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Luminarts Cultural Foundation announces 2022 Classical Voice Fellows

Luminarts Cultural Foundation |

Denis Vélez, 2022 Luminarts Cultural Foundation Voice Fellow, sponsored by Dr. Sally Metzler and George Dunea, MD

Ian Koziara - 2022 Luminarts Cultural Foundation Classical Voice Fellow

More than $2 million in direct funds have been bestowed upon Chicago-based artists since 2012.

Awe-inspiring artists like the 2022 Luminarts Classical Voice Fellows exemplify Chicago as a world-class cultural hub and destination. Empowering these musicians to flourish is top priority.”
— - Jason Kalajainen, Luminarts Cultural Foundation Executive Director
CHICAGO, IL, USA, May 3, 2022 / -- Luminarts Cultural Foundation (Luminarts) is thrilled to announce vocalists Ian Koziara as the 2022 Classical Voice Fellow and Denis Vélez as the 2022 Luminarts Cultural Foundation Voice Fellow, sponsored by Dr. Sally Metzler and George Dunea, MD. Two $15,000 Fellowships are awarded each year to one vocalist in Men’s Classical Voice and in Women’s Classical Voice.

A Luminarts Fellowship provides long-standing support, as well as exclusive access to top-tier professional and creative resources. Fellows are eligible for additional project grants for 10 years, along with continued lifelong nurture and encouragement.

Chicago native Ian Koziara believes the city’s culture is largely responsible for molding him as an artist, both as a young soprano with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and throughout his career transition to a tenor soloist in European Opera Houses. Mr. Koziara was a member of The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program for three years, where he worked with momentous conductors including Marco Armiliato and Bertrand de Billy. His performances have earned him world-renowned praise. His recent portrayal of Fritz in Franz Schreker’s Der Ferne Klang was described in Germany’s most widely read newspaper, Wiesbadener Tagblatt, as “so strong that one is amazed how naturally a sense of beauty and despair can go hand in hand.”

"Luminarts Cultural Foundation allows its Fellows the financial stability to take on exciting and meaningful engagements. I'm hoping to record a new album of early-20th century German Lieder and the Luminarts Fellowship allows me to focus on fulfilling this dream." - Ian Koziara, 2022 Luminarts Cultural Foundation Classical Voice Fellow.

Originally from Mexico, Denis Vélez came to Chicago in 2020 with dreams of being an international operatic singer. Ms. Vélez, a second-year Ryan Opera Center soprano, is a national winner of the 2020 Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition, the French Opera Award and the prestigious Francisco Araiza Special Award. Last spring she sang in the Harris Theater’s Beyond the Aria series alongside Joyce DiDonato and appeared in several Lyric Opera of Chicago’s virtual programs in 2020 and 2021.

“A Luminarts Cultural Foundation Fellowship gives me the economic support to continue training and the privilege to obtain a permanent residence in the United States and be much closer to achieving my goal. I am certain I am in the right place to achieve my dream.” - Denis Vélez, 2022 Luminarts Cultural Foundation Voice Fellow, sponsored by Dr. Sally Metzler and George Dunea, MD

Ryan Arnold
DeSoto & State Communications, Inc.
+1 312-600-7380