2012 Fellows Profiles

Paul Appleby, tenor
An exciting and versatile talent, tenor Paul Appleby earned an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at The Juilliard School, a master’s degree from Juilliard, and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and in Music from the University of Notre Dame.  He completed his formal training in the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. He is a National Winner of the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a recipient of a 2009 Sara Tucker study grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, the 2012 Top Prize by the Gerda Lissner Foundation, and the 2012 Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center. He had the lead role in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2013-14 new production of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, and the role of Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with Oper Frankfurt. He returned to the Met in December 2014 in Wagner’s epic comedy Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and in the lead role of Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. He has performed in numerous concerts, recitals, and music festivals. Click here for more information on Paul Appleby.
Eric Berryman, actor
A graduate with University and College Honors of Carnegie Mellon University, Eric also received the John Arthur Kennedy Award for Acting. In his freshman year, he traveled to Japan to participate in an intense puppetry workshop. Three years later, he was the first student at the School of Drama to spend a semester at the Korea National University of Arts in Seoul. An appointment as a Resident Company Member of Everyman Theatre provided Eric with valuable performing experience in several different productions, including a featured role in Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog, a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, and one of the lead roles in the play Fly, a tribute to the experiences of the African-American pilots in World War II, collectively known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Eric also traveled to Australia to work with the renowned Physical Theater Company Zen Zen Zo and performed as Jason in the Greek tragedy Medea.  He appeared in Barry (2016), a look into the early life of U.S. President Barack Obama, Empathy Inc. (2017), currently in post-production, and After Louie (2017) with Alan Cumming.  Eric received a 2016 Princess Grace Honoraria in Theater.
Austin Durant, actor
A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Austin earned recognition for stage acting that is precise, surprising and mature. He performed in the award-winning ensemble production of War Horse at Lincoln Center Theater and in two shows at Yale Repertory Theatre: a new play, American Night and, in the role of Horatio, a production of Hamlet starring Paul Giamatti. In 2014, he was cast in the new Broadway production of You Can’t Take it with You, starring James Earl Jones.  He also appears in the film Sam & Julia (2017), currently in post-production.
Sullivan Fortner, jazz pianist
Building on his first-rate background in music education and training, including a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and graduation with distinction from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, jazz pianist Sullivan Fortner used his Fellowship to study with several “jazz icons” and to tour with the Roy Hargrove/Roberta Gambarini Quintet as well as his own trio.  He also explored the music and culture of other countries (India, Brazil and Ghana), fusing  these influences into a sound which is uniquely his own.  In 2014, he used Fellowship resources to record an EP (short recording) which he submitted to various jazz clubs in New York and abroad.  He also sent a copy to the American Pianists Association Cole Porter Fellows Competition and was accepted as one of the five finalists for the prestigious award. On March 28, 2015, Sullivan Fortner won the American Pianists Association’s Jazz Fellowship Awards and was named their 2015 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz. In 2015, Sullivan released his debut CD Aria (Impulse Records), and in 2016, he was invited to perform at the Newport Jazz Festival.  Sullivan will begin touring in spring 2017 with Cécile McLorin Salvant, John Scofield, and the Sullivan Fortner Trio. Click here for more information on Sullivan Fortner.
Devon Guthrie, soprano
Soprano Devon Guthrie suggested that the mantra for this new chapter in her life is “Leap and the net will appear.” With the welcome net of the Fellowship, she took the leap from her structured life as a student — having earned a Bachelor’s degree at Manhattan School of Music, Master’s in Music degree and Artist Diploma in Opera Studies from The Juilliard School — to work intensively on establishing her career. The Fellowship has allowed her to continue working on technique and to benefit from specialized coaching. She stepped into the limelight in 2011 when she made an acclaimed debut as Susanna in a new English National Opera production of Le Nozze di Figaro.  Since then, she has appeared in productions at New England Conservatory and Tanglewood, Opera Philadelphia, New York Philharmonic, and Santa Fe Opera. She used her Fellowship resources to travel to auditions, prepare for new roles, create a website, and fulfill other professional needs.   Click here for more information on Devon Guthrie.
Alex Lawrence, baritone
