Friday 27 February 2015

Guildhall School Gold Medal finalists announced

Guildhall School
Each year the Guildhall School of Music and Drama awards its Gold Medal, alternate years to singers and to instrumentalists. This year the award is going to a singer and the finalists have just been announced. They are Milan Siljanov (bass-baritone), Marta Fontanals-Simmons (mezzo-soprano), Thomas Atkins (tenor) and Jennifer Witton (soprano). Milan, Thomas and Jennifer are studying on the Guildhall Artist Masters Opera Studies programme and Marta is studying for an Artist Diploma in Vocal Studies.

The final is on 13 May 2015 at the Barbican when each performer will do a short set with piano and then a set with orchestra, with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dominic Wheeler. The panel of judges includes soprano Sally Matthews, broadcaster and Guildhall School alumna Sara Mohr-Pietsch, baritone Alan Opie, David Syrus who is head of music at the Royal Opera, Jonathan Vaughan who is director of the Guildhall School and Dominic Wheeler who is the director of music.

There are some interesting choices of music from Wagner to Handel (from the same singer!) and beyond, you can see the full programmes after the break. Further information from the Guildhall School website.

Finalists' programmes

Milan Siljanov
Nino Chokhonelidze piano
With piano:
Duparc La vie antérieure
Schubert Der Wanderer an den Mond
Schubert Auf der Bruck
Wolf 'Der Feuerreiter' from Mörike-Lieder
With orchestra:
Handel 'Sorge infausta una procella' from Orlando
Rachmaninoff 'Aleko's Cavatina' from Aleko
Wagner 'Wahn! Wahn! Überall Wahn!' from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Marta Fontanals-Simmons
Timothy End piano
With piano:
Britten 'A Charm' from A Charm of Lullabies
Granados 'Descúbrase el pensamiento' from Canciones Amatorias
Rebecca Clarke The Seal Man
Strauss Zueignung
With orchestra:
Mozart 'Parto, Parto' from La Clemenza di Tito
Bellini 'Ascolta, se Romeo t'uccise un figlio' from I Capuleti e i Montecchi
Rossini 'Non più mesta' from La Cenerentola

Thomas Atkins
Somi Kim piano
With piano:
Strauss Cäcilie
Strauss Du Meines Herzens Krönelein
Britten Sonnets XVI, XXX, XXIV from Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo
With orchestra:
Cilea 'È la solita storia del pastore' from L'arlesiana
Gounod 'L'amour, l'amour...Ah, lève-toi soleil' from Roméo et Juliette
Giordano 'Come un bel di di Maggio' from Andrea Chénier

Jennifer Witton
Ben-San Lau piano
With piano:
Britten 'Let the florid Music Praise' from On this Island
Gurney Sleep
Strauss Nichts
Debussy Apparition
Poulenc Fêtes Galantes
With orchestra:
Massenet 'Allons il le faut.....Adieu notre petite table' from Manon
Berg ' 'Die Nachtigall' from Sieben frühe lieder
Bellini 'Ah! non credea.....Ah! non giunge!' from La Sonnambula

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