Kathleen Ferrier Competition Announces Winners

By Francisco Salazar

The Kathleen Ferrier Competition has announced its winners.

The finals, which were held on April 22, saw Esme Bronwen-Smith win the first prize of £12,500.

The second prize went to Emma Roberts who took home £6,000.  She also won the Loveday Song Prize for her performance of Debussy’s Colloque sentimental. The Help Musicians Accompanist Prize was awarded to Avishka Edirisinghe.

Bronwen-Smith is currently studying with Rosa Mannion and graduated with a Master’s from the RCM where she won both the 2020 Lieder and 2021 Lies Askonas competitions. Meanwhile, Roberts attends the RCM International Opera Studio and is a Stephen Catto Memorial scholar. She is also supported by the Countess of Munster Trust, the Josephine Baker Trust and in 2021 was awarded the Mendelssohn Boise Scholarship.

British-Sri Lankan pianist Edirisinghe is a first-year student at the Royal College of Music doing a first study in Collaborative Piano under the tutelage of Nigel Clayton, Simon Lepper and Roger Vignoles and a second study in Conducting with Howard Williams.

The jury this year was chaired by Sir Brian McMaster, former Managing Director of Welsh National Opera and then Director of the Edinburgh International Festival. He was joined by the distinguished sopranos, Dame Josephine Barstow and Dame Anne Evans, the tenor Ben Johnson, and the pianist Sholto Kynoch.