2015 Marcella Sembrich International Voice Competition
Artistic Director Dr. Malgorzata Kellis 


1st Prize – Jakub Jozef Orlinski, counter-tenor
2nd Prize – Piotr Buszewski, tenor
3rd Prize – Katharine Dain, soprano
Honorary Award – Marcelina Beucher, soprano

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Out of 92 applicants, 37 contestants took part in the preliminary round of the competition on Saturday, November 7th, with 9 progressing into the final round on Sunday, November 8th at at Ida K. Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College.

This year's competition was evaluated by an exceptional jury: Charles Kellis (Juilliard, Prof. emeritus) served as Chairman of the Jury, joined by Damon Bristo (Vice President and Artist Manager at Columbia Artists Management Inc.), Markus Beam (artist manager at IMG Artists) and Dr. Malgorzata Kellis served as an Creative Director and Polish song expert. 

Press Release>


The Competition honors the great Polish soprano Marcella Sembrich Kochanska, who made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1883. After an enormously successful career, the popular singer founded the vocal programs at both the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute. Previous winners of the competition include Barbara Hendricks and Jan Opalach. 


1st stage
Application & Audio Recording Deadline
Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

2nd stage
Live Audition at Hunter College
Saturday, November 7th, 2015

3rd stage
Finals - Live Audition at Hunter College
Sunday, November 8th, 2015


One application per person. Do not submit the same claim online and by mail. Do one or the other. If you are unsure whether or not your claim was submitted electronically, please contact the Kosciuszko Foundation.

Mailed applications should be addressed to The Kosciuszko Foundation; 15 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065. 


1. The Competition is open to:

  • anyone who was born after November 6th 1980, 35 y.o. and younger
  • anyone born on or after November 6th 1997, 18 y.o. and over

Singers of any nationality are eligible to participate in the Competition.

2. Any contestant who has already been a recipient of any of the three cash awards from the Marcella Sembrich Kosciuszko Foundation Vocal Competition is excluded from further participation in this or any future Competition.

3. By Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 each contestant must submit an audio recording of his/her 10-20 minute performance, along with their application, proof of age, a head shot photo and resume.

  • recordings submitted by post must be in CD format, with the contestant's name, the recorded musical selections and the names of the composers in order of performance;
  • recordings submitted by e-mail must be in the mp3 format, with clearly submitted titles including the name of the performer in full view;
  • a youtube link will also be acceptable, as the required recording (no website links, please)

 4. By Monday, October 5th the Artistic Director will inform selected contestants regarding their status in the Competition.

5. Only the applicants who are accepted to the competition, after the preliminary recording requirement, will be required to submit the non refundable registration fee of$25.oo, payable by check, money order, online or via phone to the Kosciuszko Foundation. The registration fee must be received by the Kosciuszko Foundation by Monday, the 26th of October, 2015.

6. Submitted documents and recordings will not be returned.

7. The contestant must give signed permission to the Kosciuszko Foundation for the video recording and pictures of the final round, which may be used for future publicity purposes.

8. The Kosciuszko Foundation will provide an accompanist for all contestants. They will, however, also be allowed to bring their own pianist. If there is need for rehearsal time, the contestant may request contact information and make all arrangements with our accompanists before the competition.

9. The Kosciuszko Foundation is not responsible for covering travel or housing expenses for the contestants.

10. The competition will consist of three rounds:

  • First round: based on the submitted recording by Tuesday, September 15th, 2015.
  • Second round:  Saturday, November 7th, 2015 at Lang Hall Auditorium at  Hunter College.
  • Third round:  Sunday, November 8th, 2015 at Lang Hall Auditorium at Hunter College. Open to the public, $10, tickets available on KF website and at the door. 

11. All the repertoire must be performed from memory.

12. The monetary prizes are:
     1. $5000.00
     2. $2500.00
     3. $1500.00

13. In addition:

  • One of the winners, at the discretion of Richard Wargo, Artistic Director of the Marcella Sembrich Museum and after mutual agreement regarding the artist's fee, will have the opportunity of performing a solo recital at the Marcella Sembrich Museum, at Lake George, Bolton Landing, NY. 
  • The first prize winner as long as he or she was born after May 9th , 1983 (in order to be eligible for the age limit in Poland) will also receive a round trip from New York to Warsaw, Poland with fully paid accommodations, as long as they agree to participate and represent the Kosciuszko Foundation at The 9th International Stanislaw Moniuszko Vocal Competition at  the Warsaw National Opera between the 9th and 15th of May, 2016. In the event that the first prize winner will be too old to participate, the offer will be extended to the second prize winner. If such a situation arises, that the second prize winner is also too old, the third prize winner will then become eligible for the trip to Warsaw.
  • Age limit for Warsaw is 33 as of May 9th, 2016.
  • The prizes in Warsaw will be:

   - female category: 10.000 Euro

                                     8.000 Euro

                                     6.000 Euro

   - male category:    10.000 Euro

                                     8.000 Euro

                                     6.000 Euro

   and many more special prizes

 14. Along with the application, each contestant is required to submit:

  1. an audio recording
  2. resume
  3. copy of their Photo ID (proof of age)
  4. high resolution head shot photo

15. Contestants accepted into the competition will be required to bring five copies of their audition list upon arrival.

16. The Kosciuszko Foundation is not responsible for any legal documents for the international contestant's entry into the USA, but the participants who will be accepted for the live auditions, will be able to receive a letter from the Kosciuszko Foundation, acknowledging their participation in the competition.

