Great Den Bosch Prize An award for the best singer in the competition, who gets to perform in a KRO television concert.
1st prize ƒ 2.500, the medal of Muziekstad Den Bosch, a diploma, a concert with the Brabant Orchestra, a KRO Radio broadcast.
2nd prize ƒ 1.000, Honorary diploma, a concert with the Brabant Orchestra.
Prize Foundation ‘Dutch Musical Interests’ ƒ 1.000 for the best performance of a Dutch composition
German Embassy Prize ƒ 500 for a young talent, of any nationality
Young Talent prize ‘Toonkunst’ ƒ 500 Study allowance for a Dutch singer who shows promise at any point in the competition (he or she doesn’t have to be a finalist).
Friends of Song Prize Five concert recitals with this Foundation, for Dutch singer with special talent for the song repertoire.
VARA Broadcasting Corporation Prize VARA Broadcasting Corporation selects their own pick of finalists to appear in a VARA Radio broadcast.
Summer Course Free admission to the vocal Summer Course in Vught
Honorary diploma Honorary diploma
Not awarded
1st prize Horiana Branisteanu Soprano  RO
1st prize Yuko Tsuji Mezzo-soprano JPN
1st prize Not awarded
2nd prize Wynford Evans Tenor WLS
1st prize Robert Holl Bass NL
2nd prize Thomas Thomaschke Baritone GE
Ginette Duplessis Soprano CA
Nen Christie Soprano GBR
Noble Mirsea Moisa Bass RO
Nen Christie Soprano GBR
Not awarded
Not awarded (because none of the candidates had sung the required two Dutch songs)
Margit Neubauer Mezzo-soprano FRG
Horiana Brănișteanu, Wynford Evans, Robert Holl and 3 unidentified others


Horiana Brănişteanu

  • Horiana Branisteanu
  • Horiana Branisteanu2
  • Horiana Branisteanu3
  • Horiana Branisteanu4
  • Horiana Branisteanu5
  • As Donna Anna
  • As Violetta
  • Horiana Brănişteanu

Horiana Brănişteanu is a radiant singe in the realm of lyric opera, who has an enormous effect on the audience.’ (Leo Hanekroot, Brabants Dagblad, September 1971)

‘Her spontaneous appearance, especially so in the finals, with radiantly performed arias by Bellini and Puccini, along with a touching Messiaen song, naturally led to a First Prize, which was awarded her along with the title ‘prima donna.’’

Romanian soprano Horiana Brănişteanu (1942, Galaţi) discovered her love for music and drama in early childhood. She would gather her girlfriends together for street theatre performances, and from the age of eight she started stuying playing the pinao as well as singing. Her talent was recohnized while in high school, and she was allowed entry into the prestigious ‘Ciprian Porumbescu’ Conservatory in Bucharest. Her principal teachers there were Arta Florescu, Elsa Chioreanu and Constantin Stroescu. The Romanian authorities then prepared Brănişteanu for her career by enlisting her for some international vocal competitions. She passed her state exam in opera as Mimì in a semi staged La Bohème production, in addition to which she graduated as a concert singer. In january 1971 she obtained Second Prize at the ‘Francisco Viñas’ Singing Contest in Barcelona, which had rapidly gained an important place among vocal competitions since its foundation in 1963. By September 1971, Brănişteanu topped the Spanish result by obtaining the first Prize in the IVC Den Bosch, with outstanding notes. Her Third Prize in Rio de Janeiro may appear a little pale compared to her previous results, but the additional ‘Enrico Caruso Award’ that was given to her there compensated for the lower ranking, since that award marked hers the most beautiful voice in the competition. Since her First Prize in Den Bosch also brought about a Concertgebouw appearance in a concert performance as Oksana in Tchaikovsky’s Cherevechi, we have an outstanding sample of her voice close to the time of the competition, and this recording indeed reveals the shimmering beauty mentioned in the 1971 reviews:

Horiana Branisteanu mp3
Tchaikovsky: Cherevechi ‘Цвела яблонька в садочке’ (Act I)
Horiana Brănişteanu (Oksana), Radio Philharmonic Orchestra – Hans Vonk (conductor), Concertgebouw Amsterdam, November 20, 1976.

