Children’s Choir "Αrmonia" of Preveza, Greece
Conducted by Anelija Stefanova
The Children’s Choir “Armonia” of Preveza was founded in 1983 by the conductor Mr Andronikos Kourouklis and it is a section of the Choral Society “Armonia” of Preveza. Other conductors of the choir who greatly contributed to its brilliant course and success were Stavros Solomos and Valentin Stefanov. Since 1994, the choir has been directed by Anelia Stefanova. During its existence the choir has been awarded 2 first, 2 second and 2 third prizes in International Choral Competitions (Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary) and it has also been awarded twice as the best Greek Children’s choir in the International Choral Festival of Athens. It regularly performs in festivals both in Greece (Ioannina, Agrinio, Katerini, Kefalonia, Ermioni, Athens, Patras, Igoumenitsa, Parga, etc., Olympic Games ATHENS 2004 and abroad (International Choral Festival “Aram Khatsaturian” in Haskovo (Bulgaria, 2003), International Festival in Rome (Italy, 2008), Easter Festival of Moscow (Russia, 2017) while it has participated in premiers of works and cooperated with renowned orchestras and soloists.
"Voci Contra Tempo", Thessaloniki, Greece
Conducted by Sofia Gioldasi
Members of Voci Contra Tempo are classically trained singers who are passionate about choral music. The core of the ensemble consists of 16 members, but varies in size according to the needs of each individual project. Even though the ensemble has been active for a short time, it has already made an impact in the Greek and international choral music scene. Voci Contra Tempo has collaborated with Thessaloniki’s State Symphony Orchestra, among others, presenting some of the main works for female choir, such as The Planets by Gustav Holst and Les Sirènes from Claude Debussy’s Nocturnes. They have performed at important venues such as the Thessaloniki Megaron Concert Hall and the historical Parnassus Athens Hall. In August 2021 the ensemble made its international debut after having been invited to participate in some of the most prestigious choral festivals in Europe: the “Guido d’Arezzo International Choral Festival” and the “Incontro Internazionale Polifonico "Città di Fano".
"Ambitus" Choir, Athens, Greece
Conducted by Katerina Vassilikou
Ambitus Choir was formed in 2002 and is a founding member of the Hellenic Choirs Association. It is composed of Lycée Léonin N.Smirni alumni and lovers of choral music. It has participated and excelled in national and international competitions as a mixed or equal-voice ensemble, earning gold medals, Grand Prix, and special awards. Its repertory is comprised of a wide range of Western and Greek music, early throughout to contemporary. Ambitus has collaborated with prominent Greek orchestras and conductors. It has participated in studio recordings of contemporary works of Greek composers, while it has been the practice choir for the maestro seminar of the famous Greek conductor Miltos Logiadis. Ambitus has presented the first performances of selected songs of the Greek Choir Composers Competition that has been organized by the "Hellenic Choir Association". The Choir was awarded with Gold Diploma on First Prizes at several domestic and interational competitions (2nd International Festival of Florence (Italy, 2013), 56th International Competition "Habaneras y Polifonía", Torrevieja, (Spain, 2010), 2nd International Competition "Musica Sacra a Roma", (Italy, 2010), 2nd Kalamata International Choir Competition, (Greece, 2017), 3rd International Choir Competition, Nafplio, Greece, (2016), 22nd International Sacred Choral Music Competition, Preveza, (Greece, 2016).
Mixed Choir “Armonia” of Preveza, Greece
Conducted by Anelija Stefanova
It was founded in 1969 by a group of people from Preveza with love for choral music and with the aim of promoting choral music in this small provincial city. Since then, the choir has traced a brilliant march both in Greece and abroad. All these years it has performed in and organized innumerable concerts all over Greece, but also abroad (Ireland, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia, Poland, Portugal, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Libya, Turkey, Cyprus), while it has taken part in several national and international competitions, winning 9 first prizes, 4 gold medals, 5 second prizes, 9 silver medals, 3 third prizes and 7 bronze medals. Furthermore, it has realized premiers of works and collaborated with well-known soloists and orchestras. Since September 2016, Mrs Anelia Stefanova has been the director of the choir, taking the place of Mr Valentin Stefanov, who had been the conductor of ‘’Armonia’’ and artistic director of ICFP for more than 20 years, has had a great role in choral manifestations in Preveza as well as the rest of Greece and whom we consider to be our friend.
"Aris" Choir, Limassol, Cyprus
Conducted by Solon Kladas
The Aris Choir was established in 1938 by the renowned composer Solon Michaelides, who remained as its conductor until 1956. In 1962, the choir made a new start under the direction of Marinos Mitellas, who has been its permanent conductor and director since then. The Choir has performed in Greece, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, France, Austria, Belgium, Holland, where it participated in the famous Festival of Choral Music in Arnhem and the United Kingdom, where it participated in the world famous Wales Llangollen Eistedffod. It has performed "Requiem", "Messiah", "Missa Solemnis", "Carmina Burana" and "Ninth Symphony". The choir has also performed the opera "Katerina Cornaro", "Fidelio" and operetta "The Godson". They have performed in Irodium Theater of Acropolis, Athens Concert Hall- Megaron, UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels and the Konzerthaus in Vienna. In 2015 the choir participated in the International choral festival "Gaude Cantem" of Bielsko Biala in Poland and in 2019 the choir participated in the International choral festival "Singing World" of St. Petersburg. Also the Choir has recorded six albums and cds.