As a baritone, Alex’s rise in the musical world has been gradual, steady and measured. To be sure, he expects to continue his gradual career trajectory, counting on the time which is required for the maturation of his voice and artistry. Yet the Fellowship term also signaled his entry into a series of increasingly valuable artistic and professional experiences that will build on the foundations he established during his four-year artistic residency at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and his membership in the studio ensemble of Theater Basel in Basel, Switzerland. In fall 2013, Alex moved to Zurich to join the ensemble of the Zurich Opera. He returned to the renowned Glimmerglass Festival in July 2013 to sing the title role in Verdi’s King for a Day.  In 2014, he was one of forty opera singers worldwide who was invited to participate in the annual Operalia competition, founded by Placido Domingo.  He is set to play Figaro in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro for Vancouver Opera. For more information on Alex Lawrence, click here.
Jeraldine May Mendoza, principal
The Joffrey Ballet welcomed Jeraldine into the company for its 2011-12 New Generation season and she has already made her mark in leading roles, including the world premiere of the Joffrey’s Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, and the North American premiere of Infra. The young prima ballerina danced principal roles in many performances for the Joffrey, including Interplay, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, and Lilac Garden. After completing her training at City Ballet School of San Francisco, primarily under the artistic direction of Galina Alexandrova, she became the first American female in the history of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s 236-year history to graduate with honors in a Russian course. As a Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellow, Jeraldine studied in San Francisco with Ms. Alexandrova, in Moscow with ballet mistress Margarita Sergeevna Drozdova, and in London and Paris with contemporary master Antoine Vereecken. Jeraldine also continued her training at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography. She worked with Yuri Possokhov to create and choreograph an original ballet that was performed at the Joffrey’s 2014 annual Gala.  In May 2015, she adorned the cover of Dance Magazine’s first international issue.
Bryce Pinkham, actor
Within a few weeks of his nomination for the Fellowship, Bryce Pinkham was appearing as one of the four leads in the Broadway production of the London musical Ghost. He co-starred on Broadway in the 2014 Tony Award-winning musical comedy A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Bryce’s performance was recognized with a Tony nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.  He also received a 2014 Drama Desk Award nomination. Previously, he performed at Yale Repertory Theater, The Guthrie Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, and Hartford Stage, and he worked in high profile projects such as Horton Foote’s Orphans’ Home Cycle and the Broadway production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Bryce believes that his mission as an artist is continued growth; accordingly, the Fellowship has provided him with opportunities to take advanced training in physical comedy, additional technical training for the stage, and on-camera study for films and television.  In 2016, he was the lead actor in Holiday Inn, an Iving Berlin musical on Broadway, and a member of the cast of the PBS series Mercy Street.  In spring 2017 he co-starred in the Chicago Lyric Opera’s production of My Fair Lady.
Michelle Ross, violinist and composer
Trained as a violinist with Itzhak Perlman since the age of twelve, Michelle also holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. She received a Master’s of Music degree from The Juilliard School in May 2012. With her Leonore Annenberg Fellowship, she studied and perfected two monumental works — all six Unaccompanied Partitas and Sonatas of J. S. Bach, and Bela Bartok’s Solo Sonata.  Her debut CD of the complete Sonatas and Partitas of J.S. Bach was released by Albany Records. She expects to complete recordings of her own compositions.  She will follow the two releases with “Discover Bach” concerts in New York and other cities.  She also plans to launch a new chamber music series in New York in collaboration with Grand Central Atelier art school in Long Island City.  She is a founder of the Music in the Mountains festival in Utah.  Click here for more information on Michelle Ross.
Eric Tamm
A native of San Francisco, Eric began his dance training with tap and jazz. His ballet training began at age 14 at the Irine Fokine School of Ballet (2000-2003). After further training with American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company (2004-2007), he was invited to join the main company (corps de ballet) in 2007. Eric designated a portion of his Fellowship funds for acting lessons, which enabled him to step back from the technique of ballet and delve more deeply into the emotions and mannerisms of the characters he portrays.  He also created a dance film, titled  On a Grass Field, which had its premiere at the 2014 Chain New York City Film Festival.  With three former dance colleagues, Eric founded Ballet Mentor, a new online mentorship program for dancers.
Latest News

Violinist Michelle Ross is on a 33 day performance project throughout the five boroughs of NYC. She is performing J. S. Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, every day in a different location, in free pop up concerts. Follow her journey, blog, and find pop up schedule here. [audio m4a="http://www.leonoreannenbergscholarships.org/wp-content/uploads/01-Preludio-12_8.m4a"][/audio]

Violinist Michelle Ross on October 8, 2015