June 24, 2008

Winners of Cash Prizes Totaling $252,000 Announced for Jose Iturbi Music Competition Presented By Cunard Line

SOUTHAMPTON, England, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The recipients of cash prizes totaling $252,000 for The Second Annual Jose Iturbi International Music Competition at UCLA -- the highest cash prizes of any piano and singing competition worldwide -- were announced Friday, June 20 (Vocal) and Saturday, June 21 (Piano) at Schoenberg Hall.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080623/LAM080)

Thirty year-old Soprano Angela Meade earned the competition's $50,000 First Place Vocal prize by wowing the audience and judges with her dazzling programme which included Pensar en el by Arrieta, Estrellita by Ponce and Verdi's Pace, pace mio Dio. Currently a resident artist at Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts, Ms. Meade has collected top prizes from many national and international competitions and is looking forward to future debut engagements with the Dallas Opera and Teatro alla Scala plus several projects with The Metropolitan Opera.

Hailing from the Ukraine and Germany, 26 year-old Mariya Kim's performance was equally stunning, earning her the $50,000 First Place prize in the Piano competition with a programme that featured Navarra by Albeniz, Gershwin's Prelude No. 3 from Three Preludes (1926) and Rachmaninoff's Moments Musicaux, Op. 16 (No. 3 in B Minor, No. 5 in D flat Major and No. 4 in E minor). Kim just returned from Seoul, Korea, having won First Place in the 2008 Seoul International Music Competition. Among her many top competition prizes, she won First Place in the "XVII Concorso Internationale per Pianoforte e Orchestra Citta di Cantu" (Italy), and was a prize winner of the Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Italy -- both in 2007.

   The remaining winners of the week-long Vocal competition were:       $25,000 Second Prize -         Andrew Garland, 31, USA       $15,000 Third Prize -          NaGuanda Nobles, 31, USA       $3,000 Spanish Prize -         Andrew Garland, 31, USA       $3,000 American Prize -        NaGuanda Nobles, 31, USA       $3,000 President's Prize -     Jamilyn Manning-White, 23, USA       $3,000 People's Choice -       Rodell Rosel, 32, Philippines/USA     The remaining winners of the week-long Piano competition were:       $25,000 Second Prize -         Anastasia Markina, 29, Russia/USA       $15,000 Third Prize -          Tommaso Cogato, 27, Italy;       (three-way tie)                Stepan Simonian, 26, Russia/Germany;                                      Chetan Tierra, 24, USA       $3,000 Spanish Prize - (tie)   Mariya Kim, 26, Ukraine/Germany;                                      Anastasia Markina, 29, Russia/USA       $3,000 American Prize -        Yevgeniy Milyavskiy, 23, Belarus/USA       $3,000 President's Prize -     Margarita Muzychenko, 22, Russia       $3,000 People's Choice -       Chetan Tierra, 24, USA    

"The talent of this year's competitors was staggering," said Donelle Dadigan, president of the Jose Iturbi Foundation. "Our finalists are truly destined for superstardom. Interest in the final rounds was so intense that hundreds of people lined up in hope there would be last minute cancellations."

Six finalists received cash prizes of $2,000 in addition to the $1,000 received by each of the 12 semi-finalists.

In addition to cash prizes of $50,000, the First Place winners will present a Cunard Command Performance(TM) aboard Queen Mary 2 during the April 26, 2009, Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton, England.

Also during the voyage, Donelle Dadigan will be joined by members of the esteemed judging panel to present a series of classical music discussions and Q&A's in association with Cunard Insights(TM), the line's award-winning Guest Enrichment Programme. Guests sailing on this voyage will also hear from the winners about their experiences as young musicians competing to win the world's only weeklong competition that adds features of "American Idol" to the world of classical music. Highlights of the 2008 Competition will be broadcast via Cunard's onboard stateroom television system.

"We look forward to welcoming Angela Meade and Mariya Kim aboard Queen Mary 2 to present a very special Cunard Command Performance(TM) for our guests," said Carol Marlow, president and managing director of Cunard Line. "Their exclusive appearance will surely be a memorable highlight of the voyage," Marlow added.

Photos and biographies of the winners can be viewed at http://www.joseiturbifoundation.org/. In addition to presenting sponsor Cunard Line, sponsors of the 2008 Jose Iturbi International Music Competition include Alliance Bank, The Beverly Hilton, Fields Pianos and The Luxe Hotel.

About Cunard Line

Cunard Line, operator of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, QE2 and Queen Victoria has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries and the epitome of British refinement since the company's first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840. Cunard voyages bring together like-minded travelers who relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service(TM), fine dining, sophisticated adventure, the legacy of historic voyages and transatlantic travel.

Cunard Line is a proud member of World's Leading Cruise Lines. The exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, member lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. Together they offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations.

About The Jose Iturbi Foundation

Created in 1985 by Donelle Dadigan and Marion Seabury, The Jose Iturbi Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to continuing the legacy of concert great Jose Iturbi, and to fulfill his desire of bringing to the public's attention today's greatest emerging classical pianists and vocalists. The foundation's goal is to globally expand the passion for classical music through dynamic competition and compelling live performance. The competition distinguishes itself by giving the largest cash prizes ($50,000 each) for first place winners for solo piano and voice in the world. Last year, the foundation gave away $268,000 in prize money for the winners of The Jose Iturbi International Music Competition.

One of the greatest concert pianists of his time, Jose Iturbi was also a composer, conductor and performer of international acclaim who starred as himself in seven MGM musicals including "Anchors Away" (1945) starring Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly. He was the first classical musician to receive a Gold Record representing record sales in excess of one million and receive a star on the world-famous Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame. Iturbi felt that classical music should be a more recognizable part of everyone's entertainment. It was his hope that through live concerts, motion pictures, recordings, international competitions, and public forums, a larger number of people would learn to love classical music and attend live concert performances. For rules and regulations on The 2008 Jose Iturbi International Music Competition, go to http://www.joseiturbifoundation.org/. Ticket requests are available online for the public to attend all rounds of the competition on a first come first served basis.

Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080623/LAM080AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN15PRN Photo Desk, [email protected]

Cunard Line

CONTACT: Jackie Chase, +1-661-753-1035, [email protected], or BrianO'Connor, +1-661-753-1060, [email protected], both of Cunard Line; orMichael Russell of The Michael Russell Group, +1-310-939-9024,[email protected], for the Jose Iturbi Foundation

Web site: http://www.joseiturbifoundation.org/