The ‘Raniza’ female choir from Minsk (Belarus) has won the main prizes in the 68th international Habaneras and Polyphony contest held last week in Torrevieja a competition involving more than 600 choristers representing choirs from across Spain, Europe, America and Asia.

The Belarusian choir was victorious in three categories winning first prize for “Ricardo Lafuente” habaneras, first for polyphony “Juan Aparicio” as well as the €10,000 prize awarded by the Diputación de Alicante, all of which added up to winnings of 32,000 euros.

In addition to this the “José Hódar Talavera” trophy for best director went to it’s conductor Víctor Maslennikov, who was given the honour of directing the joint performance by around 300 choristers of “Canta Mar”, the obligatory habanera composed by the president of the jury , Josep Robert Sellés i Camps.

The main prizes were awarded as follows:


  • First Prize “Ricardo Lafuente”, €12,000 and a trophy. Raniza Female Choir, Minsk (Belarus)
  • Second Prize “Francisco Vallejos”, €5,000 and a trophy. Balta Women’s Choir, Riga (Latvia)
  • Third Prize “Francisco Grau”, €2,500 and a trophy. Gaos Choir, A Coruña – Galicia


  • First Prize “Juan Aparicio”, €10,000 and a trophy. Raniza Female Choir, Minsk (Belarus)
  • Second Prize “César Cánovas” €4,000 and a trophy. Gaos Choir, A Coruña – Galicia
  • Third Prize, €2,000 and a trophy. Balta Women’s Choir, Riga (Latvia)

During the closing speeches the Torrevieja mayor, Eduardo Dolón, said that the return of the contest following the coronavirus pandemic had been complicated by the fact that the usual venue of Las Eras de la Sal, which is being refurbished, was not available, but, despite this it still proved to be a great success. He said that he felt “very satisfied” with the musical quality of the participants, “a language that manages to connect us with the whole world”, while the Provincial Deputy for Culture, Julia Parra, spoke of the importance of this musical event in the Community and what it means “with the traditions of the land”

With an eye on the 2023 contest, which will be held once again at the Municipal Theatre, the vice president of the organizing board, José Antonio Quesada, promised that the next edition will be bigger and better with even more choirs represented.