Following preliminary auditions held over the weekend of 18-20 October, eight finalists have been shortlisted out of applications from around the world to compete for the £2,500 first prize on Friday 8 November at 1pm.
Each finalist is required to sing a programme including works by Handel and Peter Wishart, in addition to a piece of their own choice, for a panel of distinguished judges – Malcolm Martineau, Dame Felicity Lott and Ian Partridge.
Organised annually by Jackdaws Music Education Trust, a Somerset based charity, the awards celebrated their 20th competition in 2012, whilst Jackdaws celebrate their own 20th anniversary this year, 2013. Unique in its recognition of potential as much as achievement, many previous winners of this award have progressed to highly successful singing careers. The panel is chaired by Jackdaws’ Artistic Director, Saffron van Zwanenberg, who said-
“It was genuinely a very high standard this year and in particular some of the Peter Wishart songs were sung the best I have heard them to date. I think we have some rare and exciting voices in the final and am very pleased that for the first time they will get to sing 4 pieces instead of 3, giving them even more of an opportunity to show what they can do.”
In addition to the First Prize of £2,500 there is a Second Prize of £1,000 and 3rd Prize of £500 (which is supported by local Somerset group Frome Voices). Jackdaws is very grateful to Penelope Davies for her support of the Awards for a third and final year. The best accompanist on the day will also be recognised with a prize of £1000, supported by Geoffrey and Margaret Batten, in memory of Peter Wishart. Finally, also decided on the day will be the Audience prize, voted for by the audience via ballot whilst the judges deliberate the overall winner. We are also very grateful to additional support this year from The Mercers Company.
The Finalists for the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2013 are:
Biographies for each finalist will be released at a later date.
The final is open to the public, and we warmly invite you to join us for what will surely be a wonderful afternoon of music making of the highest quality. This is the only way that you will be able to cast your vote in the Audience prize worth £250. Tickets are available from the Wigmore Hall.