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Randolph A. Frank Prizes Awarded Honoring Those Enriching the Quality of the Performing Arts in Palm Beach County

May 17, 2022

Cellist Claudio Jaffé, Alexander W. Dreyfoos School Dean of the Music DepartmentStefanie Katz Shear and King’sAcademy Director of Instrumental Arts Wesley Lowe, Jr. named as winners


WestPalm Beach, Fla. (May4, 2022) – Two impactful instrumental music educators and a cellist the NewYork Times has described as “an elegant and accomplishedartist” will share a total of $10,000as recipients of this year’s prestigious Randolph A. Frank Prizes thatrecognize performing artists and educators who enrich the quality of the performing arts in Palm Beach County.


CellistClaudio Jaffé is recognized as the winner of the performing artist category.Honored in the category of performing arts educator is Stefanie Katz Shear, deanof the music department and director of piano studies at the Alexander W.Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Wesley Lowe, Jr., director of instrumental arts atThe King’s Academy, is named the emerging arts educator prize winner.  


Palm Beach Symphony has managed and hosted thenomination process and award presentation since 2019. The awards werebestowed at the final after-concert dinner of the 2021-2022 season. All threewinners were an integral part of the season finale celebration as Katz Shear’spiano students performed in the lobby at the Kravis Center prior to the concert,Lowe’s jazz quintet from The King’s Academy performed at the dinner and Jaffé performed on stage as principal cellist with Palm BeachSymphony.


Aresident of West Palm Beach, Jaffé has performed throughout the community as acello soloist, chamber musician and orchestra player reaching thousands ofpeople of all ages and all walks of life. In addition to Palm Beach Symphony,he is also principal cellist of the Florida Grand Opera, cellist of the DelrayString Quartet and resident conductor of the Florida Youth Orchestra for morethan 20 years. Jaffé also serves the community as a regular performer at theOsher Lifelong Learning Institute at FAU in Boca Raton, presenter of lecture-recitalsat the Cox Science Center and Aquarium and the Max Planck Florida Institute forNeuroscience, performer at the Norton Museum of Art and the Mandel PublicLibrary of West Palm Beach, and has participated in hundreds of Palm BeachSymphony classroom coachings and workshops in area schools. Jaffé founded thestrings program at Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton. In addition toperforming, he teaches at Palm Beach Atlantic University and previously servedas Dean of the Lynn University Conservatory of Music where he established its preparatorydivision.


KatzShear, a resident of Jupiter, has served in her current role for 13 yearsgiving direction to hundreds of Dreyfoos student musicians and directing themto greater futures in music Known for building a rigorous music theory program,she worked closely with the college board to develop AP music theory materialsthat prepare students for top music conservatories, resulting in anextraordinary record of students scoring the highest possible grade on theannual test. As director of piano studies, her students perform throughout theschool year in a variety of recitals, working as solo artists as well ascollaborating with fellow Dreyfoos music students. Her piano students havegraduated and gone on to attend esteemed universities and conservatoriesthroughout the world. Katz Shear has also coached numerous artists while servingfor successive seasons as a rehearsal pianist for the Masterworks Chorus of thePalm Beaches and as an accompanist for Palm Beach Opera Studio. In addition,she served as adjunct professor of tonal harmony as well as a staff accompanistand vocal coach at Palm Beach Atlantic University for nine years.


Named the director of instrumental arts at The King’s Academy in2019, Lowe has been recognized by the school with the Teacher Excellence Awardand Bright Idea Award, and received national recognition as a quarterfinalistfor the 2022 Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY®Museum. Lowe extended the school’s instrumental music education program to 4thgrade students thereby doubling enrollment. His students have received manyhonors including the student jazz ensemble (Improvisational Excellence Awardfrom the 2018 Essentially Ellington Festival, Sweepstakes Award winner at the 2019Atlanta Southern Star Music Festival), Symphonic Band (Grand Champion title atthe 2019 Atlanta Southern Star Music Festival), and the Middle School and HighSchool Concert Bands (Best Sounding Bands honors at Festival Disney in 2018).The marching band program is also gaining national recognition throughperformances with the Miami Heat and Miami Marlins as well as in Walt DisneyWorld parades. A resident of Jupiter, Lowe was also named Palm Beach Symphony’sInstrumental Music Teacher of the Year in December 2021.


The Randolph A. Frank Prize was established in 2009 by Nancy and Jay Parker, longtime friendsof Dr. Randolph A. Frank, who was an avid patron of the arts. They created theprize with founding chairman Steven Caras, acclaimed dancer, dance educator andphotographer.


All established and emerging individuals who regularly perform or engagein performing arts education in Palm Beach County are eligible forconsideration for the prize. PalmBeach Symphony creates a panel of judges for each category comprised of expertsin those areas who are often located outside of South Florida to ensure thereis no bias in evaluating each nomination’s merits. Nominations for the2023 Randolph A. Frank Prize will open December 1, 2022 and applicationcriteria will be available at www.PalmBeachSymphony.org.



Palm Beach Symphony isSouth Florida’s premier orchestra known for its diverse repertoire andcommitment to community. Founded in 1974, this 501(c)(3) nonprofit artsorganization adheres to a mission of engaging, educating, and entertaining thegreater community of the Palm Beaches through live performances of inspiringorchestral music. The orchestra is celebrated for delivering spiritedperformances by first-rate musicians and distinguished guest artists.Recognized by The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County with a 2020 Muse Awardfor Outstanding Community Engagement, Palm Beach Symphony continues to expandits education and community outreach programs with children’s concerts, studentcoaching sessions and master classes, instrument donations and free publicconcerts that have reached more than 56,000 students in recent years.  Formore information, visit www.palmbeachsymphony.org.

Photography by Capehart Photography

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