Brănişteanu had debuted at the National Opera of Bucharest in 1972, as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata. While she continued to sing at the National Opera Bucharest, she entered an engaged with the Municipal Theatre of Lucerne from 1972 to 1974. Following her IVC victory, she also accepted an engagement at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Dusseldorf-Duisburg, which started in 1974 and lasted until 1979. In between, she gave guest performances at the Opera House of Frankfurt am Mainz, at the State Opera of Vienna (1977; Pamina in Die Zauberflöte), the Opera House of Zurich (1980; Antonia in Les contes d'Hoffmann), the Opera House of Graz, Amsterdam (1973; Tatiana in Evgeni Onegin, and 1976; Oksana in Cherechechi), the Wexford Festival in Ireland (1973; Antonida in A life for the Tsar).

Loading the player ...

In 1977, she appeared at the Glyndebourne Festival as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. On stage, she sang the lyric-dramatic Italian and French opera repertoire, and the great Mozart roles. Famous roles of Brănişteanu were Giulietta in Bellini’s I Capuleti ei Montecchi, Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. She sang a total of 36 leading opera roles in several languages, participated in numerous festivals and gave recitals in 15 countries.

Discography: Erato (Haydn: The Creation); Opera 96 AOL (Leonora in Il Trovatore, Rheinoper Dusseldorf 1978); Pickwick video (Donna Anna inDon Giovanni, Glyndebourne 1977). In addition a number of Brănişteanu's radio broadcasts were preserved, among them Oksana Tchaikovski’s Tsjerjewitsjki (Amsterdam 1971), Leonara in Verdi’s Il trovatore (Düsseldorf 1978), the title role in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda (Luzern 1979), and Antonia in Offenbach’s Les contess d’Hoffmann (Zürich 1980).

Robert Holl

Robert Holl

Robert Holl may have good hopes, since he is a vocalist of allure, whose resplendent sound betrays vocal intelligence.’ (P.P., Unknown Newspaper clipping)

‘Being the first Dutch singer since 1957 [56 – RS] to win a First Prize at the IVC made Robert Holl’s achievement truly special. […] The jury was right in praising his sensibility, which never became sentimental, whereas his all round capacities were admirable.’ (Chris de Jong-Stolle, NRC, September 1971)

The Dutch bass-baritone Robert Holl was born on March 10, 1947 in Rotterdam. Post high school he attended the local Rotterdam Conservatory. Following his first prize at the 1971 International Vocal Competition at 's-Hertogenbosch he continued his studies with Hans Hotter in Munich. The following year, he won first prize at the Munich International Competition.

  • Robert Holl2
  • Robert Holl3
  • Robert Holl4
  • Robert Holl5
  • Robert Holl6
  • Young Holl in Moskou
  • Gurnemanz
  • Hans Sachs
  • Don Basilio
  • Born for Schubert

From 1973 to 1975, he was a member of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. Robert Holl received the honorary title of Kammersänger from the city of Vienna in 1990, which is also the city where he finally settled. Our video excerpt below presents him in and excerpt of Schubert’s Fierrabras, from Theater an der Wien 1988, alongside Karita Mattila, Peter Hofmann, Robert Gambill and fellow IVC 1980 winner Thomas Hampson, conducted by the illustrious Claudio Abbado. Hollmade his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the special concert in Grant Park on September 21, 1991, in the last movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Robert Holl appeared with all the major orchestras, and has worked with many outstanding conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Carlo Maria Giulini, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sir Neville Marriner, and Riccardo Chailly, among others. In January 1999, he sang Schubert’s ‘Winterreise’ in Chicago with Daniel Barenboim at the piano, later also Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. By 2014, Robert Holl was still appearing in recitals, although he cut his appearance since an illness in 2012 kept him from the stage for a while.

Loading the player ...

