We're thrilled to announce soprano Soraya Mafi and Bass-Baritone Bozidar Smiljanic as the latest winners of the Peter Hulsen Orchestral Song Award.
Launched in 2008, this biennial award offers the rare and exciting opportunity for outstanding young singers to perform a concert of solo song accompanied by full orchestra. It also represents our fruitful collaboration with Southbank Sinfonia, another organisation dedicated to nurturing emerging talent. Previous winners of the award are Gerard Collett, Susanna Hurrell and Gavan Ring, all of whom are developing highly successful professional careers.
Soraya and Bozidar will give a public recital with Southbank Sinfonia at the prestigious London venue St Martin-in-the-Fields on Tuesday 30 June 2015.
Bozidar Smiljanic is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music and Soraya Mafi is at the Royal College of Music. Both singers have received significant support from us towards their postgraduate studies.
The opportunity to audition is offered to recipients of our top postgraduate vocal scholarships. This year’s panel was chaired by Southbank Sinfonia’s Music Director Simon Over who was joined by eminent singers Della Jones, Susan Gritton and Paul Nilon.
Commenting on the award, soprano Susan Gritton said: “listening to these wonderful young singers specifically for orchestral song is a fantastic way to find our great artists of the future. Orchestral song demands both great artistry and great singing.”
Peter Hulsen, a native of Breslau, came to England as a boy on a Kindertransport train out of Germany. His lifelong love of music makes him one of the most discerning and knowledgeable of concertgoers, with a particular interest in opera, lieder and singing in general. Peter has generously supported the orchestra every year since its beginnings, donated to them a fine Steinway piano and bequeathed his estate to Southbank Sinfonia. This award recognises Peter Hulsen’s extraordinary generosity by acknowledging his passion for songs in the repertoire which are rarely heard with orchestral accompaniment.