The 2011 Queen Sonja International Music Competition concluded with a final concert at the stunning Oslo Opera House. Six finalists performed with the Norwegian Opera Orchestra and conductor Eivind Gullberg Jensen.
Korean baritone Donghwan Lee (31) won the € 20 000 1st prize. Norwegian mezzo-soprano Ingeborg Gillebo and Ukrainian soprano Uliana Alieksiuk were awarded the 2nd and 3rd prize.
Gillebo also won the Ingrid Bjoner Scholarship of € 6 000 as this year’s best Norwegian contestant. Ukrainian soprano Kateryna Kasper was awarded a finalist prize and the prize for best performance of Norwegian music . The other finalist prizes went to baritone John Chest and soprano Suzanne Vinnik, both from the USA. The prizes were awarded by HM Queen Sonja. The 1st prize diploma contained an original print made by The Queen herself.
The prize winners were offered significant concert engagements by a number of Norwegian music organisations including the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra and Norwegian National Opera & Ballet.
More than 200 singers from 43 nations applied to take part in the 2011 Competition. 41 of the best took part in the preliminary round. In 2011 a large audience attended a wide programme of events which, in addition to the Competition rounds, also contained master classes, concerts and lectures.