Monday, September 7, 2015

Low voices dominating Wigmore Hall Song Competition

Samuel Hasselhorn, Dashon Burton and James Newby
Barihunks are dominating the semi-final round of the 2015 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition, which will take place on Tuesday, September 9th at Wigmore Hall. Low voices among women and men seem to be dominating this year, as their are 5 baritone and bass-baritones joining 4 mezzo-sopranos in the final 12 singers.

The men include Samuel Hasselhorn, Dashon Burton, Will Liverman, Milan Siljano and James Newby. The sole tenor in the semi-finals is Spencer Lang. The women include mezzos Kate Howden, Rebecca Jo Loeb, Angharad Lyddon and Hagar Sharvit. The two sopranos reaching the semi-finals are Aoife Miskelly and Magali Simard-Galdes.

The program for the semi-final round must be a maximum of 20 minutes and must include songs in German (at least two of which must be by Schubert), songs in French and in English by a British composer. The final round will consist of four finalists, each of whom will give a recital lasting a maximum of 30 minutes, which may consist of songs in any language, but must include at least one song written after 1950. 1st prize takes home £10,000, follow by £5,000 for 2nd prize and £2,500 for 3rd prize.

Samuel Hasselhorn at the Hugo Wolf Song Competition:

Baritone Samuel Hasselhorn, born in Göttingen, Germany in 1990, won first prize in the 2013 International Schubert Competition, as well as the Prix de Lied in the 2013 Nadia and Lili Boulanger International Voice-Piano Competition. He was a fellow of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, and has performed in New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall as a participant in Marilyn Horne’s The Song Continues programme. Samuel’s first CD Nachtblicke with Lieder by Schubert, Pfitzner, and Reimann was released in December 2014. Recent debuts include concert appearances at Gewandhaus Leipzig and Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle.

Baritone James Newby is currently studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance under the tutelage of Alison Wells. He is winner of the Joyce Budd second prize at the junior Kathleen Ferrier Bursary awards, the Trinity Laban English Song Competition and the Trinity Laban Oratorio/Cantata award. James is a great lover of song and has performed in recital throughout the UK. He is also very fortunate to have performed in masterclasses with some of the world’s leading figures on Lieder and song: Graham Johnson, Wolfgang Holzmair and Ian Partridge.

Praised for his ‘nobility and rich tone’ by The New York Times Dashon Burton is a two time Grammy Award winner. In 2012, Burton won top prizes from the ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the 49th IVC in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Holland. These awards followed First Place wins in both the 2012 Oratorio Society of New York's Competition and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s Competition for Young American Singers. He studied with James Taylor at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and graduated with his Master’s Degree in Voice in 2011.

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