Saturday, 24 April 2010

The 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Awards

These are the winners of this years Kathleen Ferrier Awards Finals, which were hosted at Wigmore Hall London last night. A most enjoyable contest, although I personally rather dislike song competitions. You may wonder then, why there are so many, and why we attend them all? Not all singers choose to enter competitions and many have found great fame without doing so but the fact remains that they provide ample platform for exposure in a music business, where the market seems vastly over-populated. In case of the Ferrier Awards, they also provide substantial financial assistance for young musicians.
As expected, the standard was extremely high at this years gathering and we listened to a rather good programme featuring
Arias from Rigoletto, I Puritani or La Sonnambula, to songs from Schubert, Wolf, Walton and Finzi. It is a competition requirement to feature a diverse repertoire including english song. All contestants must have spent at least one year at a British Music institution. The final then featured four members of Guildhall School of Music and Drama, one from Royal Northern, and one student of the Royal Academy. Above all these competitions seem to go down well with audiences, our six candidates singing in front of a sell-out audience at Wigmore. The winner, Njabulo Madlala convinced above all with a heartfelt performance and utter sincerity in his dark velvety sound. It shows, that true character is ever more pleasing to observe.
In many ways, the jury summed up perfectly the dilemma of such competitions: "It is a terrible business to sit in judgment of such extraordinary talent". Suffice it to say then, that they all may have the heart to continue to the main stages of the world!
Thank You all for the little group picture session!

Results Final Auditions 2010
Friday 23 April 2010
Wigmore Hall - 6pm

First Prize £10,000
Njabulo Madlala Bariton

Second Prize £5,000
Sarah Power Soprano

Song Prize £4,000
Laurie Ashworth soprano

Accompanist Prize £3,000
Anna Cardona

Anna Patalong soprano
Duncan Rock baritone
Aoife Miskelly soprano

The Jury Gavin Henderson CBE Della Jones Alexander Oliver Felicity Palmer CBE Roger Vignoles
Chairman Paul Strang

- Sir Thomas Allen CBE Dr Sheila Armstrong Valerie Beale Vernon Ellis Sir Nicholas Goodison Graham Johnson OBE Yvonne Kenny AM Nicholas Riddle Joan Rodgers CBE John Shirley-Quirk CBE Martin B. M. Williams -

from left to right: Sarah Power, Njabulo Madlala, Aoife Miskelly, James Baillieu, Laurie Ashworth, Elizabeth Rossiter, Duncan Ross, Anna Patalong, Tim Abel, Anna Cardona ... all being silly ...