The week of prizewinners (fourth prize and Mozart prize)

Portrait of three different persons

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 ?