Ivo Antognini – Switzerland
President of the Jury
Swiss composer Ivo Antognini (b. 1963) received a degree in piano in 1985 at Lucerne, where he studied with Nora Doallo. He then studied at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern with German pianist Joe Haider. Early in his career he composed music for television and film as well as jazz works. In 2006 he met with Coro Calicantus, a world-class children’s choir, and its director, Mario Fontana, and since that time he has devoted his efforts largely to the composition of choral works. He has been described as “an important new voice” by The American Organist Magazine. His choral works have won many awards in national and international choral composition events and have been performed in more than 55 countries. He regularly serves as a jury member in national and international choral and composition competitions and has been presenting his music in Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, Slovenja United States and Japan. Antognini writes music for choirs of all levels and has a distinctive personal style. A concert dedicated completely to his choral music took place in March 2016 at the Lincoln Center, NY. His first major, extended work, ”A Prayer for Mother Earth”, for mixed choir, children’s choir, orchestra, soprano soloist and piano, was premiered at the Carnegie Hall in New York in May 2016. Recent recordings with Antognini’s music include “Canticum Novum”, a portrait CD featuring the Salt Lake Vocal Artists, “Invisible Stars” (SIGNUM RECORDS), with UCD Choral Scholars, “Sacred Songs of Life & Love” (PENTATONE) with South Dakota Chorale and “To Bethlehem” (RESONUS) with Kantorei of Kansas City.His choral pieces are published by Alliance Music Pub., Walton Music, Hal Leonard, Edition Peters, ECS Publishing, G. Schirmer, Colla Voce, Boosey & Hawkes, PH Publishers, de Haske, Ferrimontana, Carus-Verlag and others.Ivo Antognini teaches ear training and piano at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano (Switzerland). He lives in the small village of Aranno with his wife Patrizia and his two children, Eleonora and Milo.
Sergey Yekimov – Russia
Member of the Jury
Sergey Yekimov (1974) – composer, conductor, member of the Russia Composers Union and the Union of Concert Figures of St. Petersburg, art director of the International Choral Art Festival «The Singing World», art director and conductor of the Women’s Choir at the Choir-Conducting Department of the St. Petersburg N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Music College, professor, head of the Academic Choir at the faculty of the St. Petersburg Culture and Arts University and professor of the St. Petersburg State N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire, Laureate of the St. Petersburg Government in the field of art and culture. Sergey Yekimov is the graduate of the St. Petersburg State N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire, where he studied choir conducting (professor F. Kozlov) and composition (professor Yu. Falik). Post- graduate education was completed by him in 2011 at the class of professor V. Uspensky. During the period of 1993-2009 S. Yekimov directed the St. Petersburg Youth Choir. Among his compositions there are choral and orchestral ones, instrumental and vocal ensembles, ecclesiastic and secular music a cappella, vocal cycles, piano and choral pieces for children, music to performances, choral arrangements of Russian folk songs, popular melodies, romances and variety music. Yakimov’s opuses and transcriptions enjoyed popularity via Russia and all over the world: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, USA and Japan. Leading Russian choirs include by radio and TV, published in Russia and aboard. Choir music of the 20th-21st centuries was not once the topic of his master-classes. He has also been a participant and chairman of the jury at different choral festivals and contests.
Vytautas Miškinis – Lithuania
Member of the Jury
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 President of the Lithuanian Choral Union. He graduated in Choral Conducting from the Lithuanian Academy of Music in 1976 (conducting class of Prof. H. Perelšteinas). 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 – in Marktoberdorf, Gorizia, Varna, Maribor, Tampere, Mainhausen, Nantes. Currently Mr. Miškinis is an Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the All-Lithuanian Choir Festival. Vytautas Miškinis has led choral performances in Europe, Canada, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, and the USA. 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 and conducting in Lithuania and abroad – in the Czech Republic, Korea, Latvia, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Singapore and the Ukraine. He has participated in numerous national and international choral events as composer and advisor. He has led workshops and has been a Member of the Jury at International Choir and Choral Composition Competitions worldwide. Vytautas Miškinis has composed about 400 religious motets a cappella, 18 Masses, Magnificat, Cantatas, Musicals and about 400 secular songs , which are performed by choirs throughout Lithuania and the rest of Europe. Lithuanian and foreign choirs have recorded his compositions on CD. Many compositions for children’s choirs are published in Lithuania and a couple of religious compositions also in France, Germany, Slovenia, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan, Latvia and the USA. V. Miškinis has several times been awarded prestigious State and Government Prizes such as Honoured Artist of Lithuania, the Prize for Culture and Art, Order of Grand Duke Gediminas, Medal of Duke Žygimantas Augustas. In 2002 as a composer he was nominated “Author of the Year”. In 2010 Carus Verlag Publishing House, Germany, recorded the CD “V.Miškinis Portrait“ (Consonare Choir),Hyperion in UK published the CD “The Time is Endless” (choir of Royal Holloway University).