2019 saw Patricia Nolz become the first woman to win the CARSA as a vocalist. It was the seventh awarding of this EUR 10,000 prize that helps support promising artists studying at the mdw as they start their professional careers.
On 14 November 2019, the CARSA jury—headed by the violinist and former Vienna Philharmonic chairman Clemens Hellsberg—named Patricia Nolz the winner of the present academic year’s competition. The 25-year-old mezzo-soprano began her advanced training in the mdw’s preparatory programme and continued in the BA programme in voice under Claudia Visca, from which she graduated with honours in 2019. Since March 2019, she has been studying for her master’s degree in lied and oratorio with Florian Boesch as well as in voice, again with Claudia Visca. In 2017, Patricia Nolz placed second at the international Osaka Music Competition in Japan and won both the 2nd prize and the Audience Prize at the competition held by the Friends of the Vienna State Opera. In addition to numerous guest appearances so far in Austria, Germany, Israel, Luxemburg, Italy, and Japan, she was seen and heard in the role of Cherubino on the stage of Schlosstheater Schönbrunn in the mdw’s March 2019 production of Le nozze di Figaro. And since October 2019, Nolz has also been a recipient of a scholarship from the Anny Felbermayer Fund. The final round of CARSA also featured cellist Mislav Brajković and soprano Theodora Raftis. Brajković, who has been studying cello with Reinhard Latzko since October 2014, received the EUR 5,000 2nd prize. And Raftis, who won the EUR 2,500 3rd prize, has been studying voice in the MA programme with Christoph U. Meier, Reto Nickler, and Claudia Visca.
The previous winners of the main prize were Raffaele Giannotti (bassoon, 2013), Emmanuel Tjeknavorian (violin, 2014), Katharina Hörmann (oboe, 2015), Marko Dzomba (saxophone, 2016), Simply Quartet (string quartet, 2017), and Maximilian Kromer (piano, 2018).