The Japan Youth Choir comprises some 40 young singers who
have experienced working with the World Youth Choir and Asian Youth Choir. This
group was formed to create an international choir in Japan toward the next generation.
The World Youth Choir is an international project organized annually by IFCM
and FIJM. The Asian Youth Choir is a musical feature of the Asian Culture Festival
as organized by Niigata Prefecture once every two years. Both events are similar
in that young vocalists selected by audition take part in music camps and concert
tours, thus honing their singing skill and providing occasions for international
friendship exchange. The Japan Youth Choir held its first concert during April
2001 in Kobe.
Jens Johansen, Conductor
Vocal Line is a Danish vocal ensemble established by conductor
Jens Johansen in 1991. Vocal Line's 32 singers combine European and Nordic choir
traditions with a modern American a cappella style to form a unique "World
Jazz A Cappella". Johansen is head of the Department of Musicology at the University
of Aarhus. He also conducts at the Danish Royal Academy. He has given lectures
for conductors and has conducted throughout Europe, including at Cantat XV 2003
in Barcelona. He has published numerous choir arrangements and compositions.
NETHERLANDS YOUTH CHOIR
Wilma ten Wolde, Conductor
Formed in 1996, the Netherlands Youth Choir consists of
20 student female voices. They won 2 prizes in 2001 at the prestigious 31st
Choir Festival in Tolosa, Spain: 2nd prize for religious repertoire and 1st
prize for secular. They have performed a cappella programmes and in productions
with professional orchestras such as the New Sinfonietta (2001) and Rotterdam
Chamber Orchestra (2003). Each year, an internationally-known choir specialist
is invited to do a project with the Choir. Previous guests include Bo Johansson,
Daniel Reuss, Bo Holten, and Tonu Kaljuste.
Ulrike Heider, Leader
Schola Gothia, founded in 1999, is a professional female
vocal quartet that sings Gregorian chants and polyphonic music of the 14th and
15th centuries. Since the founding of the group, Schola Gothia has toured throughout
Sweden and other countries in Europe, appearing in many concerts and festivals
for Early Music. All of Schola Gothia's music is performed with traditional
notation, music stands, and costumes.
Jurgen Fassbender, Conductor
This 18-member group traces its roots to a 1970 boys choir
in Limburg. Amazingly, since the formation of Cantabile Limburg, all 18 members
have stayed in the group. As a result of this bond, the choir is able to create
a truly unique and harmonious "Cantabile sound". The choir's repertoire ranges
from classical polyphony to madrigal songs, romantic to modern pieces, including
pop and jazz arrangements. They have released a CD called Mannergesang,
featuring a selection of famous male choir pieces.
Victor Smirnov, Conductor
This ensemble consists of 6 male voices-1 counter tenor,
2 tenors, 1 baritone, and 2 basses. All 6 members are graduates of St. Petersburg
Conservatoire. Thanks to the versatile talent of their counter tenor, the vocal
range of the group is close to that of a full mixed choir. Choir leader, Victor
Smirnov graduated from Glinka Chorus School and then studied conducting at St.
Petersburg Conservatoire. He founded Anima in 1992, while still a student at
the Conservatoire. "Anima" has recorded 4 CDs combining Russian and French spiritual
music with old folk songs.
Marjukka Riihimaki, Conductor
Philomela is a 30-member women's choir from Helsinki, Finland.
The choir is known for its energetic and memorable musical performances which
often deal with a woman's life, its joys and sorrows. Many of Philomela’s performances
originate from Kalevala, the national epic of Finland. Philomela uses human
voice in all possible ways from sweet to coarse, soft to loud, and uses also
movement and the available acoustic space in multiple creative ways. The critics
have described Philomela's performances as never-seen-before and touching. During
its 20-year career Philomela has performed in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba,
Japan and the United States in addition to many European countries. The performances
have touched and moved audiences all over the world. Marjukka Riihimaki has
made an impressive career as choir conductor. She has creatively explored and
developed new methods for choral expression with all of her choirs. She works
as music lecturer at Sibelius Highschool in Helsinki conducting its choirs.
In addition, she conducts women's choirs Philomela and Klemetti Institute Women's
Choir as well as chamber choir Grex Musicus. She has toured with her choirs
practically all over the world. She has given memorable workshops and worked
as jury member at numerous choir contests. Her motto is: "You need to give
yourself 100% to the music", and she surely lives by that motto herself.
