The participants are awarded points from one to five by the jury in the following categories: voice quality, technical ability, musical presentation (rhythm, phrasing, expression), diction and artistic presence. No jury member will judge a current or former pupil.
Thomas Quasthoff (Chair)
For almost four decades, Thomas Quasthoff has set the standard on international stages, moving the hearts of countless listeners with his artistry. He ended his outstanding career as a singer in 2012. However, he has retained his close ties to singing and music as a teacher at the Hanns Eisler Music Academy in Berlin and in various master classes, as a recitalist and speaker at concerts, readings, and new projects.
One of the most remarkable singers in his field, Quasthoff was a frequent guest of such orchestras as the Berlin and the Vienna Philharmonics and many other fine ensembles. He could regularly be enjoyed at all major music venues, working closely with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Christian Thielemann, and Franz Welser-Möst.
Thomas Quasthoff was a professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold from 1996 until 2004, and has taught at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin ever since, where he dedicates himself passionately to the upcoming generation of singers. This devotion inspired him to launch the „Das Lied“ international song competition.
Born in Berlin, Brigitte Fassbaender studied singing with her father, Willy Domgraf-Fassbaender, and was engaged (at the age of 21) by the Staatsoper Munich where she sang a large repertoire of mezzo roles including Oktavian, Dorabella, Sesto, Carmen, Eboli, Amneris, Charlotte, Fricka, Geschwitz, Brangäne, Orlofsky, Quickly, Herodias, Amme, Klytemnästra, Clairon and many others.
Over the years, the recital and concert platform became increasingly important, and in the recording studio, over 350 records were made. She was the first female singer to record all Schubert-Lieder-cycles.
In January 1995, Brigitte Fassbaender decided to retire from the stage in order to devote herself full time to stage directing, a second career which had begun in 1990. Since then she has directed over 50 productions worldwide. She also enjoys a considerable international reputation as a teacher for solo vocal music in master classes in Europe and abroad.
In January 2011, the French Government appointed her an honorary Chevalier of the Légion d‘honneur and, one year later, the German Government appointed her The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Bernarda Fink, born in Buenos Aires to Slovene parents, received her vocal and musical education at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón where she used to perform frequently.
Bernarda Fink is one of the most sought-after singers in concerts and recitals. She has been acclaimed for her musical versatility and as such invited by the leading orchestras and conductors in Europe and America. Her repertoire ranges from ancient music up to music of the 20th century. She frequently appears with the London Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Wiener and Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Cleveland Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as with the best known Baroque orchestras under Blomstedt, Bychkov, Chailly, Davis, Gardiner, Gergiev, Harnoncourt, Jacobs, Jansons, Muti, Norrington, Pinnock, Prêtre, Rattle and Welser-Möst.
Bernarda Fink has appeared to wide-spread critical acclaim in Argentina and at the main opera houses of Europe. She regularly appears in recitals at the Wiener Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Wigmore Hall in London.
Irish-born John Gilhooly became Artistic and Executive Director of Wigmore Hall aged 32 in early 2005, making him the youngest leader of any of the world’s great concert halls. He has been Executive Director of Wigmore Hall since January 2001, and is credited with having overseen the artistic, financial and administrative transformation of the Hall over the past 12 years. His tenure as Artistic Director has seen record box office returns and its highest ever membership levels, as well as a doubling of overall revenue and annual fundraising.
In July 2010, John Gilhooly was elected Chairman of the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society, and led the Society’s Bicentenary celebrations in 2013. He was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music in 2006 for his services to the Academy, and in 2011 was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal College of Music. John Gilhooly is a Patron of the performing arts organisation Irish Heritage and the Cavatina Music Trust. As Artistic Director of Wigmore Hall, he programmes the largest chamber music and song series in the world. He has twice been named in „London’s Top 100 Opinion Makers” by Time Out magazine and was listed in the Evening Standard’s „Most Influential” list for 2011. John Gilhooly also established the Hall’s highly regarded CD label Wigmore Hall Live (named Gramophone’s record label of the year 2011), and introduced an ambitious new music and commissioning scheme, expanding Wigmore Hall’s programming in both traditional and new directions.
Charlotte Lehmann studied at the college of music and the university of the Saarland with Sibylle Ursula Fuchs and privately with Paul Lohmann. She was prize-winner of international competitions such as „L’Amour du Chant” and the UFAM and concentrated in Europe and America. Charlotte Lehmann has appeared with all German broadcasting corporations, as well as in France, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey. On television, she appeared with both ARD and ZDF. She has participated in CD recordings for labels such as Camera, Vox, Corona, Bayer Records and EMI. In 1982 she received the prize of the German Record Critics (Debussy and A. Schoenberg, EMI).