Academy of Musics Girls Choir Esbjerg, Esbjerg, Denmark
Conducted by Lone Gislinge
The Academy of Music’s Girls Choir, Esbjerg was founded in 1983 and consists of 50 girls, aged 12-23. The girls start in a prepatory choir, used as a training choir for students at the Academy in the subject children’s choir. Twice a year performing with the international known Esbjerg Ensemble, the girls get the opportunity to meet professional music life to share and extend their interest and love for music. Singing an all-round repertoire representing many genres and eras, reflecting our own music tradition, is an important goal. Concert tours in Europe, USA, Canada, South Korea, China, Uruguay, and Gambia. Often the choir receive friends from these tours as exchange guests in Esbjerg. The choir has taken part in choir competitions through the years and has received gold medals in World Choir games as well as gold diplomas in different European contests. The Girls’ Choir of the Academy of Music has released 8 albums during the past 20 years. Lone Gislinge is lecturer at Academy of Music in Esbjerg since 1980. She teaches the subjects ear-training and choir-conducting and has been the conductor of The Academy of Music’s Girls Choir since its start in 1983. She is also conducting Trinity Boy ́s and Men’s Choir in Esbjerg. Lone Gislinge is a frequent guest teacher and conductor at choir conventions and courses for conductors through-out the country.
BelCantes Choir, Saint Andrew Eglikada, Patra, Greece
Conducted by Elena Drakopoulou
BelCantes choir of Saint Andrew’s church in Eglikada, Patras was founded in September 2016. The choir participated in Kalamata’s international competition of Interkultur in contest with choirs of equal voices in 2017 and won a gold medal in the category and second time In October 2019 they competed in the category of equal voices winning the silver medal. In 2018 the choir presented their program in the International Choral Festival of Nafplio - Artiva and in the International Choral Festival of Nafpaktos “Mikis Theodorakis” in which they received glowing reviews. In July 2019, following an honorary invitation from the Ionian Music University of Corfu as part of the 10th Summer Academy, the choir sang at the Duomo church for all participating directors, both Greeks and foreigners, receiving excellent reviews for their performance. In May 2020, the choir established a new choral festival dedicated to Spring and Woman with many participating choirs. Since March 2020 the choir has participated in online festivals held in various cities in Greece about choral music such as World musical choral festival in Thessaloniki and International Choral Festival of Preveza. In May 2021, the choir took part in the World Peace Choral Festival (online) in which 251 other choirs from 32 countries participated and competed in the Women and Folklore category. The choir got the highest qualification as with its high score and as the first in its category, managed to be a finalist for the Grand Prix while in the Folklore category, they also won a gold medal. In September 2021 they participated in a magnificent concert at the Kallimarmaro Panathinaiko Stadium for the 200 years since the National Polygenesis, entitled “For Faith and Freedom”. In February 2022, they recorded 5 songs to submit a request for the choir’s participation in the BRIDGE SERIES OPEN PLATFORMS of the MEGARON OF MUSIC in Athens.
BulCanto Choir, Berlin, Germany
Conducted by Boryana Velichkova
BulCanto is a young, fast-growing Bulgarian choir, founded in 2019 by conductor Boryana Velichkova. Classically trained, and driven by a love of the musical traditions of her homeland, Boryana had by that point conducted two separate choirs for over a decade: the Bulgarian Orthodox Choir Berlin and the Bulgarian Voices Berlin. A joint anniversary concert inspired her to create a mixed choir that would combine the solemn and mysterious sounds of Orthodox music with the complex rhythms and challenging harmonies of Bulgarian folklore. Despite the challenges of rehearsing during a pandemic, BulCanto has quickly established a reputation for its adventurous repertoire and technical excellence. BulCanto today consists of over 30 singers from across the Balkans, Europe, and beyond, whose demanding task it is to master both the pronunciation of numerous Bulgarian dialects and the unique sounds of a variety of Bulgarian musical forms. Audiences love BulCanto’s full, joyous choral sound and colourful on-stage presence, and the choir is in high demand, performing regularly in venues across Berlin. Bulcanto also enjoys collaborating with other singers and musicians from a range of genres and traditions. Recent projects include a performance of Alfred Schnittke’s Three Sacred Hymns with Collegium Musicum, directed by Donka Miteva, and a concert at the Berlin Philharmonic under the aegis of the Berliner Chorverband.
