The 5th Éva Marton International Singing Competition ended on 11 September with a repeat performance by the 12 finalists and the special awards ceremony at the Budapest Opera House.
“Organizing prestigious competitions where talents from all over the world get an exceptional chance to excel and which awards them with lasting experiences, is an integral part of the activity of any prestigious university,” said Dr. Andrea Vigh, director of the Liszt Academy in her speech. She emphasized that contestants are not adversaries at this competition, and sometimes not even real opponents, but members of a colourful community who all want to learn from the international jury and especially from Éva Marton herself. “They all become part of the same family for a week at a university where the musical community is regarded as a large, close-knit family, whom we love and with whom we stand in solidarity in all circumstances,” the director added.
Éva Marton is one of the crown jewels of the Liszt Academy; a living legend, who this year again tirelessly listened to the singers of the future, said the director about the artist whose name the competition bears and who was greeted with a standing ovation from the audience when she stepped onto the stage.
The winners of the first, second and third places of the competition, Andrei Danilov Russian tenor – who also received the audience award at Saturday’s final -, Aleksei Kulagin Russian bass and Jeong Inho Korean bass were awarded a live audition at the Scala opera house in Milan as a special prize.
In addition, Andrei Danilov received invitations to perform at the Astana Opera, with the Hungarian Philharmonic, the Concerto Budapest orchestra and the Hungarian State Opera House, as well as the opportunity to attend a two-week master class from jury member Anatoli Goussev.
Aleksei Kulagin received the “Bravo Baritone” special award of EUR 1,000 awarded to the best baritone by the Classic Mecenat Foundation of Mongolia, the media package of Fidelio, and invitations to perform with the Hungarian State Opera House, the Palace of Arts in Budapest, and the Zempléni Festival.
Jeong Inho received the Éva Marton special prize, which comes with a monetary award of EUR 10,000 with the support of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, an invitation to perform at the Margitsziget Open Air Theatre, and an audition in four Spanish opera houses courtesy of Lerín Artist Management Barcelona.
Among the other finalists, Jolana Slavikova Czech mezzo-soprano won the Special Presidential Prize of EUR 10,000, presented for the first timet to the best performer of the mandatory Liszt songs that are the hallmark of the competition. Slavikova earned the special prize, which was presented by Cabinet Minister Tamás Schanda on behalf of the President of Hungary Katalin Novák, based on Éva Marton’s decision.
Linsey Coppens Belgian mezzo-soprano was awarded an invitation to perform a concert at the House of Music Hungary; Natália Tuznik Hungarian soprano received invitations from the Miskolc Symphony Orchestra, the Hungarian Radio Art Ensembles and the MÁV Symphony Orchestra, and won the Papageno media package.
The Liszt Academy’s 5th Éva Marton International Singing Competition, with total prizes amounting to more than EUR 80,000, was organized with the support of the Hungarian government and Hungarian oil and gas company MOL’s New Europe Foundation. The competition started on Monday with 50 participants.
The jury was chaired by Éva Marton and the other members of the panel were celebrated figures of international opera: Miguel Lerín, one of the most influential art managers; Peter Mario Katona, casting director of the Royal Opera House in London; Anatoli Goussev, opera singer and professor at La Scuola Musicale in Foro Buonaparte di Milano; Italian tenor and opera singer Vittorio Terranova; opera singer Dmitry Vdovin, director of the youth opera programme at the Bolshoi Theatre and visiting professor at several prestigious opera studios around the world; mezzo soprano Andrea Meláth, head of the Singing Department of the Liszt Academy; and Szilveszter Ókovács, director general of the Hungarian State Opera House.