Jury 2012

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The Jury is composed by international acclaimed artists as conductors of orchestras, choir, ensemble, opera singers, composers. The jury of the 1st edition of Florence International Choir Festival was composed by the following members:
• Federico Bardazzi President of the Festival
• Deborah Cheverino
• Milan Kolena
• Cesare Valentini Official Composer of the Festival

Federico Bardazzi

Federico Bardazzi specialises in Early and Baroque Music, he is primarily active as a director in operatic repertoire, from its origins to Händel, Gluck, Mozart, Rossini and Puccini. Having trained as a cellist with Andrè Navarra in Siena and Paris, he studied chamber music with Piero Farulli and the Quartetto Borodin, composition with Carlo Prosperi e Roberto Becheri, Gregorian chant with Nino Albarosa and Johannes Berchmans Göschl, choral conducting with Roberto Gabbiani and Peter Phillips, orchestral conducting at the Accademia Chigiana with Myung-Whun Chung. He conducts the Ensemble San Felice, a vocal and instrumental group whose repertoire ranges from Medieval to contemporary music, with whom he has performed to great acclaim across the world. Devoted for many years now to the Bachian repertoire, through the Ensemble he has conducted all of the great Kirchenmusik and all of the instrumental concerts. He has conducted Händel's Messiah in numerous concerts in Italy and Europe. He usually offers, as well as a new version of Mozart's unfinished Requiem, rare pages and masterpieces of seventeenth-century music: Girolamo Frescobaldi, Francesco Maria Stiava, Dietrich Buxtehude, Jeronimo de Carrion, François Couperin, MichelRichard Delalande, John Dowland In 2005 in particular he presented three oratorios by Giacomo Carissimi at the Queen Elisabeth Hall in London and, also in London, in May 2008 he conducted the music for the first staged performance in modern time of Händel's Rodrigo, directed by Luciano Alberti, at the Lufthansa festival of baroque music. This production was presented in 2009 at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, where in 2011 he directed Claudio Monteverdi's Il Vespro for the Amici della Musica di Firenze, which was recorded as an audio CD by Brilliant Classic. His research programmes in Medieval music have met with great success across Europe: Nigra sum sed formosa Cantigas de Santa Maria, La Sibilla del reno Hildegard von Bingen, the litergical drama drawn from Florentine codices Quem queritis, Francesco Landini Laudi e Contrafacta nella Firenze del Trecento, Musica per San Zanobi nella Firenze del Trecento. within this frame he is currently curating La musica della Commedia, an important work on the music of Dante Alighieri's masterpiece, which takes place through concerts, conferences and multimedia productions. Federico Bardazzi has been the Director of the Maggio Fiorentino Formazione's courses from 2008 to 2014. In his role as training coordinator he has realised higher specialized training courses and projects funded by the European Social Fund. All his artistic and technical projects at the lyrical Theatre have been developed in collaboration with some of the main Tuscan musical institutions, such as: Teatro Verdi of Pisa, Festival Pucciniano of Torre del Lago, Teatro Metastasio of Prato, with which he is currently collaborating for other projects. This experience leads to the creation of Opera Network, originally funded together with Carla Zanin, whose objective is to assist in the development of lyrical productions, in collaboration between institutions of different natures, with the aim of encouraging and assisting young artists in the early stages of their careers in developing their professional profile and career path. Some of the most successful projects, all conducted by Federico Bardazzi, have been: Purcell's Fairy Queen (Teatro Goldoni, Florence 2013), Pergolesi's Flaminio (Teatro Verdi of Pisa 2014). Two forthcoming productions are: Alessandro Scarlatti's Il trionfo dell'Onore and Gazzaniga's Don Giovanni (Teatro Verdi, Pisa 2015). Moreover, the season 2016/2017 will see Galuppi's opera in collaboration with Landestheater of Salzburg, under the direction of Carl Philip von Maldeghem. Federico Bardazzi is artistic direct of In-canto gregoriano - Incontri Internazionali di Firenze, a project devoted to the philological study and musical interpretation of the early liturgical repertoire, and member of the senior committee of AISCGre (Associazione Internazionale Studi di Canto Gregoriano). He is also President of the del Florence International Choir Festival, which, every year, brings together hundreds of choristers from all around the world, in a kermesse of high human and musical value. Being aware of the high potential that the East represents for both the Italian University as well as for the Artistic and Musical Higher Education system, he is the funder and leading member, within the project Turandot, in collaboration with the Università per Stranieri of Perugia, of a project of cultural, linguistic and musical training for Chinese students. He has been giving courses on Gregorian chant and Medieval monody at the University of Florence and he has been invited all around the world to lead Masterclasses. 2014 has been a particularly fruitful year, whose highlight have been the World Symposium of Choral Music in Seoul and the Israel Choir Conductor Association in Jerusalem. Recordings by the Ensemble San Felice – whose concerts have been transmitted by Rai, Swiss, German and Polish radio and the BBC, which has devoted one special on his performances – ranges from the Medieval to the operatic repertoire, and sees him not only in his role of conductor, but also of baroque cellist, gamba and fiddle player, for record labels such as Brilliant, Tactus, and Bongiovanni. Federico Bardazzi is Professor of Chamber Music and Baroque Music at the State Conservatory Puccini of La Spezia.

