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Schwab Vocal Rising Stars

Steven Blier, Artistic Director

Sunday March 13, 2022 @ 3:00pm

$30, $40 / Free for ages 18 and under

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Sunday March 13, 2022 @ 3:00pm

Love Songs in 176 Keys: 4 hands, 4 voices, 4 cultures 

The 2022 Schwab Vocal Rising Stars perform love songs from Spain, Germany, France, and America; each chapter begins with a virtuoso duo-piano overture and features music by Montsalvatge, Dvořák, Poulenc, Bizet, Milhaud, Sondheim, and many others. The annual Schwab Vocal Rising Stars program features four young singers and a pianist selected by Artistic Director Steven Blier for a week-long residency at Caramoor. The week includes daily coaching, rehearsals, and workshops, culminating in this performance featuring the results of their intensive work.

Tap here to view all of Steven Blier’s blog posts from this past week of rehearsals.

Tap here to read more about the program and view alumni.


Meredith Wohlgemuth, soprano
Natalie Lewis, mezzo-soprano
Cesar Andres Parreño, tenor
Seonho Yu, baritone
Francesco Barfoed, piano


Steven Blier, Artistic Director
Bénédicte Jourdois, Associate Director




Slavonic Dance #1, Opus 46  
From Liebeslieder-Walzer, Opus 52  
Rede, Mädchen  
Ein Kleiner, hübscher Vogel  
Vögelein durschrauscht die Luft  
Sieh, wie ist die Welle klar  
Nachtigall, sie singt so schön  
Nicht wandle, mein Licht 
Es bebet das Gesträuche   



Le Bal
Pleurs d’or    
La javanaise
Tu vois le feu du soir 
Caramel mou  



Paisatge de Montseny 
Al val de Fuenteovejuna  
Después que te conocí 
Cómo quieres que adivine 
Caballero del alto plumero, from Luisa Fernanda 



Bess, You Is My Woman Now
Merritt Parkway
Make the Man Love Me 
Pretty Women
What You Don’t Know About Women

Please note: All audience members for this concert must wear a mask and show proof of vaccination. To learn more about our Health & Safety policies, please click here

About the Artists

The Mentors

Steven Blier, Artistic Director
Steven Blier is the Artistic Director of the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS), which he co-founded in 1988 with Michael Barrett. Since the Festival’s inception, he has produced more than 150 vocal recitals with repertoire spanning five centuries of art song and popular song, including commissioned works by Ned Rorem, William Bolcom, and many others. New York Magazine gave NYFOS its award for Best Classical Programming, while Opera News proclaimed Blier “the coolest dude in town.”

Blier’s recital partners have included Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Samuel Ramey, Susan Graham, Jessye Norman, Julia Bullock, and Paul Appleby, in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to La Scala. He is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School, and has been a guest teacher at the Wolf Trap Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera, Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, and the San Francisco Opera Center.

Among Blier’s wide-ranging recordings are the premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles (Koch International), which won a Grammy Award; and Spanish Love Songs (Bridge Records) with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Joseph Kaiser, and Michael Barrett. His latest releases are on NYFOS Records, which released its first album (From Rags to Riches, with Stephanie Blythe and William Burden) in January of 2022.

A native New Yorker, Blier received a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in English Literature at Yale University, where he studied piano with Alexander Farkas.

Bénédicte Jourdois, Associate Director
A graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera, Bénédicte Jourdois is currently on music staff at the Metropolitan Opera and on faculty at the Juilliard School.

Jourdois has performed in numerous venues in Europe and in the United States, including Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. 

As a coach and pianist, she has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Chicago Lyric Ryan Opera Center, Pittsburgh Opera, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Saratoga, Rice University, the Chautauqua Institution voice program, the Castleton Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Carnegie Hall’s SongStudio. She was a faculty member at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia from 2013 to 2016 and at the Manhattan School of Music from 2011 to 2018.

