Jury 2018

Alexander Vacek

Choirmaster, conductor, vocal teacher, adjudicator, workshop leader and arranger, he is the founder of “Oreya” Zhytomyr Municipal Folk Choir Cappella and “Gaudeamus” University Brno Choir. With this choirs he won 36 first prizes and 10 Grand Prix (9 with ”Oreya”: 1993 in Meinhausen,1995 in Tours, 1996 in Lindenholzhausen, 1998 in Montreux, 1999 in Wernigerode,  2007 in Kiev, 2008 in  Maribor,  2011 in Tolosa, 2014 in Arezzo and 1 with “Gaudeamus” Choir –  IFAS Pardubice, 2002). He is an honorable member of culture of Ukraine and received the State Award named after I. Ohienko and many others prizes as well. He has led workshops and took part in symphonic projects all around the world. He has been invited as a jury member at the World Choir Games, held in Pusan (South Korea, 2002), Bremen (Germany, 2004), Xiamen (China, 2006), and also at prestigious international choral competitions in Spain, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Norway, Estonia. In 2006 the president of 35th International Choral Competition in Tours (France) Christian Balandras has published for the Ministry of Culture of France the analysis of 50 choral competitions for the period 1995-2005, in which he acknowledges  Alexander Vacek, as one of the 20 best choral conductors in the world.

Lorenzo Donati

Composer and conductor who studied with Togni, E. Morricone, P. Dusapin. He also studied choral conducting with D. Fasolis and G. Graden He performed at concerts with Coro Giovanile Italiano, Vox Cordis, Hesperimenta and UTInsieme Vocale Consonante winning several national and international awards, among them the Eropean Grand Prix for Choral Singing 2016. In 2007 he won the International Competition for Choral Conductors (Bologna). Since 2016 he has been conducting the professional choir Guido Chigi Saracini in Siena. His compositions are being performed and published around the world.

He collaborates with several international cultural institutes such as Accademia Chigiana, Europa Cantat, Feniarco, Festival Incontro Polifonico Città di Fano, Fondazione Guido d’Arezzo, National Competition for Choral Conductors, Festa della Voce. He won notable awards in international composition competitions, among them are Arezzo (1996 and 1999), Gorizia (1999 and 2002), Rome (1999), Avellino (2003), Vittorio Veneto (2007). He holds masterclasses on choral music and composition and he often is invited to join the jury at international contests. He teaches choral composition and choral conducting at the Conservatory of Trento.

Nicole Corti

Conductor, choirmaster and educator, Nicole Corti studied at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance (CNSMD) in Lyon, where she was a student of Bernard Tetu. She succeeded him as the director of the choral conducting programme there in 2008. Nicole Corti was the director of the choirs at Notre-Dame de Paris from 1993 to 2006, where she rebuilt the different vocal ensembles and brought a new dimension to the musical activities. At Notre Dame she expanded the repertoire to works of the 20th and 21st centuries while continuing to conduct works from the Romantic and oratorio repertoires. Nicole Corti has had the same ambition of excellence and discovery with the Chœur Britten, which she created in 1981.The ensemble quickly attained an international reputation, thanks to the numerous concerts given in Europe and in the United States and has prompted a number of composers to write many bold and original works for the ensemble. Nicole Corti also collaborates with major orchestras who entrust her with the preparation of their choruses: the Ensemble orchestral de Paris, the Orchestre National de Lyon and others. She participates in the juries of numerous international competitions and gives master classes in France and abroad. She was twice awarded the Liliane Bettencourt Prize for choral singing and in 2002 was raised to the rank of Chevalier in the French National Order of Merit.

