2019 Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition

After four days of rounds in front of a distinguished panel of jurors and
Wigmore Hall audiences, on Wednesday 11th September 25-year-old Mikhail Timoshenko won the £10,000 First Prize at Wigmore Hall’s International Song Competition, sponsored for the first time by

Independent Opera

The Final and Semi-Final rounds were live streamed to international
audiences and can still be viewed at




The £5,000 second prize place was awarded to 29-year-old British soprano
Harriet Burns. Third place, with a prize of £2,500, went to British
mezzo-soprano Beth Taylor and fourth to British tenor Kieran Carrel.

Michael Pandya, the 25-year old British pianist who partnered Harriet
Burns, won the £5,000 Pianist’s Prize.

Mikhail Timoshenko studied at the Mednogorsk Conservatoire and the
Hochschule f¸r Musik Franz Liszt, Weimar. He has won top prizes in several
other competitions in the past few years with his duo partner, pianist
Elitsa Desseva, including First Prize at the Franz Schubert und die Musik
der Moderne Competition in Graz, and the Hugo Wolf Competition in

Director of Wigmore Hall and chair of the Jury John Gilhooly OBE says of
the Competition:

‘The Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition is
all about recognising and encouraging the next generation of great
performers and there is no doubt that this thrilling week highlighted
many wonderful musical personalities. The quality of the performances
has been outstanding, and it is certain that the future of the great
art of song is assured. Congratulations to Mikhail Timoshenko and to
all our prize winners. We greatly look forward to hearing them again in

Natalie Murray Beale, performer, jury member and Creative Director of
Independent Opera said:

‘We’ve had an exceptional week, from the jury’s viewpoint, witnessing
exciting and brave performances from a wide range of talented young
artists. Open masterclasses and expert talks have also given
fascinating insights to performers and audiences alike. Independent
Opera is delighted to have sponsored the competition and looks forward
to its return in two years’ time.’

Celebrating the art of song, the biennial International Song Competition
has grown in status and prestige to become one of the most significant
platforms worldwide for recognising young talent in song recital since it
was established in 1997.

A truly international list of emerging performers aged 33 and under, all on
the verge of embarking on significant international careers, had taken part
during the week, which also included public masterclasses, coaching and
feedback from some of the foremost international song performers and

The Jury was mainly comprised of eminent performers including John Mark
Ainsley, Iain Burnside, Bernarda Fink, Graham Johnson, Dame Felicity Lott,
Thomas Quasthoff and Ailish Tynan.