Jury 2019


Federico Bardazzi, Artistic Director of the Festival

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.

Jürgen Partaj, Permanent Chairman of the Jury

Jürgen Partaj was born in Vienna into a family of music enthusiasts and so came into early contact with the Austrian choral scene. He studied violin with Eva Bru and attended master classes with Christian Altenburger and Ernst Kovacic. Initially he was active purely in the field of classical music in solo, chamber music and orchestral projects but his concert activity gradually shifted towards crossover. His musical career is complemented by performances with Oscar winner Glen Hansard, concerts as a guest musician in various international performing groups, several CD productions, broadcasts on international TV and radio stations as well as the musical direction at festivals and theatre productions, among others in the framework of the Wiener Festwochen. Besides his musical activities Jürgen Partaj graduated in law with a focus on arts law and founded a music agency in 2000 that specialized in international orchestral and choral tour management.
Jürgen Partaj had the opportunity to work with outstanding musicians such as Elina Garanca, Julian Rachlin, Joe Zawinul, Randy Newman, Lalo Schifrin and with choral conductors such as Erwin Ortner, Robert Page and Simon Carrington. Jürgen Partaj was founder and director of the contemporary music festival at Schloss Ebelsberg before he founded the “Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival” in 2007 together with the Association Via Musica – a festival for youth choirs and youth orchestras from all over the world. As intendant and artistic director, he annually creates over 200 music events in seven European countries.
The festival annually offers concerts, competitions, workshops and intercultural exchange events for around 2.000 participants, among others in the Musikverein (Golden Hall), the Konzerthaus, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Imperial Palace, the Vienna City Hall and the University of Music as well as in Prague’s Smetana Hall. With the establishment and the artistic direction of the youth choir “Neue Wiener Stimmen” in 2010 Jürgen Partaj was able to make a lasting impression in his hometown.
Despite its short existence the Neue Wiener Stimmen can already look back on tours in Austria and abroad, CD and DVD recordings, performances in the most important concert venues in Vienna, at the Life Ball, at the EXPO 2015 in Milan and acclaimed projects with the RSO Vienna, the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Max Steiner Orchestra.
Jürgen Partaj is working with the Austrian Composers Society and is much sought after as a jury member of international music competitions.

Ester Maria Castriota, Jury Member

She graduated in singing and in vocal chamber music at the “L.Cherubini “of Florence.
She perfectioned with Daniel Ferro, Anastasia Tomaszeswka in the opera repertoire, with Jill Feldman in the Baroque repertoire, with Dalton Baldwin, Liliana Poli, Julia Hamari, in the liederistic and contemporary repertoire. As a soloist and in chamber formations, she is a guest of concert seasons and shows in Italy and abroad(Friends of Music of Modena, Florence, Ravenna- Festival, G.A.M.O. of Florence, IUC of Rome,Sinfonia en Perigord etc.). She collaborates with various ensembles: Arte-Musica (Gesualdo da Venosa, IV bookof madrigals), Artemisia Chapel (C. Margherita Cozzolani, Vespri), ASeivoci (C. Monteverdi, Selvamoral and spiritual).
She plays roles in Orpheus of Monteverdi (Ravenna, Alighieri Theatre), Dido and Aeneas of Purcell (Florence, Palazzo Vecchio), Erminia sul Giordano by Michelangelo Rossi (Pistoia), in the Folksongs of Luciano Berio in scenic form (Parma Teatro Studio), in La Bohème (Rome).
She gets the III prize in the Valentino Bucchi contest “Il canto nel ‘900” (Rome 1996).
She recorded for Dynamic, Tactus, Edipan, Esperia labels.
She is Professor of Singing at the “L. Cherubini “of Florence.

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