Somerset Song Prize

A national competition for young singers and their pianists

The final of the next competition will be held in Taunton on Sunday 19th May 2019. Heats will take place in London, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester during the spring. The winning singer will receive a cash prize of £1000 and, decided separately, the winning pianist will receive a cash prize of £1000. There will be other cash prizes too. Entry forms are available via the Competitor Information page. It’s #allabouttheduo

The Somerset Song Prize is a biennial national singing competition for young people aged 18 to 26. The competition is organised through a series of regional rounds followed by semi-finals and a final over one weekend in Taunton.

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 the competition received financial support from the Fairfield Charitable Trust, Somerset Opera, the Ronald Tickner Educational Trust, the Amici Choir and private donations. The 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, Elizabeth Watts, Jonathan Lemalu, Neal Davies, Joan Rogers, Lorna Anderson, Roger Vingnoles and Malcolm Martineau. The 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.