Jury 2014

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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 3rd edition of Florence International Choir Festival will be composed by the following members:
• Gaetano Lorandi Winner of 1st Morricone Competition
• Sergey Ekimov
• Milan Kolena
• Maria Costanza Nocentini

Gaetano Lorandi

Gaetano Lorandi was born in Thiene (Vicenza - Italy) in 1960. He took a music degree in Organ and Organ Composing under the teaching of Renzo Buja at "F. E. Dall'Abaco" State Conservatory in Verona. He attended master classes under Jean Langlais, Ton Koopman and Emilia Fadini.
He started studying Harmony with Natalino Tacchetti and Antonio Zanon and then he took a Composing degree with Wolfango Dalla Vecchia and G. Bonato at "C. Pollini" State Conservatory in Padua. He has also attended the Electronic Music Course at the same Conservatory in Padua.

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.

Maria Costanza Nocentini

Born in Florence, Maria Costanza Nocentini studied with Suzanne Danco and graduated "cum laude" at the G. B. Martini Conservatory of Bologna. After her diploma she took part in a Mozart project managed by Claudio Desderi making her debuts in the roles of Despina in Così fan tutte, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and Zerlina in Don Giovanni.
Winner of the 1992 edition of the «Toti Dal Monte» Competition and of the International «Viotti» Competition in Vercelli, Maria Costanza Nocentini has also received a special prize for the best Rossini interpretation and the special «Miguel Cervantes» prize at the «Francesco Viñas» Competition in Barcelona.
Since her debuts, Maria Costanza Nocentini has been invited by some of the most important theatrical institutions in Italy (Teatro alla Scala, Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro Valli di Reggio Emilia, Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli, Teatro Regio di Parma, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Teatro Comunale di Firenze, Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Teatro Verdi di Trieste, Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Spoleto Festival, Festival of Martina Franca, Festival of Cremona), and abroad (among them, the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, New Israeli Opera, Salzburg Festival, Bayerischer Staatsoper, Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile, Wiener Staatsoper, Scottish Opera of Glasgow, Opéra de Nice, Teatro de La Maestranza in Seville, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Tokyo Japan Opera Foundation, New Zealand Opera,Opernahus in Zurich, Stockholm Royal Opera, Malmoe Opera).
On the concert side, she has performed with several important orchestras and musical institutions, such as the Festival International in Beaune, the Amici della Musica di Firenze, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia di Roma, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Festival Siglas de Oro of Madrid.
During her concert and operatic activities, she has the chance to collaborate with such conductors as R. Alessandrini, M. Benini, F. Biondi, F. Brüggen, G. Carella, M. W. Chung, R. Clemencic, A. Davies, G. Gelmetti, M. Guidarini, C. Hogwood, L. Langrée, L. Maazel, R. Muti, D. Oren, D. Parry, E. Pidò, C. Rousset, C. Rovaris, J. Tate, as well as with stage directors as P. Avati, F. Crivelli, A. Fassini, M. Hampe, N. Joël, P. L. Pizzi, L. Puggelli, J. Taymor, M. van Hoecke, G. Vick, H. Wernicke, F. Zeffirelli, Kaper Bech Holten.
Her discography includes Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali recorded for Ricordi, La princesse jaune by Saint-Saëns for Chandos, and Mercadante's Emma d'Antiochia on the Opera Rara label.
From February 2012 she's singing teacher at the Conservatory of Music "G. Verdi" in Como. 

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