Canada - 26 VI 1975
First Prize - "Grand Prix International Reine Elisabeth"; Prize of Queen Fabiola
Special Prize Lied
Trained at the Music Conservatory of Montreal, Marie-Nicole Lemieux studied under Marie Daveluy. In 1998 she was a prizewinner at the Music Competition of Canada and the National Festival of Music, and she won further Canadian awards in 1999. She has already presented several concerts and galas in Chicoutimi, Lachine and Montreal. In November 1999 she was engaged in recording and broadcasting with Radio-Canada in the series "Debut".
Marius Brenciu trained at the Bucharest University of Music, where he obtained a Master's degree under the direction of Professor Ionel Voineag, for whom he currently works as an assistant. At the same time, he is permanent soloist at the National Opera of Bucharest. Among the many prizes he won during his studies were those claimed at the Julian Gayarre International Competition, chaired by José Carreras, and the Georges Enescu International Competition, chaired by Ileana Cotrubas. Marius Brenciu sang the role of Alfredo (La Traviata) in May 1998 with the Romanian National Opera. He has also appeared in Idomeneo with the National Opera of Sofia and the National Opera of Budapest. He has appeared in Spain on a tour that featured the Mass in C Minor by Mozart and The Messiah by Handel.
Olga Pasichnyk's first musical attachment was the piano. She then turned to singing at the school in her hometown with her teacher Nadia Safronova, eventually moving to the Kiev Conservatory to study under Eugenia Miroshinichenko. To complete her training, she studied under Alina Bolechowsk at the Chopin Academy in Warsaw. In 1992 she was engaged as a soloist with the Chamber Opera of Warsaw, which gave her the opportunity to go on tour to Germany, Spain, France, Canada and Japan. Olga Pasichnyk is especially attached to the Baroque period and has worked with several European ensembles that specialize in this style, but this hasn't stopped her from performing other repertoires with success. Among her awards are second prize in the 's-Hertogenbosh Competition in 1994 and second prize at the Mirjam Helin Competition in Helsinki in 1999.
Pierre-Yves Pruvot's was introduced to music very early in life through the trumpet and the piano. Later, when he was studying engineering, he also trained as a singer under Pascale Reynaud as well as studying piano accompaniment at CNS in Lyon. He entered the CNSM in Lyon and took singing classes with Margreet Honig, obtaining his diploma in 1996. Winner of the Verviers Competition in 1997, he also won second prize at the 's-Hertogenbosch Competition in 1998 and first prize in French melody at the International Song Competition in Paris. He already has excellent experience in opera, oratorio and concert performance, both in recital and with orchestra. Pierre-Yves Pruvot has performed several important roles in Lyon and sung under the baton of conductors such as Alberto Zedda, Michel Plasson and Rolf Reuter. In addition, he has sung with the Cologne Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Lyon and the Orchestral Ensemble of Paris. He has also participated in several contemporary productions. He is a recognised interpreter of Lieder and French song, and has performed with the pianist Charles Souisset since 1993. Together they have recorded several compact discs.
Lubana Al Quntar studied at the University of Damascus, where her first teacher - Galina Khaldiave - was Russian. She then joined the Royal College of Music in London, where for a year she continued her training under Kenneth William and Graziella Sciutti as well as studying in France with Glood Miloni. Currently she is working at the Conservatory of Maastricht, under the direction of Mya Besselink. Lubana Al Quntar has already performed with the Symphony Orchestra of Damascus. Since winning fourth prize at the International Song Competition of Belgrade, she has been invited to give concerts in Belgrade, Greece, London, France and the United States.
Margriet van Reisen trained at the Conservatory of Utrecht (Professor H.Y. Diemer) and at the Guildhall School of Music in London, where her opera class was taught by Professor David Pollard and subsequently by Professor Rudolf Piernay. There she was the first prize winner in 1999 of the Schubert Competition. She has also received instruction from many other teachers. The Guildhall School allowed her to perform many important roles under various directors. These roles included Rinaldo (Handel), Alkandre (Pénélope by Fauré), Orfeo (Gluck), Tancredi (Rossini) and Ottavia (The Coronation of Poppea by Monterverdi). At the same time, she also gained experience in oratorio through numerous performances in Utrecht, England and Singapore as well as in a series of recitals and concerts with orchestras that presented a wide repertoire.
