Jury 2013


The Jury is composed by international acclaimed artists as conductors of orchestras, choir, ensemble, opera singers, composers. The jury of the 2nd edition of Florence International Choir Festival will be composed by the following members:
• Federico Bardazzi President of the Jury
• Paolo Bellocci
• Andrea Portera Official Composer of the Festival
• Milan Kolena
• Sergey Ekimov

Federico Bardazzi

Studied cello under André Navarra in Siena and Paris. He continued his studies on chamber music with Piero Farulli of the Quartetto Italiano and the Quartetto Borodin, composition with Carlo Prosperi and Roberto Becheri, Gregorian chant with Nino Albarosa, as well as basso continuo with Andrew Lawrence King, viola da gamba and choir conducting with Roberto Gabbiani and Peter Phillips and orchestral direction at the Accademia Chigiana under Myung-Whun Chung.
Bardazzi, with the Ensemble San Felice, the vocal and instrumental group whose repertoire is mainly medieval to contemporary sacred music, has concentrated particularly on music by Bach, conducting the B minor Mass, the Six German Motets, the Johannes Passion, the Brandenburg Concertos and numerous Cantatas. He also devotes himself to 17th century music, and has presented rarely performed music by Marco da Gagliano, Frescobaldi, Carissimi, Buxtehude, Jeronimo de Carrion and François Couperin in numerous festivals in Italy and abroad. Amongst the most successful performances by Bardazzi is a personal version of the "Magnificat", sponsored by the European Union. " El cant de la Sibilla", a program of medieval Catalan music presented at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto,  "Nigra sum sed formosa", cantigas de Santa Maria and "Quem queritis" the medieval liturgical drama based on Florentine codices were equally successful. In September 2005 he was invited to hold a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, for the Oxford University Press Early Music Weekend. This included a meeting with the public at the Purcell Room, coordinated by Tess Knighton and with Marcel Pérès director of the Ensemble Organum.
He has also presented the world premieres of contemporary works.
Federico Bardazzi is the founder and President of the Ensemble San Felice that also organize the In-canto Gregoriano festival, international meetings in Florence on the re-appraisal of early liturgical music, from both a scientific and interpretative point of view.
The meetings are organised in association with the Associazione Internazionale Studi di Canto Gregoriano in Cremona: Federico Bardazzi was a member of the National Committee from 2002 to 2005. He now performs Gregorian works with female voices, their voice-training is carried out by the group's soloist Barbara Zanichelli.
Recordings by the Ensemble San Felice directed by Federico Bardazzi include the Six German Motets by Johann Sebastian Bach, the first world recording of the Messa sopra l'aria di Fiorenza by Girolamo Frescobaldi (Bongiovanni), the Cantigas de Santa Maria di Alfonso X "Nigra sum sed Formosa" (Bongiovanni), the medieval Florentine liturgical drama "Quem Queritis?" (Tactus), which they performed on numerous tours in Italy and abroad. Their concerts have been broadcast by Rai, Swiss, German and Polish radio and television, and by the BBC, who are now putting together a 50-minute program on his musical activities.
Federico Bardazzi was professor of chamber music for strings and Baroque music at the Vincenzo Bellini Conservatory in Palermo, and now holds the same post at the Luca Marenzio Conservatory in Brescia. This has lead to regular and fruitful collaboration with the Ensemble Barocco Marenzio in Brescia and the Antiche Armonie choir in Bergamo, directed by Giovanni Duci.
Federico Bardazzi is also the director of the courses of "Maggio Fiorentino Formazione", the formation agency of the Opera House of Florence, the famous "Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino". Bardazzi has held numerous concerts with these groups, often presenting the first performances of sacred Baroque music.

