Chairman of the jury
Arie Van Lysebeth
Belgium, °1938
Arie Van Lysebeth was the President of the Jury of the Queen Elisabeth Competition from 1996 to 2018. He took up the violin at the age of four. He completed his higher education at the Brussels Conservatory in music theory, bassoon, chamber music, and orchestral conducting. Following a competition, he was appointed bassoon soloist of the Belgian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, he came joint first in the Prague International Bassoon Contest. He also studied conducting under Bruno Maderna in Salzburg and under Pierre Boulez in Switzerland. Starting in 1970, he conducted the Flemish Chamber Orchestra, both in Belgium and abroad. As a guest conductor, he has appeared with the major Belgian orchestras as well as with symphony orchestras in the United States of America, Argentina, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany. He has performed with many famous soloists, including Igor Oistrakh, José Van Dam, Murray Perahia, and Augustin Dumay. From 1995 to 2004 he was the regular conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Brussels Conservatory, where he taught chamber music for many years (1970-1994) and served as director (1994-2003). From 2004 to 2014, he was the artistic director of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
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Martina Arroyo
United States of America
From the stages of the world’s most prestigious opera houses - New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Paris Opera, London’s Covent Garden, Milan’s La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, and the Buenos Aires Teatro Colón - to the concert halls of Salzburg, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and New York - the name of Martina Arroyo (New York) has become synonymous with music-making of the highest order. Famous for her interpretations of Verdi, Puccini, Strauss, and Mozart, she is equally at ease with contemporary music. She has made more than 50 recordings, including major operas and orchestral performances with internationally renowned conductors. She is a Distinguished Professor Emerita of the faculty of Indiana University, a Trustee of Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was a member of the National Endowment for the Arts for six years, and was a recipient of the first American Council for the Arts awards. Martina Arroyo is founder and artistic director of the Martina Arroyo Foundation, Inc., which sponsors two programmes for young singers, a ‘Role Development Class’ and ‘Prelude to Performance’, which is a six week summer residence programme. Martina Arroyo has been awarded the Kennedy Center Honor, as well as honorary doctorates from several universities and institutions, including the Juilliard School, Hunter College, the New England School of Music, and Rutgers University.
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Grace Bumbry
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, the American soprano Grace Bumbry studied at the University of Boston, at Northwestern University, and at the Music Academy of the West under Lotte Lehman, who encouraged her love of German lieder. Grace Bumbry made her debut in Aida at the Paris Opera and has been a guest in the world’s greatest opera houses and festivals (Bayreuth, Covent Garden, La Scala, Wiener Staatsoper, Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Colón, Salzburg, Verona, Orange, etc.). She has sung under prestigious conductors such as H. von Karajan, C. Abbado, G. Solti, S. Ozawa, W. Sawallisch, G. Prêtre, G. Patanè, L. Bernstein, and J. Levine. Her roles have included Amneris, Aida, Carmen, Dalila, Eboli, Tosca, Gioconda, Venus, Turandot, Salome, and many others. She took part in the production of Les Troyens at the opening of the Opéra de la Bastille.
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Hilda De Groote-Siegl
Belgian soprano Hilda De Groote made her debut at the age of 15 playing Olympia (Les Contes D’Hoffmann, Offenbach) at the Royal Opera in Ghent. In 1966, on finishing her studies, she became member of the Vienna State Opera and seven years later of the Bavarian State Opera. She has been invited to perform at major festivals in Europe, Canada and Japan and has worked with conductors such as Karl Bohm, Leonard Bernstein, Josef Krips, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Carlos Kleiber. In addition to her opera work, she has dedicated herself to Lieder, and in particular Viennese Lieder. She has taught at the Conservatory in Vienna and has been a jury member in numerous international voice competitions.