Discantus Chamber Choir, Gowidlino, Poland
Conducted by Slawomir Bronk
Discantus Chamber Choir - began its artistic activity in 2006 in Gowidlino a town located in Kashubia. From the beginning of its existence, thanks to the concerts it organized, it has become an animator of musical life among the local community. Currently, the choir gives concerts at festivals both in the country and abroad: in Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Ukraine, Italy and Portugal. Repertoire includes religious and secular compositions in various, however, in its activity the choir devotes special attention to work related to the Kashubian region. In May 2010 Discantus took part in the first performance of Kashubian Magnificat created by Michał Sławecki. This opus along with the Kashubian Mass was recorded on the album – Mòja dësza wielbi Pana. In December 2012 album - Gòdë na Kaszëbach was relased, influenced by Kashubian folk and regional carols for choir and orchestra, by Maciej Bolewski. As part of cooperation with the Art Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 2013 a CD was released, named Knôpi za mną póczi jesz jem panną. It contains few archival recordings of Kashubian folk songs, which are the aftermath of research conducted within the so-called Action of Collection of Musical Folklore (1950-54). This CD also contains the works of folk authenticity for the a cappella choir made by the titled composer from Poznań - Marek Raczyński.
Männerstimmen Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Conducted by Oliver Rudin
When you see the Männerstimmen Basel choir with their knickerbockers and suspenders, you might find yourself thinking you are in the wrong decade, or even the wrong century. Once you hear them sing, however, you know there is nothing wrong about them. Of course, it is rather unusual that men between the ages of 18 and 40 are enthusiastic about choral music and perform a wide repertoire of Renaissance, romantic, folk and contemporary music true to the original style and with great fervour. The numerous prizes that the choir has won since its foundation in 2008 prove, nevertheless, that this diverse mix has struck a chord. For example, the unexpected win in the “Men’s Choir” category at the World Choir Games in Cincinnati 2012, “Competition Champion Choir” and “First Prize 40 voices and under” at the Cornwall International Male Voice Choral Festival 2015, and finally first prize in the “Men’s Choir” category, second prize in the “Sacred Music” category, and being selected the best choir of the festival at Cracovia Cantans 2017 in Krakow. To achieve all of this, a fine balance between extreme concentration and lively celebrations is required for the members of Männerstimmen. Precisely how the two conductors Oliver Rudin and David Rossel maintain this balance remains a secret, but it is quite obvious that it is also their recipe for success.
Qatar Youth Choir, Doha, Qatar
Conducted by Alena Pyne
Qatar Youth Choir founded in 2013 by Irish-born conductor Alena Pyne, is for mixed voices aged 14–18+ years, now in its 8th year. This is an ambitious choir that is always ready for a new challenge. Τheir motto is "Carpe Diem". They perform music from all epochs and in many world languages. Their favorite genre is folk songs from all corners of the world and they are especially happy to sing Arabic repertoire. They were awarded 1st prize in the inaugural Qatar National Music Competition in October 2017 in the Youth Category, and in their short existence have toured to Germany, Latvia, Croatia and Austria and represented Qatar at the World Choral Expo in Lisbon in July 2019. They have also done a recording and performed frequently with Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mixed Choir of Conservatory “Athina”, Athens, Greece
Conducted by Dimitra Chanou
The Mixed Choir of Conservatory "Athina" was founded in 2009. They have taken part in several Greek and International Choir Festivals and Competitions, Charity events, music concerts as well as music TV and internet shows. "Athena" has won the Silver Award in the Jazz Pop category at the 17th Antonio Vivaldi Choir Competition in Karpenisi in 2019.
New European Choir of Culture Association “Agapi” of Perea, Thessaloniki, Greece
Conducted by Eleonora Kalaitsidou
The New European Choir was founded in 2009. It consists of choristers of all ages, united by their love of choral music. The choir has performed at several Choir Festivals in Greece and abroad, as well as competitions where it has received the following distinctions: 19th "ANTONIO VIVALDI" Choir Competition in Karpenissi, Greece - July 2015 • 1st Prize - Modern & Jazz Category • 1st Prize - Sacred Music Category • 2nd Prize - Mixed Choir Category • "Best Festival Choir" prize • "Laurea Mundi Budapest" - July 2016 • Golden Diploma in the "Pop, Modern and Jazz" Category • 23rd International Sacred Music Choir Competition of Preveza - July 2017 • Silver Medal - Mixed Choir Category • Silver Medal – Free Category • 6th Nafplio-Artiva International Choir Competition – November 2019 • Gold Medal – Mixed Choir Category • 1st prize with cash award for the highest score of the competition. The choir has also taken part in the following memorable events: Two music & dance performances of "Cinderella" and "The Unbreakable Nutcracker" at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, an event in support of single mothers, a celebration of Greek-Russian friendship, "Russia-Near & Far"- a tribute to Russian composers, "Concierto Latino en Salonica" and "Concerto Cinema", "Religious music from all over the world", the 7th World Festival on Musicals of Thessaloniki, Act IV of Verdi’s Macbeth (with direction), music for the theatrical performance of "PERSES-SYRIOI" by S. Despotis (world premiere), the "Stories of Love" music & poetry evening, Holly Jazzy Christmas concert and more.