Queen Sonja International Music Competition 2013: Speech
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear music lovers and friends of the The Queen Sonja International Music Competition,
In 1988, I had the pleasure of giving out the prizes to the proud winners of our first Competition. Now, 25 years later, I think we can allow ourselves to celebrate!
We are all grateful for the international recognition the Competition has received. And we are fortunate to attract the very best of young singers and jury members from all over the world. The inspiring new collaboration with leading international opera academies, has resulted in more than 200 talented singers from 47 countries applying to this years Competition.
The Competition has recently developed into a comprehensive program of events, including master classes and concerts. This year the Competition also - for the first time - moves outside Oslo. Some of the prize winners are performing with Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra in the Kilden Performing Arts Centre next week, on the 29th.
Now, after a number of exciting preliminary rounds, we have arrived at this final. Our five finalists and the outstanding Opera Orchestra, conducted by John Helmer Fiore, have really moved and thrilled us with their performances.
Let me express my gratitude towards all those og you who have made this year's Competition such a success.
I would especially like to thank the distinguished Jury and its Chair Sophie de Lint for their intense work during the whole Competition.
I would also like to thank Carol Vaness and Kasper Holten for their special support in giving excellent master classes to the singers.
I would like to congratulate Jan Erik Mikalsen, the young composer of tonights opening number - Wagner Prelude - especially commissioned by the Competition. And it has just come to my knowledge that Jan Erik Mikalsen is the recipient of this years the Edvard Prize for contemporary music, given by TONO Norways Performing Rights Society. Congratulations on this occasion.
You have given us a wonderful and indeed exciting night here at the Opera House. It is my sincere hope that your achievements in our Competition will be of valuable help in developing your future careers. Let me thank each and every one of you for your great performances and an absolutely outstanding concert.
Now it is my great honor to announce who has won the first, second, and third prize.