British baritone Marcus Farnsworth has won the Wigmore Hall’s prestigious International Song Competition. The final took place at London’s Wigmore Hall, in front of an enthusiastic and expectant audience on 10 September.
After an hour of deliberation the esteemed jury awarded first prize of £10,000 to 25 year old Marcus Farnsworth, who was accompanied by Elizabeth Burgess. Marcus said he was “on cloud nine” to have won the competition and expressed his admiration for his fellow competitors.
Benedict Nelson, another British baritone was awarded second prize with American soprano Erin Morley taking third and American baritone Sidney Outlaw fourth prize. The Jean Meikle Prize for a Duo went to the British/South African pairing of Gerard Collett (baritone) and James Baillieu (piano). James Baillieu was also awarded the Pianist’s Prize.
Wigmore Hall Director and Chairman of the jury John Gilhooly commented “It has been an incredible week, and one thing is for certain - the art of The Song Recital is alive and flourishing, not only here in Wigmore Street, but throughout the world. We have been deeply impressed with the standard of performances heard throughout this competition.
“Taking part in an international competition is not just about winning. Its purpose is to help launch or advance careers, as well as providing valuable opportunities for interchange, and establishing standards amongst young people who may otherwise be working in isolation across the world. It provides an invaluable opportunity to meet contemporaries and receive advice from judges.”
The jury consisted of Wigmore Hall Director John Gilhooly as Chairman, Dr Ralph Kohn FRS, Dame Anne Evans, Dame Margaret Price, Ann Murray DBE, Anneke Hogenstijn, Sir Thomas Allen, Iain Burnside, Wolfgang Holzmair and Graham Johnson OBE.