Somerset Song Prize

The Somerset Song Prize is a biennial national singing competition for young people aged 18 to 26. With a First Prize of £1000 the competition is organised through a series of regional rounds followed by semi-finals and a final over one weekend in Taunton. There is also a £1000 prize for the best pianist. The semi-final for SSP2017 was held on 13 May 2017 and the Grand Finale on 14 May 2017. Regional rounds took place in Somerset, Cardiff, Birmingham and London in March/April 2017. The results are listed below.

The Somerset Song Prize is a competition for art song and it places a special importance on the collaborative relationship between the singer and their pianist. Arias from oratorios and operas are not permitted. The definition of art song is reasonably wide although competitors must include in their programme a song which is not in their native language.

In 2017 SSP2017 has received financial support from the Fairfield Charitable Trust, Somerset Opera, the Ronald Tickner Educational Trust, Amici and private donations. SSP is immensely grateful to these organisations and individuals for their support.

The Somerset Song Prize was inaugurated in 2013 under the aegis of the Taunton Festival of the Arts. The competition has quickly developed an excellent reputation in part due to some great adjudicators - including Iain Burnside, Neal Davies, Lorna Anderson and Malcolm Martineau. The celebrated soprano Elizabeth Watts and the pianist Roger Vignoles are the competition’s Patrons.

To contact the competition organisers e-mail

Somerset Song Prize 2017

Winner of the 2017 Somerset Song Prize - Joel Williams with Ian Tindale

Second Prize - Mirjam Mesak with Michael Sikich
Audience Prize - Hugo Herman-Wilson with Siobhain O’Higgins
Most Promising Young Singer Prize - Jacob Phillips with Matthew Ryan
Pianist Prize - Michael Sikich

Other Finalists
Emily Kyte with Natalie Burch
Andrew Randall with Bernard Tan
Daniel Mullaney with Nathan Harris

Specially Commended
Claire Ward with Cameron Richardson-Eames
Hiroshi Amako with Eleanor Kornas


Jack Dolan Bernard Tan
Jacob Phillips Matthew Ryan
Hannah Thomas Krystal Tunnicliffe
Claire Ward Cameron Richardson-Eames
Joel Williams Ian Tindale
Leonie Maxwell David Bednall
Hiroshi Amako Eleanor Kornas
Charlotte Hewett Gregor Reid
Dan D’Souza Douglas Tang
Emily Kyte Natalie Burch
Erika Baikoff Jingle Lau
Esther Mallet Harry Sever
Hugo Herman-Wilson Siobhain O’Higgins
Louise Fuller Rebecca Cohen
Andrew Randall Bernard Tan
Hannah Bennett Zuzanna Basinska
Mirjam Mesak Michael Sikich
Rachael Cox Ian Tindale
Emyr Wyn Jones Conal Bemridge-Sayers
Beatrice Acland Ella O’Neill
Daniel Mullaney Nathan Harris
Flora MacDonald Virgile Van Essche

Past Somerset Song Prize Winners

The 2013 winner was counter-tenor James Hall. Other prize winners were Helen Stanley, Claire Lees and pianist Julianne Gallant.

The 2015 winner was soprano Ellie Parsons (formerly known as Eleanor Hodkinson). Other prize winners were Tom Scott-Cowell, Harry Thatcher, Josephine Cresswell and pianist Lucy Colquhoun.