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.
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
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) is a composer of international stature. However, in the early 1990s there remained many gaps in performances and recordings of his work. Even the symphonies, surely his most enduring legacy, had never been performed as a complete cycle in London. At that time there was no memorial to the composer’s life either at his birthplace in Down Ampney or anywhere else. Against this background, The Ralph Vaughan Williams Society was formed by Stephen Connock, John Bishop and Robin Barber in 1994 as a registered charity. Ursula Vaughan Williams, the composer’s widow, supported this initiative and served as President until her death in October 2007. Michael Kennedy, the composer’s close friend and musical biographer, also gave his support, later becoming our President until his death in December 2014. Stephen Connock served tirelessly as Chairman for fourteen years, succeeded first by Em Marshall-Luck (who now runs the English Music Festival) and then by our current Chairman, Simon Coombs. The Society’s current 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).