Winners of the 2021 Competition

The prize winners of the 66th Kathleen Ferrier Awards were announced at the end of the final round on Sunday 14th November 2021, after a competition which saw the semi-finalists and finalists perform at Southwark’s Grade II listed Henry Wood Hall.

This year, British countertenor Hugh Cutting won the first prize of £12,500, the first countertenor ever to win first prize in the 66 years in which the Ferrier has been running. Hugh is a member of the Royal College of Music International Opera Studio and a Vocal Masters graduate of the Royal College of Music. He has recorded with The King’s Consort and Robert King, and with Iestyn Davies and Fretwork for Signum Classics.

Latvian soprano Laura Peresivana won the second prize of £6,000. Laura, who currently studies at the National Opera Studio, began her operatic career at the Latvian National Opera. Previously, Laura won the 54th Tenor Vinas International Singing Contest Extraordinary prize.

The Ferrier Loveday Song Prize of £5,000 went to British mezzo Helen Charlston. Helen won first prize in the 2018 Handel Singing Competition and was a finalist in the Hurn Court Opera Competition, and the Grange Festival International Singing Competition. In 2021, she joined the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme.

Lastly, the Accompanist’s Prize – funded by Help Musicians – went to Israeli pianist Ilan Kurtser, who will receive £5,000. Ilan is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music and is a Leeds Lieder Young Artist and a member of the prestigious Academy Song Circle.

The jury for the Awards was chaired by Sir Thomas Allen, star for 50 years of the major opera houses of the world and a Trustee of the Ferrier since 1994. He was joined by mezzo Alice Coote, a leading artist of our time; soprano Valerie Masterson whose career spanned Monteverdi to Henze; Ian Partridge, the distinguished tenor recitalist; and James Baillieu, leading song and chamber music accompanist.

Ferrier Chairman, Valerie Beale, said: ‘All the singers who entered the 2021 Kathleen Ferrier Awards have persevered through an extraordinarily difficult 18 months and after a strong competition we are delighted that Hugh Cutting is joining the distinguished and exclusive club of Kathleen Ferrier winners. We look forward to seeing where this journey takes him.’

The Awards, hosted by BBC Radio 3 Presenter, Martin Handley, will be streamed online for free via the Kathleen Ferrier Awards website. The semi-final will be shown in four parts, available successively on Monday 29th November, Tuesday 30th November, Wednesday 1st December and Thursday 2nd December, each at 7.30pm. The final will be in two parts, respectively available to watch from Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th December, each also at 7.30pm.

The streams will then remain on the Kathleen Ferrier Awards website for one month to enable repeated viewing.

Results from the 2021 Semi-Finals

We are thrilled to announce that, following the successful completion of the semi-final auditions of the 2021 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, the performers listed below have been selected to take part in the final. All these performances, together with those who auditioned in the semi-final, will be available to view on-line on the following dates:

  • Semi-Final 1: 19:30 – 29 November 2021
  • Semi-Final 2: 19:30 – 30 November 2021
  • Semi-Final 3: 19:30 – 1 December 2021
  • Semi-Final 4: 19:30 – 2 December 2021
  • Final 1: 19:30 – 4 December 2021
  • Final 2: 19:30 – 5 December 2021

The finals will take place at Henry Wood Hall on Sunday 14th November 2021

Finalists

*below denotes a pianist competing for the Help Musician’s Accompanist’s Prize

Michael Lafferty – Baritone

*Ashley Beauchamp – Accompanist

Hugh Cutting – Counter Tenor

*George Ireland – Accompanist

Helen Charlston – Mezzo-soprano

*Natalie Burch – Accompanist

James Atkinson – Baritone

*Ana Manastireanu – Accompanist

Edward Jowle – Bass Baritone

Lucy Colquhoun – Accompanist

Laura Persivana – Soprano

*Joseph Beesley – Accompanist

Jack Lee – Baritone

Chad Vindin – Accompanist

Kathleen Ferrier Awards 2021

We are thrilled to announce that following the successful completion of the preliminary auditions of the 2021 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, the performers listed below have been selected to take part in the semi-final. All these performances, together with those who are selected for the final, will be recorded and available to view on-line on the following dates:

Semi-Final 1: 19:30 – 29 November 2021 

Semi-Final 2: 19:30 – 30 November 2021 

Semi-Final 3: 19:30 – 1 December 2021

Semi-Final 4: 19:30 – 2 December 2021 

Final 1: 19:30 – 4 December 2021 

Final 2: 19:30 – 5 December 2021

The semi-finals and finals will take place at Henry Wood Hall on Friday 12th and Sunday 14th November 2021.

* below denotes pianist competing for the Help Musician’s Accompanist’s Prize.

1     Jack Lee – Baritone

Accompanist – Chad Vindin

2     Sophie Sparrow – Soprano

Accompanist – Harry Rylance*

3     Hugh Cutting – Counter-tenor

Accompanist – George Ireland*

4     Helen Charlston – Mezzo

Accompanist – Natalie Burch*

5     James Atkinson – Baritone

Accompanist – Ana Manastireanu*

6     Magnus Walker – Tenor

Accompanist – Enuji Han

7     Laura Peresivana – Soprano

Accompanist – Joseph Beesley*

8     Edward Jowle – Bass Baritone

Accompanist – Lucy Colquhoun

9     Cassandra Wright – Soprano

Accompanist – Ilan Kurtser*

10    Michael Lafferty – Baritone

Accompanist – Ashley Beauchamp*

2020 Kathleen Ferrier Award Winners

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 Handleyon the competition’s website, and can do so until 31 January 2021.