In 1972, Charlotte Lehmann took up her teaching activity at the University for Music Hannover. Since 1988, she has the chair for singing at the University for Music of Würzburg. She was a teacher of international prize winners such as Lioba Brown, Grammy winner Thomas Quasthoff and Professor Maria Kowollik. Charlotte Lehmann led international master courses and regularly gives classes at Haus Marteau (Lichtenberg/Bayreuth). She is editor of aria-books by J.S. Bach and W. A. Mozart for all types of voices (Bärenreiter-Verlag), and is internationally in demand as juror and lecturer.
From an early age Felicity Lott learnt piano and violin, and took singing lessons. Her real love was the French language and she took a degree in French and Latin at Royal Holloway College, University of London, with a vague idea of becoming an interpreter. She obtained an Associated Board scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied for four years, leaving in 1973 with the Principal’s Prize.
In 1975 Felicity made her debut at the English National Opera as Pamina in Mozart‘s Magic Flute, in 1976 she took part in the first performance of Henze‘s opera We Come To The River at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. In that year also began her long relationship with Glyndebourne, with the role of the Countess in Capriccio on the Tour, and in 1977 she appeared at the Festival for the first time, as Anne Trulove in Stravinsky‘s The Rake‘s Progress. Since then, Felicity has appeared at all the great opera houses of the world : Vienna, Milan, Paris, Brussels, Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin, New York and Chicago. Conductors she has worked with on the opera stage include Andrew Davis, Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Jurowski, Carlos Kleiber, Antonio Pappano and Simon Rattle.
Felicity is well known as a concert artist, working with all the great conductors and orchestras. Besides she is an experienced recitalist after many years of singing with Graham Johnson, whom she met when they were students at the Royal Academy of Music.
Helga Machreich was born in Villach, Austria and grew up in a musical family. After graduating from high school, she decided to live in France for an extended period of time. She studied French at the University of Rennes in Brittany, then returned home to attend the Vienna University of Economics and Business, majoring in Commercial Science. There, she formed the economic university’s amateur orchestra, participating herself as clarinetist and organizing numerous tours throughout Europe for the group.
In 1997, she decided to give up her studies to take up a position at Dr. Raab & Dr. Böhm Artist Agency, eventually making her hobby and great passion for classical music her chosen profession. Dr. Horst Böhm promoted her to senior management in 2001, which allowed her to promote the careers of young, talented artists with great competence and personal care. During the course of her 14-year long career, she succeeded in bringing renowned singers like Patricia Petibon, Bernarda Fink, Marjana Lipovšek, Michael Schade, and Thomas Quasthoff to the agency. In May 2011, Helga Machreich founded Machreich Artists Management agency, which she runs independently.
In September 2010, he became Director of the Vienna State Opera. He held the position of general director of the Lausanne Opera from 1994 to 1999. From 1999 until the end of the 2009/2010 season, he was general and artistic director of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. In the field of dance Dominique Meyer was president of the Ballet Angelin Preljocaj from 1991 to 2007 and was appointed honorary president in 2007. From 1995 to 1999, he was a member of the board of the Maurice Béjart Ballet in Lausanne as well as of the Prix de Lausanne dance competition.
In the field of music he was president of the French Youth Orchestra from 2001 to 2010, since 2010 he has been the orchestra’s honorary president. From 1995 to 1999 he was a member of the board of directors of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. As treasurer of the Pro- Quartet he organized chamber music concerts and string quartet performances. He was artistic consultant to Riccardo Muti during the founding of the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini in Piacenza. He is currently on the board of directors of the European Music Theatre Academy (EMA) of the University of Vienna as well as of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP).
Dominique Meyer is currently lecturer at the Institut für Theater-, Film und Medienwissenschaft at the University of Vienna.
Richard Stokes is Professor of Lieder at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and has given many lectures and masterclasses on Lieder and art song at St John’s Smith Square, Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals. For the operatic stage, he translated Wozzeck and La voix humaine (Opera North), Parsifal, Lulu and L’Amour de loin (ENO) and has also produced a singing translation of Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz for performance at ENO in 2012.
Other books include The Penguin Book of English Song, Seven Centuries of Poetry from Chaucer to Auden, The Spanish Song Companion (with Jacqueline Cockburn), J.S. Bach – The Complete Cantatas (Scarecrow Press), A French Song Companion (with Graham Johnson (OUP)), and The Book of Lieder (Faber). With Alfred Brendel he collaborated on the latter’s collected poems: Playing the Human Game, recently published by Phaidon.
His translations of Kleist’s Die Marquise von O… and Kafka’s Der Prozess and Die Verwandlung have been published by Hesperus Press, Alma Books published his translation (with Hannah Stokes) of Kafka’s Brief an den Vater. His translation of Jules Renard’s complete Histoires Naturelles has recently been published by One World Books.