The 2021 Walter Prystawski Prize

We are delighted to announce that Cameron Shahbazi of Hamilton, Ontario is this year’s Walter Prystawski Prize winner.

Praised by De Trouw for his “full, voluminous” voice and “personal and beautiful” timbre, Persian-Canadian countertenor Cameron Shahbazi is gaining recognition for his interpretations of both baroque and contemporary music. He is the recipient of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden Prize at the 2018  International Belvedere Competition, 2nd Prize at the 2018 Innsbrucker Baroque Competiton, and top prizes at the 2017 Opéra Avignon Jeunes Espoirs Competition.

In 2020, Shahbazi returned to Oper Köln for a worldwide streaming of Written on Skin, conducted by François-Xavier Roth,

singing the role of The Boy/Angel 1 to critical acclaim. He subsequently landed on the cover of Das Opernglas and featured in Opera Canada Magazine. At the Dutch National Opera, Shahbazi created the role of Sergey Diaghilev in Willem Jeth’s new opera, Ritratto, which was one of the Guardian’s picks of opera and classical concerts to watch during the first COVID-19 lockdown.

Shahbazi will be making highly anticipated role debuts in the 2021/22 season, including Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare in Egitto with the Moscow Chamber Ensemble, the title role in Tolomeo, re d’Egitto at the International Handel Festival in Karlsruhe, and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a new production by Brigitte Fassbender at Oper Frankfurt.

Shahbazi was an associate artist of the Dutch National Opera Studio, a graduate of the University of Toronto and Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and a grateful grant recipient of the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation and Staetshuys Fonds. He is honoured to be receiving a Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award and the Foundation’s 2021 Walter Prystawski Prize.

Click here for more information about the Prize and about Walter Prystawski