24-year-old British tenor Laurence Kilsby wins Wigmore Hall/Bollinger International Song Competition
The biennial competition featured 24 singers from all over the world who are on the verge of embarking on significant international careers
Following four days of performances, the winners of the 2022 Wigmore Hall/Bollinger International Song Competition have been announced.
The First Prize of £10,000 was awarded to the 24-year-old British singer Laurence Kilsby (pictured). An alumnus of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Royal College of Music, Kilsby was recently awarded first prize at the 13th International Singing Competition for Baroque Opera 'Pietro Antonio Cesti'. He has joined the Académie at Opera National de Paris for the 2022/23 season.
The Second prize of £5000 went to the 31-year-old Swedish baritone Arvid Fagerfjäll, while Third Prize of £2,500 went to the 34-year-old American tenor John Matthew Myers, who also won the £3,000 Richard Tauber Prize for the best interpretation of Schubert Lieder A Special Prize of £1000 was specially created for the 27-year-old German mezzo-soprano Susan Zarrabi.
The £2,000 Vaughan Williams Song Prize for the best interpretation of songs in English by a British composer went to the 26-year-old Brazilian bass-baritone Vinicius Costa. The 29-year-old Korean bass-baritone Jeeyoung Lim and 24-year-old Austrian pianist Benedikt Holter were awarded the Britten Pears Young Artist Programme Prize worth £2,000. The 28-year old Japanese pianist Hikaru Kanki won the £5,000 Pianists Prize; while the 31-year-old British-Hungarian Anna Cavaliero and the 29-year-old Swiss pianist Sebastian Issler were awarded the £5,000 Jean Meikle Prize for a Duo for their outstanding partnership.
Sitting on the panel were performers and vocal experts including Roberta Alexander, Olaf Bär, Hugh Canning, Bernarda Fink, David Jackson, Graham Johnson, Dame Felicity Lott, Claron McFadden and Asadour Santourian.
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Director of Wigmore Hall and chair of the Jury John Gilhooly said of the Competition: ‘The Wigmore Hall/Bollinger International Song Competition is all about recognising and encouraging the next generation of great performers and there is no doubt that this thrilling week highlighted many wonderful musical personalities. The quality of the performances has been outstanding, and it is certain that the future of the great art of song is assured. Congratulations to Laurence Kilsby, and we greatly look forward to hearing him again at Wigmore Hall very soon.’
Established in 1997, the biennial International Song Competition, which also includes public masterclasses and coaching from international song experts, is open to emerging performers, aged 34 and under, who are on the verge of embarking on significant international careers.
All the rounds, featuring 24 singers from around the world, were live streamed to international audiences and can still be viewed at https://wigmore-hall.org.uk/watch-listen/live-stream.
Photo: Chris Cristodoulou
Hannah Nepilova is a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine. She has also written for The Financial Times, The Times, The Strad, Gramophone, Opera Now, Opera, the BBC Proms and the Philharmonia, and runs The Cusp, an online magazine exploring the boundaries between art forms. Born to Czech parents, she has a strong interest in Czech music and culture.