We are thrilled to announce that following the successful completion of the preliminary auditions of the 2021 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, the following performers have been selected to take part in the semi-final. All these performances, together with those who are selected for the final will be available to view on-line, details of which will be made available in due course. The semi-finals and finals will take place at Henry Wood Hall on Friday 12th and Sunday 14th November 2021.
* denotes pianist competing for the Help Musician’s Accompanist’s Prize.
Some ten months after applications were received, the 65th Kathleen Ferrier Awards Competition has concluded and the winners were announced at the end of the Competition’s Final, streamed earlier from Southwark’s Henry Wood Hall.
This year Jessica Cale won the first prize of £12,500. Jessica, from Pembrokeshire, studied at the Royal College of Music, having already worked extensively with The Sixteen and the Monteverdi Choir. She has appeared with the Gabrieli Consort, at Ryedale Festival Opera and was a finalist in the 2020 London Handel Festival Singing Competition
Ella Taylor won the second prize of £6,000. Ella was born in Sheffield, where their father was Director of Music at the cathedral. Ella was a chorister from the age ten and went on to the Royal Academy where they graduated with distinction. They were then a Young Artist in the 2019/20 season at the National Opera Studio. Ella has a passion for contemporary music and works by women and gender non-conforming artists.
The Ferrier Loveday Song Prize of £5,000 was awarded to Milly Forrest, from West London. Milly studied for her Masters degree at the Royal College of Music having graduated from the Royal Academy where she was also a Junior. She won the Emmy Destinn Czech competition in 2019, was a finalist in the 2020 ROSL competition and will make her solo debut at Wigmore Hall in February 2021.
Finally, the Accompanist’s Prize – funded by Help Musicians – went to Hamish Brown who will receive £5,000. No stranger to winning prizes, London based Hamish Brown won the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme Prize Winner in the 2019 Wigmore International Song Competition and the Pianist’s Prize at the Mozart Singing Competition. He is a former Oxford Lieder Young Artist.
The awards were judged by eminent mezzo-soprano Rosalind Plowright, Welsh tenor Ryland Davies, Grammy award-winning pianist and accompanist Christopher Glynn and jury chair Valerie Beale who has chaired the Ferrier since 2013.
Jury Chair, Valerie Beale, said: ‘Winning the 2020 Kathleen Ferrier is a great start to Jessica’s career. In this year when so many musicians have been silenced we felt it important to give young singers a chance to show what they can do and we are happy that Jessica and the other singers in the finals took that chance. Jessica takes her place amongst the other Ferrier winners whose careers have been boosted by winning the competition’.
Viewers can still watch the free-to-view awards – which were presented by BBC Radio 3 Presenter Martin Handley – on the competition’s website, and can do so until 31 January 2021.
The Help Musicians UK Accompanist’s Prize acknowledges the crucial role of pianists in this Competition. This year’s prize was awarded jointly to ELLA O’NEILL (24) and WILLIAM GREEN (27). Ella accompanied Adam Maxey (a finalist) and William accompanied Adam Temple-Smith (a semi-finalist) during the competition.
The winners of the 2019 Kathleen Ferrier Awards are:
Benson Wilson, Baritone (1st Prize) Theodore Platt, Baritone (2nd Prize) Ema Nikolovska, Mezzo-Soprano (Ferrier Loveday Song Prize) Ella O’Neill and William Green, piano (Help Musicians UK Accompanist’s Prize)
After performing to a full house at Wigmore Hall on 26th April, Baritone BENSON WILSON was awarded 1st Prize in the 2019 Kathleen Ferrier Competition. 28-year old Benson, New Zealand-born of Samoan heritage, is currently studying at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and will take part in the Salzburg Festival Young Singers Project this summer. He took the prize with a programme that included operatic arias by Wagner and Verdi as well as songs by Butterworth and Tchaikovsky.
2nd Prize went to 24-year old British-Russian Baritone THEODORE PLATT who studies at the Royal College of Music Opera Studio. Theodore offered a programme of arias and songs by Rachmaninov, Mozart, Duparc, Wagner, Sibelius and Britten.
The Ferrier Loveday Song Prize was awarded to 25-year old Mezzo-Soprano EMA NIKOLOVSKA. Of Canadian and Macedonian nationality, Ema won the Song Prize for her rendition of Twilight by Medtner.
The Kathleen Ferrier Awards have produced a book to celebrate the centenary of Ferrier’s birth entitled Blow The Wind Southerly which includes articles from Rupert Christiansen, Christopher Fifield and Graham Johnson; a selection of memories from people who met Kathleen or heard her sing, including John Copley, John Tooley and George Christie, and extracts from letters and diaries offering an insight into her character and the impact she had on the public. A disc featuring a selection of lesser-known recordings, spoken excerpts from Kathleen herself and interviews with fellow singers and contemporaries is also included.