Igor Gorin Memorial Award Coming Soon!

Applications open October 4th, 2022

The Igor Gorin Memorial Award was established in 1987 by Mary Gorin as a fitting way to honor the memory of her husband, Igor Gorin, a world-renowned opera singer.  This unrestricted award is given out once a year to help gifted vocalists poised to begin successful careers with expenses associated with hiring accompanists and coaches and auditioning as they transition from school into professional careers.

The 2023 award is up to $12,000 at the discretion of the adjudicating committee.

Held at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, this Fund has awarded more has awarded $358,000 to help 47 individual young artists since 1993.  Today, the Igor Gorin Memorial Award is one of the most prestigious and generous awards of its kind in the country.

Information for Applicants:

In order to apply for the award, potential applicants must meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Finalists and Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Western Region District Auditions held in Arizona, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco between 2018 and 2022.
  • Current Students and Alumni of the Merola Opera Program or an Adler Fellow of the San Francisco Opera Center between 2018 and 2022.
  • Current Student and Alumni of the LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program between 2018 and 2022.
  • Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artists Program at the Arizona Opera.

Applications must be submitted online through the Common Grant Application. New applicants will need to create an account before beginning their application. Returning applicants may log in using their previous account.

Click here for a brief tutorial on using the Common Grant Application.

Applications must be completed and submitted by December 9, 2022 at 5PM MST. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

To learn more, please contact Enedina Miller at emiller@cfsaz.org  or (520)770-0800 Ext. 7111.


Mr. Gorin was a Russian refugee who, in the late 1920’s, escaped to Vienna before immigrating to the United States. His star began to rise as a member of the Czechoslovakian Opera Company. Later, he was invited to the United States by a synagogue in Providence, Rhode Island where he assumed cantorial duties.  This was the beginning of a spectacular career in radio, film, stage and television.

Earning a reputation as the “Prince of Baritones,” Igor Gorin’s career spanned the 1930’s through the 1960’s. During WWII, he gave more of his time and talent entertaining the troops than anyone in Hollywood.  He had a personal motivation, as his father, brother and sister were in Auschwitz and Igor desperately wanted to see them freed.  Singing to the troops, he later said, was his way of saying “thank you.”

Igor and Mary Gorin retired to Tucson in 1965. Before long, then University of Arizona President Richard Harvill invited Igor to begin a second career teaching opera at the university. In working with the next generation of voices, Igor was reminded of his own early struggles to survive and launch his career.

Award Recipients

Previous Recipients

2022 Emily Blair, Simone McIntosh

2020 Christopher Oglesby

2019 Christian Pursell

2018 Stephanie Sanchez

2017 Jaqueline Piccolino

2016 Julie Adams

2015  Calvin Griffin

2014  Chris Carr

2013 Ryan Kuster

2012 Ryan Belongie, Yunnie Park

2011 Eugene Chan, Tammi Huber, Robyn Rocklein

2009 Kaitlin Bertenshaw, Tammi Huber, Seth Kershisnik, Robyn Rocklein, Dennis Tamblyn

2007 Kara Harris, Tammi Huber, Priya Palekar

2006 Deana Mireau, Christina Pier, Vanessa Salaz, April Wilde

2004 Michael Cavalieri, Priya Palekar, Chrstina Pier, Vanessa Salaz

2003 Deana Mireau, Vanessa Salaz, Todd Strange

2002 Jesus Aguirre, Jessica Deardorff, Chad Miller, Deana Mireau, Amanda Polychronis, Vanessa Salaz, Todd Strange

2001 Ilse Apestegui, Yoo Ri Clark, Jennifer Anne Cooper, Chad Miller, Vanessa Salaz

2000 Yoo Ri Clark, Deana Mireau, Vanessa Salaz

1999 Tania Beasley, Jennifer Anne Cooper, Emil Dorian Cristescu, Regina Felsing, Bridgett Hooks, Elizabeth Miller Wesley, Ralph Daniel Rawe

1998 Jennifer Anne Cooper, Bridgett Hooks, Herbert Perry, Wendi Washington-Hunt

1997 Julianne Best, Emily Dorian Cristescu, Jennifer Anne Cooper, Wendi Washington-Hunt

1996 Jennifer Anne Cooper, Karol Kazarian, Eugene Perry

1995 Donna Ames, Emily Dorian Cristescu, Korby Myrick

1994 Emily Dorian Cristescu

1993 Donna Ames, Mark Anderson, Bridgett Hooks