Festival 2017 International Jury Committee

XŌ—Ŕń…Ń –—ҬŇ∆Ń” Ń—ŐŌÕ…Ń

23nd International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2017

 

Pearl Shangkuan US

 

Pearl Shangkuan is a sought after conductor, lecturer and clinician all across the United States and internationally. Director of Choral Activities and professor of Music at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she is also chorus master of the Grand Rapids Symphony, a Grammy-nominated professional orchestra. Her conducting and teaching engagements have taken her to Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, Europe and all across Asia. Shangkuan has a signature choral series with earthsongs and is the music editor of the Calvin Choral series, published by GIA. In 2013, Michigan ACDA honored her with their Maynard Klein Choral Award for ‚Äúartistic excellence and lifetime leadership in choral music.‚ÄĚ Her choirs have performed at ACDA national, division and state conferences and for other professional music organizations. She has conducted ACDA division honor choirs, all states, honor choirs and festivals in numerous states and internationally, and has headlined several ACDA state conferences. She has also served on the jury of several international choral competitions and has been a guest faculty for programs in the US such as the Chorus America conducting masterclasses, the University of Michigan Choral Conducting Symposium among many others. She served as president of ACDA Central Division and Michigan ACDA, and has commissioned and premiered numerous choral works by composers which are performed in concert halls around the world.




AmbroŇĺ ńĆopi SI

 

AmbroŇĺ ńĆopi (1973) was born in Bovec (Slovenia). After completing the Secondary Music and Ballet School in Ljubljana, he studied composition and piano at the Ljubljana Academy of Music and graduated in 1996 in the composition class of Dane ҆kerl; he completed his post-graduate studies in the class of UroŇ° Rojko. He gained first knowledge of vocal music as an assistant of the conductor Stojan Kuret¬†in the Academic choir Tone TomŇ°ińć in Ljubljana and as a singer of the Chamber Choir Ave, and he attended further singing classes with Marjan Trńćek at the Music School Vińć-Rudnik in Ljubljana. His compositions have been awarded at numerous composer competitions. They are comprised in CDs containing only ńĆopi‚Äôs compositins, i.e. Lirińćni akvareli (Academic choir APZ Tone TomŇ°ińć, conductor Stojan Kuret), So ptińćice Ň°e snivale (ńĆarniCe, conductor Stojan Kuret), Praeparate corda vestra (Ave Chamber Choir, conductor AmbroŇĺ ńĆopi), Sanjam (Slovenian Chamber Choir, conductor Martina Batińć), as well as on various other CDs by national and foreign choirs. His compositions were published by Astrum, DSS, and Sulasol.¬†AmbroŇĺ ńĆopi was awarded the Young Musician Award in 1995 for the outstanding achievements during his study, while in 1997 he was bestowed the PreŇ°eren Prize of the University of Ljubljana and the award of the Municipality of Bovec. In 2009 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the University of Primorska for the achievements with the APZ UP choir and in 2014 he was given two important awards by the Municipality of Koper. Also in 2014 he was awarded with the Gallus Medal, the highest award in the field of musical activity at national level in Slovenia.¬†He has been a teacher at the Art Grammar School in Koper since 1999. He is the conductor of the Choir of the Music and Ballet Conservatory Ljubljana (2010‚Äď). In the past years, he also conducted the Youth Mixed Choir of the Art Grammar School Koper (1999‚Äď2002, 2007‚Äď2013) and the ‚ÄúVladimir Lovec‚ÄĚ Chamber Orchestra (2005‚Äď2007). With great success he conducted the Chamber Choir Iskra Bovec (1992‚Äď2001), the Nova Gorica Chamber Choir (1998‚Äď2004), the Mixed Choir Obala Koper (1998‚Äď2007) and the Academic Choir of the University of Primorska (2004‚Äď2014). Through the years, the choirs brought him fourteen golden plaques from national competitions and twenty first places and several golden plaques from competitions abroad. With the Academic Choir of the University of Primorska he performed as a finalist at the European Grand Prix in Choral Singing in Tours (France, 2009). Furthermore, he was awarded several special prizes for his interpretations, a number of prizes for exceptional achievements with the choirs, and was also voted best conductor at numerous competitions.¬†AmbroŇĺ ńĆopi is regularly invited to act as a member of the jury at various choral events and competitions, and he is often involved in choral music seminars at home and abroad as a lecturer.

