Offenbach’s Ave Maria contest

In April 2020, AccompaMe initiated the first online competition of rediscovered Ave Maria by Jacques Offenbach. We asked singers worldwide to record themselves and publish a video of their performance on YouTube. We received 24 applications from around the globe.

The jury, consisting of bariton Benjamin Appl, ECHO-Klassik award winner soprano Núria Rial and the AccompaMe Team, awarded Canadian Ekaterina Shelehova with the first prize, and Romanian Alexandra Turcan and Russian Victoria Lavrova with a shared second prize.

Ekaterina Shelehova began studying music when she was 3 years old. She grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, (Canada). During her high school years, she studied at the Conservatory of Music in Toronto where she received three Gold Medals in Vocal Performance and diploma for Grade 10 Voice. She also finished her studies in Piano and received her diploma for ARCT in Piano Pedagogy. From 2014 to 2019 Ekaterina completed both her Bachelors and Masters in Opera performance at the Conservatorio G.Verdi in Milan, Italy, with highest honours. Currently, Ekaterina resides in Milan, where she hopes to be able to continue pursuing her passion for music.

Florentina-Alexandra Turcan was born in Romania in 1988. She studied classical singing at the National University of Music, Bucharest from 2007 to 2011, and finished her Master studies in 2013 at the Ovidius University of Constanța.  She continued with Master classes until 2016, while performing in several European countries. In 2018 she had her opera debut as “Queen of the Night” in Mozart’s “Magic Flute” at the National Opera of Bucharest. Since September 2018 she lives in Aachen, Germany, teaching and performing classical singing.

Victoria Lavrova is a 19 years old soprano from Moscow, Russia, where she was born and grew up. As a child, she studied piano and singing in a music school. For a few years she sang in the choir „Radio Classic Angels“. At the age of 16 she graduated from high school and was accepted at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna (MUK). Currently, she is a Bachelor student in the class of Professor Melba Ramos in Vienna. 

Find other beautiful performances in our facebook group and on YouTube.


  1. AccompaMe Post author

    By the way, we have the pleasure to anounce that Benjamin Appl and Nuria Rial have agreed to take part of the jury board. Thanks a lot!

  2. AccompaMe Post author

    Hello all, please note that we will also accept performances with other types of accompaniment, such as an organ , guitar or harp accompaniment.