Chairman of the jury
Eugène Traey
Belgium, °1915 - 2006
Count Eugène Traey (1915-2006) was born in Amsterdam of Belgian parents and studied music at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Antwerp, where his piano teacher was Emmanuel Durlet. He went on to study in Paris under Robert Casadesus and in Germany under Karl Leimer and Walter Gieseking. After this international training as a pianist, Eugène Traey pursued a career both as a concert performer and a teacher at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, of which he was the director until 1980. He gave recitals, performed with orchestras and took part in chamber music recitals with Arthur Grumiaux and Jean Laurent, as well as performing piano duos with Frédéric Gevers. He was the founder of the deSingel concert hall in Antwerp and was a regular member of juries at international competitions (Moscow, Warsaw, Munich and Tokyo, among others). From 1982 until 1995 Eugène Traey presided over the jury of the Queen Elisabeth Competition.
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Luigi Alva
Born in Lima, the Peruvian tenor Luigi Alva made his operatic debut in I Pagliacci (Arlecchino) in that city in 1951. In 1953 he left his native country for Italy, where he perfected his art with Emilio Ghirardini and then with Ettore Campogalliani. His appearance at the Voci Nuove competition won him a place among the Cadetti della Scala.
In 1955 he inaugurated the Piccola Scala and in 1956 began his long association with La Scala in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with, among others, Maria Callas. Luigi Alva became a great specialist of this opera, singing it in six different recordings and in two films. He has appeared on the leading stages: at the Vienna Opera, Covent Garden, the Bolshoi, the Zarzuela and the Metropolitan, as well as in other opera houses throughout the world and at the festivals of Glyndebourne, Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence, among others.
Luigi Alva is founder and director of the Prolirica Association in Peru and has received that country's highest honorary distinction for cultural achievement. He was also awarded the Viotti d’oro in Italy and teaches now at the Academy for opera singers at the Scala of Milan.
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Martina Arroyo
United States of America
From the stages of the world’s most prestigious opera houses - New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Paris Opera, London’s Covent Garden, Milan’s La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, and the Buenos Aires Teatro Colón - to the concert halls of Salzburg, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and New York - the name of Martina Arroyo (New York) has become synonymous with music-making of the highest order. Famous for her interpretations of Verdi, Puccini, Strauss, and Mozart, she is equally at ease with contemporary music. She has made more than 50 recordings, including major operas and orchestral performances with internationally renowned conductors. She is a Distinguished Professor Emerita of the faculty of Indiana University, a Trustee of Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was a member of the National Endowment for the Arts for six years, and was a recipient of the first American Council for the Arts awards. Martina Arroyo is founder and artistic director of the Martina Arroyo Foundation, Inc., which sponsors two programmes for young singers, a ‘Role Development Class’ and ‘Prelude to Performance’, which is a six week summer residence programme. Martina Arroyo has been awarded the Kennedy Center Honor, as well as honorary doctorates from several universities and institutions, including the Juilliard School, Hunter College, the New England School of Music, and Rutgers University.
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Jules Bastin
Belgium, °1933 - 1996
After having followed studies devoted to literature, Jules Bastin (1933-1996) entered the Conservatory of Brussels in the class of Frédéric Anspach. In 1958 he obtained first prizes magna cum laude in singing and opera and in 1960 was engaged by the La Monnaie opera. He swept first prizes at the 's-Hertogenbosch Competition in 1962 and that of Munich in 1963. Jules Bastin has performed on the world's great stages (La Scala, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan, Théâtre du Châtelet) under the most eminent conductors (Karajan, Kleiber, Barenboim, Böhm, Boulez, etc). He has interpreted the majority of the repertoire's famous bass roles, including Baron Ochs (Der Rosenkavalier), Falstaff, the Father (Louise)...
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Walter Berry
Austria, °1929 - 2000
Viennese bass-baritone Walter Berry jointly followed studies in civil engineering and singing, the latter at the Vienna Academy under Hermann Gallos. In 1949 he was Laureate of the Mozart Competition in Vienna, as well as in the competitions of Verviers and Geneva. In 1950 he was appointed soloist at the Vienna Opera. Moreover, he has appeared at the re-opening of this opera house in 1953, as well as at the openings of the operas of Berlin, Munich and of Tokyo's Nissai Theatre. Alongside a performance career with the world's greatest orchestras and conductors, Walter Berry is also reknowned for his interpretation of Lieder. He has also taken part in the Wiener Festwoche, at the festivals of Salzburg, Munich, Lucerne, Montreux, Aix-en-Provence, Saratoga and Prague, as well as in productions for television. His recordings on disc are quite numerous. Numerous, too, are the distinctions that have been accorded him in his native land, such as the title of Kammersänger in 1963. Invited to serve on the faculties of many academies and universities, he has often been on the jury of international competitions and has held the post of professor of Lieder and oratorio at the Musikhochschule in Vienna.
