Athens, Ga. – The first University of Georgia Performing Arts Center Prize was recently awarded at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. UGA Performing Arts Center Director Timothy A. Bartholow presented the prize to mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, a Texas native who received her bachelor’s degree from Rice University and her master’s degree from the Juilliard School. Cooke has already performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center and has appeared at the Aspen and Ravinia summer festivals. She has also performed with Seattle Opera and is scheduled to appear with New York’s Metropolitan Opera.
Young Concert Artists was founded in 1961 by Susan Wadsworth, wife of UGA alumnus Charles Wadsworth. YCA’s mission is to discover and launch the careers of extraordinary young musicians from around the world. Winners of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions are chosen on the basis of exceptional musicianship, virtuosity, artistic individuality, projection as a performer and promise. Each first prize winner joins the roster of Young Concert Artists for three or more years of management services, national concert engagements, educational outreach and career guidance.
The UGA Performing Arts Center has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Young Concert Artists, having presented more than 50 of its rising stars on the popular Ramsey Concert Hall Series since 1996. In addition, the Performing Arts Center offers educational residencies with many YCA artists, taking the musicians into public schools throughout the state for arts education as well as offering master classes for UGA music students.
As recipient of the first University of Georgia Performing Arts Center Prize, Cooke will appear on the Performing Arts Center’s Ramsey Concert Hall Series in the 2007-2008 season.