Mikhail Timoshenko with pianist Elitsa Desseva
Mikhail Timoshenko wins Wigmore Hall International Song Competition1:30, 12th September 2019
Russian bass-baritone Mikhail Timoshenko has won first prize at this year’s Wigmore Hall / Independent Opera International Song Competition
After four days of rounds before a jury comprised of eminent performers including Iain Burnside and Dame Felicity Lott, 25-year-old Timoshenko was awarded the £10,000 first prize. He performed with his duo partner, Bulgarian pianist Elitsa Desseva.
The £5,000 second prize was awarded to 29-year-old British soprano Harriet Burns. Third place, with a prize of £2,500, went to British mezzo-soprano Beth Taylor and fourth to British tenor Kieran Carrel. Michael Pandya, the 25-year-old British pianist who partnered Harriet Burns, won the £5,000 Pianist’s Prize.
Founded in 1997, the biennial competition at Wigmore Hall celebrates the art of the song recital and honours the Lied’s place at the heart of the genre. This year, for the first time, the competition was sponsored by Independent Opera: an arts charity based at Sadler’s Wells which supports outstanding young artists in every discipline of opera production.
Winner Mikhail Timoshenko studied at the Mednogorsk Conservatoire and the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt, Weimar. He has won top prizes in several other competitions, including first prize at the Franz Schubert und die Musik der Moderne Competition in Graz and the Hugo Wolf Competition in Stuttgart.
John Gilhooly, director of Wigmore Hall and chair of the jury, said: ‘The Wigmore Hall / Independent Opera International Song Competition is all about recognising and encouraging the next generation of great performers, and there is no doubt that this thrilling week highlighted many wonderful musical personalities. The quality of the performances has been outstanding, and it is certain that the future of the great art of song is assured.’
The final and semi-final rounds of the competition can be viewed at wigmore-hall.org.uk/watch-listen/live-stream