General information

The art song, one of the most intimate and most personal musical genres, is also one of the most demanding to perform. It requires extreme technical and vocal facility, and at the same time a profound understanding of the poetic texts, which must be brought to life solely through musical realization by voice and piano. Above that it centres on a musical partnership, a cooperation between singer and pianist.

Precisely for this reason, the Stuttgart International Art Song Competition, which in 2020 will take place in Stuttgart for the twelfth time, is intended for lied duos. It emphasizes not only technical skill, quality of sound, faithfulness to the text and its comprehensibility and artistic realization, but above all, collaborative music-making. 

The competition, which will be live-streamed on the internet, thus offers young singers and pianists an international platform where they can immerse themselves in this particularly beautiful and challenging art form and present it to a large audience.

In 2020 we celebrate not only the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven but also that of the poet Friedrich Hölderlin. To honour the great Swabian poet the competition places a special emphasis on his texts in the area of contemporary lied repertoire. The Internationale Hugo-Wolf-Akademie (IHWA) has commissioned eight new Hölderlin settings from the composers Stefan Heucke and Hauke Berheide, which are part of the compulsory repertoire of the 2020 competition. The Hölderlin focus is funded as part of the Baden-Württemberg Foundation's Literature Summer 2020.

Prize Winners of the International Art Song Competition Stuttgart 1987–2016
​(until 1994 International Hugo-Wolf Competition)

1987  Oliver Widmer, Christiane Oelze, Leonardo de Lisi, Hans de Vries, Ellen van Lier, Matthias Weichert, André Howard, Gisèle Fixe, Philippe Biros, Otto Katzamaier, Eric Schneider

1990  Matthias Goerne, Dietrich Henschel, Birgid Steinberger, Katalin Halmai, Irène Friedli, Gisèle Fixe, Matthias Rettner, Manuel Bärtsch, Eric Schneider

1994  Locky Chung, Susanne Scheinpflug, Stephan Genz, Stefan Geyer, Morten Ernst Lassen, Julio Fernández, Markus Hadulla

2001  Hermann Wallén / Kanako Nakagawa, Hakan Vramsmo / Matthias Alteheld, Jewgenija Grekowa / Irina Purischinskaja, Alexander Puhrer / Senka Brankovic, Susanna Levonen, Anne Le Bozec

2004  Michael Nagy / Juliane Ruf, Colin Balzer / Erika Switzer, Ágúst Ólafsson / Izumi Kawakatsu, JaeEun Lee / Fan Yang, You-Seong Kim / Sonia Kim, Melanie Hirsch / Alexandra Ismer

2007  André Morsch / Eildert Beeftink, Elena Copons-Labarias / Chihiro Gordon, Raphaël Favre / Chiho Togawa, Tobias Berndt / Misa Kanuma

2010  Annelie Sophie Müller / Elif Şahin-Nesweda, Anna Alàs i Jové / Alexander Fleischer, Javier Alonso / Ainoa Padrón

2012  Diana Haller / Katharina Landl, Andreas Beinhauer / Melania Inés Kluge, 
Hagar Sharvit / Ammiel Bushakevitz, Kerstin Mörk, Friederike Wiesner

2014  Ludwig Mittelhammer / Jonathan Ware, Emma Moore / Klara Hornig, 
Marie Seidler / Katharina Thöni, Carine Tinney / Thomas Wypior 

2016  Ilker Arcayürek/Fiona Pollak, Stuart Jackson/Jocelyn Freeman, 
Samuel Hasselhorn/Renate Rohlfing 

2018  Mikhail Timoshenko/Elitsa Desseva, Alex Rosen/Michał Biel, 
Irina Jae-Eun Park/Dokyung Han, Klaudia Tandl/Gisela Jöbstl




Concert Hall, State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart

  • three songs of the participants choice will be performed from the submitted repertoire
  • the programme must not exceed 15 minutes in duration


Concert Hall, State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart


  • five songs will be performed from the submitted repertoire; two songs will be chosen by the jury and three by the candidates, whereof one has to be one of the new Hölderlin-settings by Stefan Heucke or Hauke Behreide; 
  • the programme must not exceed 20 minutes in duration 
  • the programme of the 2nd round will be determined after the end of the 1st round


Concert Hall, State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart


  • eight songs will be performed from the submitted repertoire, four chosen by the jury and four by the candidates
  • the programme must not exceed 30 minutes in duration
  • the programme of the 3rd round will be determined after the end of the 2nd round


The prizewinners will be announced publically after the end of the final round. 


Concert Hall, State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart

Representatives of radio and television stations, artist managements, festivals and concert promotion agencies will be invited to the competition – particularly to the finals on October 3 and the prizewinners' concert on October 4, 2020.

Registration form


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