Sixty-three singers – 37 women and 26 men – have been selected for the VII Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition to be held in Helsinki, Finland on 4–13 August 2014. Applications were received from 326 singers across the world. The applicants selected for the competition represent 23 nationalities and over half of them are resident in Europe.

“The standard of the applicants was extremely high,” says the competition’s Executive Director Marja-Leena Pétas from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, which organises the competition once every five years.

The competition is open to women and men aged not more than 30 and 32, respectively. Selected for this year’s competition are:

  • 2 coloratura sopranos
  • 26 sopranos
  • 9 mezzo-sopranos
  • 2 countertenors
  • 7 tenors
  • 15 baritones
  • 2 basses

A committee consisting of professional singers selected the competitors on the basis of the material received by the deadline for applications. This committee was chaired by opera singer Hannu Niemelä and the other members were Barbro Marklund-Petersone, Professor of singing at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo and Jorma Silvasti, Chairman of the competition Jury.

The preliminary round of the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition will be held at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki on 4–7 August, the semifinals and final at the Helsinki Music Centre. The finalists will be accompanied on 13 August by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu.

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The Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition has a reputation for being one of the leading international singing competitions, and many of its former prizewinners have later risen to the top of the world of singing. Designed for outstanding young singers, it is known for its high standard, its exacting repertoire, its superb prizes and its prestigious Jury. The competition is organised once every five years by the Finnish Cultural Foundation this year celebrating its 75th anniversary. The Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition is one of the main events in the Foundation’s jubilee year.