For 30 years, the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition has served as a springboard and renowned platform for exceptionally talented next-generation singers. Initiated in 1987 with the goal of discovering well-trained young artists, above all in Europe, the competition has grown rapidly in the last three decades: In its first year, 36 singers applied to participate, while 1,430 contestants from 76 countries registered to take part in this year's anniversary event. Moreover, during the 17 competitions held, over 15,000 young talents have applied to participate.
As the world of opera has grown increasingly international, NEUE STIMMEN has also continued to develop, with preliminary auditions, which are led by members of the NEUE STIMMEN jury, now taking place around the globe. In 2017, they were held in 24 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Riga, Shanghai, London, Toronto, Moscow, Cape Town, Sydney and Berlin. Over the last three decades, 962 singers from preliminary round auditions have been invited to Gütersloh for the final round.
"For thousands of years, culture and music in particular have been building bridges of understanding across cultures and borders. They connect people regardless of nationality and culture. This function has become even more important in these unsettled and eventful times. That is why the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition is so important to me personally. It is where young people come together, encourage each other, celebrate their successes together and form friendships," says Liz Mohn, president of NEUE STIMMEN and vice-chairwoman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board.