Jury 2015

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The Jury is composed by international acclaimed artists as orchestra conductors, choir conductors, opera singers, composers. The Jury of the 4th edition of Florence International Choir Festival will be composed by the following members:
• John Damsma
• Gabriele Giacomelli
• Noriko Ieda
• Gaetano Lorandi Winner of 1st Morricone Competition

John Damsma

JOHN DAMSMA studied at the North Netherlands Conservatory in Groningen. The main subjects were cello (with Anner Bylsma), school music and orchestra conducting. During his orchestra conducting study, he studied also the subjects composition and orchestration.
After a short career as tutti cellist, he spent 20 years working as director of a music school, conductor of the choir and symphony orchestra of the University of Groningen, chief conductor of the Frisian Chamber Orchestra and several chamber choirs.
He performed in Hungary and Poland with the choir 'Trans'. With the same choir he conducted the world premieres the work of the Dutch composers Daan Manneke, Jacob ter Veldhuis (JacobTV) and others. 
Besides his career as a classical musician John Damsma has always dealt with the light (rhythmical) music, first as a drummer and later as a trombone player in some jazz ensembles.
Furthermore he focused on training of choral conductors in light music in the specialization courses in The Netherlands.
John Damsma founded the, in The Netherlands well-known, vocalgoup 'Tight Bars' and the women's choir 'Mrs. Johnson'.
Later he started a new vocal group called '1for12', the winner of the 'North Netherland a Cappella Close Harmony Festival'.
He is co-author of 'Let's Work it Out', a handbook for light music conductors.
For the Dutch National Support and Art Development he worked on the edition for vision and ideas for the musical development.
As a guest lecturer John taught vocal light music workshops at the Music Academy in Poznan (Poland). 
John writes arrangements for various choirs and instrumental ensembles which are often perform by diverse ensemble.
On behalf of the "EUROCHOR 2007" he arranged the song 'Laura'. The Belgian conductor and composer Kurt Bikkembergs conducted the world premiere.
At this moment he is Artistic Director and General Chairman of the jury of The Netherlands Choir Festival. 
He is also chairman of the jury and member of the artistic committee of the 'European Music Festival for Youth' in Neerpelt (Belgium) and he has the same function at the international festival 'CantaRode'. 
John is invited every year to the international Youth Festival in Bratislava as a jurymember.
Also at the festival 'Legnica Cantat' (Poland) he was a member of the jury.
John Damsma is much demanded as a juror at several festivals in several in The Netherlands as well as abroad.

Noriko Ieda

NORIKO IEDA, now one of Japan's treasured soprano voices, began her opera career as;'Masha' in The Queen of Spades directed by a world's maestro Seiji Ozawa, right after graduating from the Tokyo College of Music.
She went on to perform at stages produced by Japan's such leading music establishments as the New National Theater in Tokyo, Fujiwara Opera, Nihon Opera Kyokai, the Tokyo Chamber Opera Theater and the Japan Operetta Society.
She admits her unique opportunities to have worked with star singers like Giuseppe Taddei, Renato Bruson, Ruggero Raimondi, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Pietro Ballo, Fiorenza Cedorins, Mariella Devia, and Andrea Rost.
Also many of her stages were orchestrated by prominent conductors including Anton Guadagno, Gianandrea Noseda, Alain Guingal, Gustav Kuhn, Marco Boemi, Taijiro Iimori, Norichika Iimori, Michiyoshi Inoue, Naoto Ohtomo, Kazushi Ohno, Seiji Ozawa, Tadaaki Odaka, Hikonori Kikuchi, Makoto Suehiro and Hiroshi Wakasugi.
Backing her brilliant voices and acting prowess, her profound insights into opera works and interpretation of emotional bits and pieces have gathered appreciation from the opera directors.
In particular, NORIKO IEDA made her name as 'Pamina' in The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflote) at the 5th anniversary concert of the Yokosuka Art Theatre as well as 'Madame Cortese' in The Journey to Reims (Il Viaggio a Reims) at the 5th anniversary concert of the Japan Rossini Society.
She has special attachment to the opera 'Yuzuru' (Twilight Crane), composed by Ikuma Dan. It is based on a popular folk tale which has long been told on Sado Island (Niigata Prefecture) in the Sea of Japan, where she sang for its title role 'Tsu'. She played the same role on the 60th anniversary of the Bunkyo Ward Government in Tokyo (September 4, 2007)、in Matsumoto City and Komagane City, Nagano Prefecture (September 14, 2008 and October 11,2009 in each city). The performance was also held in Sado City on September 21, 2009 for commemorating the 15th anniversary of the opening of Sado Amusement Grand Hall and the 5th anniversary of Sado City Government,at Niigata Convention Center "Toki Messe" on September 25, 2010,on July 2010,in Rome and Paris will be a hot topic. May 2012, June 2013 Shinichiro Ikebe composer opera " Yaoya Oshichi " produced starring. In March 2013 Japan-Vietnam diplomatic relations between the 40th anniversary of the opera "Yuzuru" and starred in Hanoi, Vietnam performances. March 2014, Japan Opera Association "Shunkinsh?" its title role 'Shunkin" get a high reputation.
Other acclaimed title roles include; Madame Butterfly, Tosca, Kat'a Kavanova, 'Mimi' in La Boheme, 'Violetta' in La Traviata, 'Michaela' in Carmen, 'Nedda' in The Clowns (I Pagliacci), 'Adina' in The Elixir of Love (D'elisir D'amore), 'Fiordiligi' in Thus Do They All (Cosi Fan Tutte), 'Donna Elvira' in Don Giovanni, 'Rosalinde' in The Bat (Die Fledermaus), 'Hanna' in Merry Widow (Die Lustige Witwe), 'Margarete' in Faust and 'Maria' in The Sound of Music.
At the newly-opened prestigious New National Theatre in Tokyo, she gained many fans with her charm and depth as 'Frasquita' in Carmen, 'Pedro' in Don Quixote (Don Quichotte), 'Anna' in Nabucco, 'Thibault (Tebaldo)' in Don Carlos (Don Carlo), 'Annina' in La Traviata and 'Hannchen' in The Opera Rehearsal (Die Opernprobe).
NORIKO IEDA is always challenging. She sang Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand in a subscription concert of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. She also joined such orchestras as; the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Japan Shinsei Symphony Orchestra, the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra and the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra.
Through these challenges, she has constantly expanded her wide-ranging repertoire including; Symphony No.9, Messiah, Mozart's Requiem and Coronation Mass (Kronugsmesse), Mahler's Resurrection (Auferstehung), Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise (Lobgesang),  Rossini's Little Solemn Mass (Petite Missa Solennelle), Schumann's Requiem and Schonberg's Moonstruck Pierrot (Pierrot lunaire).
For those on the wave, her performance is beamed in radio programs like FM Recital and Best of the Classics by Japan's NHK-FM. She joined the Suk Chamber Orchestra during its Japan concerts. On stage abroad, she grabbed hearts of Romanians in Madame Butterfly for the subscription concert of the Targu Mures Philharmonic Orchestra. In South Korea, she has become a frequent guest performer for the Seoul National Symphony Orchestra, the Gangneung Philharmonic Orchestra and the subscription concert of the Korea Oratorio Singers.
In China, she sang R. Strauss's Four Last Songs (Vier Letzte Lieder) for the subscription concert of the Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra. Later, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Japan-China diplomatic normalization, she was invited to Dalian for a commemorative concert.
Her soprano, graceful and beautiful, coupled with her distinguished singing and acting skills, has captivated numerous audiences everywhere she sings.
Her first CD is: "Eternamente-Eternally" (wwcc-7462 Nami Records Co.,Ltd.),the second one is "Natsukashiki Omoi-Yoimachigusa" (wwcc-7535 Nami Records Co.,Ltd.) and the third one is  "Vissi d'arte,vissi d'amore" (wwcc-7588 Nami Records Co.,Ltd.).
Her web site:  www.iedanoriko.com
NORIKO IEDA is a member of Fujiwara Opera, the Japan Federation of Musicians and serves on the steering committee of the Japanese Rossini Society.

