International Jury Committee
Ambrož Čopi has studied composition, piano and vocal music. His compositions have been published by Astrum, DSS, and Sulasol in numerous CDs and he has won plenty of prizes for his compositions in several composer competitions. He was awarded: the Young Musician Award in (1995) for the outstanding achievements during his study, the “Prešeren” Prize of the University of Ljubljana and the award of the Municipality of Bovec (1997), Gold Medal of the University of Primorska for the achievements with the APZ UP choir (2009) and two important awards by the Municipality of Koper (2014), the “Gallus” Medal, the highest award in the field of musical activity at national level in Slovenia (2014). Since 1999 he has been a music teacher at the Art Grammar School in Koper and since 2010, he has been directing the Choir of the Music and Ballet Conservatory Ljubljana. In the past years, he also conducted the Youth Mixed Choir of the Art Grammar School Koper (1999 – 2002, 2007 – 2013), the “Vladimir Lovec” Chamber Orchestra (2005 – 2007), the Chamber Choir “Iskra”, Bovec (1992 – 2001), the Nova Gorica Chamber Choir (1998 – 2004), the Mixed Choir “Obala” Koper (1998 – 2007) and the Academic Choir of the University of Primorska (2004 – today). With his choirs he has won many prizes and he has been awarded as the best conductor in numerous competitions. He is regularly invited as a member of jury at various choral events and competitions, and he is often involved in choral music seminars at home and abroad as a lecturer.
Theodora Pavlovitch is a 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). Since 2005 she has been directing the Classic FM Radio Choir performing concerts with Classic FM Radio Orchestra and world-famous soloists such as Andrea Bocelli, Anna-Tomowa Sintow and others. In 2007/2008 she conducted the World Youth Choir, honored by UNESCO with the title Artist for Peace. She 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 all around the world. In 2005 she led a Master class for choral conductors in the program of the 7th World Symposium on Choral Music in Kyoto, Japan. She has been 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, she 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.
Javier Busto (born 1949) was born in Hondarribia, Spain. He graduated in Medicine from the Valladolid University, practicing his profession nowadays. He works as family doctor in Lezo (Gipuzkoa). Busto was initiated into choral conducting by Maestro Erwin List. During his university period, he became conductor of Ederki Basque students’ choir in Valladolid (1971 - 1976), starting to write his first choral songs, which won third prize in the Tolosa (1975) competition. Busto is Founder-Conductor of Eskifaia Choir in Hondarribia (1978 - 1994), winning first prizes in Spain , France, Italy, Austria and Germany. He is also Founder-Conductor of Kanta Cantemus Korua (1995), in Gipuzkoa, which has received first prizes in Tours, France 1997 – 2007 and Tolosa 1999. His works have received composition prizes in Bilbao, Igualada, Madrid and Tolosa. His scores are being published in Basque Country, France, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden and the USA. Javier Busto is nowadays in demand throughout the world as a guest conductor and as a member of the jury in choral and composition contests. He has been requested in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the USA and Venezuela. He is also a member of the technical committee of the Tolosa choral contest.
Gary Graden is an active Singer-conductor, born in the USA, studies at Hartt School of Music and with Eric Ericson at Stockholm Royal Academy of Music. Director of choral music in the Stockholm Cathedral. Has also been on the faculty of Stockholm ́s Musikgymnasium where founded Stockholm Musikgymnasium ́s Chamber Choir. With this choir and S:t Jacobs Chamber Choir has won grand prizes and first prizes in several of Europe ́s most prestigious competitions, including the European Grand Prize. He has participated in a wide array of national and international festivals, conducted orchestras and choirs throughout the world, and has commissioned and premiered more than 100 works. His work as conductor and singer is documented on many radio and more than 30 CD recordings, including recordings of the Bach Motets and St. John Passion, and Handel’s Messiah.
Rosie Mastrosavva was born in Rhodes. She studied piano, monody, advanced theory (National Conservatory of Athens). At the same time she apprenticed with A. Kontogeorgiou & M. Logiadis. She studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich, from where she graduated with honors (master) in Choir Conducting. She attended seminars with chief musicians like E. Ericsson, H. Rilling, Er. Ortner, Fr. Bernius, Andrè van der Merwe, Maria Guinand, Ambrož Čopi. She has conducted in Germany and Greece: Melismachor, Vocal Kreis Cantabile, Singtonics, Amasingers, Aegean University Student Choir, Vocal Ensemble Con Anima, The Chorus of the Hellenic Radio Television (ERT) (concerts / recordings), Conservatory Children’s Choir of Argos, Conservatory Children’s Choir of Ano Liosia, Youth Choir of Malliaras School, Children’s choir of the Third Public Radio Station of Greece’s (ERA), Children’s Chorus Ensemble of the Municipality of Athens, the mixed choir La Fa Mi lia and the choir of equal voices “ICHOTOPIO” of M. S. Alimos. She has taught in CHOIR ACTIVITY seminars in Limassol, Athens, Rhodes, and has been a judge in international choral competitions & in composition competitions of choral works (Choir Association). She taught at the Department of Primary Education of the University of the Aegean (RHODES), and at the Department of Nursing at the University of West Attica. Since 2008 she has founded and conducted the Rosarte Children’s and Youth Choir which has won four gold medals at the Choir Olympics (Graz / Austria 2008, Riga / Latvia 2014, Tshwane / S. Africa 2018), and the Athens Academy Awards for her contribution to the culture of Greece.
