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