Masao Mukai, Conductor
The Vocal Ensemble was founded in 1992 in Tsu city by several young adults
and students who loved choir singing and were eager to perform Renaissance music.
Since 1994 the choir has won many Gold Medals and other awards at many different
competitions. During the celebration of the Catholic Church's Holy Year in 1998
EST performed the Contino's Mass, a mass that had not been held in over
in 450 years. This performance attracted much attention and was broadcast in
Italy. The choir has participated in many tours in Japan and overseas.
Keiichi Asai, Conductor
The Kyoto Echo Choir was formed in 1963 by their principal
conductor and music director Keiichi Asai. They first took part in the Japan
Choral Association National Choral Competition in 1970 and have won gold medals
there every year from 1980 to 1999. The Choir holds original concerts every
two or three years, and has given performances with such well-known orchestras
and conductors as the Orchestre de Paris conducted by Semyon Bychkov and the
New Japan Philharmonic under Seiji Ozawa. The choir has made several recordings
and also performs overseas where it has also received many awards.
Tsuneo Takasu, Conductor
Choeur joyeux, a male chorus group, was founded in October
of 1971. They further developed after Michio Takasu became their permanent conductor.
The group is known for proactively using emerging music in addition to past
works from Europe, outside Europe, and Japan. The group's concerts have featured
composers from throughout Europe and Japan. They have been awarded many prizes
including the Aichi Prefecture Culture Prize of Sophisticated Arts and Culture
in 1985 and the Gold Medal for Adult Participants for the National Competition
of JCA National Choral Competition in 1985 -1988, and 1997.
Kunio Imai, Conductor
Sendai, the "City of Trees," was burned to the ground during World
War II. Green Wood Harmony was established in 1948 to bring back the beauty
of the city through choral music. Excellent conductors, including present conductor
Kunio Imai, have made great strides in developing the choir, which takes its
name from Mendelssohn's "Green Woods." The choir currently has about
70 members and gives regular concerts and participates in competitions throughout
the year, where it has received many awards. The repertoire ranges from Renaissance
and Baroque period music to contemporary pieces.
CHOIR VOX GAUDIOSA
Ko Matsushita, Conductor
Chamber Choir VOX GAUDIOSA was formed in 1996 in Saitama,
Japan, and uses music from all ages and countries, especially a cappella,
in its repertoire. The choir was awarded gold medals for the chamber choir category
at the JCA National Choral Competition from 2000 to 2002 and was named Best
Choir in 2001 and 2002. The choir held two successful overseas tours in Estonia
(2002) and Taiwan (2003). It also participated in The Bela Bartok International
Choir Competition (Hungary). The choir has released a CD of Japanese folksongs
arranged by Ko Matsushita.
Nobuaki Tanaka, Conductor
The Tajimi Children's Choir was founded in 1973. They perform classic, contemporary,
and jazz concerts as well as annual UNICEF Christmas concerts every year.
The choir has also made concert tours to Singapore, Australia, South Korea,
and the United States.
LITTLE SINGERS OF TOKYO - LSOT SENIOR & YOUTH CHOIR
Hisae Hasegawa, Conductor
The Little Singers of Tokyo (LSOT) was founded in 1951
by Shinichi Hasegawa and the late Father Paul Annuih to "introduce Renaissance
Music to Japanese children". In 1955 LSOT became the Japanese branch of
the International Pueri Cantores. Children from age 6 to university students
participate in 5 different levels. LSOT's repertoire covers a wide range from
Gregorian Chants to contemporary works. The Choir's activities include 2 regular
concerts a year as well as domestic and overseas concert tours, performances
with orchestras and in operatic theatres. The current Music Director is Hisae
Hasegawa, and the Artistic Director is Saeko Hasegawa.
Keishi Ito, Conductor
The Naniwa Choraliers, founded in 1993 in Osaka, is a male
choir whose motto is "to be Smart and Cool". It won gold prizes at
the National Choral Competition organized by the Japan Choral Association (including
Grand-Prix in 2001) in 1999 - 2004, and Grand-Prix at the Takarazuka International
Chorus Competition in 2003 as the Naniwa Choraliers Chamber Ensemble. In 2001,
the choir was invited to the Asia South Pacific Symposium on Choral Music held
in Singapore. Founder and conductor, Keishi Ito, is one of the leading young
choral conductors in Japan. Their repertoire includes standard numbers to the
most modern style choir music.
