2021 Competition

Applications for the 2021 competition are now closed, and we are pleased to announce that we received 170 applications from 36 countries worldwide.

2021 is the 20th anniversary of the international Handel Singing Competition, and in celebration we will publish interviews in the coming weeks of competition alumni, each one representing a different year.  You can still watch the live-streamed Final of the 2020 competition on our YouTube channel.

Prizes

First Prize: £5000
Second Prize: £2000
Audience Prize: £300
Finalist Prizes: £300

In addition to cash prizes, all Finalists in the 2021 Handel Singing Competition are guaranteed recitals in the 2022 London Handel Festival, and many past finalists are also asked to perform solos in other prestigious concerts during the Festival, and in other concerts and recitals both in the UK and abroad.  For example, the 2019 London Handel Festival featured no fewer than 20 past Finalists and recent Finalists have also performed at the Handel Festivals both in Goettingen and Halle.  The winner of the 2019 competition was invited to perform the solos in Messiah with the Huddersfield Choral Society, under the direction of Jane Glover, and also a prestigious recital with the City Music Society.

Age Limit

23 to 34 years old as of 1 February 2021 i.e. you must be at least 23 years old and no older than 34 on this date.

Background

The Handel Singing Competition was inaugurated in 2002 and has grown to become a major international singing event, attracting some 190 applicants from all over the world in recent years. Ian Partridge and James Bowman were the first adjudicators, and past finalists include Iestyn Davies, Ruby Hughes, Lucy Crowe, Tim Mead, Sophie Junker, Helen Charlston and Eszter Balogh.

Testimonial from past Finalists

‘The London Handel Singing Competition was for me the perfect platform from which I was able to demonstrate what I thought I could do; I’m not a fan of competition in singing but this competition allows you to focus on the repertoire choices and stylistic decisions you make, first and foremost. For me it was absolutely the turning point. I secured an agent from my performance which opened a new chapter in my singing career at the time. It really was the taking part that counted; I didn’t win!”  Iestyn Davies MBE, 2004 runner-up

“It came as a big surprise to win the first prize and audience prize all those years ago.  Singing in the Handel competition was a super opportunity to focus on one glorious composer and his unique style, exploring his heavenly musical output. I learned so much about Baroque style and vocal technique and it gave me a solid foundation from which to build later repertoire.”  Ruby Hughes, 2009 winner

“After a few years as a postgraduate student, winning the Handel Singing Competition was for me a great platform that opened many doors as a professional singer here in the UK. It also meant to me great recognition and projection here and abroad, where the HSC is very much appreciated as well.”  Josep-Ramon Olivé, 2015 winner

“Competitions are a real asset to young singers, and act as a wonderful seal of approval as we continue to apply for the next project or audition. It is wonderful to have the recognition of such a well-known festival to recommend me further as a performer in the competitive world of singing” Helen Charlston, 2018 winner