The 6 other finalists
From 1994 to 1998, Sunhae Im studied at the Conservatory of the National University of Seoul, under Professor Lokyung Pak and moved afterwards to the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, Germany, with Professor Roland Hermann. In 1997, she won first prize in the Competition of the Korean Association Schubert as well as Grand Prize in the Korean Youth Competition. Following this, she won further prizes in Korea and Japan (Tokyo and Osaka). The Belgian public has already had the opportunity to hear her sing the works of Mozart, with the Koninlijk Filharmonish Orkest van Vlaanderen, under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe, in Antwerp, Ghent and Lille. Philippe Herreweghe has engaged her as well for a concert featuring music by Mozart with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra in Berlin. She will also perform Mendelssohn songs at the Festival of Baden-Baden and go on tour in Ukraine. She made her debut in February 2000 in the role of Barbarina, in Frankfurt.
A beautiful counter-tenor voice is a rarity. In spite of his age (22) David Dong Qyu Lee can already look back on considerable concert experience, which came about as a result of his training at the Vancouver Academy of Canada (principal professor: Phyllis Mailing). Noted especially for his Baroque repertoire, he has already interpreted different roles from this period, including works by Pergolesi, Scarlatti, Handel and Bach. But one also finds him singing the arias of Tancredi (Rossini), of Idamante (Idomeneo) and of Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream by Benjamin Britten. He has just won one of the most important competitions of the YCA (Young Concert Artists) in New York and is the proud holder of the "Grand Finalist" title in the Metropolitan Opera Competition.
Everything has happened very quickly for Robert Pomakov - lyric bass - as he prepares to perform at the Queen Elisabeth Competition at the age of only 19. But behind him, he has all the experience of an opera singer and a concert artist. Since 1992, he has been a member of the choirs of the St. Michel School in Toronto. At the end of 1998, he began his training at the Royal Conservatory of Musics Young Artists Performance Academy, under Mary Morrison. He is now continuing his training at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, under the direction of Mikael Eliasen. At the same time, he has worked with the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio in Toronto and pursued several summer courses with Marilyn Horne and Marlena Malas. This eclectic background has allowed him to study the roles of Colline in La Bohème, of Arkel in Pelléas and Mélisande, of Quince in A Midsummer Nights Dream (Britten), of Masetto in Don Giovanni and of Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, all under the direction of Richard Bradshaw.
This young soprano from Moscow began her training with the Bolshoi childrens chorus and then moved up to become a soloist at the Ippolitov-Ivanov Conservatory of Moscow, under Professor Piotr Tarassov. From 1996 to 1998, she sang as guest soprano with the New Opera of Moscow and won several prizes. In September 1999, she was awarded second prize in the Elena Obraztsova international competition of young opera singers in St. Petersburg. Her repertoire extends from early music to Lieder to popular music and songs Russian and otherwise. She currently is working on a series of roles, including Lyudmila (Ruslan and Lyudmila by Glinka), Tatiana (Eugène Onegin), Violetta (La Traviata) and Pamina (The Magic Flute).
After attending the Liège Conservatory, Véronique Solhosse left to pursue further studies in Paris by joining a class under Madame M. Alcantara. She has won several competitions, including the Pro Civitate Competition in Brussels and two events in Paris: the International Competition of French Melody Interpretation and the Masters of Song International Competition. She has often sung in concert in Belgium, France and Italy. Her repertoire includes religious works by Pergolesi, Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Haydn, Mendelssohn and others. In addition, she has performed the roles of Didon (Purcell), Solveig (Peer Gynt by Grieg), the Baroness in La Vie Parisienne (Offenbach) and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte by Mozart.
Holder of a Master's degree in voice from the University of Toronto, where she was taught by Professor Mary Morrison, Karen Wierzba has sung for several years with the chorus of the Opera Atelier of Toronto as well as other Canadian choirs. She also has helped prepare students for their exams and auditions at the Royal Conservatory and the University of Toronto. She is a regular soloist in oratorio concerts or in recital and has performed beyond the Canadian frontier. She has appeared at the Tanglewood Festival, under Seji Ozawa, singing the title role of Thérèse (Poulenc). Recently she also performed four recitals in New York. She has sung the title role in the opera Rodelinda by Haendel with the Music Academy of the West as well as the role of Armina in La Traviata in Vancouver.
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