NATS-LA Young Artist Master Class, 2019
3:00 PM15:00

NATS-LA Young Artist Master Class, 2019

Award winners of NATS-LA YAA will participate in a masterclass with Nino Sanikidze of Los Angeles Opera.

Georgian pianist Nino Sanikidze has held the position of a Head Coach for the

Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at Los Angeles Opera since the

program’s inception in 2006. In addition to her duties with the Young Artist

Program, she often serves on LAO Music staff as a pianist and a prompter,

working closely with Plácido Domingo and James Conlon.

Outside of LA Opera, she has been engaged with such companies as Teatro

Real in Madrid, Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Royal Opera House Muscat,

Teatro Municipal di Santiago, Washington National Opera, Bard Summerscape,

Cleveland Opera, and Wichita Grand Opera. A frequent collaborator with the

Broad Stage in Santa Monica, her notable concert appearances include a recital

with tenor Marcelo Alvarez and a recital with mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca. In

addition she has performed in a recital with world-renown guitarist Angel

Romero at Palm Springs Life Festival.

Since 2008 she has been an official pianist for Placido Domingo’s World Opera

Competition Operalia. In this capacity she has performed on the illustrious

stages of Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Royal Opera House in London, Teatro

Nacional de Sao Carlos in Lisbon, National Centre for the Performing Arts in

Beijing, Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in

Los Angeles, Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara, Teatro Filarmonico in Verona,

Grand Théâtre de Québec, among others.

Dr. Sanikidze serves on a judging panels of the Metropolitan Opera National

Council auditions, Richard Tucker Music Foundations Study and Career Grant

Auditions, Marcela Sembrich International Voice Competition, Classical Singer

Convention, Music Center Spotlight Awards, and Center Stage Opera

Competition. A sought-after clinician, she has been a principal guest coach for

the USC Thornton School of Music and has conducted masterclasses at

Chapman Conservatory, Opera Santa Barbara, University of Kansas, Songfest,

Music Center Spotlight, and YoungArts Los Angeles.

Ms. Sanikidze is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Marilyn Horne

Foundation Award for Excellence in Vocal Accompanying. She received her

Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland, College Park,

and is an alumna of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington

National Opera, as well as the Music Academy of the West, Aspen Opera

Center, Cleveland Art Song Festival, and SongFest.

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NATS-LA Young Artist Competition, 2019
1:00 PM13:00

NATS-LA Young Artist Competition, 2019

  • Biola Conservatory of Music (Crowell Music Building) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The purpose of the Young Artist Auditions of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS/LA) Gwendolyn Roberts Young Artists Auditions is to select those singers whose artistry and ability indicate that they are ready for a professional career.  The winner will demonstrate exceptional artistry and ability which include differentiation of musical style and languages, vocal and physical expressivity that sets them apart from their peers.

How to Apply:

  1. Complete application form available at 

  2. The application must be postmarked or e-mailed by Saturday, March 30, 2019.

  3. A non-refundable fee of $30.00 is required

Complete information and application available here

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NATS-LA Young Artist Winner Joel Balzun, baritone in recital
3:00 PM15:00

NATS-LA Young Artist Winner Joel Balzun, baritone in recital

  • California Heights Methodist Church (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Joel Balzun, baritone
Kevin Garnica, pianist

General Chapter Meeting at 3pm and recital to follow

Baritone and composer Joel Balzun holds a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Jan Opalach and Benton Hess. Since graduating from Eastman, he has augmented his studies as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Centre and as a Young Artist with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, where he was a pupil of Jane Eaglen in the Mastersingers Project for Young Dramatic Voices.

At this recital, Mr. Balzun will be premiering a new work by pianist Kevin Garnica, O Magnet-South. This piece was a finalist in the 2018 NATS Art Song Competition.

