Mixed Choir of the Latvian Academy of Culture »Sola«
Conductor Kaspars Adamsons
(Riga, Latvia)

Winner of
International May Choir Competition 2016

Choir “Sōla” of the Latvian Academy of Culture was founded in 1998. The choir’s artistic director is Kaspars Ādamsons, working together with conductors Laura Štoma and Artūrs Oskars Mitrevics, as well as the vocal coach Saiva Treide. “Sōla” choir’s creative biography includes concerts with programs of various genres and styles, as well as cooperation with other groups of performers in diverse musical projects and charity events. “Sōla” participates in a regular basis in choir competitions and festivals both in Latvia and abroad, thus promoting Latvian choral music traditions beyond the country’s borders. In addition to various accomplishments and awards in national and international choir competitions, “Sōla” has also released several CD recordings and was in 2015 nominated for the Latvian Music Records Award 2014 in the category “Best Vocal and Choir Music Album”.

Choeur National des Jeunes A coeur Joie
Conductor Filippo Maria Bressan
(Lyon, France)

Winner of
Tours Vocal Competition 2016

The National Youth Choir of France was founded in 1999 by the National Association «À Coeur Joie». It consists of thirty singers with ages ranging from 18 to 30, which are recruited by means of an individual audition for their vocal and artistic virtues. Each choir singer commits to a 3-year period. The choir rehearses the summer season during 8 days, and finishes the rehearsal performing their first concert; they also rehearse 6 weekends every year, giving a concert to conclude each of them. In some weekends, they work in meetings with their leaders and choral singing teachers; in some others, the meetings are shaped as «master classes». The choir aims to improve its young singers’ abilities, working with the best masters and singers, and giving them the chance to discover new repertoires, specially when it comes to contemporary music. The responsibility of leading the choir goes to a different conductor every three years; nowadays is on the hands of the Italian Filippo Maria Bressan, who is helped by the French Agnès Brosset as a vocal coach. He has succeeded Régine Théodoresco, Fred Sjöberg (Sweden), Valérie Fayet, Jean-Marie Puissant and Antoine Dubois (France) on that task. The choir has performed many tours in France and abroad (Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, China, Sweden, Germany). The choir has won two Grand Prizes in Arezzo (2007) and Tours (2016).

Ponomarev Children’s Choir »Vesna«
Conductor Nadezhda Averina
(Moscow, Russia)

Winner of
Béla Bartók International Choir Competition Debrecen 2016

The Children’s Choir »Vesna« («Spring») is the senior choir of the »Vesna« School of Children’s Choir, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2015. The school is a unique educational and creative institution founded by the great Master Alexander Ponomarev (1938-2012). Since 2012 the choir has been led by his student Nadezhda Averina, professor of Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and winner of many international competitions. The Children’s Choir »Vesna« is well-known internationally, due to the many awards that has won in the most prestigious choral contests worldwide: Bulgaria, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Canada, France. In 2000, the choir won the 12th European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in Tolosa. The last awards of the choir are the 1st Prize and Grand Prize in Tolosa (Spain, 2006), Grand Prize in Nyiregyhasza (Hungary, 2010), 1st Prize and Grand Prize in Malcesine (Italy, 2012), 1st Prize in the International Choral Contest in Belgium (2014) and the Händel International Choral Festival-Contest in Germany (2014); all conducted by Nadezhda Averina. The Choir’s repertory is wide and varied. During these years, it has sung hundreds of pieces of classical and modern music of different epochs, countries, styles and genres. The choir has recorded 13 CDs as well as many television and radio shows.

Philippine Madrigal Singers
Choirmaster Mark Anthony A. Carpio
(Quezon City, Philippines)

Winner of
International Guido d’Arezzo Polyphonic Contest 2016

The Philippine Madrigal Singers was founded in 1963 by Professor Andrea O. Veneracion. Since that time, it has become one of the world’s most awarded choirs, having consistently won all the top prizes in most of the world’s prestigious choral competitions: Arezzo and Gorizia in Italy, Marktoberdorf in Germany, Spittal in Austria, Neuchatel in Switzerland, Tours in France, Varna in Bulgaria, Debrechen in Hungary, and Cantonigròs, Tolosa and Torrevieja in Spain. It also bears the distinction of being the first choir ever to win the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing twice (1997 and 2007). Now, under the direction of Mark Anthony Carpio, the ensemble continues to perform a wide repertoire of various styles and forms: Renaissance music, Classical music, Filipino and international folksongs, contemporary and avant-garde music, opera and even popular music. Their specialization and focus on the madrigal idiom has inspired their unique set-up of singing while seated in a semi-circle, without a conductor.

Batavia Madrigal Singers
Conductor Avip Priatna
(Jakarta, Indonesia)

Winner of
Tolosa Choral Competition 2016

Batavia Madrigal Singers is one of the best mixed choirs from Indonesia, and is the Indonesian choir which has amassed the greatest number of prizes in prestigious competitions. Made up of highly qualified and well-trained singers, it is capable of performing choral works from diverse genres, styles and levels of difficulty. Its repertoire ranges from classical to popular, from baroque to modern and contemporary, from sacred to secular, as well as popular traditional Indonesian songs which are well choreographed. Founded in 1996, it comprises amateur singers from the Jakarta area of different ages, ethnic origin, occupation and religion. All members were carefully selected through competitive auditions. Avip Priatna has directed the group since its formation, and with his exceptional musical talent, experience and strong leadership has brought it to the highest level of artistic excellence.  In 2011 the group made history in Torrevieja when it won five prizes in the 57th International Habaneras and Polyphony Contest.  It was the best performance by a choir in this competition, held since 1954. The following year, the group won the grand prize in Varna (Bulgaria), giving it the right to compete in the 2013 European Grand Prix for Choral Singing (EGP) against winners from the 2012 Grand Prix. This is an extraordinarily notable achievement, since the group has been the first and only Indonesian choir to compete in the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. In 2015, the group competed in the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf in Germany and won third place. In 2016 the choir wins the Grand Prix in Tolosa and nomination to participate at the 29th European Grand Prix for choral singing that will be held in Tolosa on the 1st of November 2017.