Last night saw the Vocal Section Final of this year's Annual Music Competition take place at Over-Seas House. The four competitors were in fine form, treating us to a varied programme of Mozart, Sibelius, Walton, and Butterworth. 

It was Michael Mofidian bass baritone who came out on top, accompanied by Keval Shah, who triumphed on the night, winning £5,000 and progressing to the Gold Medal Final at Queen Elizabeth Hall in June. His programme included:

Mozart (1756-1791)
Don Giovanni, K. 527  Act 1, Scene 5: Madamina, il catalogo è questo
Barber (1910-1981)
4 Songs Op. 13  iii. Sure on this Shining Night
Sibelius (1865-1957)
Svarta rosor, Op. 36, No. 1 
Den första kyssen, Op. 37, No. 1
Säv, säv, susa, Op. 36, No. 4
Marssnön, Op. 36, No. 5
Var det en dröm? Op. 37 No. 4

This isn't Michael's first taste of success, having won the Royal Academy of Music's prestigious Pavarotti Prize in 2017, while studying on the Opera course with Mark Wildman. He and accompanist Keval also won the 2017 Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform, so he is well-placed to excel in June's Grand Final.

The evening of performances was of such high-calibre that another section finalist, Katie Stevenson mezzo soprano, was awarded the Audrey Strange Memorial Prize for an Outstanding Singer of Promise for her renditions of Handel, Donizetti, Butterworth, Duparc, Wolf, alongside accompanist Jâms Coleman.

The conclusion of last night's section means we now have two finalists primed for the Gold Medal Final, with Michael Mofidian being joined by saxophonist Jonathan Radford. To book your tickets for the other Section Finals or the Grand Final, check out our events section. Next up, the strings section finalists will go head to head on Tuesday 27 February. See you there.

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