S&R Foundation Announces 2014 S&R Washington Award Winners

January 15, 2015

Promising Artists will be formally recognized at May 30 S&R Washington Awards Gala at Halcyon House in Georgetown.

WASHINGTON – January 15, 2015 – S&R Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports talented individuals with high aspirations in the arts, sciences, and social entrepreneurship, today announced the winners of the 2014 S&R Washington Award – including one Grand Prize winner.

This year’s recipients will be officially honored at the S&R Washington Awards Gala on Saturday, May 30 at Halcyon House, in Washington, DC.

“Our goal with the S&R Washington Award is to honor highly talented individuals who display outstanding ability and artistic excellence, and to support those who contribute to an international cultural dialogue that is a key component of S&R Foundation’s core mission,” said Dr. Sachiko Kuno, CEO and President of S&R Foundation. “The 2014 Award winners are dynamic artists who are engaged with their communities and with audiences worldwide. We applaud their drive and aspirations and are proud to support them towards the next steps in their creative development.”

The S&R Washington Award recipients for 2014 are:

  • Nabil Shehata (Grand Prize Winner) – Growing up in Germany, Shehata began piano lessons at six and double bass three years later, winning several international competitions and honors through the years. Having received early encouragement from Daniel Barenboim, Shehata was named principal double bassist of the Berlin Philharmonic at the age of 27. Known for his warmth of tone and sheer virtuosity on the instrument, Shehata has performed as a concerto soloist with many leading orchestras from around the world. Recently he has turned towards conducting with the same vigor and musical maturity that characterizes his playing, and since 2011 he has been principal conductor of the Munich Chamber Orchestra. Shehata is particularly committed to supporting young artists, and as a pedagogue he has been active in giving regular master classes throughout Europe and in Israel and Japan. His teaching positions have included the Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and a professorship at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. In 2015, Shehata will conduct in Berlin, Tokyo and Washington, DC – where he will lead S&R Foundation’s Evermay Chamber Orchestra as they accompany The Washington Ballet’s performances of Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center.
  • Tamás Krizsa - Krizsa graduated from the Hungarian Dance Academy with honors, following a scholastic career in which he received numerous prestigious international scholarships. Currently in his seventh season with The Washington Ballet, he has performed leading roles with Columbia Classical Ballet, Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre, Budapest Ballet and Ballet Theater Hagen. He has earned numerous awards throughout his career, most recently receiving a Gold Medal in duets and a Silver in choreography at the VKIBC. Krizsa is increasingly being recognized as a promising choreographer who has produced exciting new work for the ballet that has been championed by TWB’s Artistic Director, Septime Webre.
  • Erzhan Kulibaev – Winner of five first prizes in prestigious international violin competitions and several additional honors over the past decade, Kulibaev has performed as a soloist with a wide array of orchestras throughout Europe, the U.S. and Asia. He has also earned acclaim performing at several European Festivals, establishing himself as a significant voice in classical music. A highly gifted violinist, Kulibaev is on the cusp of an extraordinary international career and the Washington Award will bring him to DC audiences for the first time.
  • Huanhuan Ma – A soprano from Chongqing, China, Huanhuan Ma earned her Bachelor’s Degree at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, and completed her Masters of Music and Graduate Performance Diploma programs at Peabody Conservatory on full scholarship. Noted for her beautiful, full lyric soprano voice, Ma is currently a resident artist at Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, and has performed in Switzerland, Panama, Costa Rica, Columbia, Japan and the United States. Ma won Second Prize at the Madama Butterfly International Competition in Nagasaki, Japan, 2011. She is also the First Prize and Director’s Grand Prize winner of the 26th Annual Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition in 2014.
  • Michael Mizrahi – Pianist Mizrahi has won acclaim for his compelling performances of a wide-ranging repertoire and his ability to connect with audiences of all ages and cultures. He has appeared as concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and teaching artist across the U.S. and abroad, and performed in the world’s leading concert halls, and with major orchestras. A member of Carnegie Hall’s prestigious Academy program and Teaching Artists Collaborative, Mizrahi is an enthusiastic arts advocate and educator dedicated to forging an integrated role for classical music in communities around the world.

Washington Award winners each receive a $5,000 prize to support their emerging careers. Grand Prize winners, receive an additional $5,000 prize.

The S&R Washington Awards Gala will take place at Halcyon House on Saturday, May 30 beginning at 7pm. Individual tickets are $550, with a signature sponsorship level at $20,000. For more sponsorship levels, contact Kate Goodall at 202-298-6007. Please visit www.WashingtonAwards.org for additional information and to purchase tickets.

About S&R Foundation

S&R Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created in 2000 to support talented individuals with great potential and high aspirations in the arts, sciences and social entrepreneurship, especially those who are furthering international cultural collaboration. Contributions to S&R Foundation go directly to funding its mission. Overhead and general operational costs are covered by founders' contributions and use of existing assets. For more information, visit www.SandRFoundation.org.

Media Contact

Kerry Lynn Bohen … 703.533.4823

Sage Communications (for S&R Foundation)