Johannes Vermeer Award 2023 goes to

Tania Kross

The Johannes Vermeer Award 2023 goes to mezzo-soprano Tania Kross. The jury, chaired by Marise Voskens, has nominated her unanimously. Kross receives the award for her leading international singing career and the innovative way in which she makes opera widely accessible, and also for how she appeals to, connects and inspires a diverse audience. The State Prize for the Arts, established by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, was presented on Monday, 20 November 2023 at Felix Meritis in Amsterdam by Gunay Uslu, State Secretary for Culture and Media.

The independent jury has expressly taken into consideration the exceptional artistic qualities of the laureate, as well as the oeuvre so far, the further development and the social dimension. Tania Kross has an impressive international career in the field of opera and singing. Over the past 25 years, she has performed starring roles in numerous productions at major opera houses and concert halls at home and abroad. Kross received several music awards, including the Edison Audience Award, and has made history with the production of the very first opera in Papiamento Katibu di Shon.

Innovative and accessible
The jury is impressed by how Kross practices her profession and the innovative way in which she builds bridges and connects. With her artistic qualities and passion for opera music, she knows how to move and inspire time and again. She also uses broader channels to achieve her musical goals. Through her professionalism and infectious enthusiasm, she opens the door to an art form that seemed inaccessible to a large and contemporary audience. The jury commented as follows: “With her approach to opera and classical music, Tania Kross embraces the genre in its entirety. Her voice has many faces, from subdued to exuberant. The ease with which she moves within that range indicates a deep and very personal knowledge of repertoire. A performance by Kross stands out because of the spontaneity and intensity of her interpretation. In this way she gives her vocal performances a truly unique colour and knows how to touch others and take them into the surprising and enriching world of the performing arts.”

Connecting and sharing
As a passionate ambassador for opera music and, not only, the classical repertoire, Tania Kross shares her expertise and supports young talent. The jury appreciates her great social involvement and the connecting way in which she advocates music education. With her commitment to Muziek Telt!, the Instrument Depot and Stichting Leerorkest Nederland and Curaçao, Kross wants to give every child and young adult the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument, make music together and develop other skills through play. The jury in a nutshell: “Tania Kross is a gifted mezzo-soprano, who knows how to touch people with her powerful voice and expression. With a clear motivation and an infectious love for her profession, she shares her passion and, above all, invites new generations to dream and develop.”

Coming soon
On the occasion of the Johannes Vermeer Award, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (ECS) is organising a presentation based on the work of the award winner. The exhibition space is located directly next to the entrance of the ministry on Rijnstraat 50 in The Hague and is freely accessible. The presentation about Tania Kross’ work can be seen from 20 November 2023 until mid-March 2024.

Photo © Anne van Zantwijk
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