Chairman of the jury
Arie Van Lysebeth
Belgium, °1938
Arie Van Lysebeth was the President of the Jury of the Queen Elisabeth Competition from 1996 to 2018. He took up the violin at the age of four. He completed his higher education at the Brussels Conservatory in music theory, bassoon, chamber music, and orchestral conducting. Following a competition, he was appointed bassoon soloist of the Belgian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, he came joint first in the Prague International Bassoon Contest. He also studied conducting under Bruno Maderna in Salzburg and under Pierre Boulez in Switzerland. Starting in 1970, he conducted the Flemish Chamber Orchestra, both in Belgium and abroad. As a guest conductor, he has appeared with the major Belgian orchestras as well as with symphony orchestras in the United States of America, Argentina, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany. He has performed with many famous soloists, including Igor Oistrakh, José Van Dam, Murray Perahia, and Augustin Dumay. From 1995 to 2004 he was the regular conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Brussels Conservatory, where he taught chamber music for many years (1970-1994) and served as director (1994-2003). From 2004 to 2014, he was the artistic director of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
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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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Noëlle Barker
- 2013
A native of Scotland, Noëlle Barker first considered on making a career in science, at Aberdeen University, before then deciding to devote herself to music. She pursued her singing studies in Amsterdam and Munich, with Hans Hotter, and then in London under Vera Rozsa, later enchanting audiences with performance in opera, oratorio and recital. Her integral recordings of Messiaen's songs have enjoyed remarkable success. Director of the singing section at the Guildhall School in London from 1976 to 1988, her expertise has been called upon from the United States, Mexico, China and Hong Kong, to Egypt and India. She has given private lessons in London and Paris, where she also lectured on the pedagogy of singing at both the Centre d'Art Polyphoniques end the Conservatoire National Supérieur. Her students have taken numerous national and international prizes, and have forged distinguished careers in both opera and contemporary music ensembles. In 1985, Noëlle Barker was accorded the Order of the British Empire for her exceptional contribution to music.
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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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Jane Berbié
France
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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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Edith Bers
Chair of the voice department at the Juilliard School, Edith Bers also serves on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and Bard College Conservatory Graduate Program in Voice, of which Dawn Upshaw is Director. She has had a performance career in both opera and concert, singing the U.S. premier of Schumann’s Der Sängers Fluch. Edith Bers has judged and given master classes for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Korean Broadcasting System, the Hong Kong/Juilliard Master Classes (Hong Kong), and Concert Artists Guild and has taught at various summer festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival Steans Institute, and Bel Canto Institute (Florence). Her students perform with major opera companies throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, and the operahouses in New York, Santa Fe, Philadelphia, Glyndebourne, Hamburg, Bordeaux and Frankfurt.
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Mya Besselink
The Netherlands
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Stuart Burrows
Stuart Burrows is considered one of the world's great lyric tenors. Born in Wales, his career has taken him to all the major Opera Houses of the world singing all the leading tenor roles. He has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, New York on twelve consecutive seasons - a record for any British singer. He also has the distinction of being invited by the Met on four occasions to join them on tour of the USA.

He has appeared in concert and recital with Solti, Barenboim, Mehta, Ozawa, Bernstein and Ormandy at Carnegie Hall, the Brahms-Saal in Vienna, at the Tanglewood Festival, Boston Symphony Festival and Salzburg Summer Festivals.

In 1981 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Wales, in 1989 a Fellowship from Trinity College, Carmarthen and in 1991 and 1993 Fellowships from the Welsh College of Music and Drama, and University College of Wales. In June 2007 he was awarded the OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Stuart Burrows is president of a number of charitable organisations throughout south Wales, devoting much of his time to fund-raising. He has also established an international voice award in Carmarthen's Trinity College, where he studied as a young man. He has adjudicated at some of the leading International Vocal Competitions including the Mozarteum in Salzburg and Cardiff Singer of the World.
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Louis Devos
Belgium - 2015
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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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Matti Lehtinen
Finland, °1922
Renowned as both opera singer and teacher, Matti Lehtinen trained at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and at Stockholm's Royal Academy of Music. He gave his debut recital in 1948 and won first prize at the International Music Competition in Geneva in 1950. He was soloist with the Finnish National Opera from 1948 to 1952 and again from 1963 onwards, as well as being a member of the Cologne Opera from 1952 to 1955. He has made several concert tours and given many radio performances in Europe and the United States, and has often been a guest artist in opera houses and festivals (including Bergen and Savonlinna) of Europe. Matti Lehtinen has been first performer of numerous avant-garde vocal works of contemporary Finnish composers. He has also been a jury member at several international competitions : Munich (Bayerischer Rundfunk), Budapest (Erkel Competition), Sofia (Competition for Young Opera Singers) and Helsinki (Mirjam Helin Competition). He has been a professor of voice at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.