As a frequent guest artist at music festivals, Holl has appeared at the Vienna Festival, Mozart Week Salzburg, Salzburg Festspiele, Berliner Festwochen, Flanders Festival, Prague Spring, Schubertiade Hohenems, and Settimane Musicale di Stresa. In addition, he has participated in the Festival of Tours in France and the Russian Winter Festival. Robert Holl also sang Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg conducted by Daniel Barenboim at the Bayreuth Festival, and Amfortas in Parsifal with Franz Welser-Möst in Zürich. Holl frequently collaborated with tenor Peter Schreier in Bach oratorios, and with his wife, soprano Ellen van Lier, in Hugo Wolfs ‘Italian Songbook.’ His extensive discography for the Preiser label includes works by Pfitzner, Reger, Franz Schmidt, Schubert, and Wolf.

Robert Holl mp3
Schubert ‘Totengrabers heimweh D 842’
Robert Holl (bass), Konrad Richter (piano) (LP IVC 25-JAAR)


Thomas Thomaschke (bt – GE)

  • Thomas Thomaschke
  • Thomas Thomaschke2
  • Thomas Thomaschke3

Thomas Thomaschke

‘Oratorio is in decline and therefore Thomas Thomaschke had the odds against him. Yet the man sang so magnificent with that perfect baritone voice, that it wasn’t possible to give him anything else than a Fist Prize.’ (Leo Hanekroot, Brabants Dagblad, September 1971)

The German bass Thomas Thomaschke (August 2, 1943, Pirna, Germany) first worked as a gardener before he studied horn, and finally singing at the College of Music Dresden with Harry Schwickardi. He made his stage debut in 1965 at the State Theatre of Freiburg as Sakristan in Puccini's Tosca. In 1970 he started an engagement with the Opera House of Leipzig. He appeared regularly also at the State Opera of Dresden, and at the Comic Opera Berlin. In 1969 he sang at the Dresden State Opera in the World Premiere of the opera Maître Pathelin by Rainer Kunad.

Seeing Thomaschke participate in the 1971 IVC Den Bosch at that point in his career was arguably more surprising than his victory there (and in Moscow, where he also won First prize). His further career on stage and in concert still benefitted form his Vocal Competition victories, since onwards his career gravitated toward an even higher level. He made guest appearances at the National theatre of Prague, at the Opera of Brno (Brünn), at the Milan's La Scala (starting with the role of Hunding in Walküre in 1974), at the Teatro Fenice Venice and at the Opera Festival of Wiesbaden. In 1976 at the State Opera of Munich he took part in the World Premiere of Josef Tal’s Die Versuchung. By 1977 he became a member of the Opera of Cologne. In 1978 and 1980 he appeared at the Festival of Glyndebourne in the role of Sarastro. He sang this role also in 1976 at the State Opera of Munich and in 1984 in an appearance of the Cologne opera in Tel Aviv. In 1986 he appeared at the Opera of Lüttich as Landgraf in Tannhäuser. Further appearances at Covent Garden London, at the State Opera of Hamburg, at the Opera House of Zürich, at the Teatro San Carlos Lisbon, and at the Deutsche Opera Berlin. In 1995 he participated in the Teatro Politeama Palermo in performances of Zemlinsky’s Der Traumgörge. According to the Bach Cantatas website his was a strong, deep bass that mastered an extensive stage repertoire with high points in the Wagner as in the Italian roles.

Loading the player ...

In addition, Thomas Thomaschke excelled as concert and above all oratorio bass singer. He sang in 1975 at the Vienna Festival Weeks the bass solo in Missa Solemnis by L.v. Beethoven. In the concert hall he appeared also as soloist in the German Requiem by Johannes Brahms, in The Creation by Haydn, in works of J.S. Bach and George Frideric Handel. Thomas Thomaschke had educational activity at the College of Music of Lübeck and in master-classes.

Recordings: on labels Eterna, HMV, Philips (Kuno in Freischütz), Decca (Jephtha by G.F. Handel), Metronom (Christus by Franz Liszt), Da Camera (Great Mass by Wilhelm Petersen); SL-Longman-Video (Zauberflöte). In addition, there are a number of broadcast recordings in circulation that show him in Wagner-Régeny’s Johanna Balk (Michael Weiss), Händel’s Xerxes (Ariodate), Puccini’s Turandot (Timur), Mozart’sDie Zauberflöte (Sarastro), Offenbach’s Les Contes d`Hoffmann (Crespel). A fascinating document is a staged production of Bach’s Johannes Passion (Petrus) from La Fenice, 1984, from which we present an excerpt here.

