Jury 2016

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The Jury is composed by international acclaimed artists as orchestra conductors, choir conductors, opera singers, composers.
President & Artistic Director of the Festival:
Federico Bardazzi

The Jury of the 5th edition of Florence International Choir Festival will be composed by the following members:
• Andrea Benedetti Winner of 2nd Morricone Competition
• David L. Mennicke
• Francesco Ermini Polacci
• Chu Tai-Li
• Leonardo De Lisi

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.

Andrea Benedetti

ANDREA BENEDETTI, born in Pistoia on 3rd August 1985. He currently studies at "Fiesole Music and Composition School" with K Kachehe and Andrea Portera, and voice technique with Elena Cecchi too. He made his debut at the Festival of Music of Fiesole in 2006 with "After him", for piano. In 2008 he exhibited at the Fiesole School of Music the composition, finalist at the Rosolino Toscano competition, titled "A Ermes", for voice and piano, collaborating with Elena Cecchi (soprano) and Silvia da Boit (piano). This was preceded by the exihibition of his first string quartet in Porto Gruaro "Sotto i cieli di Hamal", performed and conducted by Maestro E. Rosadini. Andrea Benedetti won the second position in the competition Rosolino Toscano in Pescara with "Arachne" (harpsichord composition) and in 2010 he was given the honorable mention thanks to the "mos(H)quiches quartet" to the Veretti competition at Fiesole School of Music. In February 2011 he regained the honorable mention to the Veretti competition thanks to a piece for string trio inspired to Beethoven spectres titled "Anime Dannate"; in 2012 he won the mention of the Pisan contest of the Uccellina Park, with the piece "3 fiabe di Fedro". In January 2013 he created his piece "Dot-project" for the French Theatre of Menton "Theater of Europe" gaining great success with local newspapers quoted ..."to renew the Franco-Italian friendship". In July 2014 the piece for piano and voice "Bu-ba vision" was performed at the Guardian Angel Oratory, the same will be newly performed on the Como Lake at Bellagio Festival. In September 2014 his second quartet (P.VsP) is performed at Palazzo Medici Riccardi. During the same month he created "In Water" for euphonium dedicated to Maestro A. Castelli, performed in Rebus season of the "Dal Verme Theater" in Milan in November 2015. In 2015 spring these pieces were performed in the Cluster association: "Las Meninas" (vib. Clar. fl.) (first prize at the A. Rendano competition (Cz) with Ivan Fedele) and "Creazione di Atum" (4 hands piano). He attended the master for percussion with Maestro M. Cammisa giving birth to the piece "Aedo" for reciting vibraphone". In 2013 he cooperates with Teacher L. Putignano for the chapter of the history of music "Musica e teatro" "L'Armida di Lully", Zanichelli edition. In May 2015 he won first prize to the Morricone competition (Maestro was in the jury) for female a cappella choir "X Gioco". In May 2015 the piece "Disco G" was performed by the florentine orchestra, this is one of the most relevant and representative pieces with LGBT theme; Benedetti is interviewed by Repubblica newspaper about this. Some of his most representative pieces are published at the Sconfinarte publishing house.

David L. Mennicke

Dr. David L. Mennicke is Professor of Music/Chair of the Concordia University, St. Paul Music Department, where he has been Director of Choral Studies since 1989. He is also the Director of adult/youth choirs at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Minneapolis. He graduated summa cum laude from St. Olaf College, with M.M. and DMA degrees from the University of Arizona. He has studied with Kenneth Jennings, Helmuth Rilling, Robert Shaw, Maurice Skones, and Dale Warland. Under his direction, the Concordia, St. Paul Christus Chorus has sung at several conventions of the Minnesota Music Educators Association and ACDA-MN, and for national conferences of the North American Academy of Liturgy and the College Music Society. The choir has toured the U.S., Europe, Africa, and Asia and has received 6 invitations to perform with the Minnesota Orchestra. Mennicke has been clinician for nearly 300 festivals and guest choirs. ACDA of Minnesota awards include: "Outstanding Young Director", "Creative Programming Award", "Minnesota Choral Director of the Year". He conducted the 1999-2000 MN Elementary Choir, National Lutheran Choir (1998, 2006, 2011), Lutheran Summer Music Festival (2001-2005), the 2009-2010 MMEA All-State Men's Choir, and Singers in Accord (2011, 2012, 2014). He served a sabbatical residency at Dar al-Kalima University in Bethlehem, offering choral clinics in Jordan, Palestine, and Israel in the fall of 2014. Mennicke has numerous choral compositions, services, music education materials, and articles published. A tenor soloist, he was a member of the Grammy Award-winning Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and is currently a professional singer in the Minnesota, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Beethoven Festival Chorales.