 

 

UrŇ°a Lah¬†SI

UrŇ°a Lah¬†studied musical education at the Ljubljana Music Academy and choral conducting at the University in Troms√ł (Norway).¬†She perfected her conducting skills on educational seminars organised by choral associations IFCM and Europa Cantat.¬†She was a member of some of Slovenia's best vocal ensembles and also a member of the professional Slovene Chamber Choir from 1992-1996.¬†¬†In the years 1993-2009 she was the conductor of the Mixed Youth Choir Veter (Jeunesses Musicales Ljubljana), with which she won many Gold Plaques and First Prizes at competitions in Slovenia and in Europe (Neerpelt, Budapest, Pohlheim, Lindenholzhausen, Preveza, Bratislava), several special prizes and "Best Conductor" awards.¬†¬†From 1998-2002 UrŇ°a Lah was also the chief conductor of the National Radio Chamber Choir with which she had several first performances of works by contemporary Slovenian composers, enriched the archive with recordings of works by Slovenian and foreign composers of the 20th century and prepared many vocal-instrumental projects.¬†In the years 2002-2009 she was the chief conductor and artistic director of APZ Tone TomŇ°ińć University of Ljubljana. With the choir she won many First Prizes and Golden Plaques at national and prestigious international choral competitions (Tampere, Cantonigros, Maribor, C.A.Seghizzi in Gorizia, Varna, Olomouc) and many special prizes for her program choice and interpretations of contemporary works. At the International Competition in Varna 2007 she received the Best Conductor award. The highest achievement of the choir under the leadership of UrŇ°a Lah represents winning the final of the competition¬†The European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in Debrecen, Hungary¬†2008.¬†In 2006 UrŇ°a Lah co-founded the school for choral singers at the Glasbena Matica in Ljubljana and had led the school and taught Ensemble Singing there for three years.¬†In¬†recognition of her valuable work with choirs she¬†received in 2008 the highest award of the Municipality of Ljubljana for cultural achievement¬†- ŇĹupanńćińćeva nagrada. In 2009, the Public Fund of Republic of Slovenia for Cultural Activities awarded her the award Gallusova Plaketa.¬†Since the autumn 2009 UrŇ°a Lah lives in Norway.¬†She lecturers Ensemble leading and Choir conducting at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Troms√ł. From January 2016 she works also as the conductor and artistic leader of the University Choir Mimas.¬†She works as the choirmaster for different professional orchestras: Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra.¬†Together with her husband Ragnar Rasmussen she established an international ¬ĽUtopia & Reality Chamber Choir¬ę for young talented singers in the year 2011. The choir has successfully performed on many reputable festivals and was representing Europe on 12. International Choir Festival in Beijing in July 2014. In February 2017 the choir held a production in Mariinsky Theathre in St. Petersburg.¬†UrŇ°a Lah lecturers at educational seminars for choral conductors all over Europe, she works as a quest conductor of professional choirs and¬†as a member of international juries at choral competitions at the highest level.¬†She is also active as an organizer of international master classes for choral conductors and concert productions of various vocal ensembles.¬†

 

Theodora Pavlovitch BG

 

 

Theodora Pavlovitch is Professor in choral conducting and Head of Conducting Department of the Bulgarian National Academy of Music. As a conductor she has worked with the Bulgarian National TV-choir (1986-1991) and Vassil Arnaudov Sofia Chamber Choir (from 1991 and recently). Under her batton the choir won prestigious awards at international competitions, took part in many high-level international festivals, in TV and radio-programs, concerts tours in 23 countries. Since 2005 Theodora Pavlovitch is conductor of the Classic FM Radio Choir performing concerts with Classic FM Radio Orchestra and world-famous soloists like Andrea Bocelli, Anna-Tomowa Sintow, Paco Pena, Ira Spolding, among the others. In 2007/2008 she conducted the World Youth Choir, honoured by UNESCO with the title Artist for Peace, recognizing the WYC’s success as a platform for intercultural dialogue through music. Prof. Theodora Pavlovitch is frequently invited as a member of Jury-panels at a number of international choral competitions, as a conductor and lecturer at prestigious international events in 25 European countries, USA, Japan, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Israel and Argentina. In 2005 she led a Master class for choral conductors in the program of the 7th World Symposium on Choral Music in Kyoto, Japan. Representative of Bulgaria in the World Choral Council since 2012, Vice-President of the International Federation for Choral Music (2008-2014), Chair of the Artistic Committee of the World Youth Choir (2010-2014), Chair of the Music Commission of the European Choral Association Europa Cantat (2003-2006). For her artistic achievements Prof. Theodora Pavlovitch has been awarded The Golden Century National Award bestowed by the Minister of Culture of Bulgaria (2016), The Golden Lyre by the Union of Bulgarian Musicians (2010), several Special Prizes by the Bulgarian Choir’s Union, Classic FM Radio, Sofia Municipality and other institutions.