The foremost choirs of Europe, Africa, North America, South
America, Oceania, and Asia, including Japan, will offer their gala performances
on stage at the Symposium Concert.
Audiences will enjoy a global perspective of current choral
music in superb acoustic environment of Kyoto Concert Hall.
CANTICUM CHAMBER CHOIR
Emily Cox, Conductor
The Canticum Chamber Choir is a semi-professional
chamber choir based in Brisbane, Australia, founded in 1995 by conductor Emily
Cox. The Choir promotes the art of the chamber choir to audiences through its
diverse repertoire, ranging from renaissance to new compositions by Australian
composers. Apart from its own concert series, Canticum has collaborated recently
with the Queensland Ballet, Queensland Orchestra and Queensland Youth Symphony
GUANGDONG EXPERIMENTAL MIDDLE SCHOOL
Xie Mingjing, Conductor
Experimental Middle School Choir was founded in 1952, and is one of the most
out-standing student choirs in China. The choir was awarded the title of Model
Choir, as the only choir that has won nine successive first prizes in Guangzhou
Student Choir competitions. At the 1st Choir Olympics in Austria, the choir
won first prize in the Youth Choirs and Folklore (A Cappella) categories, and
third prize in the Musica Contemporanea category. The choir has also been well-received
at performances in Europe and Asia including Taiwan as musical ambassadors.
PARAHYANGAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY CHOIR
Avip Priatna, Conductor
This Choir (PSM UNPAR) was established in 1962 for students to enhance their
appreciation for music. PSM UNPAR also performs at official university functions.
The Choir has won the Indonesian Choir Competition 3 times and has gained international
success by earning 3 Gold medals at the Choir Olympics 2000, and 1st prize at
the 8th International Chamber Choir Competition 2003 in Marktoberdorf, Germany.
PHILIPPINES THE SAN MIGUEL MASTER
Eudenice Palaruan, Conductor
The San Miguel Master Chorale was recognized as the Best Choral Group in the
recently concluded Aliw Awards. Since its inception in November 2000, the SMMC
has premiered various choral works, notably in its critically-acclaimed concert
entitled "Landscapes". SMMC has also released a recording together with The
San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra, The Sacred Works of Ryan Cayabyab.
The SMMC, the country's first professional choir, was established by The San
Miguel Foundation for the Performing Arts in the Philippines to set new standards
of excellence in the choral arts.
THE NATIONAL CHORUS OF KOREA
Chin-Seup Yom, Conductor
The National Chorus, Korea's first professional choir,
was founded in 1973. The Chorus performs a wide range of music, from renaissance
to contemporary works. It has performed with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra
and with many famous opera singers and soloists. The Chorus hopes to portray
the aspirations of the Korean spirit, including the use of the modern melodies
and modern techniques.
TURKEY ORFEON CHAMBER CHOIR
Elnara Kerimova, Conductor
The Orfeon Chamber Choir was established in 1994 to perform choral music from
around the world. The choir also aims to popularize polyphonic music to audiences
in Turkey, and to introduce Turkish music to the world. Orfeon has won numerous
medals at competitions such as the 1st Choir Olympics in Austria. The group
has also performed at a choral festival in Belgium, in a benefit concert for
victims of the earthquake in Turkey. Orfeon's story is summarized in the book
"Success Stories from Turkey" (2003).
CONGO CHOEUR LA GRACE
Ambroise Kua Nzambi Toko, conductor
La Grace is a mixed choir of 45 singers, a selection of
choir conductors from various Evangelical choirs in the Congo's capital. In
the present repertoire of the choir are Afro gospel, Congolese popular and traditional
songs. La Grace has participated in many festivals, concerts, workshops and
seminars to promote their singing style. The conductor of the choir, Ambroise
Kua Nzambi Toko, is the 1st president of the Congolese Federation of Choral
Music and known in Kinshasa, in and out of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
as a very active conductor. He has directed children, male, female, mixed and
massed choirs. He has composed and arranged several choral pieces and edits
a choral magazine "Cantemus". The jubilee of the veterans of the Congolese
choral movement was initiated by him. In August this year, he will put at everybody's
disposal a school of music, where they train singers, choral singing and conducting.