17. International contestants accepted for the live auditions should bring their tax identification number from their home countries.

18. The program of music listed on the application may be changed, from the original submission, prior to the actual audition.


 1. The Competition consists of the following stages:

 1st stage:

  • Submitting recording of any repertoire (10-20 min.)

2nd stage:

  • one opera aria from the 18th century (Bach/Handel to Mozart)
  • one Romantic song
  • one 20th century song
  • one opera aria from the 20th century

 3rd stage: Finals

  • one operatic aria by a Polish Composer (with any language acceptable translation)
  • one Polish song by Karol Szymanowski performed in Polish, English or translation
  • one opera aria, other than Polish, not performed in the previous stage

2. Performance order – live audition:

  • in the 2nd stage the performance can be interrupted by the Jury. The first piece will be the contestant's choice and the second chosen by the Jury;
  • in the 3rd stage the Jury will listen to the all prepared repertoire in the order decided by the Jury.

3. All works should be performed from memory.

4. Polish songs and arias may be sung either in Polish or in any other language selected by the Participant. Szymanowski's songs are available in other languages: English, German, French, Russian. Many selections of the Polish repertoire are available on the and     Teatr Wielki – Opera Narodowa.

5. Arias must be performed in the original key.

6. Songs may be transposed.

7. The live auditions, during third stage of the Competition, will be open to the public.



Życzenia/Wunsche - Op.24 Nr - 1 Polish, German
Słowik/Die Nachtigall - Op.31 Nr 2 - Polish, German, French
Trzy pieśni do słów D. Dawidowa/Three songs with the words of D. Davidov
Wschód słońca - Op.32 Nr 1 -  Russian/ Polish
Bezgwiezdne niebo - Op.32 Nr 2 - Russian, Polish
Jesienne słońce - Op.32 Nr 3 - Russian, Polish
Pieśni Muezzina Szalonego/Songs of an Infatuated Muezzin
Allah Akbar - Op.42 Nr 1 - Polish, French, German
O, ukochana - Op.42 Nr 2 - Polish, French, German
Ledwie blask słońca - Op.42 Nr 3 - Polish, French, German
W południe - Op.42 Nr 4 - Polish, French, German
O tej godzinie - Op.42 Nr 5 - Polish, French, German
Odeszłaś na pustynię - Op.42 Nr 6 - Polish, French, German
Siedem pieśni do słów Jamesa Joyce'a/Seven songs with the words of James Joyce - English, Polish
Gentle Lady/Droga mona -Op.54 Nr 1 - English, Polish
Pieśni kurpiowskie/The Kurpia Songs
Lecioły zórazie/Reihe flogen - Op.58 Nr 1 - Polish, French, German 
Wysła burzycka/Wetter ind wind - Op.58 Nr 2 - Polish, French, German
Uwoz mamo/Mutter, schau gut an - Op.58 Nr 3 - Polish, French, German
U jeziorecka/Druben beim See dort - Op.58 Nr 4 - Polish, French, German


Halka, act 4 - Polish/Italian
Halka, act 2 - Polish/Italian
Hrabina, act 3 - Polish/Italian
Hrabina - Eva's Aria - Italian
Hanna Straszny Dwór- Polish/German
Arioso/Zelma/Casanova - Polish/German
Arioso/Caton/ Casanova - Polish/German
King Roger - Roksana's Song - Polish/German
Aria Bony/Bona's Aria - Polish
Wanda's Aria/Zamek na Czorsztynie - Polsih
Nealia's Aria/Paria - Polish


Jadwiga's Aria/Straszny Dwór - Polish/German
Bronia's Aria/Hrabina - Polish/Italian


Kazimierz/Hrabina - Polish
Kazimierz/act1/Hrabina - Polish/Italian
Stefan/Straszny Dwór/act 3 - Polish/German
Jontek's Aria/Halka/act 4 - Polish/Italian
Jontek/act 4/Halka - Polish/ Italian
Casanova/Casanova - Polish/ German
Aria Manru/act 2 - Polish/German


Janusz/Halka/act 1 - Polish/Italian
Miecznik/Straszny Dwór act 2 - Polish/German
Aria Nikita/Zamek na Czorsztynie - Polish
Marcin's Aria/Verbum Nobile - Polish


Aria/Skoluba/Straszny Dwór - Polish/German
Aria/Stolnik/Halka/act 1 - Polish/Italian
Chorąży/Hrabina/act 1 - Polish/Italian

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