Toi-toi to Australian mezzo-soprano Helen Sherman, one of four soloists who along with her pianist has qualified for the finals of the prestigious 2013 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition. The grand finale and prize-giving will be held on September 3rd.
Founded in the traditions of Lied, the biennial competition is open to elite singers and pianists aged 33 or under, who intend to embark on major recital careers. Competitors face a gruelling round of auditions and public rounds in which they are not allowed to repeat repertoire. They must sing in at least three languages and for the final, present a recital that lasts 30 minutes.
For those who progress through the rounds, the competition provides an invaluable opportunity to perform in public in a world famous venue. They gain feedback from adjudicators who are drawn from a bank of international artists and directors from the world’s best concert halls and music festivals. It encourages competitors to broaden their repertoire and provides an opportunity for the exchange of knowledge, skill and ideas between artists from all over the world.
The prizes for singers and pianists as individuals and in ensemble amount to over £25,000, with a special prize for the best interpretation of Schubert Lieder. The 2013 adjudicators include tenor Christoph Pregardien, mezzo-soprano Anne Murray DBE and pianist Graham Johnson OBE.
Helen Sherman graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and furthered her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. In 2012/2013 she represented Australin at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. She has twice been awarded Australian Musical Association prizes at the Royal Overseas League competition. Recent and future engagements include Aurelio (L’Assedio di Calais), Dorabella (Così fan tutte) and Nero (L’Incoronazione di Poppea) for ETO, Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) for Mid Wales Opera, and Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) and Governess (Queen of Spades) for Grange Park Opera.
Helen has given recitals at Wigmore Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, Bridgewater Hall and in the City of London and Cheltenham Festivals, broadcast by BBC Radio 3. Future engagements include Sesto (La clemenza di Tito) for Classical Opera. Later this year she will perform in recital at the Wigmore Hall for the Samling Foundation with pianist Malcolm Martineau and Sir Thomas Allen .
Performing with Helen Sherman is English pianist Sam Armstrong who made his solo recital debut at the Wigmore Hall in April 2011. His concert hall appearances elsewhere around the world include the Concertgebouw Amsterdam Kleine Zaal, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, Esplanade in Singapore, the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago and at festivals such as Aldeburgh, Mecklenburg-Vorpommen, Münsterland and Les Heures Musicales du Haut-Anjou. He has been a prizewinner in several competitions including the Porto and Brant International competition, and was laureate in the Epinal International Piano Competition in France. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and at Mannes College of Music in New York.