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.
Graeme Langager is Director of Choral Activities at the University of British Columbia School of Music. Being a passionate and dynamic conductor, Langager is sought-after as a clinician, adjudicator, educator and guest conductor. He has performed throughout Europe and across North America, appearing in such venues as St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Stefansdom in Vienna, Carnegie Hall in New York and in cathedrals and concert halls in Spain, Italy, France, Austria and the Czech Republic. Langager’s choirs have also performed at numerous choral conferences, including: NCCO (National Collegiate Choral Organization), ACDA-AR (American Choral Directors Association Conference, Arkansas), IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators), MENC/NAfME (National Association for Music Education), and the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals. Langager was born into a musical family, singing and playing instruments from an early age. He received the doctoral degree in choral conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the master of music degree from California State University, Long Beach. Langager also holds a degree in Jazz Studies. He has taught for more than 20 years in universities and colleges in the United States and Canada, and is also active as a composer and arranger.
Marco Antonio García de Paz graduated with the best grades in choir direction at the Superior Music Centre of the Basque Country (Musikene). Founder and leader of the choir El León de Oro, in its twenty two years of existence García de Paz has developed an extensive international career with his group, carried out in a large number of concerts in the USA, Africa and several European countries, important prizes and recordings with prominent record companies. Currently, García de Paz also takes part as a judge in the most important choir singing contests in Spain and Europe. In addition, he gives masterclasses and workshops about choir direction and “open singing” both at national and international level, in many European countries. In 2015 he was invited to conduct the Choir of Radio Televisión Española (OCRTVE) in a concert at the Monumental Theater of Madrid, which was broadcasted live by Radio Clásica of Radio Nacional de España. Throughout this year he has worked with other professional choirs of his country, such as the Community of Madrid Choir (ORCAM) and the National Choir of Spain (CNE). He is a principal guest conductor of the Young Choir of Andalusia (JCA). His immediate projects include commitments in Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria or Greece.
Prof. Klaus - Jϋrgen Etzold is director of music at Studienseminar Hannover for grammar school instructors. In addition, since 1995 he has been working as an honorary professor at Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. In 1981 he founded his choir, Junges Vokalensemble Hannover. From 1978 until 1986 he was assistant of Prof. Heinz Hennig, the conductor of the Hannover. In 1980 he has co-founder of, and until 1985 a solo singer in the Orlando di Lasso-Ensemble Hannover. In 1994, 2006 and 2010 he received the conductor‘s prize in the international choral competitions in Riva del Garda/Italy, in Torrevija/Spain and in Panyu/China. He has also held classes in early music and conducting in Germany, in Croatia (1999-2002), Madagascar (2008, 2009), Venezuela (2012), Switzerland (2014) and at Wits University Johannesburg/South Africa (2015). He is a member at the Choral Board of the German Music Council and in Kamel Stiftung, a foundation for solo singers.
Kostis Konstantaras was born in Athens in 1954. He has studied Biology at the Aristotles University of Thessaloniki and Music, at first in Athens and then in Austria and in Germany, specializing in Choir and Orchestra Direction. Either as a Soloist (Baritone) or as a Conductor, he has collaborated with all the famous Greek symphony orchestras and choirs, as well as with renowned foreign ones, the National Οpera of Greece and the National Radio and Television, participating in operas and oratories, concerts and recitals, but also in International Festivals all over Greece and abroad. Also, he has cooperated with great directors and conductors (such as Gavras, Kakogiannis, Koundouros, Jourdan, Hampe, etc). He has worked as a conductor or/and artistic director of: FONS MUSICALIS(1993 – today), Mixed Professional Choir of National Radio and Television (2003-2005), Strings Orchestra and Mixed Choir of DEI (2005- today), Municipal Conservatory of Mykonos (1989 – 2012), Municipal Conservatory of Ellinikon /Argiroupoli (1990 – 2012), Orchestra and Choir of Conservatory of “Filippos Nakas” (2013 – 2015). Moreover, for the last 30 years he has been working as a music teacher, teaching monody and Choir Direction at conservatories and seminars. Finally, a landmark in his career has been the honor to be the exclusive and official conductor of the opening and closing ceremonies in the Paralympics “Athens 2004”, directing 750 choristers.
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.
John Fitzpatrick is a conductor, examiner, and regular adjudicator in national and international choral festivals. Festival Director of the prestigious Cork International Choral Festival (1993 – present); Director of the County Cork School of Music (1974 – 2009); a founder Board Member of both AOIC (The Association of Irish Choirs) and The Music Network; a Board Member of the Choral Festival Network, a Music Consultant to the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat and the Singing Network. Honoured by the City of Cork as Cork Person of the Year (2007) and by University College Cork with an honorary Masters Degree of Arts(2011), in recognition of his services to choral music, music education, and to the musical and cultural life of Cork.
Katerina Vassilikou has graduated from the Faculty of Kindergarten Teachers in Athens. Also she is a certificated pianist and she has had studies in classical singing. She has attended several choir conduction seminars, such as Carl Orff and music movement education, music pedagogical system Kodály, etc. Since 1992 she has been working as a music teacher at the Leonin Lycee (School) of Nea Smyrni. She has been directing the choir "Ambitus" since its establishment in 2002 as well as the youth choir of Leonin Lycee (School) of Nea Smyrni since 1992, with which she has won numerous prizes in national and international competitions. Moreover, she has been the conductor of the Women's Choir of the Theoharakis Foundation, the Women's Choir "Niriides" as well as the children's - youth choir of the Municipality of Palaio Faliro. In 2016 she was responsible for the preparation of the 1st Children's Olympic Choir of Greece for its participation in the Official Ceremony of the Delivery of the Olympic Flame at the Summer Olympics in Rio. She has cooperated with several orchestras and choirs (such as the State Orchestra of Athens, the Symphonic Orchestra and the Choir of the National TV and Radio, the National Opera and the National Theatre, etc) as well as with renowned conductors, such as Loukas Karytinos, Miltos Logiadis, Andreas Pylarinos and others.