Saturday, September 2, 2017

Half of Wigmore/Kohn competitors are low male voices; Watch live online!

Will Liverman, Josh Quinn, Nick Mogg, Peter Mazalán (top row)  Ed Ballard, John Brancy, Lawrence Halksworth, and Peter Kellner (bottom row)
There will be no shortage of low male voice to root for in the upcoming 2017 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition, as half of the competitors are baritones or basses. The impressive group includes British baritone Ed Ballard, American baritone John Brancy, British baritone Lawrence Halksworth, British baritone Gareth Brynmor John, Icelandic baritone Oddur Jónsson, Slovakian bass Peter Kellner, American baritone Will Liverman, Slovakian baritone Peter Mazalán, British baritone Nicholas Mogg, American baritone Josh Quinn and New Zealand baritone Julien Van Mellaert.

We didn't see a single tenor amongst the competitors!

Ed Ballard sings Handel's 'Volate Più Dei Venti":

Baritones have historically fared well at the competition, with the amazing German baritone Dominik Köninger winning the top prize in 2011, Gavan Ring taking 2nd Prize in 2013 and the famous 2015 trifecta, when Swiss bass Milan Siljanov took 1st Prize, German baritone Samuel Hasselhorn took 2nd Prize, and British baritone James Newby took 3rd Prize. The Competition is held only in odd numbered years. 

The Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition has been around for fourteen years and attracts some of the top young vocal and piano talent in the world. Singers compete in tandem with an accompanist. This Competition recognizes the song tradition as a whole and requires contestants to perform in at least three languages. At the same time it honors the Lied’s place at the heart of the song repertoire and celebrates the Shakespearean stature of Schubert in the genre.

First Prize will receive £10,000 and a Wigmore Hall recital offered at the discretion of the Director, Second Prize receives £5,000 and Thrid Prizze receives £2,500. The Richard Tauber Prize for the best interpretation of Schubert lieder receives £3,000 and the best pianist receives £5,000.

You can watch the semi-finals live on September 5th and the finals on September 7th.

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