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Tenor Bergsvein Toverud ’19 wins top prize at national competition

Bergsvein Toverud, a 2019 Furman University music education graduate, has won first prize in the Advanced Classical Division at the Classical Singer Competition, which took place recently in Chicago, Illinois.

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Toverud sings the Witch in Lyric Theatre’s production of “Hansel and Gretel.”

Toverud, of Lenoir, North Carolina, prevailed through several rounds (state, national second round, and semi-finals) before being chosen as one of four to matriculate to finals, where he bested students from the nation’s most prestigious conservatories and schools of music.

Said Toverud, “It’s exciting to win a competition, but winning is second to the pursuit of musical excellence. My drive as a musician comes from a reverence of the art and the intense human expression that music carries.”

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Toverud (center) in Lyric Theatre’s staging of “H.M.S. Pinafore”

Last summer, Toverud was a finalist and winner at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition in Las Vegas, Nevada.

While at Furman, Toverud studied voice with Associate Professor of Music Grant Knox, who said, “This award is quite an accomplishment, not only for Bergsvein, but for the entire Furman Department of Music.”

Active in many aspects of the music program, Toverud sang Ralph Rackstraw in “H.M.S. Pinafore” and the Witch in “Hansel and Gretel” with Furman Lyric Theatre, directed by Knox. He was a featured soloist in numerous concerts with the Furman Symphony Orchestra and was a member of both the Furman Singers and Furman Chamber Choir.

Toverud was the recipient of the DuPre Rhame Scholarship and the Hartness Scholarship at Furman. Outside of the department, Toverud held the Herring Church Music Internship at First Baptist Church in Greenville.

Toverud will continue his studies in vocal performance this fall at the Eastman School of Music, where he has received a substantial merit award and graduate teaching fellowship.

View a performance by Toverud on YouTube. For more information, contact Grant Knox at 864-294-3034, and Or contact the Furman News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.

Last updated June 18, 2019
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director