Kathryn Harries: 15th Feb 1951 – 27th May 2023

We are deeply saddened by the passing of soprano Kathryn Harries. We are honoured that Kathryn was able to join the jury on the Preliminary Rounds this year, and grateful for her generous support to the Kathleen Ferrier Awards. As a recitalist, coach and former Director of the National Opera Studio, Kathryn leaves a lasting legacy with her contributions to opera and music. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones.

Winners of the 2023 Competition

Thank you for visiting the home page of the Kathleen Ferrier Awards.

The Final of the Competition took place in Wigmore Hall on Friday, 21st April 2023. At the end of the evening, Elaine Padmore, Chair of the Jury, announced the winners. The other members of the Jury were Michael Chance, Pamela Lidiard, and Russell Smythe.

L to R: Dafydd Jones (Ferrier Loveday Song Prize) Harry Rylance (Help Musicians Accompanist’s Prize) Matina Tsaroucha (Joint Second Prize) Felix Gygli (First Prize) George Curnow (Joint Second Prize)

First Prize: Felix Gygli

Swiss Baritone Feliz Gygli is a Young Artist at the National Opera Studio London and a recent graduate of the GSMD under the tutelage of Prof. Rudolph Piernay. In the 2023/24 season, he will be a member of the International Opera Studio of the Opernhaus Zürich.

Click the thumbnail for a picture of Felix Gygli and his pianist, Jong Sun Woo.

Joint Second Prize: Matina Tsaroucha & George Curnow

Soprano Matina Tsaroucha is studying for her Master’s at the Royal College of Musica as an Elaine Hughes-Jones scholar. She holds an honours degree from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

George Curnow is a Welsh tenor currently on the opera programme at the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of Mark Wildman.

Click the thumbnail for a picture of George Curnow and his pianist, Harry Rylance.

Help Musicians Accompanist’s Prize: Harry Rylance

Harry Rylance is a British-Korean pianist based in London. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music under Joanna MacGregor and graduated in 2020 with a DipRAM and the RAM Silver Medal before being appointed as a Chamber Music and Répétiteur Fellow. He is currently a Musicians Company Young Artist and works regularly for Glyndebourne and the International Meistersinger Akademie.

Ferrier Loveday Song Prize: Dafydd Jones

Welsh tenor, Dafydd Jones, is studying for his Master’s degree under the tuition of Nicky Spence and Caroline Dowdle at the Royal College of Music.

Jury Members

The Jury this year was chaired by Elaine Padmore, former Artistic Director of the Wexford Festival Opera, Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Opera and Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She was joined by Michael Chance, a Countertenor with an international reputation and an extensive discography, and Artistic Director of the Grange Festival; Pamela Lidiard, Deputy Head of Keyboard Studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and a widely experienced performer with both instrumentalists and singers; and, Russel Smythe, a Baritone with a substantial performing career across the world in both opera and concerts, who now lectures and teaches at the Royal College of Music, London. In the Preliminary Rounds, they were joined by Kathryn Harries, a Soprano with a successful career as recitalist and concert artist and who was Director of the National Opera Studio in London for many years.

Winners of 2022 Competition

Results of the 2022 Competition

The prize winners of the 67th Kathleen Ferrier Awards were announced at the end of the final round on Friday 22nd April 2022, after a competition which saw the semi-finalists and finalists perform live back at Wigmore Hall following two years of videoed competitions in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.

The first prize of £12,500 was awarded to Esme Bronwen-Smith.

Mezzo-soprano Esme Bronwen-Smith is currently studying with Rosa Mannion and graduated with a Master’s from the RCM where she won both the 2020 Lieder and 2021 Lies Askonas competitions. She has sung for festivals such as Oxford Lieder and Leeds Lieder where she won the 2021 Leeds Lieder Young Artist/Schubert Song Prize. She has performed roles such as Cherubino, Le nozze di Figaro (HGO) Unulfo, Rodelinda (RCM Opera), Sāvitri (Barnes Music Festival), The Devil, The Soldier’s Tale (RCM and CSB). Future engagements include Glyndebourne Festival Chorus 2022 and the role of Nerone in ETO’s production of Agrippina this Autumn. 

The second prize of £6,000 was awarded to Emma Roberts, who also won the Loveday Song Prize for her performance of Debussy’s Colloque sentimental.

Emma Roberts attends the RCM International Opera Studio. A Stephen Catto Memorial scholar, she is supported by the Countess of Munster Trust, the Josephine Baker Trust and in 2021 was awarded the Mendelssohn Boise Scholarship. Emma studies with Brindley Sherratt and Simon Lepper. Operatic work includes: Orfeo (Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice/Barefoot Opera), Zanetto (Zanetto/Barefoot Opera); Eduige (Rodelinda/RCM Opera Studio); Lola (Cavalleria rusticana/The Opera Makers), Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte/RCM Opera Studio). Upcoming – Hänsel (RCM) and Minsk Woman (Dove’s Flight/RCM). Concert highlights: young artist for Iain Burnside’s Ludlow English Song Festival, mezzo solo in Alexander Nevsky (RCM symphony); Turnage dramatic song cycle Twice Through the Heart (Turnage residency); Verdi Requiem (Leith Hill Musical Festival), Bach Christmas Oratorio (Brighton Orpheus Choral Society), Messiah (Buckingham Choral Society). 

The Help Musicians Accompanist Prize was awarded to Avishka Edirisinghe.

British-Sri Lankan pianist Avishka Edirisinghe is a first-year student at the Royal College of Music doing a first study in Collaborative Piano under the tutelage of Nigel Clayton, Simon Lepper and Roger Vignoles and a second study in Conducting with Howard Williams. Avishka’s studies are being generously supported by the RCM where he is a Robert Turnbull Piano Foundation Scholar and by Help Musicians, where he is the Henry Richardson Award holder.​

The jury this year was chaired by Sir Brian McMaster, former Managing Director of Welsh National Opera and then Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, each appointment lasting fifteen years. He was joined by the distinguished sopranos, Dame Josephine Barstow and Dame Anne Evans, the tenor Ben Johnson, who himself won the Ferrier competition in 2008, and the founder and artistic director of the Oxford Lieder Festival, the pianist Sholto Kynoch. We are immensely grateful to all the judges for the expertise and experience they have brought to the jury room in this competition.

All enquiries to info@ferrierawards.org.uk or 07751 069551.

Finalists for the 2022 Competition announced

The semi-final has now taken place, and the results are shown below. These are the singers and pianists who will be taking part in the final on Friday, 22nd April at 18:00 in Wigmore Hall. The order of appearance will be as shown. The pianists marked with an asterisk are competing for the Accompanist’s Prize supported by Help Musicians.

Elena ZamudioSoprano*Bradley Wood
Charles CunliffeBass Baritone*Francesca Orlando
Emma RobertsMezzo-SopranoLucy Colquhoun
20 Minute Interval
Charlotte BowdenSoprano*Roelof Temmingh
Joël TerrinBaritone*Cole Knutson
Esme Bronwen-SmithMezzo-Soprano*Avishka Edirisinghe

Tickets for the final are available from the Wigmore Hall Box Office. The phone number is 020 7935 2141. Tickets can also be ordered online from the Wigmore Hall website.

As a reminder, the Jurors this year are:

  • Sir Brian McMaster (Chair)
  • Dame Josephine Barstow
  • Dame Anne Evans
  • Ben Johnson
  • Sholto Kynoch

We are very grateful to them for their participation and the immense expertise and experience they will bring to the decisions they will make during the final on Friday.