53rd International Vocal Competition - Lied Duo
20 - 24 November 2019

About the IVC


About the IVC

The International Vocal Competition ’s-Hertogenbosch (IVC) was founded in 1954 and is the sole classical vocal competition in the Netherlands that involves oratorio and art song as well as opera, with much attention also being paid to 20th century and to contemporary music. It is a unique cultural institution with long-standing connections to the province of Noord-Brabant and to the city of ’s-Hertogenbosch.

Over the past 60 years the IVC has become a permanent fixture amongst international classical vocal competitions; as such it is one of the Netherlands’ most important cultural events from an international viewpoint.
The IVC is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions (WFIMC) and fervently supports the discovery and development of young vocal talent.


The IVC’s purpose is described best through its own 'Triple D’ status:
Discovery, Development and Delivery.

Discovery through the Competition itself; Development through master classes given by renowned singers who are able to transmit their knowledge and technical skills; training weeks, summer schools and the provision of professional advice; Delivery of the singers to impresarios as well as to concert, opera and festival managements in the IVC’s professional network.

The IVC promotes the careers of talented singers with recommendations and introductions to juries, concert managements, casting directors, impresarios, the media and concert and theatrical audiences. The juries for both the Preliminary Rounds and the Competition proper are made up of a combination of famous singers and highly-placed people in the opera and concert world.

The IVC takes good care of its candidates in every respect. During the Competition, rooms are made available for warming up and for rehearsing with their allotted pianist; candidates also have ample opportunity to give the best account of themselves during the various rounds, as they are required to sing three or four works per round. The IVC also gives candidates the possibility of attending all the rounds as observers; the Competition is an excellent networking opportunity and also serves as a benchmark in a singer’s career. The IVC also provides accommodation for its candidates with host families who strive to make their guests feel at home.
The IVC also provides for its candidates after the Competition proper: prize-winners are invited to appear in various concerts organised not only by the IVC but also by the Grachtenfestival, the Peter de Grote Festival, Sinfonia Rotterdam, Operadagen Rotterdam, the Alban Berg Ensemble, the Nederlands Studenten Kamerorkest, the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, the series of J.S. Bach cantata concerts in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Musical Olympus Festival St. Petersburg, the 'Nederlandse Händel Vereniging' and the 'Vrienden van het Lied' amongst others.

Those taking part in the Competition will also be given the opportunity to take part in master classes and a summer school; they will also be put in contact with various opera studios, orchestras and impresarios.

The IVC has acted as a springboard for many singers that today enjoy international renown; they still feel a connection with us and as a result often perform as ambassadors for the IVC as well as taking part in IVC activities. Prize winners from the last 60 years include Elly Ameling, Jules Bastin, Measha Brueggergosman, Cora Burggraaf, John Bröcheler, Viorica Cortez, Ileana Cotrubas, Thomas Hampson, Howard Haskin, Robert Holl, Nadine Koutcher, Petra Lang, Yvonne Minton, Nelly Miricioiu, Jard van Nes, Jevgeni Nesterenko, Vladimir Pankratov, Margriet van Reisen, Lenneke Ruiten, Wolfgang Schöne, Henk Smit, Elzbieta Szmytka, Pretty Yende and Ruth Ziesak. 

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