Lembit Beecher, Composer / Performer
Grand Prize

Lembit Beecher is the 2015 Washington Award Grand Prize Winner. Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for his “hauntingly lovely and deeply personal” music, and by The New York Times for his “alluring, emotive” work, Lembit Beecher recently completed a three-year term as the inaugural composer-in-residence of Opera Philadelphia.

Lembit Beecher is the 2015 Washington Award Grand Prize Winner. Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for his “hauntingly lovely and deeply personal” music, and by The New York Times for his “alluring, emotive” work, Lembit Beecher recently completed a three-year term as the inaugural composer-in-residence of Opera Philadelphia. Of Estonian heritage, he grew up under the redwoods in Santa Cruz, California. He has since lived in Boston, Houston, Ann Arbor, Berlin, New York and Philadelphia, earning degrees from Harvard, Rice and the University of Michigan. This peripatetic background has made him particularly sensitive to place, ecology, memory, and the multitude of ways in which people tell stories. 

Many of Lembit's recent projects involve the incorporation of untraditional elements into operatic form, working with baroque instruments, electronic sounds, animation, new technologies, and devised theatre actors. In 2015 he received a major grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage to develop and produce "To Hide in a Tree of Sound," a chamber opera for singers, string quartet, and a large music-generating sculpture, built in collaboration with architects and engineers at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University's ExCITe Center. Lembit has been in residence at the MacDowell Colony, Copland House, Penn Museum, Scrag Mountain Music, and University of Michigan's Institute for the Humanities.

For more information about Lembit's music, visit his website here

Luosha Fang, Violin

A winner of Astral’s 2013 National Auditions, violinist Luosha Fang made her concert debut at the age of eight, in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3. She has premiered and recorded George Tsontakis’ double violin concertoUnforgettable for the Albany Symphony Orchestra, and also premiered Chinese composer Shen Yiwen’s violin concerto Mulan with the American Symphony Orchestra, under Leon Botstein.

A winner of Astral’s 2013 National Auditions, violinist Luosha Fang made her concert debut at the age of eight, in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3. She has premiered and recorded George Tsontakis’ double violin concertoUnforgettable for the Albany Symphony Orchestra, and also premiered Chinese composer Shen Yiwen’s violin concerto Mulan with the American Symphony Orchestra, under Leon Botstein. A winner of Astral’s 2013 National Auditions, she has been a regular guest artist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and was recently featured as soloist with the Louisville Orchestra in “Autumn” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. In April 2016, she appears with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra in Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47. Also upcoming, she appears in recital at Bard College, performs a commissioned work by Michael Djupstrom for solo violin, and presents a concert of solo violin works by Jeffrey Mumford at Spectrum NYC. Ms. Fang was awarded the Silver Medal at the prestigious 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, as the first violinist of the Chimeng Quartet, for whom she is also a founding member. The quartet has also performed Takuma Itoh’s Concerto for String Quartet with the Albany Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared at the Library of Congress, Italy’s Incontri in Terra di Siena Chamber Music Festival, the Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Society of Reading, Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute for Young Artists, and the Marlboro, Aspen, Kneisel Hall, Music from Angel Fire, Norfolk Chamber Music, and Bard festivals. Ms. Fang came to the U.S. from China in 2005 on a Distinguished Scholarship in Classical Violin, to further her studies at the Bard College Conservatory of Music. After graduating from Bard with degrees in both Violin Performance and Russian Studies, she attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where she received a Diploma in 2014. She has also studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.

Jorge Mañes Rubio, Mixed media (Sculpture, Photography, Installation)

Jorge Mañes Rubio is a young Spanish artist based in Amsterdam. He graduated in Design Products from the Royal College of Art London in 2010, where he confirmed his indefatigable desire to travel beyond the usual scopes of design. In 2014 he obtained the prestigious TED fellowship. 

Jorge Mañes Rubio is a young Spanish artist based in Amsterdam. He graduated in Design Products from the Royal College of Art London in 2010, where he confirmed his indefatigable desire to travel beyond the usual scopes of design. In 2014 he obtained the prestigious TED fellowship. When he’s not illegally manufacturing unique souvenirs at the top of the Eiffel Tower or chasing lunar meteorites in remote areas of the south of Japan, he’s traveling along the Yangtze River looking for the remains of the cities flooded by the Three Gorges Dam Project.

To discover more about Jorge’s work visit www.seethisway.com

Jonathan Wintringham, Saxophone

“A major force in the saxophone world” (American Record Guide), internationally acclaimed saxophonist and recording artist Jonathan Wintringham has given recitals, masterclasses and residencies throughout the United States, Canada, China, England, Japan and Mexico. An advocate of contemporary music, he has contributed to the addition of over thirty new works for saxophone.

“A major force in the saxophone world” (American Record Guide), internationally acclaimed saxophonist and recording artist Jonathan Wintringham has given recitals, masterclasses and residencies throughout the United States, Canada, China, England, Japan and Mexico. An advocate of contemporary music, he has contributed to the addition of over thirty new works for saxophone, including collaborations with composers Michael Djupstrom (2013 S&R Washington Award Grand Prize), Marc Mellits, Steven Bryant, and many more. Wintringham has received first place awards in more than twenty competitions, and was a winner of Astral Artists’ 2013 National Auditions. He has performed alongside many world-renowned musicians, and given guest artist recitals and masterclasses at numerous institutions, including the Eastman School of Music, the London College of Music (England), and the Xinghai Conservatory (China). He was the first featured artist at the Zennor Music Series in Cornwall, England, and the first classical saxophonist to be featured on American Public Media’s Performance Today: Young Artists in Residence.