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IU Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Monday, May 1, 2006

IU voice alumnus Lawrence Brownlee wins 2006 Richard Tucker Award

May 1, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Jacobs School of Music alumnus Lawrence Brownlee has been named the 2006 winner of the Richard Tucker Award. The honor, given to just one singer in the United States each year, includes a prize of $30,000. Previous winners include some of the world's most renowned opera stars, including Renée Fleming, Paul Groves, Deborah Voigt, Stephanie Blythe and David Daniels.

Brownlee is the first African American to win the prize. He was also recently named the winner of the 2006 Marian Anderson Award.

Lawrence Brownlee

Print-Quality Photo

Brownlee, a tenor, graduated from IU with a master's degree in music in 2001, the same year he won the Metropolitan Opera Council National Audition award. Throughout his four years at IU, he studied with Chancellor's Professor of Music Costanza Cuccaro. Since then, his career has traversed some of the most important opera houses in the world. His upcoming engagements include performances with La Scala, The Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Palau des Arts de Valencia, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Semperoper in Dresden, Seattle Opera, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Vienna State Opera and the New National Theatre in Tokyo.

"Winning the Richard Tucker Award has been one of my dreams for a long time. I am humbled and honored," Brownlee said, adding that he is grateful to his teachers at the Jacobs School of Music, including faculty members Cuccaro, Gary Arvin, Imre Palló, Edwin Penhorwood and Paul Biss, as well as the late Virginia Botkin.

Cuccaro credited her pupil's success to his intelligence, talent and dedication to his craft, as well as his belief in the value of constant learning. She said he has made regular visits to Bloomington for voice lessons, even after his meteoric rise in the professional world. "He has tremendous integrity, a great character and a great sense of humor. Everybody loves him," she said.

Cuccaro also believes the environment at the Jacobs School allowed Brownlee to flourish. She said, "There is no doubt that the mixture of a conservatory atmosphere, the largest collegiate opera theater program in the country and the IU academic environment helped propel Larry into his very exciting career."

About the Richard Tucker Award

The winner of the Richard Tucker Award is selected by conferral rather than by audition. This prestigious award carries not only the name of Richard Tucker and a cash prize of $30,000, but also a stellar list of past recipients. The operative guideline for the Richard Tucker Award has always been that it goes to an American singer poised for the start of a major national and international career. The award recognizes and honors both the accomplishments and the potential of such an artist. In addition to the unrestricted cash grant, the winner has the opportunity to appear on the annual RTMF Opera Gala, in concert with many of the profession's major stars. The gala is broadcast live on WQXR in New York City and is taped for telecast nationally by the Public Broadcasting Service.