About the competition
The Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition counts among the most prestigious competitions of its kind in the world. It has a reputation for being one of the leading international singing competitions, and many of its former prizewinners, such as Olaf Bär, Elīna Garanča, René Pape, Andrea Rost and Julia Lezhneva have later risen to the top of the world of singing. Designed for outstanding young singers, it is known for its high standard, its exacting repertoire, its superb prizes and its prestigious Jury. The competition is organised once every five years by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. The first competition was in 1984.
The competition is known for demanding a broad repertoire (Baroque music, Lied, opera) while at the same time allowing great liberty in the choice of music. The programme does not include any obligatory compositions or composers. The Semifinals do, however, include a song by a Finnish composer.
The competition has two categories, one for women and one for men aged not more than 30 and 32, respectively.
The competition became a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions (Fédération Mondiale des Concours Internationaux de Musique) in 1987.