41 talented young opera singers from 24 countries have qualified in preliminary rounds to compete in the finals of the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition in Gütersloh.
The first prize winner of this competition is Eunju Kwon followed by Kihwan Sim awarded with the second prize and JunHo You on the third place.
The 20th anniversary of NEUE STIMMEN: 47 talented young opera singers from 19 countries have qualified in preliminary rounds to compete in the finals of the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition in Gütersloh. Beginning on October 21 they performed for the international jury, which is chaired by Gérard Mortier, Director of the Opéra National de Paris. The first prize winner of this competition is Marina Rebeka followed by Fernando Radó awarded with the second prize and Diego Torre on the third place.
Argentine soprano Maria Virginia Savastano, 22, wins the eleventh International Singing Competition of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, competing against the largest group of participants ever – more than 1,200 young singers from 60 countries. Coming in second and third are Russian tenor Alexey Kudyra and Russian soprano Anna Aglatova.
The stylized note that has been the logo for NEUE STIMMEN since 1987 is retired in 2003. The International Singing Competition’s publicity materials are now presented in a dramatic red color.
The Argentine countertenor Franco Fagioli wins first prize with his interpretation of the aria “Cara sposa” from the opera “Rinaldo” by George Frideric Handel. Second and third place go to the Russian tenor Maxim Mironov and the Chinese lyric baritone Song-Hu Liu.
For the first time, the competition issues not only a CD, but also a DVD documenting the final round in Gütersloh, including background information, interviews and live performances at the semifinals.
For the first time, preliminary rounds for the “Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition” are held in a total of 17 cities. Under the honorary chairmanship of Sir Peter Ustinov, the jury awards first prize to the Turkish bass Burak Bilgili, with second and third places going to the Korean Woo-Kyung Kim and the Russian Anna Samuil.
More than 1,000 singers compete in the preliminary rounds held in 15 cities – for the first time also in Africa, in the city of Pretoria – to qualify for the “Neue Stimmen” finals. Among them is Tina Schlenker, who this year becomes the first German to win the “Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition”. Russian tenor Andrei Dounaev and bass-baritone Paul Gay from France take second and third place.
Russian singer Eteri Gvasava is awarded first prize by the jury, which is chaired for the last time by Prof. August Everding, while basses Tigran Martirossian from Armenia and Soon-Won Kang from Korea take second and third place, respectively.
Under Dr. Gustav Kuhn´s leadership a master class is held for the first time in 1997, offering specific instruction and encouragement to participants who have not yet reached the artistic level of the prize winners. Beginning in 1998 this master class will be offered during the off-years between competitions.
The competition becomes increasingly international: The sites of the preliminary rounds now include not only Berlin, Milan, Parma and Minsk, but major cities outside Europe as well: Tokyo and Washington. Of a total of 405 applicants, 57 perform at the final round in Gütersloh.
1995 is the year of the tenor. For the first time a male singer, the Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones, wins first prize at “Neue Stimmen”. Following in second and third place are the baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann from Germany and the Finnish bass Sami Luttinen.
The competition’s artistic direction is taken over this year by Dr. Gustav Kuhn, who has served as a permanent member of the jury since 1987.
A minor change is made in the name: The word “contest” is replaced with “competition.” It is now called the “Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition.”
Up to now only singers who have studied voice at European universities have been allowed to take part in “Neue Stimmen”. In 1993 its name is changed to “Neue Stimmen International Singing Contest,” and it is opened up to talented singers from all over the world. For the first time, a preliminary round is held not only in Munich, but also outside of Germany – in Moscow. The Russian singer Marina Ivanova wins over the jury in Gütersloh to take first prize ahead of competitors Laura Polverelli from Italy and Nicola Beller from Germany. This is also the first year in which a prize is awarded for operetta, which is won by the German singer Karin Süss. Federal President Dr. Richard von Weizsäcker assumes the role of the competition’s sponsor.
For the first time in 1991, a preliminary round for all applicants – numbering 220 this year – is held in Munich. Seventy singers reach the final round in Gütersloh, where Sonia Zlatkova from Bulgaria and the Germans Michael Volle and Annette Seiltgen take the top three prizes.
Although the Berlin Wall will not fall until five days later, every East European country with the exception of Czechoslovakia is represented this year at the “Neue Stimmen” contest. Among the singers are three from the German Democratic Republic: Ute Selbig, René Pape and Roman Trekel. A baritone from the Soviet Union is competing as well.
In the third year of its existence, it is clear that “Neue Stimmen” has already established itself in the world of international opera. Because of the large number of applications, sopranos are required to compete in a preliminary round in Munich. First place among the 65 young opera singers who reach the competition in Gütersloh is won by the Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Vesselina Kasarova. Second and third prizes go to German bass René Pape and French tenor Bernard Lombardo.
Owing to the rising number of applicants and increasing organizational requirements, beginning in 1989 the competition will be held only every other year.
Over 140 young singers, more than three times as many as the previous year, apply to participate in the second competition. The Polish singer Izabela Labuda wins out in the finals over Heike Theresa Terjung from the Federal Republic of Germany and the Hungarian singer Ingrid Kertesi.
Liz Mohn launches the “Neue Stimmen – European Singing Contest” after a conversation with Herbert von Karajan concerning the lack of young opera singers, taking up an idea originated by Prof. August Everding, General Director of the Bavarian State Theaters in Munich.
The first competition is held on October 23 and 24 at Stadthalle in cooperation with the directors’ group of the Deutsche Bühnenverein, the German Theatre and Orchestra Association.
A jury headed by Everding, who will continue as its chairman until the 1997 competition, awards first prize to the French contralto Nathalie Stutzmann. Bulgarian Tania Christova and Andrzej Dobber from Poland take second and third place, respectively.