2017 Cardiff Singer of the World competition begins

The 2017 Cardiff Singer of the World kicks off on Sunday 11 June, with 20 singers competing for the coveted Singer of the World and Song Prize titles.

Update 14 June 2017 – Congratulations to both Louise Alder and Iurii Samoilov, who have reached the final of this year’s Song Prize, which takes place on Friday 16 June at 7.30pm. The final will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, with TV broadcasts on BBC Two Wales that evening and BBC FOUR at 7.30pm on Saturday.

Update 15 June 2017 – And the winner of Main Prize round three is… Louise Alder! Many congratulations to Louise, who will compete in this year’s Grand Final on Sunday 18 June. Catch her winning performance on BBC FOUR tonight, and watch the final live at 7.30pm on Sunday.

Update 18 June 2017 – Bravo to Louise Alder, winner of the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize. The final will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer for 30 days.

2017 Young Singer of the Year Louise Alder will compete from England, with baritone Iurii Samoilov from Ukraine.

Iurii – fresh from his house debut at Teatro Real Madrid, as Tsarevich Afron in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel – will compete in the first Song Prize round on Sunday 11 June, accompanied by pianist Simon Lepper.

Louise – who last Sunday made her Welsh National Opera debut as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier – begins her competition on Monday 12 June, in the third Song Prize round, accompanied by fellow AH artist Gary Matthewman.

Both Louise and Iurii will then compete on Wednesday 14 June in the third Main Prize round, accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård. Thomas will also lead the orchestra in the first Main Prize round, as well as in the Main Prize final on Sunday 18 June.

Several other Askonas Holt artists are involved as experts across the week, with Rebecca Evans, Lucy Crowe, Iain Burnside and John Mark Ainsley offering commentary for BBC FOUR, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Cymru TV.

Soprano Sumi Jo will join the distinguished jury for the Main Prize, alongside panel chair David Pountney, and jury members Grace Bumbry, Wolfgang Holzmair, Anu Tali and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. The Song Prize jury also includes John Gilhooly and Ailish Tynan. On Thursday 15 June, Sumi will work with singers from the competition and graduate students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in a masterclass at RWCMD.

The Song Prize final takes places on Friday 16 June, with the Main Prize final on Sunday 18 June. Listings for all events can be found here.

The list of previous winners of the Main Prize includes Dmitri Hvorostovsky (1989), with Jongmin Park (2015), Andrei Bondarenko (2011), Christopher Maltman (1997) and Neal Davies (1991) past winners of the Song Prize.

Join the competition on radio & TV

BBC Radio Wales

At 9pm each evening, Wynne Evans will present live from the competition, with performances from competitors and expert commentary from Rebecca Evans. And for the final, Wynne will be joined by Iain Burnside.


Each night at 10pm, Tim Rhys-Evans presents highlights from round one of the Main Prize, as well as highlights from the finals. Watch Louise Alder and Iurii Samoilov compete in Round Three on 14 June.


Heading up the BBC FOUR presenting team are Petroc Trelawny and Angel Blue, who will be joined by special guests at 7.30pm every day, including Lucy Crowe (for Round One) and John Mark Ainsley (for the Song Prize final). Watch Louise Alder and Iurii Samoilov compete in Round Three on 15 June.

BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 3’s Lunchtime Concert  will broadcast performances from each Song Prize round, beginning on Tuesday at 1pm and with commentary from Rebecca Evans. Hear Iurii Samoilov on 13 June, and Louise Alder on 15 June.

Both the Song Prize and Main Prize finals will feature on BBC Radio and TV – see the BBC website for schedules.

Follow the competition online

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