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Hildegard Zadek Foundation

Scholarships

Foundation and funding

In addition to the Voice Competition and its prizes, the Foundation awarded scholarships to young singers who would soon be graduating. The aim was to help them enter professional life, e.g  by defraying the cost of travel to auditions.

Clearly, this transition is becoming increasingly difficult, and in response to the changing circumstances, the Hildegard Zadek Foundation is adopting a new orientation: Starting in 2021, instead of the International Hilde Zadek Competition, the Foundation will award grants that are directly linked to a place in the opera studio of a major international opera house.

The first scholarship holder of the new era is Anna Nekhames. Her scholarship is for a place at the Opera Studio of the Vienna State Opera.

I was incredibly happy to win first prize in the International Hilde Zadek Singing Competition; it was motivating, inspiring and encouraging. I would like to thank the Hilde Zadek Foundation from the bottom of my heart for their great support for my musical and artistic development. Participating in the Opera Studio at the Vienna State Opera is a very important and valuable stage in my musical education. Here, I can learn and practice a wide range of skills: musical, vocal, stylistic, phonetic and scenic.

As part of the opera studio, I had numerous master classes and lessons with such wonderful musicians as Michael Kraus, Linda Watson, Daniela Fally, Adrian Eröd, Bo Skovhus, Camilla Nylond, Louise Alder, Helmut Deutsch.

During the last season, I appeared on the stage of the Vienna State Opera as Vertraute (Elektra, R. Strauss) and as Second Flower Girl (Parsifal, R. Wagner); at the Volksoper Wien, I performed as Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute, W.A. Mozart) and Morning Bird (Leyla and Medjnun, D. Glanert). I have also sung in various Opera Studio concerts.

I am so grateful that the Hildegard Zadek Foundation is sponsoring my place at the Opera Studio this season! I am working with great enthusiasm and hope to do justice to the confidence placed in me. I would be very happy if I could invite the members of the foundation to one of my performances.”

Anna Nekhames

Over the first twenty years, the Foundation awarded twenty-four scholarships:
 

Evgeni Niznajesh

Leandro Fischetti

Irene Wallner

Taylan Memioglu

Eva Maria Riedl

Karin Shifrin

Yael Levita

Marc Kugel

Ekaterina Isachenko

Jingging Li

Thomas Tatzl

Flaka Goranci

Andrej Nevyantsev

Simone Hirsch

Monika Bohinec

Kai Kluge

Carina Schmieger

Flurina Stucki

Konstanze Kirsch

Larissa Wäspy

Sophia Mara

Langliang Zhao

Xiang Xu

 

I had the great fortune to meet Hilde Zadek through my vocal professor Maria Venuti, when I was studying at the HfM Karlsruhe. We were able to work with her in our singing class on several occasions and benefitted from her incredible musicality and experience. Each of these encounters was of special value to me, shaped me and helped me to grow, both as an artist and as a person. Her top priority was always that a singer must sing from the heart in order to be able to convey emotions. This is something that accompanies me and that I aspire to every day in my professional life.

I am very proud to have been awarded a scholarship from the Hildegard-Zadek-Foundation in 2016! The financial support enabled me to travel and participate in many auditions and competitions. In addition, I won two special prizes at the Hilde Zadek Competition in Vienna in 2017, where I came to the attention of my current agent. She helped me to get my present engagement at the Stuttgart State Opera and to participate in the Young Singers Project at the 2018 Salzburg Festival, all of which, and more, probably wouldn't have happened without the HZF competition.

There is a moment I will never forget: my professor Maria Venuti and I were sitting in the classroom listening to a recording of Hilde Zadek ́s rendition of Marietta's song (from Korngold's Die tote Stadt). The recording moved us both to tears. Hilde Zadek was an incredible singer and artist, and a true inspiration to me.

Carina Schmieger

At the end of my studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe in the summer of 2018, I was one of the last to receive a scholarship from the Hildegard Zadek Foundation, personally awarded by Mrs. Zadek herself. The name Hildegard Zadek had been known to me for a long time. I first encountered her through my research into Menotti's The Consul, as I was preparing a scene for the final exam of my master's degree in vocal pedagogy in Basel. Hilde had sung the role of Magda Sorel in the Vienna premiere. As a student in Karlsruhe, I didn't know for some time who this lady was, who was always sitting in on our classes, until a fellow student told me. I wouldn't have dared to speak to her, and to be selected by her for a scholarship on the basis of an audition was and is therefore an even greater honour for me.

First and foremost, the scholarship enabled me to be more relaxed about planning trips that were important for my further development as a singer. After my studies, my path initially took me to the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where I performed for one season on a scholarship from the Manfred Strahscheer Foundation. As early as October 2018, I was able to make my debut as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, staged by Roland Schwab. This was followed, in June 2019, by the leading role in a world premiere (Delirio), penned by Lebanese composer Zad Moultaka and presented at the Tischlerei, the small house of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In the following season (19/20), I was accepted into the solo ensemble. In addition to roles such as the First Lady in Mozart's TheMagic Flute, Berta in Rossini's Barber of Seville and Anna in Verdi's Nabucco, in February 2020, I was able to successfully make my debut as Konstanze in Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio. Further highlights for the coming season include Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte) and Leonore in Beethoven's Leonore (the early version of Fidelio) and further performances as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.

I am very grateful to the Hildegard Zadek Foundation for its support at the beginning of my singing career; especially in the transitional phase from student to opera singer, the scholarship gave me the financial backing to meet essential professional expenses.

Flurina Stucki

My name is Kai Kluge. I am a 30-year old tenor and have been a member of the Stuttgart State Opera ensemble since the 2017/18 season. It was a great honor for me to meet Hildegard Zadek during my studies. I will never forget how intently and perceptively she listened, when I auditioned for a scholarship from your foundation. The scholarship was a great help to me at the time, as it gave me financial leeway and time to audition. For many singers, the transition from learning to performing is not easy. A few years ago, I found a recording of Hilde Zadek singing the aria "Dich, teure Halle" from Tannhäuser that moved and impressed me profoundly. It is not only my favorite recording of this aria, but much more besides.

Kai Kluge

Meeting Hilde Zadek was a very great and impressive experience. I had already heard the name in China, and when I got the opportunity to apply for a scholarship in 2018, I naturally seized it with immense gratitude. Being awarded a scholarship made me very happy. To meet such a great artist, who has invested so much in the future of young singers and provided them with help and encouragement, is something I will always remember.

With the scholarship, I could take time to work with répétiteurs and plan trips to introduce myself to theatres, without worrying about travel expenses. In 2018, I had a good guest contract at the Rossini Festival in Bad Wildbad.

Today, I hold a position as voice professor at Yangda University in Shandong, China. Our second child was born in Sept. 2019 in China. My connection with the Rossini Festival in Wildbad is very good, and there is a great interest in young Chinese singers. I am continuing to build my solo career in China and Germany.

Thank you very much for all the help I had through the scholarship.

Xu Xiang