The Queen Sonja International Music Competition – the winners of 2019 are announced

After ten days and three intense rounds, finally the winner of this year's Queen Sonja International Music Competition. Baritone Sergey Kaydalov (27), a young talent from Russia, won the First Prize in the grand final concert at the Norwegian Opera & Ballet on Friday 23 August.


“Thank you to my parents, to my wife, to my country, thank you maestro, thank you to the Jury, and thank you to the audience. I am so happy!”, said Kaydalov after reveicing the diploma on stage.


The Second prize of € 10.000, went to Baritone Stefan Astakhov (21) from Germany and the Third prize of € 5.000 went to Baritone Adam Kutny (27) from Poland. Her Majesty Queen Sonja presented the prizes, including a diploma with original artwork created by Her Majesty awarded to the First Prize winner, in addition to € 50.000. The finalist prizes of € 1.500 went to Soprano Meigui Zhang (26) from China, Tenor Theodore Browne (28) from Germany, and Soprano Natalia Tanasii (28) from Moldova.


H.M Queen Sonja thanked the finalists from the stage:

“I would like to thank the finalists. I am full of admiration for this fantastic evening you have given us tonight, and I am quite sure the audience is too. You have touched our hearts again. Let me thank each and every one of you for your great performances tonight – not to mention the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra.”


A young talent


Sergey Kaydalov was born in 1992, in Amursk, Russia. He is currently 27 years old. Kaydalov graduated from the Hvorostovsky Musical College (Prokopyevsk, 2014) and Saint-Petersburg Herzen University (Institute of Art) in 2018. In the 2018/2019 season Kaydalov has been a soloist at the Mariinskiy Theater.


Further prizes


Barytone Stefan Astakhov from Germany won the prize for best lieder-performance.



The Ingrid Bjoner Scholarship of NOK 100 000 was awarded to the best Norwegian participant, who this year was Astrid Nordstad from Trondheim.

The prizewinners will also be offered engagements with leading Norwegian musical institutions. Throughout the semifinal and final concerts there have been international agents, artist managers, casting directors, orchestral program managers and other music industry representatives present. The competition will also host a concert in Bergen on 3 October 2019.


The 2019 competition


There has been a great deal of interest in the Queen Sonja International Music Competition from young singers around the world this year. There was a record number of 304 applicants, and of these 40 registered participants from 21 nations made it to Oslo.


The preliminary rounds and the semifinal were held at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and were open to the public. The performances were also streamed live from the QSIMC website, which gave viewers around the world the opportunity to tune in.


Norwegian radio personality and soprano Mari Lunnan hosted the final concert at the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet. The concert was sent live on radio by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, and live streamed on the Competition’s Facebook- and YouTube-channels. These streams will be available after the Competition is concluded. The concert will also be available to watch as a TV-programme by NRK later this fall.


The Queen Sonja International Music Competition is one of the world’s leading voice competitions. It takes place every second year in Oslo and is open for singers from all over the world. The main goal of the competition is to assist the career development of talented young singers. It also acts as a bridge builder between the Norwegian and international music scenes. Singers of all nationalities may apply to take part of the competition. Upper age limit is 32 years. Several participants for each competition are also nominated by the competition’s collaborating opera academies. Through several rounds, a jury consisting of internationally renowned opera directors, singers and casting associates from some of the world's top opera houses judge the participants' efforts. Each competition culminates in a grand final concert and prize-giving ceremony with H.M. Queen Sonja. The competition’s institutional partners include the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, the Norwegian Academy of Music, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Oslo National Academy of the Arts and the Royal Court.

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