Enrique Azurza

Born in Tolosa, he studied choral conducting in the Basque Country and in Stockholm. Since 1985 he has conducted the Choir Hodeiertz of Tolosa. With this coir in 1991, he won the Grand Prix and received the Best Director Prize at the International Contest of Varna (Bulgaria). In 1997 he founded the professional Vocal Ensemble KEA with the aim of promoting contemporary and early music. He is President of the Confederation of Choirs in the Basque Country. He was the Spanish representative in the World Choral Symposia held in Sydney, 1996 with Hodeiertz, and in Puerto Madryn (Argentina), 2011 with KEA vocal ensemble. He has conducted the Choir of the University of the Basque Country (1999-2016), the Choir of the Choral Singing Institute of Aragon (Zaragoza, 1993-2003), has directed the Spanish National Youth Choir. With all of them has successfully participated in different national and international contests, and has recorded several CDs. He is member of the Musical Committee in the International Choral Contest of Tolosa, and the World Simposyum Barcelona 2017 and artistic director of the National Choral Contest of Ejea de los Caballeros. He has been a member of jury at national and international contests and festivals.

Jasenka Ostojic

She achieved a degree and postgraduate specialization in conducting at the Zagreb Academy of Music in the class of prof. Pavle Despalj. A professor at the Academy of Music, she has been leading the Music Academy Choir and Chamber Choir in numerous opera, vocal and instrumental projects praised by the public and music critics alike, both in Croatia and abroad. She has won numerous state and international awards, two of which are the European Grand Prix. With her ensembles, she took part in numerous festivals and contests. She is also the conductor of The Zagreb Boys’ Choir, founder of Croatian society Collegium pro arte (2006), and a regular jury member at various regional and state orchestra and choir competitions. Jasenka Ostojic was one of the lecturers and the leader of a Seminar on Vocal Technique and Ensemble Work. She was also a guest-lecturer at universities in the  USA, Poland, Slovenia and Austria, and is the current artistic director of the World Choir Festival on Musical in Thessaloníki (Greece).

Vesela Ivanova Gеleva

Vesela Ivanova Gеleva, Ph.D. graduated at the National School of Music and Dance “Dobrin Petkov” – Plovdiv majoring in piano and musical theory and after that – from the National Academy of Music “Pancho Vladigerov”, Sofia,  in the choral conducting class of Prof. Vasil Arnaudov and Prof. Dr. Virginia Atanasova. Since 1994 Assoc. Prof. Vesela Geleva has been a lecturer at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts – Plovdiv. In 2006 she defended her PhD dissertation “Specificity and education of the singing voice in childhood and adolescence and problems of its application in the choral ensemble”. In 2006 she founded the “Gaudeamus” Academic Mixed Chamber Choir at the Academy of of Music, Dance and Fine Arts – Plovdiv. The ensemble has performed in many Bulgarian and foreign choral festivals. In 2013 the choir was nominated for “Crystal Lyre” and was awarded the “Petya Pavlovic” Foundation Award for high achievements in the field of choral art. In 2014 she received the “Musician of the Year” award, in Ensemble Category by Allegro vivace. Assoc. Prof. Vesela Geleva won the prize for high choir-conducting mastery at the 13th Orthodox Music International Festival in Pomorie. She is the winner of the “Meden Chan” Academic Award for high artistic and creative achievements.

Elena Stefanova Hristova

She graduated from the National Music Academy “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov “- Sofia majoring both in Music Pedagogy and Choral Conducting with Prof. Dimitar Ruskov. She founded and conducted children’s, youth, mixed and chamber choirs in Veliko Tarnovo and Gabrovo, awarded with gold medals at the 4th Festival of Choral Music of Bulgaria. She received the prize for the best interpretation of Bulgarian choral song and “Excellent Worker” of the Committee of Arts and Culture. Since 1974 she has been a conductor of the choir at Varna State Opera. She was awarded for contribution to “Varna Summer” Festival, and honored with the Varna Prize and Order of Sts. Cyril and Methodius – I degree. In 1991 she was invited as Chief Conductor of the choir at the Ankara State Opera. The choir received the Award of the President of the Republic of Turkey (1994), of the Choir Association ТОВА V and others. From 1998 to 2013 she taught choral conducting and was a conductor of the student choir at the Bilkent University Music School in Ankara. The choir was awarded the first and second prizes at theinternational competitions in Preveza and Tours. It received the Grand Prix at the International May Choir Competition “Prof. Georgi Dimitrov “, as well as the prize of “Petko Gr. Staynov” Foundation. She is invited as a member of the jury at international choir competitions in Ankara and Varna.