A record number of applicants!

8 January 2024

The Mirjam Helin Singing Competition is more popular than ever. The competition, to be held next in June 2024, attracted 485 applicants from 57 countries by the deadline.

Baritone Stefan Astakhov was one of the winners of the 2019 Mirjam Helin competition. On the right, Hannu Lintu conducting the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Photo: Heikki Tuuli.

In addition to countries where classical vocal music has traditionally been popular, entries were received from countries such as Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Peru, Mongolia, Lebanon, India, Hong Kong and Costa Rica.

The competition director Päivi Loponen-Kyrönseppä is happy about the popularity of the competition:

“The high number of applicants speaks of the global appeal of the Mirjam Helin competition. Singing competitions still have their place in the world of music. Participating in a competition provides young talents with an opportunity to present themselves simultaneously to the public, the media and a wide range of potential employers in the industry. At the same time, a multi-stage competition tests both the competence of contestants and their mental and physical endurance.”

During January, the pre-selection jury will select a maximum of 60 contestants for the preliminary round, which will take place from 3 to 6 June. The competition jury will then select 16–20 singers to go through to the semifinal. From the semifinalists, six will be selected for the final with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Sir Mark Elder, on 12 June. The members of the jury are the soprano Dawn Upshaw, the mezzo-soprano Randi Stene, the baritone Bo Skovhus, the pianist Keval Shah, and the chair of the jury, the soprano Soile Isokoski.

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