Born in Paris, Jourdois holds degrees from the Conservatoire National de Region de Saint-Maur, the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Lyon, Mannes College, and the Juilliard School. 

The 2022 Schwab Vocal Rising Stars

Meredith Wohlgemuth, soprano
Soprano Meredith Wohlgemuth recently completed her Master of Music in Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School and continues to study with Marlena Malas. In October 2021, Wohlgemuth was a winner in the New York District in the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition, and she was also a finalist in the Young Concert Artists International Competition. In the 2020 – 21 season, she performed Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel with Chautauqua Opera, and she was a Resident Artist at Opera Naples where she performed Annina in Verdi’s La Traviata and Francisca in Bernstein’s West Side Story. In 2020, Wohlgemuth was a recipient of the Novick Career Advancement Grant and the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund Grant. During the pandemic, she premiered various new works virtually and became a member of TOE (That One Ensemble), which writes and performs new music for various nonprofit organizations in New York City.

Natalie Lewis, mezzo-soprano
Lauded for her “velvet mezzo-soprano sonic cushion” (San Diego Story), Natalie Lewis has dazzled audiences with her portrayal as The Dragonfly in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilège, The Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro. Lewis has participated in numerous summer young artist programs including Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artists’ Vocal Academy, Opera Neo, and the American Institute for Music Studies in Graz, Austria. She recently graduated with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) under the tutelage of William Hite. There, she received both the Howard Lebow Award for Excellence in Vocal Performance as well as the Dorothy Ornest Award for success in academics. Lewis is a first-year Masters student at Juilliard studying with Betsy Bishop and is a proud Kovner Fellow.

César Andrés Parreño, tenor
Tenor César Andrés Parreño is a native of Manabí, Ecuador. In 2016, Parreño performed as a soloist with the University of Cuenca’s Orchestra and with Guayaquil’s Symphonic Orchestra. In early 2020, Parreño made his Peter Jay Sharp Theater soloist debut as part of the New York Festival of Song’s NYFOS@Juilliard with Steven Blier, and has performed in two other NYFOS concerts since. In 2021, Parreño made his Juilliard Orchestra soloist debut with Stravinsky’s Pulcinella conducted by Barbara Hannigan. This season, Parreño performed his Peter Jay Sharp Theater opera debut as Momo in Luigi Rossi’s L’Orfeo and as Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. Parreño is a first-year graduate student in Darrell Babidge’s studio at Juilliard and has the distinction of being the first Ecuadorian to ever attend the institution. 

Seonho Yu, baritone
Baritone Seonho Yu, from Seoul, South Korea, is currently pursuing his Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School, studying with Marlena Malas. In previous seasons, Yu performed the role of Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at Chautauqua Institution and in a Liederabend hosted by The Juilliard School. He is a graduate of the Seoul National University (Bachelor of Music 2017) and Indiana University South Bend (Performer Diploma 2021). He has also been awarded prizes in the International Joseph Haydn Competition, Seoul Orchestra Competition, Italian Art Song Competition, Classical Music Magazine Competition, and Gimpo Philharmonic Orchestra Competition.

Francesco Barfoed, piano
Danish pianist Francesco Barfoed currently studies at The Juilliard School, where he is a proud recipient of the Kovner Fellowship. Barfoed frequently collaborates with mezzo-soprano Megan Moore. In the past year, the duo won first prize in the Copenhagen Lied-Duo Competition 2021, first prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and second prize at the Naumberg International Vocal Competition, and they performed at Lincoln Center’s renowned Alice Tully Hall.  Barfoed is on the coaching faculty at Saluzzo Opera Academy in Italy and teaches sight-reading for pianists at Juilliard. 

Barfoed is a passionate promoter of cultural exchange between Denmark and the United States. His studies in the U.S. have been supported by several prizes and scholarships from organizations such as the Denmark-America Foundation and the Victor Borge Scholarship. He holds Italian citizenship and, aside from being fluent in Danish, Italian, and English, he is conversant in German and French.