The application for WSIMC 2020 is now open. You can find information under current competition, the full program will be published later on. Welcome with your application, and do not forget to look at the repertorie and the sheet music from Wilhelm Stenhammar.

Sonja Stenhammar is a member of the jury in the VL International Musical Competition this year. The competition is organized to honor Dr. Luis Sigall, and it is held in Viña del Mar, Chile, between November 9th to 16th 2018.

Olga Kondina, our jury member and famous opera singer and professor from St. Petersburg, has generously offered to hold a short “master class.” Here you can see some of the moments of this fantastic event (12.06.18).

© Photo: Tanja Volkova

Today is our last day of “The Week of Prizewinners”!
? Drum roll ?

And the Winner of Wilhelm Stenhammar International Music Competition is …
He is young and handsome! He is very talented and charismatic tenor! His homeland is South Korea! Warmly greet our winner Yohan Kim!! Congratulations, dear Yohan!

And now is the time to know a little bit more about our winner. We hope that you will enjoy his answers. We were truly impressed by his words!

-How do you feel after winning our competition?

“When announcing the first place of competition, I was very surprised. Also, I could not believe my eyes while watching my name on the certificate of award. I doubt it and keep watching the certificate of award. I have won many competitions. But, this award is special to me. After I got the medical malpractice during wisdom teeth removal surgery 2 years ago, inflammation of my throat and jaw torment me. To remove the inflammation, I underwent the big surgical operation for 4 hours and received hospital treatment for one year. I practice a lot for recovery of my voice. I think that is why I got good performance. I am a Christian. I thank God for his grace and glory.”

-What does it mean for you to be on stage in front of an audience? / What inspires you?

“My joy in singing in front of an audience is not depending on my performance. I just want them to be happy with my song. So, I want to communicate with them and sing for them. I love the color of nature. I get the positive energy form natural landscape such as trees, flowers and green fields. With this positive energy, I sincerely sing a song.”

Final concert
Such heart touching words! Thanks a lot, dear Yohan! And thanks for such emotional performances (G.Donizetti, La Fille du Régiment; G. Puccini, La Boheme). Well done!

Congratulations and good luck in your future career!

Dear loves of classical music, welcome back to our “The Week of Prizewinners“!
You will be truly impressed by this young, beautiful and incredibly talented soprano lady from South Korea! Her magnificent performances and artistry stole public’s hearts! And not only public… We have the honor of introducing you to Hayoung Ra. Hayoung is the winner of the Second prize, Stenhammar prize, and Audience´s prize! Wow! We hope that 14th June was such a wonderful day for her!

And now is the time to know a little bit more about Hayoung Ra! Enjoy the reading!

-How do you feel after getting the Second, Stenhammar and Audience’s prizes in our competition?

“I feel just.. It was a dream, never real! I could not believe that I got the 2nd, Stenhammer and also Audience’s prizes. Because I’m just thinking about this competition is finished. After getting the prizes, I prayed to God for thanks. For me Audience’s prize has really great meaning because I touched the audiences deeply, that’s why.”

-What does it mean for you to be on stage in front of an audience? / What inspires you?

“I’m always thinking on stage that I try to touch the audience emotionally. Only with skill for singing, I cannot touch them. I want to impress them by showing my music that only I can do rather than the songs that all singers can do. If only one person hears my song and weeps, that’s why I sing.”

Hayoung Ra Hayoung Ra
Such a great words! Thanks a lot, dear Hayoung! And thanks for such emotional performances (V.Bellini, I Capuleti e i Montecchi; C.Gounod, Faust ). Well done!

Congratulations and good luck in your future career!

See you tomorrow with the answers from our last prizewinner ?

The second day of our “The Week of Prizewinners“!
Today you will meet our winner of the Third Prize! He is young, handsome and very talented tenor from Sweden!

Let us introduce you to Joel Annmo!

-How do you feel after getting the Third prize in our competition?

“It feels, of course, very nice to be awarded third prize. You never know what it’s going to feel like during the competition, you just try to do your best under the circumstances.”

-What does it mean for you to be on stage in front of an audience? / What inspires you?

“For me, it means great moments you can not get in any other way. After a good performance where you feel the audience is responding, you feel high on emotions and excitement. This is what I always aim for, this special feeling when you have a connection to all the people around you. That is what inspires me.”

Joel Annmo (tenor, Sweden) (Third Prize)
Thank you very much for such sensitive interpretation of Lensky (“Eugene Onegin” Tchaikovsky). It was such an emotional performance! Well done!

Congratulations and good luck in your future career!