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Helmut Deutsch
Austria
Helmut Deutsch is one of the world’s most sought-after and most renowned lieder accompanists. He was born in Vienna, where he studied at the Konservatorium, the Music Academy, and the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst. He was awarded the Vienna Composition Prize in 1965 and became a professor at the age of 24. Although he is a distinguished chamber musician, playing with eminent instrumentalists, he has concentrated primarily on lieder accompaniment. When he began his career, he first accompanied the soprano Irmgard Seefried, before going on to partner Hermann Prey for twelve years. He went on to play in the most prestigious venues, working with renowned singers such as Jonas Kaufmann, Diana Damrau, and Michael Volle. Helmut Deutsch has recorded more than 100 CDs. In recent years, he has been particularly keen to develop young talent: after a period as a professor in Vienna, he has continued to teach, mainly at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, where he was professor of lieder interpretation for 28 ans. He is also a guest teacher in a number of other schools and gives numerous masterclasses in Europe and in the Far East. The young Swiss tenor Mauro Peter, one of his recent students in Munich, has become one of his favourite recital partners.
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Ralf Döring
Germany
Ralf Döring studied at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig. He was subsequently taken on by leading opera houses in Germany and then in Europe, Asia, the USA and Australia. Having taught at the Universität Bamberg and the Hochschule für Musik Mannheim, he currently is a professor in singing and performing arts at the University of Vienna. His students have won numerous prizes in international competitions and sing at leading opera houses and concert halls around the world like Opera Houses of Vienna, Berlin, Zürich and Brussels. He is no stranger to the global stage and has taken part in events all over the world (Europe, Asia, USA, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Cuba, Australia and more). Ralf Döring holds regular master classes in Europe (Germany, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Belgium) and in Asia (Japan, Hong Kong, China) and has chaired several international competition juries.
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Jorma Hynninen
Finland, °1941
Jorma Hynninen is one of the most celebrated Finnish baritones. His greatest musical love has always been Lied, a genre he has approached mainly through the works of Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Wolf. He has sung over 60 roles in the course of his active operatic career. Heading the list have been Posa, the Count (Le Nozze di Figaro), Wolfram (Tannhäuser), Onegin (Eugene Onegin) and a dozen contemporary Finnish operas. He has performed at numerous opera houses and some of the most prestigious concert halls. At the same time, Jorma Hynninen has been artistic director of several Finnish opera houses, in particular the Finnish National Opera (1984-1990) and the Savonlinna Opera Festival (1991-2002). He also taught at the Sibelius Academy from 1997 to 2003. Amongst his numerous recordings, Le Nozze di Figaro (Muti), Elektra (Ozawa) and Il prigioniero (Salonen) stand out as his finest. His discography also includes Negro spirituals, evergreens and tangos.
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Raina Kabaivanska
Following her studies in Bulgaria, Raina Kabaivanska made her debut in Italy in 1959 in Il Tabarro. Her first appearance at La Scala in Milan, two years later, launched a glorious international career : she has sung at the Metropolitan in New York, at Covent Garden, and in Salzburg, Rome, Tokyo, etc. Her repertoire includes more than a hundred works, including operas by Verdi, Gluck, Donizetti, Puccini (she has appeared in almost 400 performances of Tosca and Madame Butterfly), Wagner, Britten, and Shostakovich. She has worked under distinguished conductors such as H. von Karajan, L. B ernstein, and C. Abbado and with partners such as M. Del Monaco, F. Corelli, L. Pavarotti, and P. Domingo. She has devoted much of her time and energy for many years to teaching singing, at the Istituto Vecchi Tonelli in Modena, where she lives, and at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, for example, and at master classes in Sofia, in Italy, and all over the world. In addition to the honours bestowed on her in Bulgaria, she has won numerous awards and distinctions, including the ‘Una vita per la musica’, ‘Viotti’, ‘Abbiati’, and ‘Lorenzo il Magnifico’ awards and the title of Cavaliere al merito conferred by the Italian Republic in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the arts.
