Wirth Vocal Prize

Elizabeth Wirth Competition prize pin in red velvet box
Image by Brent-Calis.

Overview and Prizes

The Wirth Vocal Prize in vocal performance was established in 2015 through the extraordinary generosity of Elizabeth Wirth to the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, along with new Student Excellence Awards, and an innovative Student Initiatives Fund. Awarded yearly since its inception, the Wirth Vocal Prize recognizes a voice student who demonstrates exceptional talent and significant promise for an international career.

The winner of this year’s Wirth Vocal Prize will receive a generous scholarship, valued this year at $25,000, as well as a smaller likeness of the Wirth Vocal Prize logo in the form of a 14-karat gold lapel pin. Runners-up in the final will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

Previous winners include Chelsea Rus, Simone McIntosh, Anna-Sophie Neher, Marcel d’Entremont, Jenny Ivanovna, Emily Richter, Elisabeth Saint-Gelais, and Jingjing Xu.

2023-2024 Competition Dates

  • Preliminary application deadline: February 1, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.
    Wirth Vocal Prize Application Form
  • Preliminary Round: February 17, 2024 (not open to public)
  • Semi-final Round: Friday, March 1, 2024, 7:00 p.m., Pollack Hall
  • Final Round: Sunday, March 3, 2024, 2:00 p.m., Pollack Hall

The winners of the 2023-2024 Wirth Vocal Prize will perform in a recital at the Canadian Centre for Architecture as part of the Schulich @ Bon-Pasteur series on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. This date can not be changed.


  • Jury Chair: Stéphane Lemelin
  • Judges: Michael Egel, Jennifer Szeto, Richard Turp


Information for 2023-2024 Applicants


Voice students registered in all Schulich School of Music study programs may be considered for nomination.
Previous winners are not eligible for nomination.

Nomination Process (Preliminary Round)

Students wishing to be considered for nomination must submit the following:

  • Wirth Vocal Prize Application Form, which must be approved by your Voice Instructor (an email will be sent to your instructor automatically upon completion of the online form)
  • A Semi-finals Program consisting of a varied program no more than 15 minutes in length: three languages and one aria must be included.
  • A Finals Program consisting of a varied program of 25 minutes: at least three languages and one aria must be included. Each program must have different repertoire with the exception of ONE piece that may be included in both.
  • List of repertoire for both programs offered in the semi-final and final round (Title, Composer, Composer dates, Length of work). Once submitted, the program cannot be modified.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Headshot (optional)

Repertoire Requirements 

Nominated students should prepare two programs: a 15-minute program as well as a 25-minute program that includes at least one opera aria, demonstrating ability in at least three languages. No change of repertoire will be allowed once the program has been submitted. Only one piece can be presented in both programs.

Competition Rounds

Preliminary Round: Applicants will offer their entire program from both the semi-final and final rounds. They will choose the first piece from either the semi-final or finals program and the judges will choose the next piece(s) from either the semi-final or finals program. It is entirely up to the judges as to how many selections will be heard. The panel, consisting of members of the Voice Area will select eight candidates who will move to the semi-final round.

Semi-final Round: Semi-finalists will present their full 15-minute program in a webcast performance. The jury will consist of three external members from the vocal arts community for a webcast performance. A maximum of 4 candidates will move to the final round.

Final round: Finalists will present their full 25-minute program in a webcast performance. The jury will consist of three external members from the vocal arts community.

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