Art Song Contest

Singing and other SinsTranslationsQuiz/Master Musicologist

 

After a hiatus of a few years, HPR's Art Song Contest is back! And easier than ever. The rules (below) were updated as of June 2013.

The three winners of this year's contest were heard on Singing and other Sins at 7pm Hawaii Time, Sunday, December 1, 2013. The winners were: Christine Steyer, Yulia Pretrachuk and Nicholas Provenzale. If you missed the program, here it is complete:  Winners Art Song Contest 2013

Here's a list of the jurors for the contest: singer/teachers: Juliana Gondek, Judith Kellock, Thomas Meglioranza and Kurt Ollmann. Pianist/ coaches who served as jurors are: Thomas Bagwell and Mary Dibbern. Finally I asked Virginia Bennett to judge: she’s a language expert and former singer herself. Many thanks to all the judges!

The mission of the Art Song Contest is to acknowledge high levels of art song  performance. There is no art song without the pianist; that means that although the contest features the vocalists, without a team performance, the entries will not be considered.

Let's assume that you know what an art song is*. You record your singing (original language of the poem, please), and send it to us here (on a CD) at: ASC, Hawaii Public Radio, 738 Kaheka St., Honolulu, HI 96814. There is no deadline. When the judging panel has chosen 15 semi-finalists, a special Semi-Finalists Program will occur on Singing and other Sins.  From that group 3 winners will be chosen and requested to supply between 15 - 20 minutes of recorded singing to be aired on the Winners Program of Singing and other Sins. Winners will be asked at that time for further bio information.

Entry data should include the name of the composer, poet, singer and pianist as well as contact info. (email etc.). No age or any other information is necessary. Just write/print this neatly on the CD. You will only be contacted if you are a semi-finalist or winner. Please do not contact the station.

A few hints: your recording must be of broadcast quality; no barking dogs or other background noise. No added re-verb. This is an art song (just one, please) and so should have a good balance between the piano and voice. No out-of-tune pianos. Waiver: By submitting a CD you understand that your entry recording may be used by HPR, broadcast or reproduced without further consent or remuneration.

FAQ: What is the deadline? Since there is no deadline, this will be an ongoing contest. Once a good number of CDs has been received we’ll process them, choose the semi-finalists and broadcast them on Singing and other Sins’ Semi-Finalists program. Then we’ll select the winners and schedule the HPR Art Song Contest Winners edition of Singing and other Sins. At the same time other CDs will be arriving for the next semi-finalist and winners rounds.

FAQ: Where is the application form? There is no form. Just write the information requested on the CD. That way it won't get separated from the all-important recording.

FAQ: What are the age limits? There are NONE.

FAQ: Do you need to be a US citizen? No, it is open to everyone.

FAQ: May we use an electric piano? Yes, if it sounds good: close to the sound of an acoustic piano.

FAQ: Will the semi-finalist and winners programs be streamed? Yes, all Hawaii Public Radio programs are streamed. 

FAQ: Can we record ourselves professionally? Yes, just don't let the sound engineer add obvious ambience or other effects. The recording should have normal recital hall acoustic.

Here are some of the changes from years past (in no particular order):

1. We will not be recording the singers.

2. There will be no prizes other than the honor of being selected and having your recording or recordings broadcast.

3. No entry fee.

4. No live Winners Recital.

5. No deadlines.

6. Any singer/pianist team may enter. No Hawaii residency is necessary. Former contestants/winners may enter again.

Singers will be evaluated on:

 1. Technique: basic sound, breath management, intonation, etc.

2. Diction: language ability/accuracy, clear understanding of the meaning of the words

3. Musicianship: rhythm, style, interpretation

4. Presentation: communication and appropriate presentation of character

5. How the "team" of piano and voice work together to make a successful overall interpretation of the song.

*Art Song is poetry set to music by a classical composer for unamplified voice and piano. Opera and oratorio arias, popular, folk, rap, commercial songs, and musical theatre are not included in the definition. Transpositions are acceptable, but selections must be performed in the original language.

Any one selection of Lieder (such as Schubert, Schumann, etc.), mélodie (Fauré, Debussy, etc.), or art songs in other languages such as English, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Japanese, Swedish, etc. are acceptable. Italian song selections may be taken from the 24/26 Italian anthologies, as well as other more recent Italian songs. This same information applies when the Winners are requested to send in more songs.

Following is a first draft of a press release for the new art song contest: 

A Hang Loose Art Song* Contest?

After running 14 of these Art Song competitions, we’re trying to make Hawaii Public Radio’s Art Song Contest more laid-back and Hawaiian-spirited. We’ve found many great singers and pianists already and hope to discover more. So we decided to make it free: there’s no charge. And why not make it simple? No application form! 

HPR’s Art Song Contest is also open ended/no deadlines. Since there’s no deadline, this will be an ongoing contest. Once a good number of CDs has been received, we’ll process them, choose the semi-finalists and broadcast them on Singing and other Sins’ Semi-Finalists program. Then we’ll select the winners and schedule the HPR Art Song Contest Winners edition of Singing and other Sins. At the same time other CDs will be arriving for the next semi-finalist and winners rounds.

How could the Art Song Contest be even more Hawaiian? We decided to open it up: all ages; all the world; international judges.

Other Hawaiian-like aspects include: no money prize: the “prize” is being heard on HPR’s Singing and other Sins, the only art song radio program in the world. And since it streams (like all HPR programs), it’s international.

Former winners have gone on to successful local and international careers, including the Met, Chicago, San Francisco operas and solo recitals. We have recordings of many winners to share.

*art song is poetry set to music by a classical composer for unamplified voice and piano. Opera and oratorio arias, popular, folk, rap, commercial songs, and musical theatre are not included in the definition. Think Brahms’ Lullaby, O Sole Mio, Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair, or Debussy’s Beau Soir.