 

 

Ragnar Rasmussen őĚőü


 

Ragnar Rasmussen is Professor in choir conducting at the Faculty of Fine Arts (Music Conservatory), University of Tromso, Norway. He is currently the conductor and artistic director of Kristiansand Solistensemble (Norway), the international Utopia & Reality Chamber Choir (Europe) and UArctic World Ensemble (Norway, Canada, Scotland and Russia). őóe was the conductor/artistic director of the chamber choir Vokal Nord (Tromso, 1999-2011), the Norwegian National Youth Choir (2008-2010),the World Youth Choir,2010), the professional Stavanger Symfoniorkesters Kammerkor (Stavanger, Norway, 2011). During the academic year 2007/08 Mr. Rasmussen held a guest professorship at the Academy of Music, University of Slovenia. He studied church music (Trondheim Music Conservatory, Norway), choir conducting with Eric Ericson and Stefan Sk√∂ld (Sweden) and orchestra conducting with Colin Metters and Jorma Panula. As conductor of the choirs Saga, Mimas and Vokal Nord he has won numerous first prizes, including several conductor prizes, in choral competitions in Norway and abroad. He participated at the International competition for choral conductors in Bologna, Italy (2001) where he won the 1st Prize. As guest conductor he works with orchestras throughout Europe, such as the baroque orchestra Concerto Farinelli (Germany), The Artic Symphony Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra etc.and with a large number of choirs in Scandinavia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Italy, Russia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Ireland and the UK. Ragnar Rasmussen frequently holds lectures and workshops for conductors in Norway and abroad ( The Netherlands,¬† Italy, Sweden, Russia, Germany, Hungary, Finland, South Korea, Ireland, Croatia, Austria, Colombia, The UK, China). He is often a member/head of juries at prestigious national and international choir and conducting competitions. He was awarded the Albo d‚Äôoro award from Fondazione Mariele Ventre, Bologna, Italy (2014), the Tromso University College Honorary Research Prize (2007), the prestigious Northern Lights Prize (2008), the Honorary Prize of the Town of Tromso for his extraordinary artistic achievements, his contribution to artistic enjoyment among his fellow citizens and his contribution to positive profiling of his hometown in Norway and abroad (2008) and finally, the Norwegian Choir Prize 2009 for his dedicated work at all levels in his homeland‚Äôs choral life by the Norwegian Choral Association.¬† As a composer he has written several a - cappella works, vocal -instrumental works and one opera. In the year 2012 he was recognized as a member of the Norwegian Society of Composers.

 

Justin Smith US

 