Yuko Tsuji

Yuko Tsuji

‘Yuko Tsuji (mezzo): star of the vocal competition… Should she have been elected as Best Singer of the Competition, anyone would have understood this. In fact, we all elected her ‘best Singer of the Competition,’ by giving her rounds of ovations after her appearances. That is how it has always worked with ‘best Singer,’ which is not a matter of points o Juries, but a matter of voice. And there are no people better equipped to judge that, than those who are the ultimate consumers: the audience! Thus, Tsuji brought us in rapture with ‘Gretchen am Spinnrade,’ a song which can only have two outcomes: complete failure or triumph. The latter is what Tsuji achieved!’ (Leo Hanekroot, Brabants Dagblad on semi finals, September 1971)

‘Yuko Tsuji has a beautiful, full and well trained soprano, while impressing even more with her intense and powerful performance.’ (Leo Hanekroot, Brabants Dagblad on finals, September 1971)

Since Japanese singers had the name to be rather modest in their vocal expression, C. De Jong-Stolle thought it remarkable that after Japanese bass Schuichi Takahashi in the previous year, now another Japanese artists triumphed in den Bosch. Indeed, it is remarkable that Japan suddenly produced a second IVC winner in a row. Regrettably, there is little else we know about Yuko Tsuji, although the little we know suggests that she must have had an important career in Japan as a… dramatic soprano. This follows from her landmark appearance as the Götterdämmerung Brünnhilde in the 1984-1987 Japanese concert recording of Der Ring des Nibelungen by the New Japan Philharmonic under the noted conductor Takashi Asahina. In addition, the same Ring features her as Fricka in Die Walküre. We present her voice here in Brünnhilde’s ‘Starke Scheite, schichte mir dort,’ which, along with the other DerRing des Nibelungen excerpts are the only extant samples of her art. Should you have more information/photos/recordings of Yuko Tsuji, we would welcome these at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Yuko Tsuji2
Wagner Götterdämmerung ‘Starke Scheite, schichte mir dort’ (Excerpt)
Yuko Tsuji (Brünnhilde), New Japan Philharmonic - Takashi Asahina, 1987 (CD FOCD9375/86)


Wynford Evans

Wynford Evans

‘Although the tenor section of the 1971 IVC wasn’t on a par with the contesters in the other vocal categories, the Second Prize for Wynford Evans was a welcome recognition of his fine qualities.’ (Chris de Jong-Stolle, NRC, September 1971)

At the age of eight, English tenor Wynford Evans (Swansea, April 30, 1946 – Staines upon Thames, September 23, 2009) cut his first recording of ‘Bless this House’ and ‘Daddy.’ From 1957 onward he was a regular performer on Radio Wales on a Sunday morning show called Silver Chords. He attended The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where Joyce Newton was among his voice teachers. In 1967 he graduated with the Gold Medal and went on to win the Young Welsh Singers Competition held in Cardiff. In 1969 he had sang in front of Prince Charles, and by September 1971, Evans reached the IVC Den Bosch, where he was awarded Second Prize in the Tenor section.

Wynford Evans2
Purcell: The Fairy Queen ‘Come, all ye songsters of the sky’
Wynford Evans (tenor), John Eliot Gardiner (conductor) (CD Archiv, 1982)