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Ileana Cotrubas
La soprano roumaine Ileana Cotrubas a suivi ses études au conservatoire de Bucarest avec les professeurs Elinescu et Stroescu. Après ses débuts à l'opéra de cette même ville en 1964 où elle interprète Yniold dans Pelléas, elle remporte les concours de Bois-le-Duc en 1965 et de Munich en 1966. Elle compléta par la suite sa formation à l'Académie de musique de Vienne. Une grande carrière internationale s'ensuivit. Elle a chanté les plus grands rôles (Susanna, Pamina, Violetta, Mimi, Gilda, Mélisande,...) sur la plupart des grandes scènes lyriques du monde (Covent Garden, la Scala, la Wiener Staatsoper, les festivals de Salzbourg, Glyndebourne et Florence,...). Elle a en outre eu une activité de concert importante avec les plus grands orchestres européens. En 1981, Ileana Cotrubas fut nommée Kammersängerin par le gouvernement autrichien. Depuis 1990, elle s'est retirée de la scène et consacre son temps à la formation de jeunes chanteurs.
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Cristina Deutekom
The Netherlands
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Louis Devos
Belgium - 2015
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Robert Gartside
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Sena Jurinac
, °1921 - 2011
Born in Travnik (Bosnia) of an Austrian mother and Croatian father, soprano Sena Jurinac studied voice with Marja Kostrencic at the Conservatory in Zagreb. She made her debut as Mimi (La Bohème) in the theatre of that city in 1942. Karl Böhm called her to the Vienna Opera in 1944 and she remained active there until 1982. Sena Jurinac has performed in the world's greatest opera houses (Covent Garden, La Scala, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Melbourne) and has sung at prestigious festivals such as Salzburg and Glyndebourne. She has made a great name in the soprano roles in the works of Mozart and Strauss. Her interpretations in Der Rosenkavalier and Ariadne auf Naxos have left their mark on operatic history. After 1982, she continued to teach, give master classes and participate as a jury member at international competitions.
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Yvonne Minton
Australia
Yvonne Minton was one of the great mezzo-sopranos of the late sixties and seventies. Having begun her singing studies in Australia, she came to London in 1961 for further study. In 1964 she joined the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as a soloist where her many successes included the roles of Octavian, Sesto, Didon, Orfeo, Fiordiligi, Kundry, Brangane, Frika and Marina. She was soon sought after by the main opera houses on both sides of the Atlantic, appearing at all the major European and American Opera Houses including Bayreuth and the Salzburg Festival. She was a regular guest at the Opera Houses of Cologne and Paris where she took part in the first production of Lulu conducted by Pierre Boulez and recorded by Deutsche Grammophon. Alongside her operatic career, Yvonne Minton has also been an active concert singer. Her back catalogue is impressive and embraces both her opera and concert work. She focuses her activities now on teaching young singers, taking part in an advanced voice training programme in Marseilles and conducting master classes.
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Vladislav Piavko
Russian Federation
Vladislav Piavko was the leading tenor of the Bolshoi Opera for about 25 years. His interpretations of Aida and Il Trovatore, Tosca and Madama Butterfly, Carmen, Boris Godunov, Khovantshina, Iolanta, The Queen of Spades (Pikovaja Dama) are among the brightest pages of the Bolshoi Opera of the 20th century. He is an excellent performer of modern music, his Sergej (Lady Makbeth of Mzensk by Dmitry Shostakovich) and Nozdrev (The Dead Souls by Rodion Shedrin) have achieved a great success.

Vladislav Piavko's performances on the European opera stages with world famous singers as his partners (Gena Dimitrova, Anna Tomova-Sintova, Raina Kabaivanska, Berit Lindholm, etc) strengthened the international prestige of the Russian vocal school and opera performing art. His performance of the title part in Mascagni’s Guglielmo Ratcliff in Livorno (1984) was a world sensation : as Russian tenor he was only the fourth singer for 100 years who was able to sing this extremely difficult music. For these performances he was awarded special Medals of Honour.

His record of Khovantshina was awarded the Prize of the Academy of Music of France, the record of The Dead Souls was awarded by the Critic Choice Prize (Great Britain). In 2006 Vladislav Piavko recorded Otello by Verdi, as a special project for the 40th anniversary of his artistic activity with Moscow opera singers Irina Arkadieva as Dezdemona and Evgeny Polikanin as Jago.

