Alexandra Achillea Pouta Wins Guildhall School’s Music Gold Medal 2023

By David Salazar

Mezzo-soprano Alexandra Achillea Pouta has won Guildhall School’s Music Gold Medal 2023.

The Greek mezzo-soprano winning performance featured excerpts from Messiaen’s “Harawi,” Santoliquido’s “L’assiolo canta,” Varèse’s “Un grand sommeil noir,” and Ligeti’s “A csendes dalokból;” she performed these alongside pianist William Bracken. She also took on music by Ravel, Bellini, and Szymanowski with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra. In all, she performed in five languages, including Greek, Hungarian, Polish, French, and Italian.

Pouta performed at the Barbican on May 10 alongside fellow finalists soprano Miku Yasukawa, baritone Michael Lafferty-Smith, and soprano Lorna McLean.

“I am really humbled to be receiving this honour, and to have the opportunity to share the stage with my very dear friends and fellow finalists, Miku, Michael and Lorna. It was a wonderful evening that I’ll never forget. I am thankful to my pianist William Bracken, whose brilliance is truly inspiring, and the musicians in the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra who provided such excellent playing and musicianship,” said Pouta in an official press release.

This year’s panel of judges included Guildhall School’s Vice-Principal & Director of Music Armin Zanner, soprano Roberta Alexander, baritone Sir Simon Keenlyside, Head of Casting at English National Opera and London Coliseum Michelle Williams, and Askonas Holt Director, Sue Spence.