Queen Sonja International Music Competition announces 2019 winners

Queen Sonja International Music Competition (QSIMC) has announced its 2019 winners: three baritones took away prizes at Norwegian Opera and Ballet in Oslo on 23 August.

Russian 27-year-old, Sergey Kadalov, was announced as the winner of the €50,000 first prize and an artwork by Queen Sonja; 21-year-old German-born Stefan Astakhov won both the second prize worth €10,000 and a special award for best Lieder performance; Polish baritone, Adam Kutny, picked up third prize and €5,000. Finalist prizes worth €1,500 were won by soprano Meigui Zhang, tenor Theodore Brown and soprano Natalia Tanasii.

Accepting the prize, Kaydalov said: “Thank you to my parents, to my wife, to my country, thank you maestro, thank you to the jury, and thank you to the audience I am so happy!”

The Ingrid Njoner Scholarship of NOK100,000 (approx €10,000) was also presented during the final evening with 28-year-old Astrid Nordstad receiving the best Norwegian participant prize.

Presenting the prizes on the night, Her Majesty Queen Sonja, said: “I am full of admiration for this fantastic evening you have given us tonight, and I am quite sure the audience is too. Let me thank each and every one of you for your great performances tonight – not to mention the Norwegian Opera Orchestra.”

The prize winners were also offered engagements with leading Norwegian musical institutions. The competition will host an opera gala with the winners in Bergen on 3 October, accompanied by Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.

Founded in 1988, QSIMC was established to create a platform for Norwegian musicians as well as international competitors. Past winners who have rise to become international stars include Lise Davidsen (2015), Kristina Mkhitaryan (2013), Daniel Behle (2007) and Marita Kvarving Sølberg (2001).