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Evgeny Nesterenko
Winning the 1970 Tchaikovsky Competition launched the lightning career of Moscow-born Evgeny Nesterenko. After the Bolshoi, the great venues of the world beckoned, as did distinguished conductors such as Abbado, Muti, Kleiber, Pretre, Sawallich and many more. His beautiful bass voice has charmed audiences of opera, oratorio and Lieder. In the latter genre, he has premiered works by Shostakovich and Georgi Swiridow. His performance in the production of Don Carlo, which he sang at the bi-centennial celebrations of La Scala, has brought him particular renown. Evgeny Nesterenko has recorded with the Russian Melodia as well as with EMI, Philips, Deutsche Grammophon and other labels, and has also made videos. Awarded many distinctions in Russia and abroad, Evgeny Nesterenko has also teached singing in Vienna. Audiences in Belgium have had the pleasure of hearing him in recital in Brussels in 1989, in Attila in 1993 and in Don Carlo in 1995 at the Flanders Opera, as well as in Ghent’s Bijloke in February 2000.
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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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Anna Tomowa-Sintow
Anna Tomowa-Sintow is undeniably one of the leading vocal stars on the operatic stage today. After her musical training in Sofia, the Bulgarian-born soprano made her debut at the Leipzig Opera. There and later on at the Berlin Staatsoper, she mastered an enormous repertoire ranging from the great lyrical-dramatic roles of Verdi, Puccini and the "Verismo" to the German roles of Mozart, Wagner and Strauss. Ever since her international breakthrough in Verdi's "Requiem" in Paris, Anna Tomowa-Sintow has celebrated triumphs at all the leading opera houses, festivals and concert halls of the world, from the MET to La Scala Milan, the Salzburg Festival (participating there for 19 years), Vienna, Paris, London, Chicago, Athens (Megaron), Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona, Moscow, Tokyo, etc. and with the most prestigious conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Carlos Kleiber, Karl Böhm, Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and others. She has worked with Herbert von Karajan for seventeen years, a collaboration that gave rise to a uniquely creative and mutually enriching oeuvre on the stage, in the concert hall and in the recording studio.
Her recordings with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras have set standards for generations of singers. Parallel to her stage career, she has also been pursuing an active concert agenda which is documented on CD and film, in addition to her many opera recordings. She received several awards, amongst which two Grammies for her recordings of Ariadne (under James Levine) and Don Giovanni (Donna Anna, under H.v.Karajan) and the Orphée d'or for her recording of Strauss' Four Last Songs and the Capriccio Final Monologue under Herbert von Karajan.
Her performance of Elvira's aria "Ernani, involami" marked a highlight of the MET Centennial Gala which was telecasted live worldwide and was chosen by the magazine Opera News as the best interpretation of the piece ever recorded. During the Verdi year 2001 a stamp was released in the USA featuring her as Desdemona at the Staatsoper Vienna.
"Kammersängerin" of the Vienna and Berlin State Operas, Tomowa-Sintow is renowned for her incomparable artistry and stylistic versatility - whether performing Italian, German or Russian roles. Her vast repertoire includes the leading female parts in almost all Verdi operas, such as Traviata, Aida, Amelia (Ballo & Simone Boccanegra), Leonora (Il trovatore & La forza del destino), Desdemona, Elisabetta (Don Carlo), Puccini's Tosca, Butterfly, Manon Lescaut and Turandot, Bellini's Norma, Mascagni's Santuzza (Cavalleria) and Giordano's Maddalena in Andrea Chenier, Mozart's Figaro Countess, Fiordiligi and Donna Anna (with which she made all of her US debuts - at the MET, San Francisco and Chicago), Wagner's Elisabeth, Elsa and Sieglinde, Tschaikowsky's Tatjana and Jaroslawna in Borodin's Prince Igor; last not least her legendary Strauss interpretations of the Marschallin, Ariadne, Arabella, Capriccio-Madelaine, Ägyptische Helena, Salome and the Kaiserin in "Die Frau ohne Schatten" and Korngold's "das Wunder der Heliane". Most of these operas are documented on CD and film/DVD, together with some of her finest singer colleagues, amongst which Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Piero Cappuccilli, Ruggero Raimondi, José Carreras and Sherill Milnes.
Anna Tomowa-Sintow has recently expanded her concert and recital activity and started to also give master classes. In 2007 she sang Sieglinde with triumphant success in a concert version of Walküre's 1st act and together with the NHK Symphony Orchestra she performed Strauss' "Four last songs" in Tokyo (live TV transmission) and closed the year with her very first Christmas concert together with a boy's choir and orchestra. In 2008 she appeared for the first time at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival with a frenetically cheered recital and subsequent masterclass.
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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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