Keeping his own artistic activity as a singer, Vladislav Piavko also concentrates on pedagogical and social activity. He devotes himself to the professional support and promotion of young Russian opera singers and musicians and gives master classes in Russia and abroad. He is a member of jury of a number of International Vocal Contests and First Vice-President of the International Music Union of Russia and the Irina Arkhipova Foundation. He organises music festivals, public and charitable concerts, records, radio and TV broadcast. He is the artistic leader of the International Opera Festival in Cheljabinsk and of the very popular projects “Russian Tenors’ Parade” and “Russian Lied of two centures - from Mikhail Glinka to Georgy Sviridov”.

Born in 1941 in Krasnoyarsk, Vladislav Piavko graduated in 1965 from the Russian Theatre Academy, Moscow and successfully passed the audition to the Bolshoi Opera. In 1966 he made his debut in the Bolshoi as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly by Puccini and sang there as the first tenor until 1989. From 1979-1985 he has taught at the Russian Theatre Academy and currently is a professor at the State Moscow Conservatory. From 1989-1996 he was a soloist of the Deutsche Oper, Berlin.
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Hermann Christian Polster
Germany
Born in Leipzig, the bass Hermann Christian Polster is highly regarded in the field of oratorio. He started his musical training with the Dresden Kreuzchor. He continued his musical studies with his father - Fritz Polster - and went on to study musicology at the University of Leipzig. His international career led him to perform in both concerts and oratorios, for example with the Kreuzchor in Dresden and the Thomanerchor, the Bachsolisten, and the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. He has performed throughout the world with many leading conductors, and has appeared on radio and television and recorded for several record labels. Hermann Christian Polster taught at the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Hochschule in Leipzig. He gives frequent international master classes and often sits on juries at singing competitions.
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Vera Rozsa-Nordell
, °1917 - 2010
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Joan Sutherland
- 2010
After her triumph in Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden in 1959, Joan Sutherland established herself as one of the foremost sopranos of our time. She was instrumental in reviving Handel’s operas as well as being a great exponent of the operas of Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Gounod, Thomas, Massenet, and Verdi. She has sung in most of the world’s major opera houses and had a prolific recording career, with her recordings receiving many awards. Joan Sutherland has received honorary degrees from universities and music schools in Australia, Europe, and America. She was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and was later awarded the Order of Merit by her Majesty the Queen. She also received the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres from the French government for her services to music. Since retiring, she has been invited to sit on many international juries and spent much of her time writing her autobiography, ‘A Prima Donna’s Progress’, which has now been published in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the USA. She passed away in 2010.
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Eric Tappy
Swiss tenor, born in Lausanne, Eric Tappy has been prominent on the international scène for nearly 30 years, as much for oratorios as for opera where he is thought to be the perfect performer of baroque pieces and of Monteverdi, in particular. In 1968, he received the Prix Edison du Disque for his interpration of Orfeo. Until 1981, the date when he announced his retirement from the musical scene, he was one of the leading interpreters of Mozart, performing on the world's leading stages. He sang at numerous international festivals, including Salzburg, notably in the production of Ponnelle-Levine.
His repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary music, including the works of Stravinsky and his preferred roles such as Pelléas, Alwa (Lulu) and Lensky. He has sung under the direction of leading conductors such as Ansermet, Kleiberth, Kubelik, Karajan, Sawallisch, Levine and Harnoncourt, and has made many recordings, films and premieres.
As of 1981 he instigated and directed the Atelier d'Interprétation vocale et dramatique of the Lyon Opera House and was later, until 1999, Professor at the Conservatoire de Genève. In 1994 he was appointed to the rank of Officer des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. His combined teaching of vocal techniques, performance and direction has led him to be invited to give master classes in Salzburg, Brussels, Copenhagen, Oslo, Gothenberg and Villecroze in the Var.
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José Van Dam
Belgium
The Brussels-born bass baritone José Van Dam is one of today’s greatest singers. Since his debut in Paris in Les Troyens, he has been a regular guest at the world’s most prestigious opera houses and festivals (including the Paris Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala in Milan, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Metropolitan Opera, the Teatro Colón, and the festivals of Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence, and Orange). His roles have included Falstaff, Simon Boccanegra, Philippe II (in Don Carlos), Don Giovanni, Boris Godunov, Amfortas (in Parsifal), the Flying Dutchman, and Wozzeck, to name but a few. His performance in the title role of Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise was warmly received in Paris and Salzburg, at its premiere in 1983 and again in 1992. His operatic career has not prevented him from branching into oratorio and lieder, in which his repertoire is equally extensive ; he has sung under Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Georg Solti, and Seiji Ozawa, among others. In addition to boasting an impressive, award-winning discography, he has also appeared in films, most notably in the famous Le Maître de Musique. José Van Dam has received the titles of Kammersänger of the city of Berlin and of Chevalier in the order of the Légion d’Honneur. In August 1998, he was ennobled by King Albert II.
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