Deborah Cheverino

Deborah Cheverino South-african. A conductor of "unerring, warm-toned refinement, revealing judicious glimmers of power," Deborah Cheverino captured worldwide attention in September 2001 when she won the Gold Medal at the First International Conducting Competition in Florence, Italy. With this victory, Deborah became the first woman to win first prize in an Italian conducting competition. Deborah is a recipient of the 2004-2007 Fulbright Congressional Grant for Conducting to work with Zubin Mehta. As a result of her Fulbright grant she is working as the assistant conductor to Zubin Mehta in Florence, Italy.

 

Milan Kolena

Conductor and Art Director of choir Apollo, conductor of Schola Gregoriana Bratislavensis. At the Zilina Conservatory he studied piano, singing and choir conducting. After graduating with a degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Musical Arts (VSMU) in Bratislava under the tutelage of Prof. Peter Hradil, he continued his studies in sacred music at VSMU. .He also continued his studies of Gregorian Chant with Prof. J. Kohlhaufl at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna where he is the author of the first Slovak professional publication on Gregorian chant: "Súčasné smery v interpretácii gregorianskeho choralu" (Current Directions in Interpretation of Gregorian Chant). He actively cooperates in the interpretation of Gregorian chant with Prof. Dr. F.K. Prassl from Graz and Prof. Dr. J.B. Goschl from Munich. 
Milan Kolena was an assistant with the Chlapčenský zbor choir (boys choir) in Bratislava and was conductor of the Spevácky zbor bratislavských učitelov (Bratislava Teachers Choir). He teaches choir conducting and Gregorian chant at VŠMU. Since 1998 Milan Kolena has been the Art Director of the International Sacred Music Choir Festival in Námestovo. Since 2006 he is the art director of several annual choir music festivals in Bratislava:
International choir festival "Musica sacra"
International choir festival "Slovakia Cantat"
International festival of Advent and Christmas music
International festival of Gregorian chant
International youth music festival
He has toured many European countries with choir Apollo and has won several prizes in international competitions: 
1998: The first place and a special award for style performance of the competition program at the International choir festival "Pražské dny sborového spěvu" in Prague, Czech Republic
2002: Special award for excellent performance of Czech sacred music at the international choir competition "Jaro se Otvira" in Český Krumlov , Czech Republic 
2005: Gold Medal, International choir competition "Svátky Písne Olomouc", Czech Republic 
He is active as jury member at national and international choral competitions in Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Italy, Lithuania, Belgium, Russia. He performs workshops and seminars on vocal polyphony and Gregorian chant in foreign universities and festivals (Jihlava, Olomouc, Pecka, Bratislava, Námestovo, Banská Bystrica, Katowice, Kaunas, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Yekaterinburg). 
In 2005 - 2007 the he was engaged with his Gregorian schola in recording of three Bratislava antiphonaries from the end of 15th century. The recordings have been released in CD in cooperation with Slovak national library in Martin and with University library in Bratislava. The recording was conducted as a part of UNESCO world project "World´s Memory" in Slovakia.

Cesare Valentini

Cesare Valentini was born in Palermo, Sicily and begin to study piano at the age of 10 and composition at the age of 14. From the age of 20 Valentini resided in Florence where also studied Law at the University. He got the Master's Degree in Music Composition with "Summa cum Laude" in Milan Conservatory G. Verdi with M° Mario Garuti. The first public concerts of his music, when he was 26, were in little festivals and concerts in Florence. His style came from neoclassicism, step by step influenced by avant-garde music but not serial. Like other schools in the world he works with the impression of sounds, harmonics, colored atonality. His music has been performed in Italy, Europe and South America by important ensembles, orchestras and artists such as Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina, Osem (National orchestra of Mexico), Illinois State University (Chicago, USA), Ricercare Strumentale Italiano, members of ORT, J Futura Orchestra, Ensemble Italiano, Fonè String Quartet, I Fiati Italiani, the flutist Roberto Fabbriciani, the singers Francesca Bellofatto, Susanna Rigacci, Patrizia Morandini, Maria Costanza Nocentini, Monica Benvenuti and many others. He was also director of many concert seasons in Florence, Palazzo Pitti, Toscana Classica in Orsanmichele, Aspetti del Sacro etc.. He was also the composer in residence of the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina and collaborates with many institutions especially for contemporary music. He is a playwrite too and in 1997 won a national literature prize. Actually he is working on new sounds for acoustic instruments in XXI century music.

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