Igor never forgot his early struggles to survive and launch his career; consequently, his family established this award at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona as a fitting way to honor his memory by providing opportunities for aspiring vocalists.

For gifted vocalists poised to begin successful careers, flying from city to city to audition and hiring accompanists and coaches is expensive. The award money is unrestricted and may be used for coaching, travel, clothing, living costs, and audition expenses.

The next nominations will open in the fall of 2024!

Questions? Contact our Community Impact Team at community@cfsaz.org or by phone at 520-770-0800.


Mr. Gorin was a Russian refugee who, in the late 1920s, 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 1930s through the 1960s. 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, 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 early struggles to survive and launch his career.

Application Information

Applicant Criteria
Eligibility Requirements
  • Finalists and Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Western Region DISTRICT Auditions held in Arizona, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco between 2019 and 2023.
  • Current students and Alumni of the Merola Opera Program or an Adler Fellow of the San Francisco Opera Center between 2019 and 2023.
  • Current students and Alumni of the LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program between 2019 and 2023.
  • Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artists Program at the Arizona Opera.
  • Applicants must NOT be under contract
Important Dates

The next nominations will open in the fall of 2024!

To Apply

A completed online application, which includes the following:

  1. A high-quality YouTube video (or videos) of the applicant. The recording must meet the following requirements to be considered by the adjudication panel:
    • One contrasting brief arias with piano accompaniment only.
    • The performances should be within the last 12 months.
    • Performances must be in the studio. Stage performances will not be accepted.
    • The total running time for the aria must not exceed 5 minutes.
  2. Submit your current resume or CV in PDF format, including the following:
    • Education History
    • Recent operatic roles (year performed, role/opera, language, company, city)
    • Other operatic roles
    • Other facts you consider pertinent (awards, etc.) and dates
  3. Headshot and permission for the Community Foundation to use the photograph you provide.

All applications must be submitted through an online process with Common Grant Application. We strongly encourage you to review the tutorial video, which contains important information on how to register/log in and submit an application.  To view the video: click here.

  • First-time users of the Common Grant Application, click here to register for an account.
  • If you have already applied for a grant using the Common Grant Application, you should have an account. Returning users click here.
Past Award Recipients

2024: Adia Evans | Watch the Tribute Video Here

2023: Maggie Reneé

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