See you tomorrow with the answers from the next prizewinners ?

Our dear lovers of classical music, we have decided to make this week the Week of Prizewinners!
We want you to know a little bit more about our prizewinner and their feelings, so we asked them some questions.

Today you will meet our winners of the Fourth Prize and Mozart Prize ?
Our questions were quite simple:

How do you feel after getting the Fourth prize/Mozart prize in our competition?
What does it mean for you to be on stage in front of an audience? / What inspires you?
And here are their answers. So, enjoy the reading!

Fourth Prize

This year two excellent countertenors shared this place: Jungkwon Jang (South Korea) and Rodrigo Sosa Dal Pozzo (Italy/Venezuela)

The first person who will open up his heart to us would be Jungkwon Jang:

I could not trust when my name was called. Actually, I do not think I will receive an award. Fourth place has many meanings to me. It is a ranking that can move forward towards a high ranking, and it is also a degree of humility. All the finals of this competition are all eligible to receive. I gained greater luck as Countertenor who participated for the first time in this Competition. This Prize is a great force in my music life, there will be a good career.

Singing in front of the audience is a beautiful and noble time. Through the work of a good composer, I have to convey the beautiful feelings I have felt to the audience. So I have to be more authentic. I am also the role of the vocalist in touching the hearts of the audience through their voices and comforting and healing their joys and sorrows. The audience can take new energy with that mind again. I am glad to be a vocalist.

I am a Christian. The most inspiring thing for me is of course God, my beloved family, and people who love me. And nature. All of these things give me good inspiration so I can play good music.

Now is the time to present you our another brilliant contertener — Rodrigo Sosa Dal Pozzo:

It was certainly an honour and a great joy to get the 4th prize. One of my biggest fears in big singing competitions which don’t have baroque opera as focus, is that many people, perhaps including the jury, will understand who I am as a singer and what the voice of a countertenor is at all. I wasn’t very optimistic about being accepted in the competition, but instead, I made it to the final and got a prize. This makes me really happy because it’s not only an achievement for me as an individual artist, but it’s a victory for the countertenor voice, since now, after the final of the Stenhammar competition, more consciousness about our existence has been raised, perhaps for an audience that is not used to either baroque music or countertenors. Hopefully, this will be the start point for nordic opera houses to start considering baroque operas for their seasons more often, or to cast countertenors more often, even for non baroque repertory.

To sing for an audience makes such a big difference, the audience is what we live for, we do this, because there is something in our minds and hearts that wants to be transmitted to people, otherwise it would be enough to sing while taking a shower or washing the dishes wouldn’t it? For me the difference between first round and semi final vs. final was huge! I feel so happy to have an audience to sing for, instead of only a jury panel (nothing against them though). The audience gives you a lot of feedback while you are on stage, they might not be aware of it, but it does play an important role, at least for me. Also, it was a great experience to sing in Degeer Hallen, which has a fantastic acoustics in my opinion, I also enjoyed a lot to have sung with SON and with Nader Abbassi.

Mozart Prize:

Vera Talerko (soprano, Latvia):

It was very inspiring competition for me. To get an award for best Mozart interpretation means a lot for me. Because I strongly believe that Mozart in his last years was one foot in romantic epoque, and it turnes out that jury liked my version.

To be on stage for me means to educate audience, we are the storytellers of a composer. And it doens not matter for what kind of audience i sing for, it is always a pleasure to be on stage.

Congratulations and good luck in your future career!

See you tomorrow with the answers from the next prizewinners ?

14th June 2018, 18.00 De Geerhallen! Norrköpings Symfoniorkester
Conductor: Nader Abbassi
Concert presenter: Camilla Lundberg

Finalists:

Josefine Andersson mezzosoprano, Sweden

Joel Annmo tenor, Sweden

Sung Kyu Choi baritone, South Korea

Jungkwon Jang countertenor, South Korea

Yohan Kim tenor, South Korea

Hayoung Ra soprano, South Korea

Johanna Rudström mezzosoprano, Sweden

Rodrigo Sosa Dal Pozzo countertenor, Italy/Venezuela

Zinaida Tsarenko mezzosoprano, Russia

Our singers and Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (SON) allowed us to follow them while they had rehearsals. Thanks a lot!! And Toi toi toi!!

Singing competition. The repertoire will comprise opera, lieder or oratorio and one song by Wilhelm Stenhammar. In the Second Round the programme is chosen by the Jury from the contestant’s repertoire. Audience is welcome during the competition days. Free entrance. Only between every candidate, the audience is allowed to enter and/or leave.

© Photo: Ann-Charlotte Sandelin