From Friday 12th to Sunday 14th April, the Union Hall in Maribor will once again host the prestigious Gallus International Choral Competition – Maribor 2019, which takes place every two years and is known globally as one of the toughest competitions of its kind. The winner will go on to qualify for the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing held in July 2020 in Debrecen, Hungary. Thirteen groups will take part in this competition, which is being held in Maribor for the fifteenth time, of which there are eight mixed choirs, one female and one male choir, as well as three vocal groups from Europe, Asia and America. The choirs will be judged by a panel made up of five exceptional choir singing experts: chaired by Helena Fojkar Zupančič (Slovenia), with Ambrož Čopi (Slovenia), Jae-joon Lee (South Korea), Manuel Warwitz (Austria/Germany) and Sigvards Klava (Latvia).
From the very first meeting on Friday, April 12th, at 19:00, when the groups first present themselves at the non-competitive concert, guests can be sure to enjoy a wonderful and vivid evening at Union Hall. The performing choirs will present themselves with music typical of their native country.
On Saturday, April 13th, the competitive part will take place. It starts at 10:00 with the compulsory programme and continues in the afternoon at 16:30 with the free programme. From the thirteen groups performing, the expert panel will select five finalists who will then perform once more on the Union Hall stage. On Sunday, April 14th at 11:00, the contestants will compete for the grand prize of the 15th Gallus International Choral Competition – Maribor 2019, which will grant the winner a place at the finals of the 2020 European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. The winner is foreseen to be announced at 15:00, which will then be followed by the award’s ceremony.
At the Gallus International Choral Competition – Maribor 2019, only choirs demonstrating exceptional quality who have the ability to create a diverse and outstanding programme will compete. Each of their programmes will amount to approximately 45 minutes of pure vocal music over the course of the three days. The choirs will present from three to four compositions: a comprehensive composition typical of their native country (non-competitive concert), a composition from a historical period, and a free composition, while the five top choirs will present one more in the final.
The Gallus International Choral Competition – Maribor 2019 also promotes Slovenian music in the world, as it has introduced into the compulsory programme a composition by Jacobus Handl Gallus of the choir’s own choice, as well as a Slovenian folk song adaptation; this year the song is Zarja, in which composer Damijan Močnik has brought together melodies from several different regions.
In 2008, the Gallus Maribor International Choral Competition was accepted into the exclusive association for the European Grand Prix in choral singing, in which there are five European cities, in addition to Maribor, from countries with a rich choral history: Varna in Bulgaria, Tours in France, Arezzo in Italy, Debrecen in Hungary and Tolosa in Spain. The European Grand Prix, where this year’s winning choir will compete, will take place next year at the start of July in Debrecen, Hungary.