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Peter Kooij
After studying the violin at the Utrecht Conservatory, Peter Kooij took singing lessons with Max van Egmond at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, where he graduated as a soloist. He has appeared in the world’s leading concert halls (the Concertgebouw, the Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, the Palais Garnier, the Musikverein, the Teatro Colón, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Cologne Philharmonie, etc.), with such celebrated conductors as Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman, Frans Bruggen, Gustav Leonhardt, René Jacobs, Sigiswald Kuijken, Roger Norrington, and Iván Fischer. He has taken part in over 150 CD recordings and has been invited by the BIS label to participate in recordings of the complete Bach cantatas, Passions and other vocal works with the Bach Collegium Japan under Masaaki Suzuki. In addition to his career as a soloist and his teaching career in Amsterdam (at the Sweelinck Conservatory, from 1991 to 2000), Hannover (at the Conservatory, from 1995 to 1998), The Hague (at the Royal Conservatory, since 2005), and Tokyo (at the University of Fine Arts and Music, since 2000), Peter Kooij is artistic advisor to the Ensemble Vocal Européen and gives master classes in Germany, France, Portugal, Finland, and Japan.
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Tom Krause
In a career spanning more than five decades, Tom Krause has appeared with the greatest singers and conductors of his generation and has sung in the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls. Because of his enormous experience in all fields of classical music (opera, oratorio, lied, etc.) and his interest in passing on his legacy of great singing, he is in great demand for master classes around the world and is frequently invited to serve as a juror at major international competitions. Since 2002 he has held the Chair of singing at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid. The many awards he has received in recognition of his contribution to music include the Order of the Finnish Lion, the highest award for cultural achievement in Finland. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate by Helsinki University and holds the title of Kammersänger in Hamburg. Tom Krause has appeared in many films, television shows, and documentaries and has made over 100 recordings, for which he has won many prizes.
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Yvonne Minton
Australia
Yvonne Minton was one of the great mezzo-sopranos of the late sixties and seventies. Having begun her singing studies in Australia, she came to London in 1961 for further study. In 1964 she joined the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as a soloist where her many successes included the roles of Octavian, Sesto, Didon, Orfeo, Fiordiligi, Kundry, Brangane, Frika and Marina. She was soon sought after by the main opera houses on both sides of the Atlantic, appearing at all the major European and American Opera Houses including Bayreuth and the Salzburg Festival. She was a regular guest at the Opera Houses of Cologne and Paris where she took part in the first production of Lulu conducted by Pierre Boulez and recorded by Deutsche Grammophon. Alongside her operatic career, Yvonne Minton has also been an active concert singer. Her back catalogue is impressive and embraces both her opera and concert work. She focuses her activities now on teaching young singers, taking part in an advanced voice training programme in Marseilles and conducting master classes.
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Evgeny Nesterenko
Winning the 1970 Tchaikovsky Competition launched the lightning career of Moscow-born Evgeny Nesterenko. After the Bolshoi, the great venues of the world beckoned, as did distinguished conductors such as Abbado, Muti, Kleiber, Pretre, Sawallich and many more. His beautiful bass voice has charmed audiences of opera, oratorio and Lieder. In the latter genre, he has premiered works by Shostakovich and Georgi Swiridow. His performance in the production of Don Carlo, which he sang at the bi-centennial celebrations of La Scala, has brought him particular renown. Evgeny Nesterenko has recorded with the Russian Melodia as well as with EMI, Philips, Deutsche Grammophon and other labels, and has also made videos. Awarded many distinctions in Russia and abroad, Evgeny Nesterenko has also teached singing in Vienna. Audiences in Belgium have had the pleasure of hearing him in recital in Brussels in 1989, in Attila in 1993 and in Don Carlo in 1995 at the Flanders Opera, as well as in Ghent’s Bijloke in February 2000.