Justin Smith is the Director of Choral Activities and holder of the Joseph Naumes Endowed Chair in Music at Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon, where he conducts three choirs, teaches music history and conducting, and administers the music core. He is director of the Marylhurst Chorale and founder of the Marylhurst Choral Union and Marylhurst Chamber Choir. During his tenure, Marylhurst choirs have grown from eighteen to one hundred singers, from one to three choirs. Under Dr. Smith's leadership, the Marylhurst Chamber Choir has achieved international recognition, winning both Third Prize and the PEACE Award for Spirit at the 62nd International Cork Choral Festival, one of Europe's most prestigious choral competitions, in May 2016. In 2014-15, the Chamber Choir appeared by invitation at both the Allstate Conference of the Oregon Music Educators Association, and at Carnegie Hall, New York City. He will lead the Chamber Choir to compete in the European Choir Games in Riga, Latvia this summer and serve on the jury panel for the 35th Preveza International Choral Festival in Greece. Dr. Smith is in demand as an honor choir and festival clinician throughout the Northwest, directing several region and district Honor Choirs in Oregon and Washington in 2016-17. He is also the founder and director of Marylhurst Opera, which presents a fully staged production each spring. He received the Excellence in Academic Service and Teaching Award for the 2015-16 school year. Before taking up his present position, he served as Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Houston Moores School of Music, where he conducted the Concert Women's Chorus and the University Men's Chorus. In the summer of 2010, he founded the Houston Cecilia Chamber Choir, with whom he presented the Houston premiere of Leonard Bernstein's MASS in May of 2012 to rapturous acclaim and sold-out houses. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in April of 2012, conducting the Faure Requiem for MidAmerica Productions, and returned to conduct the Mozart Missa Brevis in Vienna, Austria in summer 2016. He holds the DMA in Choral Conducting from the Moores School of Music, where he studied with Charles Hausmann and Betsy Cook Weber. He is a noted scholar of American choral music of the 20th century, having been published twice in Choral Journal on neglected choral works of Marc Blitzstein and Vincent Persichetti. He holds further degrees in music from Wesleyan University and the University of Oregon. Dr. Smith is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and the Oregon Music Educators Association. He serves as Collegiate R & S Chair on the board of the Oregon ACDA chapter.

 



1st International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 1995

 

- Zahari Mednicarov BG

- Mihalis Adamis GR

- Vassileios Makridis GR

 

2nd International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 1996

 

- Marco Sofianopulo IT

- Zahari Mednicarov BG

- Mihalis Adamis GR

- Vassileios Makridis GR

 

3rd International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 1997

 

- Marco Sofianopulo IT

- Zahari Mednicarov BG

- Venno Laul EE

- Vassileios Makridis GR

 

4th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 1998

 

- Venno Laul EE

- Krikor Tshetinyan BG

- Vassileios Makridis GR

 

5th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 1999

 

- John Fitzpatrick IE

- Zahari Mednicarov BG

- Vassileios Makridis GR

 

6th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2000

 

- John Fitzpatrick IE

- Venno Laul EE

- Vassileios Makridis GR

- Ioan Oarcea RO

- Mihalis Adamis GR

 

7th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2001

 

- Krikor Tshetinyan BG

- John Fitzpatrick IE

- Venno Laul EE

 

8th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2002

 

- Krikor Tshetinyan BG

- John Fitzpatrick IE

- Venno Laul EE

 

9th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2003

 

- Krikor Tshetinyan BG

- John Fitzpatrick IE

- Venno Laul EE

 

10th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2004

 

- John Fitzpatrick IE

- Venno Laul EE

- Theodora Pavlovitch BG

 

11th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2005

 

- John Fitzpatrick IE

- Theodora Pavlovitch BG

- Andreas Pylarinos GR

 

12th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2006

 

- Volker Hempfling DE

- Theodora Pavlovitch BG

- Andreas Pylarinos GR

 

13th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2007

 

- John Fitzpatrick IE

- Theodora Pavlovitch BG

- Eva Kollar HU

 

14th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2008

 

- John Fitzpatrick IE

- Theodora Pavlovitch BG

- Valentin Stefanov GR

 

15th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2009

 

- Theodora Pavlovitch BG

- Samuel Gordon US

- Marcin Tomczak PL

 

16th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2010

 

- John Fitzpatrick IE

- Theodora Pavlovitch BG

- Valentin Stefanov GR

 

 17th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2011

 

- Eva Kollar HU

- Darena Krosneva - Stamenova BG

- Lorenzo Donati IT

 

 18th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2012

 

- Voicu Popescu RO

- Lorenzo Donati IT

- Valentin Stefanov GR

 

 19th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2013

 

- John Fitzpatrick IE

- Theodora Pavlovitch BG

- Valentin Stefanov GR

 

20th International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2014

 

-¬†AmbroŇĺ ńĆopi SI

- Veneziela Naydenova CH

- Aggathagelos Georgakatos GR

 

 

21st International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2015

 

-¬†AmbroŇĺ ńĆopi SI

- Lorenzo Donati IT

- John Fitzpatrick IE

- Antonis Kontogeorgiou GR

 

 

22nd International Choral Competition of Sacred Music - 2016

 

-¬†AmbroŇĺ ńĆopi SI

- Theodora Pavlovitch BG

- David Means US

- Miguel Angel Felipe US

-¬†Ragnar Rasmussen őĚőü