Six finalists rounded off the Queen Sonja International Music Competition 2019 with breath taking performances at the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet. Baritone Sergey Kaydalov (27) from Russia won tonight's grand first prize.
Kaydalov was awarded the first prize of € 50.000. He has sung himself through three rounds of competition over the course of ten intensive days.
– Thank you to my parents, to my wife, to my country, thank you maestro, thank you to the Jury, and thank you audience. I am so happy, the QSIMC 2019 Winner said from stage.
The Second prize of € 10.000, went to Baritone Stefan Astakhov (21) from Germany, and the Third prize of € 5.000 went to Baritone Adam Kutny from Poland.
Her Majesty Queen Sonja presented the prizes, including a diploma with original artwork created by Her Majesty awarded to the First Prize winner. The finalist prizes of € 1.500 went to Soprano Meigui Zhang (26) from China, Tenor Theodore Browne (28) from Germany, and Soprano Natalia Tanasii (28) from Moldova.
H.M Queen Sonja thanked the finalists from the stage:
– I would like to thank the finalists. I am full of admiration for this fantastic evening you have given us tonight, and I am quite sure the audience is too. You have touched our hearts again. Let me thank each and every one of you for your great performances tonight – not to mention the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra.
Stefan Astakhov, the youngest participant of this year's Competition, won the Lied-award, presented to him by Jury Chair Annilese Miskimmon.
The Ingrid Bjoner Scholarship of NOK 100.000 was awarded to the best Norwegian participant, who this year was Astrid Nordstad (28) from Trondheim.
The prizewinners will also be offered engagements with leading Norwegian musical institutions. Throughout the semifinal and final concerts there have been international agents, artist managers, casting directors, orchestral program managers and other music industry representatives present. The competition will also host an opera gala with prizewinners in Bergen on 3 October 2019, together with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.
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Photo: Adrian Nielsen