Mr. Balzun made his solo debut at the Kennedy Centre in 2014, singing excerpts from Turandot. At Tanglewood, Mr. Balzun sang alongside Stephanie Blythe in a concert of American song, and Dawn Upshaw and Sanford Sylvan in Shostakovich's brooding Symphony No. 14. Other past appearances include the title role in Don Giovanni, the Four Villains (Les contes d'Hoffmann), Prince Yeletskiy and Count Tomskiy (Pikovaya Dama), Schaunard (La bohème), Albert (Werther), Belcore (L'elisir d'amore), Dr. Malatesta (Don Pasquale), and Valentin (Faust), among others. His acclaimed performance of Johannes-Passion with the Rochester Bach Festival was broadcast multiple times across the United States.

An avid proponent of the music of living and contemporary composers, Mr. Balzun won critical acclaim for his portrayal of the titular Joseph de Rocher in the South Florida premiere of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking with Miami Music Festival. He worked with the composer on this work, as well as the role of Charlie in excerpts from Three Decembers. On the concert stage, he has championed rarely-performed works such as George Rochberg's String Quartet No. 7, as well as Peter Maxwell Davies' virtuosic Eight Songs for a Mad King, and numerous performances of Biola faculty member Robert Denham's Sutter Creek, among others.

Also an accomplished composer, Mr. Balzun was a multiple prize-winner in the 2017 SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers. Other accolades include winning the Dallas Wind Symphony’s annual Call for Fanfares, and both the Young Composers Prize and the Grand Prize in the National Broadcast Orchestra’s Galaxie Rising Star Composers’ Competition. His music has been performed across the Americas as well as in Asia.

Upcoming engagements include both La traviata and his role debut as "Marcello" in La bohème with Pacific Opera Project, among others. An enthusiastic teacher, Mr. Balzun currently serves on the voice faculties of Biola University and Fullerton College. For more information, visit

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Winter Symposium: Deborah Voigt - Rescheduled
9:30 AM09:30

Winter Symposium: Deborah Voigt - Rescheduled

  • Lansing Recital Hall Crowell Music Building, Biola University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Masterclass with Deborah Voigt
Tribute to Jane Paul-Hummel

NATS-Los Angeles is extremely pleased to announce the clinician for our Winter Symposium. World renowned singer and recitalist, soprano Deborah Voigt, will be our guest artist on Saturday, May 12, 2018. The newly refurbished Lansing Recital Hall in the Crowell Music Building at Biola University will be the setting for the day’s activities from 9:30am-5pm.

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YAA Masterclass
3:00 PM15:00

YAA Masterclass

  • Pasedena City College Harbeson Hall (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

A masterclass for winners of our Gwendolyn Roberts Young Artist Auditions. Master class clinician will be Ken Cazan, stage director and chair of Vocal Arts Dept, University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music.

The winners are:

1st - Joel David Balzun (self-sponsored)

2nd - Erin Alford (studies with Shigemi Matsumoto)

3rd - Alex Collado (studies with Janelle DeStefano)


You may purchase daily parking permits for $2.00 a day from the yellow parking permit machines located on every level of the parking lots throughout the main and CEC campuses. All daily parking permit machines accept credit cards, coins and $1 bills.

Visit to see available parking lots. Those marked as student lots are open to daily permits. Harbeson Hall is marked with HH at the top of the map.

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Grant Deadlines
12:00 AM00:00

Grant Deadlines

Teacher Grants

The NATS-LA Teacher Professional Development Grant was established to encourage chapter members to continue their pedagogical education or to assist them in their own specialized vocal training.

Student Grants

The purpose of the Student Summer Study Award is to encourage especially worthy students of NATS-LA Chapter members to participate in summer music programs. Awards of up to $1000 may be given to high school or college students to be applied toward tuition and/or travel costs.  All applicants must present proof of admittance to their chosen program.

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Fall Symposium: Ann Baltz
9:00 AM09:00

Fall Symposium: Ann Baltz


9 a.m. Registration, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Program
Location, TBD

ANN BALTZ is Founder and Artistic Director of OperaWorks, the nationally acclaimed performance training program, and has been recognized as one of the leading opera educators in America today.  She conducts master classes, workshops and residencies on performance trainingand improvisation at prestigious institutions nationwide.

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