2019 Song Competition Prizes
|Richard Tauber Prize||
£3,000 – For the best interpretation of Schubert Lieder.
|Vaughan Williams Prize||
£2,000 – For the best interpretation of songs in English by a British composer.
|Jean Meikle Prize for a Duo||
£5,000 – For the outstanding chamber music performance of a voice and piano partnership.
|Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme Prize||
Approx. value £2,000 – One singer and one pianist will be awarded participation in one of the BPYAP one-week vocal masterclass courses.
All individual prizes donated by Independent Opera as part of its overall support for The Competition.
The Richard Tauber Prize
The Anglo-Austrian Music Society was founded in London in the autumn of 1942 by a small group of Austrian refugee musicians and British friends – initially as a means of surviving in exile, but also to promote the appreciation and understanding of Austrian music in Britain. Richard Tauber's last stage appearance was as Ottavio in Don Giovanni with the Vienna State Opera company at Covent Garden on 27 September 1947 on a visit arranged by the Anglo-Austrian Music Society. In 1950 the Anglo-Austrian Music Society established the Richard Tauber Fund in memory of the great Austrian tenor. Since then the Society has made 30 awards. Preliminary auditions were held in London and in Vienna, and the public final audition was held at Wigmore Hall, which was also the venue for the prizewinning recital. Previous Richard Tauber Prizewinners have included Simon Keenlyside, William Dazeley, Jane Irwin, Jonathan Lemalu, Anna Leese, Christopher Ainslie, Robin Leggate, Alexander Oliver and Richard Angas. In 2013, the Anglo-Austrian Music Society decided to award a Richard Tauber Prize for the best interpretation of Schubert Lieder as part of the eminent Wigmore Hall International Song Competition.
The first winners were Timothy Fallon (USA) and Ammiel Bushakevitz (South Africa/Israel) in 2013, followed by James Newby (UK) in 2015 and Clara Osowski (USA) in 2017.
The Vaughan Williams Song Prize
The Ralph Vaughan Williams Society was founded by Stephen Connock, John Bishop and Robin Barber in 1994 to address the many gaps in performances and recordings of his works. The Society was supported by Ursula Vaughan Williams, the composer’s widow, and by his close friend and biographer Michael Kennedy. The Society has established and supported exhibitions about Vaughan Williams in the Church at Down Ampney, where he was born, and in his childhood home, Leith Hill Place. Albion Music, originally owned by the Society but now independent, has published many books about the composer. The Society was instrumental in making a number of important recordings of operas and early works, but in 2007 a recording subsidiary, Albion Records, was formed; to date it has issued 31 recordings, nearly all of them including Vaughan Williams premières. We have about 900 members in 25 countries. All members receive the Society’s Journal, three times a year. The Society’s current Chairman is Simon Coombs, and the President is the renowned conductor Sir Andrew Davis. This partnership with the Competition has developed from the Society’s work promoting Vaughan Williams in general and English music more broadly.
The Jean Meikle Music Trust
The Jean Meikle Music Trust was established in 2005 in memory of Jean Meikle (1929-2004), a passionate lover of song and chamber music in all its forms, and a devotee of Wigmore Hall. The Trust seeks to encourage young classical musicians and audiences in the performance and appreciation of great music. The Jean Meikle Music Trust gives annual support to the Oxford Lieder Festival and the Leeds Lieder Festival for the educational projects they undertake. Jean appreciated one hundred per cent the importance of the musical partnership of singer and pianist, and in 2019 JMMT is proud once again to fund The Jean Meikle Duo Prize at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition, awarded to the most outstanding singer/pianist partnership in the competition. Previous winners are: 2017: Gemma Summerfield (UK) and Sebastian Wybrew (UK), 2015: Kate Howden (Australia) and Sachika Taniyama (Japan), 2013: Johnny Herford (UK) and William Vann (UK), 2011: Jonathan McGovern (UK) and Timothy End (UK), 2009: Gerard Collett (UK) and James Baillieu (South Africa) in 2009, 2007: Daniel Johannsen (Austria) and Elena Larina (Russia).
The Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme
The Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme was founded over 40 years ago by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears to provide high-level performance training for the world’s best emerging professional musicians. Residential projects and masterclasses take place throughout the year in the beautiful surroundings of the Suffolk Coast where Britten lived and worked. Participants benefit from an exceptional campus of performance spaces and studios, which has grown around the iconic Snape Maltings Concert Hall, home of the Aldeburgh Festival. The BPYAP hosts some of the world’s premier performers and teachers who lead intensive projects, which culminate in high profile performances. For example, in 2018 the vocal course directors were Sir Antonio Pappano, Mark Padmore, Claire Booth and Philippe Herreweghe. One singer and one pianist will be awarded participation in one of the one-week vocal masterclass courses, where they will work in intensive duo coaching, 1:1 teaching and public masterclasses. The Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme will cover travel and accommodation costs and provide some meals. Details of all courses are published in August 2019.