World’s top young singers to compete in Helsinki in May 2019

Some of the world’s best young singers will be gathering in Helsinki next spring for the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition. Now to be held for the eighth time, the competition will take place at the Helsinki Music Centre on May 20–29. There are separate categories for men and women and a total of €173,000 will be awarded in prizes.

Kateryna Kasper at the 2014 competition

One of the world’s leading international singing competitions, the Mirjam Helin is intended for the cream of the world’s young singers regardless of nationality. The aim of the competition founded by professor, singer and voice teacher Mirjam Helin (1911–2006) is to find the most talented young singers and to give them a major boost in their international career.

The upper age limit for men is 32 and for women 30 years. Prizes will be awarded to the four best singers in each category. The first prize is worth €30,000, the second €20,000, the third €15,000 and the fourth €10,000. A prize worth €3,000 will also be awarded for the best performance by a non-Finnish singer of a Finnish solo song.

The Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition is renowned not only for its generous prizes and prestigious jury, but also its demanding repertoire. The competitors must present a broad programme of both operatic and oratorio arias and several solo songs, one of which must be by a Finnish composer.

The Preliminary round will be held on May 20–23 and the Semifinals on May 25–26. The winners will be announced after the Finals beginning at 6 pm on May 29, 2019, when the eight finalists will be accompanied by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu.

The Chairman of the Jury will be Jorma Silvasti, Artistic Director of the Savonlinna Opera Festival, as at the Mirjam Helin Competitions in 2009 and 2014.

The winner of the first prize for women at the previous Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in 2014 was Kateryna Kasper (soprano) from Ukraine and that for men Beomjin Kim (tenor) from South Korea.

Application to begin in September

Application for the competition will begin on the website on September 1 and end on November 30, 2018.* The names of the singers selected for the competition will be announced in January 2019.


* We have extended the application period until 31 December 2018.