Paolo Bellocci

After a wide teaching activity, Paolo Bellocci gained vast experience as piano maestro in singing courses, cooperating with international artists, among which celebrities such as Fedora Barbieri, Gino Bechi and Margherita Rinaldi with whom he worked profitably for a long time.
He is actually Maestro Collaboratore at the Fondazione del Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Florence Italy, where since 1988 he is working on the production of operas and ballets, together with the greatest orchestra leaders such as Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado and stage directors like Luca Ronconi, William Friedkin, Zhang Yimou, Lev Dodin, Graham Vick.
He took part in the most important tours of the Foundation, among which the memorable one in Bejing in 1998 with Tourandot in the Forbidden City; he was in Tokyo in 2001, 2006 and 2011 at the Bunka Kaikan and NBC theatres and at the Yokohama Opera House; in Germany at the Recklinghausen Festival and many others.
Paolo Bellocci as musical promoter and competent in important public relations took part in organizing and producing great events, like the concert for the World Summit of Nobel Prizes in Rome 2004; in Florence he organized the concert in collaboration with the Arma dei Carabinieri and Rotary Medicea at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; in Vatican- Rome the concert for Pope Benedict XVI and the President of Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano, Zubin Metha conducting the Maggio Orchestra.
Paolo Bellocci is Coordinatore Artistico at "Maggio Fiorentino Formazione", Accademia della Fondazione del Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino since its foundation in 2001 where he guides many young talents in experiencing the musical scene through high professional training courses which represent a springboard towards international careers.
He also organized and produced important concerts in Italy and throughout the world like the Concerts at the St. Petersburg Winter Palace, Marijnski Palace, Kovatchina Palace in June 2006; at the Hermitage Museum - St. Petersburg in July 2007 during the exhibition "Michelangelo at the Hermitage", in collaboration with the Ministry for Media and Heritage, the Museum Department in Florence and the Italian Consulate in St. Petersburg; at the Czar's Residence "Sarhose Selo", together with the Music School in Fiesole; in Moscow at the "Novaja Opera" Theatre with young Italian singers and the Russian orchestra; lyric and symphonic concerts in Rumania, Australia, the Damascus Concert celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Unicef World Foundation, for which he received an award for cultural commitment at the UN - New York.
He is often a jury member in international music an lyric contests like "Zandonai" in Riva del Garda, the "Crescendo Prize" 2010 in Florence; he is also constantly present in artistic committees for the selection of young artists at the Accademia del Maggio.
On 4th June 2011 Paolo Bellocci was honoured the title of Perillustre Accademico at the 46th International Prize "Le Muse" in the Hall of the 500, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.


Andrea Portera

He began his activity as a composer very young, following his studies at Cherubini Conservatory of Florence, and especially at the School of Music of Fiesole, where he came into contact with the class of Manzoni and follows the work of the major musical personalities on the international scene. His production, under the sign of a fertile creativity (currently his official catalog consists of 104 works, including chamber music, symphonic works 2 works for theater, etc. ..), won acclaim and awards from major names in the world music, was in fact awarded by Berio, Fedele, Rhim, Morricone, Nishimura, Corghi, Bussotti, Solbiati, Halfter, Vacchi, Sciarrino, Noseda, Claudio Abbado, Osokawa, Luis De Pablo, Talmelli and many more ... His works have been performed by famous orchestras and chamber groups, including the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra RAI Symphony, Symphonic Orchestra of the Slovak Radio Orchestra, the National Estonia, Orchestra of Colors in Athens, SPCO Chamber Orchestra in Minnesosa, Orchestra "Musical Afternoons" in Milan, Chamber Orchestra of Florence, and The Daedalus Ensemble, Fontana Mix, Academy Quartet, Ensemble Gaudeamus, Templum Floridum, Ensemble Italian, etc. ... He also have collaborated with great musicians as pianist Andrea Lucchesini, the violinist Lorenza Borrani, Siringo, Dillon, Ancillotti Attademo, etc. ... and greats directors as Gianandrea Noseda, Chikara Iwamura, Daniel Gazon, Miltos Logiadis, Edward Rosadini, Daniel Kawka, etc. ..
He has had publications by: Suvini Zerboni, RaiTrade, Sconfinarte, Eurarte, Prize Bucchi, Le Monnier, Fondazione Guido d'Arezzo, Hudobne Centrum Slovakia. In 2008 the School of Music of Fiesole has dedicated to the composer the event monographic "Music and Culture" (previously devoted to figures such as Kurtag, Berio, Sciarrino, Fedele, Vacchi etc ...) He collaborates regularly with the magazine "Guitars" as a supervisor of scores and graphic musical. He has realized as author the training manuals for primary schools "Contexts Musicals" and "Contexts Musicals Guide to the Teacher" (Ed. Le Monnier & Knopf). In May 2008 he was professor of the master-class analysis for the OGI 's Academy. For the theater has collaborated with various writers, actors, choreographers, including Stephen Massini, Sandro Lombardo, Michele Placido, Ottavia Piccolo, Milena Vukotic, Keith Ferrone, Native, etc. ... In March 2009 he was professor of "Graphics in Contemporary Music" at European Academy of the Quartet. He is the new artistic adviser of the Ensemble Counterpoint. Actually he's teacher at the Music School of Fiesole in composition, musical analysis, word-processing and complementary harmony.

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.

Sergey Ekimov

Composer, conductor, member of the Russia Composers Union, 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, assistant professor 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.
Yekimov is the graduate of the St. Petersburg State N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire, where he studied choir conducting (professor F. M. Kozlov) and composition (professor Yu. Falik). Post- graduate education was completed by him in 2011 at the class of V. V. Uspensky.
During the period of 1993-2009 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, 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 was also the participant and chairman of the jury at different choral festivals and contests.

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