Submissions to the fifth John Kerr Award for English Song will close at the end of July. The biannual competition challenges participants to create a 20-minute recording from the English Song Repertoire 1600–1900.

The finalists selected from their recordings will have the chance to sing for a panel of judges, including soprano Julie Kennard, tenor Ian Partridge and Dr Geoffrey Govier, fortepianist and professor of fortepiano at the Royal College of Music.

The 2014 competition has a wider range of prizes than previous years. The winner of first place will receive £1,600 prize, plus a £400 recital at Finchcocks Musical Museum in Kent (pictured). The second prize-winner will take away £1,000. There will also be a selection of smaller prizes: The Smallfield Place Audience Prize and The Raymond Brown Accompanist’s Prize, both for £500, and The Charles Dibdin Song Prize of £200.

The John Kerr Award for English Song was established in memory of tenor John Kerr, following his death in 2004, to promote the English song repertoire. Kerr made three recordings for Finchcocks, including lute songs by Thomas Campion and late Victorian ballads. He also performed at the museum’s open days, accompanied by Finchcock’s collection of historical instruments. Previous winners of the competition include tenor Greg Tassell and sopranos Susanna Hurrell and soprano Laura Mitchell.

The competition is open to musicians aged 18 to 35. The deadline for entries is 31 July. The final will take place at Finchcocks on 26 October 2014. Full details of rules and entry requirements are available on the competition’s website.

www.johnkerraward.org.uk

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