Dr. Maria Emma Melingopoulou is Assistant Professor of Choral Conducting in Macedonia University of Thessaloniki School of Music Science & Art (Greece), where she teaches choral conducting techniques and directs the university choirs. She also teaches in the master’s programs of Macedonia University and she is visiting Professor at Aegean University. She holds a Master Degree in Choral Conducting from Boston University CFA, a PhD and a Post-Doctoral Degree in Choral Conducting and Choral Pedagogy from Ionian University SFA. She also holds a Bachelor in Law, from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is founder and Artistic Director of the SS. Cyril & Methodios Choir of Thessaloniki, which this year is celebrating its 30th anniversary. She has performed numerous concerts in Greece, Europe, Asia, Africa and America (USA, Canada) and is recipient of many international distinctions as choral conductor. Dr. Meligopoulou is International lecturer, adjudicator and guest conductor in Greece and abroad (China, USA, Canada, Italy, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Indonesia e.t.c). She is also author of the textbooks "Introduction to the Art of Choral Praxis" (2011 & 2013 3rd edition) and “Choral Method for Young Singers” and has also published the score editions Choral Works by Greek Composers for Equal Voices (2014) and Choral Works for Equal Voices (2022), all of them available by Nakas- Papagregoriou Editions, Athens.
Vytautas Miškinis is the Artistic Director of the Ažuoliukas Boys’ and Men’s Choir, Professor of Choral Conducting at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and former President of the Lithuanian Choral Union (last 20 years) and renowned composer. He graduated in Choral Conducting from the Lithuanian Academy of Music in 1976. He began his career in Ažuoliukas at the age of seven as a vocalist, and continued as Artistic Director from the age of 25. All the achievements of the choir from 1979 have been due to Mr. Miškinis’ leadership. For several years he conducted the Kaunas State Choir and Vocal Ensemble Museum Musicum. With the choirs he has won prestigious prizes at numerous national and international competitions Last 20 years Mr. Miškinis was an Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the All-Lithuanian Choir Festivals. Vytautas Miškinis has led choral performances in Europe, Canada, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, USA etc. A number of compositions for choir with Symphonic Orchestras have been conducted by Vytautas Miskinis. He has also lectured and held seminars on Music Education, composing and conducting in Lithuania and abroad. Miškinis worked as a member of numerous adjudicating panels in international Choir and Choral Composition competitions all over the world ( over 200 events ), amongst which one must mention the World Choir Games; Europa Cantat, IFCM, Choralies Festivals; World Symposiums on Choral Music etc. Vytautas Miškinis has composed about 400 religious motets a cappella, 20 Masses, Magnificat, several Cantatas, Musicals, St. John Passion and about 400 secular songs. V. Miškinis has several times been awarded prestigious State and Government Prizes such as Honoured Artist of Lithuania (1986), the Prize for Culture and Art (2009), awarded to the Cross of Officer of the Grand Duke Gediminas‘ Order (2005), Medal of Duke Žygimantas Augustas – for the Merits of the city Vilnius ( 2006) etc. Last one mostly prestigious - National Prize of Culture and Art (2021).
Angeliki Ploka is a Greek choir conductor, classical singer, music pedagogue and musicologist. She studied at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague (NL), the Liszt Academy of Music (HU) and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (GR). She is currently the conductor of the Leiderdorps Kamerkoor, of the Kamerkoor Lux and of the choirs of the School for Young Talent at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. Angeliki has also been the chief conductor of the Greek Radio Choir (ERT), with which she conducted and recorded various concerts and projects for the Greek radio and television. Over the last years, she has been working and performing with various ensembles and choirs in Greece, Hungary, Spain and the Netherlands. Angeliki is also a member of TENSO young conductors team and has worked with professionals choirs such as the Cappella Amsterdam, the Ηelsingin kamarikuoro and Det Norske Solistkor. As a soloist and an ensemble singer she has sung in productions with various ensembles such as the Dutch Radio Choir (Groot Omroepkoor), the project Meesters & Gezellen 2016, the Orkest de Ereprijs, under the baton of conductors such as Daniel Reuss, Sigvards Klava, Michael Gläser and Bernard Haitink. Angeliki is on the faculty of the Royal Conservatoire The Hague, where she teaches music theory, aural skills, analysis, ensemble leading and choir.