2023 Igor Gorin Memorial Award

Since 1993, the Igor Gorin Memorial Award has awarded $358,000 to help 47 individual young vocalists at the start of their operatic career. 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 in 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 2023 award is up to $12,000 at the discretion of the adjudicating committee.

To apply for the Igor Gorin Memorial Award, applicants must meet one of the following 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 students 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.
  • Applicants must NOT be under contract

Candidates must submit the following to be considered for the Igor Gorin Memorial Award:

  1. A completed online application, which includes the following:
  2. A high quality You Tube 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 studio. Stage performances will not be accepted.
    • The total running time for the aria must not exceed 5 minutes.
  3. 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
  4. Headshot and permission for the Community Foundation to use the photograph you provide.

Important Dates:
Applications open: October 4th, 2022
Applications due:  December 9th, 2022 by 5:00 pm MST.  Late or incomplete applications will not be considered

Applications for the 2023 Igor Gorin Memorial Award are now closed.

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.


Contact Enedina Miller at emiller@cfsaz.org or 520-209-1525.

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