Evans joined various local singing groups, toured in Europe, Canada, Australia, North and South America, South Africa and the Far East. He made his debut in the U.S.A. in 1987 with the London Early Music Group at Carnegie Hall. Festival appearances included Aix-en-Provence (The Messiah with John Eliot Gardiner), City of London, Bath, Bach 300, Cardiff, Swansea and Llandaff and many others. He broadcast regularly both in Britain and abroad, ranging from oratorio and song recitals to 'Friday Night is Music Night', 'Melodies For You', and 'Songs from the Shows'. Opera appearances included roles with Netherlands Opera, Welsh National Opera, Kent Opera and Opera de Lyon, while his recordings included Bach's 'B Minor Mass' and Purcell's The Fairy Queen, both with Sir John Eliot Gardiner; In additon he recorded a recital of Welsh songs in memory of the late David Lloyd, a series of oratorios and sacred works with George Guest and the choir of St. John's, Cambridge, and Vaughan Williams' Hugh the drover. He performed as a soloist on recordings with Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and Joan Sutherland. His teaching activities with London University at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College began in 1989. He continued teaching, giving master classes, conducting concerts and giving choral workshops, He conducted Egham and District Choral Society for eight years. Wynford Evans died on 23 September 2009, in his residence in Staines upon Thames.


Nen Christie

‘A voice a rare quality, a bel canto singer who will make the world marvel about her. Perhaps lack of experience made this 19 years young soprano choose an extremely difficult piece, which brought her some troubles in the suffocating atmosphere of that auditorium. She still secured a scholarship with it, although I have no idea what she should learn more at the Summer Course? In a few years she will be a fully mature artist.’ (Leo Hanekroot, Brabants Dagblad, September 1971)

We have no more information on Nen Christie, photos and/or recordings of her would be very welcome ar This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Nen Christie
(See under Summer Course)

Ginette Duplessis

Born in Lanoraie, Quebec, Ginette Duplessis studied music at Ecole Vincent d’Indy in Montreal and Laval University, graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree and a Concert Licentiate. She went on to further training at Conservatoire de Lucerne in Switzerland and Staatliche Hochschule fur Musik in Munich. She studied with Bernard Diamant, and has attended master classes with Gerard Souzay, Erik Werba, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Walter Legge. Her awards include an Honorary Diploma at the IVC Den Bosch 1971, and prizes at the Hugo Wolf Competition, Festival des Flandres, Rio de Janeiro, and Francesco Vinas competitions. She has appeared in vocal recitals throughout Europe, Canada and the United States, and has been featured in the Distinguished Artists Series in San Francisco. Duplessis has appeared as featured soloist with Philharmonica Bozen, L’Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Die Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Studio de Musique Ancienne, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec, and CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra, among others. Duplessis has premiered significant works by Canadian Composers, several of which were written specifically for her including ‘Les Clartes de la Nuit’ by Jacques Hetu, ‘Les Chanson du Coeur’ by Jean Coulthard, and ‘Plaintes’ by Denys Bouliane. Duplessis’s teaching credentials are no less impressive than her performance career. She taught at the Faculty of Music, University of Western Ontario from 1983-1989. She retired from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and the RCM Examinations College of Examiners in 2006 after having been a member of this institution since 1984. She is still connected with the Post-Graduate program at the Faculty of Music on the University of Toronto. Among her engagements have been French Diction Consultant to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in his debut as Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande, as well as Helen Donath, Nicolai Gedda, and Peter Meven under the direction of Rafael Kubelik. She was Guest Professor at Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria. Ginette has conducted workshops for musicians to help them create a positive outlook for performing music, and various classes for singers, including Special Movement Classes, Free Breathing, French Music, and Contemporary Interpretation, across Canada and in the United States. She has adjudicated numerous competitions in Canada and the U.S., receiving praise for her spirit of encouragement, constructive criticism, and tact. Ms Duplessis currently lives in Cobourg, Ontario.

Noble Mirsea Moisa

Noble Mirsea Morsa

Romanian bass-baritone Noble Mircea Moisa had a fine career in his native country, appearing among others as Leporello in a recorded 1990’s performance from Cluj, of which we include here the catalogue aria.

Noble Mirsea Morsa mp3
Mozart: Don Giovanni ‘Madamina, il catalogo è questo’
Noble Mircea Moisa (Leoprello), Cluj Opera, 1990.


We have no more information on Noble Mirsea Moisa. Info, photos and/or additional recordings or videos of him would be very welcome at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


It is unknown who were selected for the Vara engagements in this year.