Gabriele Giacomelli

GABRIELE GIACOMELLI, italian organist and musicologist, graduated in piano and organ with the highest honors from the «L. Cherubini» Conservatory of Firenze, where he studied with Mariella Mochi. He then completed special studies with Stefano Innocenti and took courses in musical interpretation with Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, Michael Radulescu and Harald Vogel. He earned his baccalaureate degree in the history of music with highest honors at the University of Florence.
He gave concert performances in Italy and abroad (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, ex-Jugoslavia, Netherland, Russia, Sweden …), invited by associations and istitutions as: Sagra Musicale Umbra, Festival «Organalia» in Turin, Festival «G. Callido» di Venezia, Organ Festival Oudekerk in Amsterdam, Tretjakovskaja Galereja in Moscow, St. Johannes Orgelfestival in Copenhagen, Organ Festival in Storkyrkan in Stockholm, Festival M. Leclerc in Sens's Cathedral, Organ Concerts in the Ljubljana's Cathedral etc. He recorded a CD (Elegia Records) entitled Domenico Zipoli from the Old World to the New on the ancient organs of his city in which he played the historical organ of the Prato's Cathedral, and a CD (Tactus) entitled Organ Music in Florence from the Medici to Italy's Unification in which he played the historical organs of the San Lorenzo church in Florence. Giacomelli is member of the artistic commission of the Accademia di Musica Italiana per Organo di Pistoia and juror in the International Organ Competition Agati-Tronci.
His articles have been published in scholarly journals (Informazione organistica, L'Organo, The Organ Yearbook, Recercare, Il Saggiatore Musicale ...) and in books published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, LIM, Marsilio, Olschki, Yale University Press ... He has written entries for the dictionary  MGG (Bärenreiter) and for the Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (Treccani). He has authored three books: Antonio Squarcialupi e la tradizione organaria in Toscana, (1992); Gli organi di S. Maria del Fiore di Firenze (1993); O flos colende. Musica per Santa Maria del Fiore (1998). He is coauthor with the violinist Salvatore Accardo of the text book Stradivari (Bompiani, 2012). Giacomelli is Supervisor of the Italian Culture's Ministry for the restoration of the ancient organs of Florence.
He is artistic director of the musical series: O flos colende. Musica sacra a Firenze, organized by the Florence's Cathedral since 1997, and of the Festival Zipoli promoted by the Commune of Prato since 1998. Giacomelli collaborates as musicologist with the Opera di Firenze-Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the ORT-Orchestra della Toscana, the Ravenna Festival etc. He teaches History of Music at the «G. B. Martini» Conservatory in Bologna. 

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.

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