Kieran Rayner wins International Sing Finzi Competition 2021!

We’re just so excited with all the fabulous news about our talented alumni!  This time – our very own baritone Kieran Rayner; who was announced as the winning singer of the International Sing Finzi Competition 2021 run by the Finzi Trust and Boosey & Hawkes.

The jury were particularly impressed by the level of storytelling and musicality in his performance, as well as Kieran’s inclusion of some of Finzi’s lighter repertoire. Bravissimo Kieran, we couldn’t be prouder.

You can read more about the award below and watch Kieran’s performance here: Kieran’s winning performance

The Full Details:

Launched in 2020 to celebrate Gerald Finzi’s 120th birthday year, Sing Finzi 2021 is an online singing competition giving performers the opportunity to perform for a renowned panel and win a cash prize of £5000 for first place singer and £2000 for first place pianist.

The esteemed jury included celebrated singers Anne Schwanewilms, Eric Owens and Roderick Williams, leading pianists Iain Burnside and Joseph Middleton, and industry professionals Helen Lewis (Executive Producer at Decca Classics) and Michelle Williams (Head of Casting at English National Opera).

Entrants were asked to submit videos of themselves performing one or more pieces by Finzi on YouTube. We received over 100 entries which were whittled down to 20 stellar finalists (15 singers and 5 pianists).

From the 20 finalists, we can now announce Kieran Rayner, baritone, as the winning singer and Dr. Steven McGhee as the winning pianist.

Kieran Rayner is a London-based New Zealand operatic baritone. He is a Britten Pears Young Artist 2021-22, and was an Independent Opera Fellow 2019-20, a Garsington Opera Alvarez Young Artist 2018-19 and 2021, a Verbier Festival Atélier Lyrique Artist 2018, a Samling Artist, an Internationale Meistersinger Akademie Artist, and was a 2012-13 Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera.

Dr. Steven McGhee works in the genres of art song and opera as a coach, collaborative pianist and conductor. He is the artistic director and principal conductor for Opera MODO, and Department Collaborative Pianist at the Department of Music at Wayne State University.

The panel and competition organisers would also like to give a special mention to soprano Siân Dicker for an exceptional vocal submission.


Sing Finzi 2021 finalists:

Blake Denson
Siân Dicker
Jonathan Eyers
Emily Gray
Sandeep Gurrapadi
Jamie W. Hall
Joanna Harries
Feride Buyukdenktas
Elinor Rolfe Johnson
Marieke de Koker
Michael Lafferty
Olivia Moss
Kieran Rayner
William Smith
Maximilian Vogler

Stefano Cascioli
Gamal Khamis
Esther Knight
Steven McGhee
Karolina Strongowska


Recent News

NZ Opera School | In Praise of Music l Felicity Tomkins

Alumna News – Greetings from Munich

We were thrilled to receive a recent update from alumna Felicity Tomkins, winner of the NZOS 2021 Susie and Guy Haddleton Emerging Artist Award and Dame Sister Mary Leo Scholarship, who has just completed her

Read More »