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Young artists

The Queen Sonja International Music Competition

In brief

The Queen Sonja International Music Competition offers young artists a valuable kick-start to their careers. The competition gives possibilities for exposure to an international jury of influential and highly acclaimed casting directors, opera directors and singers, masterclasses, career advisement sessions, considerable cash prizes and important concert engagements. Several previous participants can document a significant career development and international recognition following the competition.

Fact file
Deadline01 Feb - 01 Apr 2021
Finals14 Aug - 20 Nov 2021
WhereOslo, Norway
Age groupsAll singers born in 1989 or later are eligible to apply for the 2021 competition
  • First Prize: € 50.000
  • Second Prize: € 10.000
  • Third Prize: € 5.000
  • Three Finalist Prizes: € 1.500
  • Best interpretation of Lied: € 1.500
  • The Ingrid Bjoner Scholarship (awarded to the best Norwegian participant): NOK 100.000

The first prize winner will also receive a diploma and original artwork made by HM Queen Sonja. The second and third prize winners will receive a diploma with a print of HM Queen Sonja’s original artwork.

  • 1 February – 1 April 2021: Open for applications
  • May 2021: 40 singers are selected to participate in the preliminary rounds
  • 14-15 August 2021: Preliminary rounds, live and online (livestream open to the public)
  • 24 October 2021: Semi-final, live and online (livestream open to the public)
  • 20 November 2021: Final concert in the Grieg Hall, Bergen
Watch the competition online

Many previous QSIMC participants have been offered engagements with leading Norwegian musical institutions. Furthermore, international agents, artist managers, casting directors, orchestral programme managers and other music industry representatives are following the final stages of the competition.

In the 2021 competition, there will be a jury consisting of casting directors from several opera and music stages in Norway present for the semi-final. They will offer engagements to semi-finalists.

For more information visit the website of the Queen Sonja International Music Competition. To apply click here

Jury 2021

Birgitta Svendén (chair), CEO and Director of Opera - Royal Opera in Stockholm
Olga Kapanina, Casting Director - Bolshoi Theatre
Christoph Seuferle, Director of Opera - Deutsche Oper
Randi Stene, Director of Opera - Norwegian National Opera & Ballet
Diane Zola, Casting Director - Metropolitan Opera

Looking back at the 2019 competition