Francesco Ermini Polacci

Critic and music historian, journalist, lecturer and music organizer, Francesco Ermini Polacci has studied music (piano, choral singing) and graduated in Literature at the University of Florence with highest honors. He is artistic director of the music festival "Note al Museo", made by the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence at the New Museum. He is Director of Communications and musical consultant of the "Amici della Musica" of Florence, for which he artistically curated the Festival "Settembre Musica". He is member of the artistic committee of the Concorso Internazionale Città di Firenze Premio "Vittorio Gui". He is the holder music critic of the "Corriere Fiorentino" Tuscan version of "Il Corriere della Sera", and writes for numerous magazines, including "Amadeus" and "Il Giornale della Musica". He regularly collaborates with Rete Toscana Classica since the foundation (2002), taking a monthly column to record information and taking care of various depth cycles. He signs the program notes for the major Italian concert and theatrical associations, and frequently holds conferences for various cultural institutions. Even teacher of the music critics Laboratory at the Faculty of Arts (DAMS) of the University of Florence, from 2011 he takes a course in History of Melodrama for the Università dell'Età Libera of Florence. In 2013 he collaborated with the publisher De Agostini as an author of historical and popular texts for the series "Classica in vinile – 33 giri" distributed on newsstands. The Dictionary of Music and Musicians, published by UTET dedicated him a biographical entry in the last volume.

Chu Tai-Li

Italy-based soprano Chu Tai-Li was born in Taiwan of a well-known musical family. She graduated to Conservatorio S. Cecilia of Rome whith distinction in 1976.
After having studied at Accademia S. Cecilia, Accademia Chigiana and Sommerakademie Mozarteum with Maestri: Giorgio Favaretto, Tito Gobbi, Mario Del Monaco, Gianna Pederzini, Ettore Campogalliani , which awarded scholarship to her on a yearly basis. In 1980, especially, she was awarded Diploma D'Onore by the Accademia Chigiana , an honorary award bestowed upon talented students. 
In 1979, she won the first prize of the Toti Dal Monte International Competition for Singers. In 1980, she won the first prize at the International Opera Competition held by the Opera House Regio Di Torino. The success opened the door other career as a professional singer.
Audience has since listened to Tai-Li's performances at prominent venues such as Teatro dell'Opera Di Roma, La Fenice Di Venezia, Regio Di Torino, San Carlo Di Napoli, Massimo Di Palermo, Filarmonico Di Verona, Royal Opera di Madrid, Festiva Baden Baden, Festiva Biennale Di Venezia, Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Accademia Santa Cecilia, RAI di Roma, RAI di Torino, I Virtuosi Di Roma, France, Austrian, Letonia, Belgium, Cina, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong etc.
She received the Nationnal Arts Award of Taiwan in 1987 , an honor given by the government only to the most outstanding Taiwanese classical music artist.
On top of her busy opera- concert schedule , Tai-Li is also a highly respected teacher. Hundreds of students from Europe, Asia and America- many of them professional performers and educators- congregate for her master-classes. Tai-Li Chu is currently a voice professor at Conservatorio Di Musica F.E.Dall'Abaco Di Verona. She was also appointed as an Honorary Professor by the Central Conservatory of Music of Beijing at Cina and Honorary Professor by the National Taiwan Normal University.

Leonardo De Lisi

Leonardo De Lisi is internationally renown as a fine performer of the Art Song repertoire. He has been active as a recitalist for thirty years throughout the world, after an intense period of studies with Gérard Souzay, Dalton Baldwin, Elly Ameling, Irwin Gage and following success in many competitions devoted to the Lied and Art Song, such as the Hugo Wolf Competition in Stuttgart, the Walter Gruner Lied Contest in London, the Ravel Prize in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the Seghizzi International Contest in Gorizia, the Conegliano Veneto Price, and the 1st prize Lied category at the 1994 IVC 's-Hertogenbosch Dutch Competition. Among several CD recordings, he has been particularly appreciated for the complete Respighi songs for Channel Classics and the title role in Gasparini's "Il Bajazet" for Glossa. As a pupil of Claudio Desderi and Ileana Cotrubas he has also sung worldwide as an operatic leading tenor: Monteverdi, Haendel, Vivaldi, Mozart, Wolf-Ferrari, Stravinsky, Maderna, Penderecki, Britten, Francesconi. In 2009 EMI included the recording of one aria by Vivaldi performed by De Lisi in a CD coffret "100 Best tenor voices". He sang under some of the most prestigious baguettes, such as Gavazzeni, Prêtre, Maag, Plasson, Lloyd-Johnson, Luisi, Vasary, Gorli, Pfaff, Bartoletti, Bellugi, Rattle, Christie, Malgoire, Curtis and Aprea. He has been teaching Art Song, Oratorio and Lied at the Firenze Conservatory since 1998.

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