Soile Isokoski to chair the jury of the IXth Mirjam Helin Competition

The Mirjam Helin Competition will gather outstanding young singers in Helsinki for the ninth time in June 2024. The chair of the jury will be the opera singer Soile Isokoski.

The IXth Mirjam Helin Singing Competition will take place in Helsinki between 3-12 June 2024. The preliminaries will be arranged in the R building of the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, and the semi-finals and finals in the Helsinki Music Centre (Musiikkitalo). The orchestra for the competition is the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.

The competition is open to all singers, with the age limits of 30 (women) and 32 (men). 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 semi-finals do, however, include a song by a Finnish composer. There is a Special Prize for the best performance by a non-Finnish singer of a Finnish song.

The registration for the competition will begin in the autumn of 2023.

”A broad repertoire is essential for a singer”

The chair of the jury will be the opera singer Soile Isokoski. In 2009, she was a member of the jury.

According to Isokoski, the primary task of the chair is to promote a sound ethos and open atmosphere among the jury. “In my opinion, every young singer should attend a few competitions. It’s a great way of putting yourself to the test: how you keep your cool and where you stand in the crowd”, she says. “Preparing for the competition is great as such, because a broad repertoire is essential for a singer.”

The past juries of the Mirjam Helin competition have consisted of accomplished singers only, which is not a standard practice in competitions. Former Mirjam Helin jurors include such world-class names as Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Nathalie Stutzmann, and Robert Holl, and renowned Finns such as Tom Krause and Jorma Hynninen