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Korean baritone Taehan Kim wins coveted Queen Elisabeth voice competition
The 22-year-old baritone Taehan Kim won the prestigious 2023 Queen Elisabeth Competition at Bozar on Saturday evening.
Following the month-long arduous contest, devoted this year to the voice, the rankings of the six winners were proclaimed at midnight by jury president jury Bernard Foccroulle.
The Korean singer – the youngest candidate in the 2023 competition – was awarded the €25,000 Queen Mathilde prize in the presence of Queen Mathilde and Princess Eleonore of Belgium.
Kim’s performances were notable for their acting, neat pronunciation and the contrast he brought to his interpretation, according to RTBF. He was surprised to win the top prize: “I am speechless. I can't explain this feeling… You know it's the biggest competition in the world, so I can't believe it.”
The second Belgian Federal Government prize, worth €20,000, was awarded to American contralto Jasmin White by the Belgian Science Policy.
She was a crowd favourite throughout the competition. “I'm a little shocked, and very excited. Now we have concerts to give as part of the competition, it's going to be great.”
Third Prize (17,000) was presented to Julia Muzychenko-Greenhalgh (Rus/Ger), fourth prize (€12,500) to Floriane Hasler (Fr), fifth prize (€10,000) to Inho Jeong (S Kor), and sixth prize (€8,000) to Juliette Mey (Fr).
The remaining six laureates, unranked, who each received €4,000, were Fleuranne Brockway, Daniel Gwon, Anna-Sophie Neher, Carole-Anne Roussel, Sílvia Sequeira and Maria Warenberg.
Jasmin White was also awarded the Musiq3 Prize and Sílvia Sequeira the Canvas/Klara Prize.
As is its tradition, the Queen Elisabeth Competition now kicks off a series of concerts by all the finalists. Recitals by the unranked laureates will take place on 7 June and 8 June at 20.15 at Flagey.
The closing concert with the first six laureates and the Symphony Orchestra of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, conducted by Alejo Pérez, is on 13 June at 20.15 at Bozar. It will also be broadcast live on national radio and television channels.
The first three laureates will also perform in Ghent (15 June at De Bijloke) and in Antwerp (18 June at deSingel).
Several laureates will tour with the Ricercar Consort, conducted by Philippe Pierlot, in Leuven (22 June, 30CC), St-Vith (23 June, Triangel) and Charleroi (24 June, Palais des Beaux-Arts).
Photo: Julia Muzychenko-Greenhalgh, Taehan Kim and Jasmin White ©Belga/Nicolas Maeterlinck