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Hermann Christian Polster
Germany
Born in Leipzig, the bass Hermann Christian Polster is highly regarded in the field of oratorio. He started his musical training with the Dresden Kreuzchor. He continued his musical studies with his father - Fritz Polster - and went on to study musicology at the University of Leipzig. His international career led him to perform in both concerts and oratorios, for example with the Kreuzchor in Dresden and the Thomanerchor, the Bachsolisten, and the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. He has performed throughout the world with many leading conductors, and has appeared on radio and television and recorded for several record labels. Hermann Christian Polster taught at the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Hochschule in Leipzig. He gives frequent international master classes and often sits on juries at singing competitions.
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Andreas Scholl
Germany
Born in Germany, Andreas Scholl's early musical training was with the Kiedricher Chorbuben. He later studied under Richard Levitt and René Jacobs at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. He is a winner of the 1999 ECHO Awards, Prix de l'Union de la Presse Musicale Belge and the Middle Ages/Renaissance category of the 2002 Edison Awards for his recording of A Musicall Banquet. He won a second ECHO Award in 2005 for his composition for Deutsche Grammophon's audio-book of Hans Christian Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes and The Nightingale.

A committed recital artist, Andreas Scholl performs in the world's leading concert halls and festivals. Concert performances have included appearances with Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Dresdner Philharmonie, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Freiburger Barockorchester, Münchner Philharmoniker and at the 2005 Last Night of the Proms - the first counter-tenor ever to have been invited.
Operatic roles include Bertarido (Rodelinda) at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Metropolitan Opera; Arsace (Partenope) at Royal Danish Opera and the title role in Giulio Cesare at Royal Danish Opera, Opéra de Lausanne and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

In the 2011/12-season Andreas Scholl makes his operatic debut at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival singing the title-role in Giulio Cesare opposite Cecilia Bartoli. He also returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Rodelinda with Renée Fleming and will tour North America with The English Concert. Andreas Scholl also releases an album of Bach cantatas with the Kammerorchester Basel for Decca and the repertoire will feature on tour throughout Europe and the UK.
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Joan Sutherland
- 2010
After her triumph in Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden in 1959, Joan Sutherland established herself as one of the foremost sopranos of our time. She was instrumental in reviving Handel’s operas as well as being a great exponent of the operas of Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Gounod, Thomas, Massenet, and Verdi. She has sung in most of the world’s major opera houses and had a prolific recording career, with her recordings receiving many awards. Joan Sutherland has received honorary degrees from universities and music schools in Australia, Europe, and America. She was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and was later awarded the Order of Merit by her Majesty the Queen. She also received the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres from the French government for her services to music. Since retiring, she has been invited to sit on many international juries and spent much of her time writing her autobiography, ‘A Prima Donna’s Progress’, which has now been published in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the USA. She passed away in 2010.
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José Van Dam
Belgium
The Brussels-born bass baritone José Van Dam is one of today’s greatest singers. Since his debut in Paris in Les Troyens, he has been a regular guest at the world’s most prestigious opera houses and festivals (including the Paris Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala in Milan, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Metropolitan Opera, the Teatro Colón, and the festivals of Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence, and Orange). His roles have included Falstaff, Simon Boccanegra, Philippe II (in Don Carlos), Don Giovanni, Boris Godunov, Amfortas (in Parsifal), the Flying Dutchman, and Wozzeck, to name but a few. His performance in the title role of Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise was warmly received in Paris and Salzburg, at its premiere in 1983 and again in 1992. His operatic career has not prevented him from branching into oratorio and lieder, in which his repertoire is equally extensive ; he has sung under Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Georg Solti, and Seiji Ozawa, among others. In addition to boasting an impressive, award-winning discography, he has also appeared in films, most notably in the famous Le Maître de Musique. José Van Dam has received the titles of Kammersänger of the city of Berlin and of Chevalier in the order of the Légion d’Honneur. In August 1998, he was ennobled by King Albert II.
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