With passion, he is doing all his best to promote the African choral music.
Julio Cesar Santos Campos, Conductor
The Choir's objective is to teach music to children in Guatemala. Since 1983
they have promoted competitions in which some 10,000 students have participated.
The Choir also promotes workshops for choir singers and conductors, acting as
a choral school. In 1996 they founded the festival "Enlace Coral"; since then,
they have organized 4 festivals for domestic and foreign choral groups. In 2001,
the choir recorded a CD of Guatemalan Christmas music, and was awarded "Artist
of the Year".
CANADA THE WINNIPEG SINGERS
Yuri Klaz, Conductor
This ensemble, as one of Canada's premier choirs, follows
a rich tradition of choral music in Winnipeg. The Winnipeg Singers consist of
24 trained voices, performing music of periods ranging from the Renaissance
to the present. They are regularly heard on local and national CBC radio. They
have released two recordings O Praise Ye the Lord and Prairie Voices.
In 2003, they performed at the Association of Canadian Choral Conductor's national
conference "Podium 2004" in Winnipeg.
USA THE YOUNG
PEOPLE'S CHORUS OF NEW YORK CITY
Francisco J. Nunez, Conductor
The Young People's Chorus of New York City, the resident
choir of the 92nd Street Y, has performed at Carnegie Hall and the White House,
as well as illustrious venues such as Smetana Hall, Prague and St. Martin in
the Fields, London. The YPC was founded in 1988 with two goals: commitment to
musical excellence and providing a place where young people of diverse backgrounds
can pursue the study and performance of music. The YPC was recognized for artistic
excellence by the US President.
USA THE UNIVERSITY
OF LOUISVILLE CARDINAL SINGERS
Kent Hatteberg, Conductor
The University of Louisville Cardinal Singers are an outreach
organization for the University of Louisville, performing for a variety of events
on and off campus. Although the Singers perform many styles of music, they specialize
in contemporary a cappella literature. The Singers enjoy a strong following
in Europe, where they have won several prizes, most recently at the Choir Olympics
in Bremen (2004), at the Harmonie Festival in Lindenholzhausen (May 2005), and
at the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf (May 2005). Kent
Hatteberg studied piano and voice at the University of Dubuque and choral conducting
at The University of Iowa. As a Fulbright Scholar he pursued research on Felix
Mendelssohn's early works in Berlin, and in 1997 conducted the world premiere
of Mendelssohn's Gloria. He is a frequent guest conductor in the U.S. and abroad,
including a tour with the Nederlands Kamerkoor. Awards include University of
Louisville Faculty Scholar (2002, 2005) and KMEA College/ University Teacher
of the Year (2004). He conducts the Kentucky Ambassadors Choir in European tours
SAN FRANCISCO GIRLS CHORUS
Susan McMane, Conductor
Founded in 1978, the Chorus is a regional center for music
education and choral training for girls and young women, ages 7-18. More than
300 singers participate in this internationally known program. The Chorus' discography
includes Music From the Venetian Ospedali, rediscovered music written
over 2 centuries ago for all-girl choirs of Venetian orphanages. The organization
comprises of Chorissima and Virtuose, the concert, recording, and touring ensembles,
and the Chorus School training program.
NORWAY OSLO CHAMBER CHOIR
Grete Pedersen, Conductor
The Oslo Chamber Choir is considered one of the leading
choirs in Norway. The choir has become particularly famous for its groundbreaking
exploration of vocal folk music. They have brought the ancient Norwegian singing
tradition called "kveding," usually done by single voices, into innovative choir
performances. The choir has also supported humanitarian projects such as a national
TV campaign to fight cancer and a concert held in the Oslo Cathedral for Yugoslavian
Nordic Voices is a six-voice a cappella ensemble whose
singing is a blend of the solo and the unified, the analytical and the affectionate.
Their vast repertoire ranges from medieval to modernist music, featuring works
of composers from Monteverdi and di Lasso to Ligeti and Berio. In 1999 Nordic
Voices won both the top awards in 2 categories at a competition in Tolosa, Spain.
In 2002 the ensemble received critical acclaim at The Northern Light Festival
in Tromso. Nordic Voices' first album, Sense and nonSense was released