Kathleen Ferrier pictured with conductor & pianist Bruno Walter

Exceptionally talented young singers compete to win coveted awards set to escalate their careers

  • The Kathleen Ferrier Awards Competition 2020 will this year stream from the bright and beautiful Henry Wood Hall, an elegant regency building used as an orchestral rehearsal space and recording studio in London’s Southwark
  • This year’s final will stream on Sunday 13 December, and the semi-final will stream on Wednesday 9, Thursday 10 and Friday 11 December
  • The free-to-view awards will be presented by BBC Radio 3 Presenter Martin Handley
  • Audiences will be able to watch the performances online on the competition’s website at 6pm, with the winners announced at the end of the final on Sunday 13 December
  • The judging panel includes Rosalind Plowright, eminent mezzo-soprano with a career spanning over 40 years who has sung at most of the international opera houses; Welsh tenor Ryland Davies who has appeared at all of the world’s major opera houses and is now a highly respected teacher; Christopher Glynn, Grammy award-winning pianist and accompanist and Artistic Director of the Ryedale Festival; and jury chair Valerie Beale, who, having begun as a singer, has since worked in management at Decca, Vancouver Opera and ENO. She has chaired the Ferrier since 2013
  • There are four prizes to be won: 
  • A first prize of £12,500
  • A second prize of £6,000
  • The Ferrier Loveday Song Prize of £5,000 for the best performance of an individual song in any language – in either the semi-final or the final
  • An Accompanist’s Prize of £5,000 funded by Help Musicians, available to any pianist whose singer makes it through to the semi-final
  • The performers who got through to the final on Sunday 13 December are: tenor Ted Black and pianist Ana Manastireanu; tenor Liam Bonthrone and pianist Dylan Perez; soprano Jessica Cale and pianist George Ireland; soprano Milly Forrest and pianist Hamish Brown; mezzo-soprano Judith Le Breuilly and pianist Joseph Ramadan; soprano Julieth Lozano Rolong and pianist Lucy Colquhoun; soprano Ella Taylor and pianist Leo Nicholson   
  • The performers who also took part in the semi-final on Wednesday 9, Thursday 10 and Friday 11 December, who remain eligible for the Ferrier Loveday Song Prize and the Help Musicians’ Accompanist’s Prize, are: sopranos Ana Beard Fernandez, Hilary Cronin and Helena Moore each of whom will be accompanied by Matthew Jorysz; soprano Camilla Harris and pianist Natalie Burch; mezzo-soprano Stephanie Wake-Edwards and pianist Patrick Milne  
  • Speaking of the upcoming competition, Jury Chair Valerie Beale said:

We began the 2020 Kathleen Ferrier Awards in March and stopped, unfinished, when lockdown was announced. In the following months I couldn’t help thinking of Kathleen Ferrier herself, who gave concerts throughout the war and continued to sing throughout her final illness. While on stage at the Royal Opera House singing Orfeo, a bone in her leg disintegrated but, with help from the rest of the cast, she completed the performance.  In view of this, it seemed that the very least we could do was to complete the 2020 Kathleen Ferrier Awards as we have done every year since 1956. Young singers have entered ‘the Ferrier’ every year since then, knowing that winning it opens the door to a career. This year, above all, we wanted them to have the chance of showing what they can do and were determined not to let the pandemic take that chance from them.

  • A prestigious contest for Opera singers, The Kathleen Ferrier Awards Competition has been running since 1956. The Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship Fund, which funds the award, was founded in 1953 in memory of the much-loved contralto Kathleen Ferrier who died at the devastatingly young age of 41
  • Notable previous winners of the awards include Elizabeth Harwood, Alfreda Hodgson, Felicity Palmer, Joan Rodgers, Bryn Terfel, Karen Cargill, Ben Johnson, Christina Gansch and Natalya Romaniw amongst others
  • Recent winners of the awards have included Benson Wilson (2019), William Thomas (2018), Julian Van Mellaerts (2017), Alessandro Fisher (2016) and James Newby (2016)

Website                                            ferrierawards.org.uk

Twitter                                             twitter.com/ferrierawards

Facebook                               facebook.com/FerrierAwards