During WSCM11, some of the selected choirs will premier new compositions of 16 renowned composers:
Ēriks Ešenvalds, Latvia
Ēriks Ešenvalds is one of the most sought-after choral composers working today, with a busy commission schedule and performances of his music heard on every continent. Born in Riga in 1977, he studied at the Latvian Baptist Theological Seminary (1995-97) before obtaining his Masters degree in composition (2004) from the Latvian Academy of Music under the tutelage of Selga Mence. From 2002-2011 he was a member of the State Choir "Latvija". In 2011 he was awarded the two-year position of Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge University.
Ēriks Ešenvalds has won multiple awards for his work, including the Latvian Great Music Prize (2005 & 2007). The International Rostrum of Composers awarded him first prize in 2006 for The Legend of the Walled-in Woman; he was made a laureate of the Copyright Award in 2006 and was "The Year's New-Composer Discovery" of the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2010, the same year he was nominated for the British Composer Award. In 2011 the Kamēr Youth Choir's CD O Salutaris featuring choral music exclusively by Ēriks Ešenvalds won the Latvian Music Records Award as the best academic music album of the year. In 2014 the State Choir "Latvija"'s CD At the Foot of the Sky featuring choral music exclusively by Ēriks Ešenvalds won the Latvian Music Records Award.
April 2015 sees the world premiere in Riga of a new multimedia symphony based on the Northern Lights, with premieres in the USA, Australia, Germany and the UK to follow. His compositions appear on recordings from Trinity College Choir, Cambridge on the Hyperion label and from VOCES8 on Decca Classics.
Javier Busto, Basque Country
Javier Busto born in Hondarribia (Basque Country-Spain) in 1949. He was graduated in Medicine by the University of Valladolid. He works as a family doctor between 1977 and 2013, year of his retirement. He was initiated into choral music by Erwin List. He was the conductor of Ederki Choir in Valladolid (1971-1976), founder-Conductor of Eskifaia Choir in Hondarribia (1978-1994), founder-Conductor of Kanta Cantemus Korua in Gipuzkoa (1995 - 2007) and founder-Conductor of Aqua Lauda Korua in Gipuzkoa (2014).
His scores are being published in Basque Country, France, Germany, Japan, USA, United Kingdom and Sweden. He takes part as a jury in international composition and interpretation competitions for choirs. He was invited at the "IV World Symposium on Choral Music in Sydney, Australia in 1996.
Throughout his career he has won numerous awards including: Golden badge in his hometown, Hondarribia (1999), Orfeón Donostiarra & University of the Basque Country Award (2012). He was invited at "8th World Choir Games - Riga (Latvia) 2014", at "Calella Canta al Mar" - Event Interkultur - Calella-Barcelona- 2015 and the "4º Festival Internacional de Coros de Cámara de Tlaxcala (México) - 2015. He was invited as a jury at "Orientale Concentus IX International Choral Competition, Singapore - 2016, at "SAN JUAN CANTA" International Choir Competition and Festival, San Juan (Argentina) 2016 and he was the guest conductor at “MADRYN CANTA”, Puerto Madryn, Argentina, 2016.
Bob Chilcott, United Kingdom
Bob Chilcott, described by The Observer as “a contemporary hero of British Choral Music”, is one of the most widely performed composers of choral music in the world. He has a large catalogue of works published by Oxford University Press reflecting a wide taste in music styles and a commitment to writing highly singable and communicative music.
His larger works include Salisbury Vespers, 2009, the Requiem, 2010, and the St John Passion, 2013. The Requiem has been performed in over 16 countries, and the Passion is recorded by Wells Cathedral Choir. The Gloria, 2015, was the culmination of a composer-in-residence project and performed in the USA and Germany. The Voyage is an extended work drawing together a chamber choir, youth choir, and community choir for Age UK’s Campaign to End Loneliness. He has an extensive catalogue of sacred music, and composed The King shall rejoice for the service at Westminster Abbey celebrating the diamond jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II. He is regularly commissioned to write music for upper voices, and The Angry Planet was premièred in the 2012 BBC Proms and is recorded by The Bach Choir, BBC Singers and young voices from Greater London. A Little Jazz Mass and Can you hear me? remain favourites with choirs around the world.
Between 1997 and 2004 he conducted the chorus of The Royal College of Music and since 2002 has been Principal Guest Conductor of The BBC Singers. He has conducted choirs in 30 countries over the last decade, recently in Russia, Canada, USA, Japan, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
His music has been recorded by groups including Tenebrae, The Cambridge Singers, King’s College, Cambridge, and Westminster Abbey Choir. Signum has six discs of his music, by the BBC Singers, King’s Singers, The Sirens, NFL Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir, Tenebrae, and Wells Cathedral Choir, and his Requiem is on Hyperion. There are two albums on Naxos, by The Wellensian Consort and Commotio, and in 2016 Commotio records a third, which includes the Nidaros Jazz Mass and Jazz Songs of Innocence.
Peter Louis Van Dijk, south-africa
Péter Louis van Dijk is an internationally performed composer. His works include Horizons (for The King’s Singers), Bells (Chicago Children’s Choir) and a string quartet, iinyembezi (recorded by Sontonga). Recent works include the song the san women sang (for two pianos) for the Mainzer Klavierduo, a Magnificat for the NMMU Choir and Sontonga Quartet and Windy City Songs for soloists, double choir and orchestra, commissioned by the Chicago Children’s Choir for their 50th Anniversary Concert in June 2007. He has more than a dozen CD’s to his credit and is published by Oxford University Press, Hal Leonard, Accolade Musikverlag, Prestige and under the Marco Polo label. Other compositions include two ballets, several choral-orchestral works including The Musicians of Bremen, The Selfish Giant, Follow that Flute!, Youth Requiem, San Gloria, About Nothing (for orchestra), a Te Deum and numerous orchestral arrangements of African songs such as Bawo Thixo Somandla, Akhala Amaqhude Amabile, Ntsikana’s Hymn and others.
Dr van Dijk has lectured at the University of Cape Town (composition and orchestration), the University of the Western Cape (recorder and education) and until recently, was Senior Lecturer in Composition and Musicology at Rhodes University. He currently assists his wife, Junita Lamprecht-Van Dijk teaching choral conducting at post graduate level at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth. As a conductor he has conducted most major South African orchestras and in 1996 conducted his San Gloria in Chicago with the Chicago Children’s Choir and the CYSO. At nineteen, Van Dijk wrote his first opera, The Contract followed by a second opera, Die Noodsein. After a decade of secondary and tertiary teaching, Van Dijk was invited to join the CAPAB Music Department in 1984 as Assistant Music Manager. Since September 1986 Van Dijk has pursued a career as freelance composer, conductor and part-time lecturer.
György Orbán, hungary
Hungarian composer, György ORBÁN was born in Transylvania, Romania, in 1947. He studied composition at the music academy of Cluj-Napoca/Kolozsvár/Clausenburg, a par excellence multicultural centre of Transylvania. After graduating in 1973 as a student of Sigismund Toduta and János Jagamas, he taught music theory at the same institute. Since 1979 he lives in Hungary. Besides working as music editor at Editio Musica Budapest between 1979 and 1990, he had been teaching composition and music theory between 1980 and 2009 at the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy of Budapest. Orbán is condecorated with several professional acknowledgements, such as Bartók Béla-Pásztory Ditta Award (1991), Erkel Ferenc Prize (2002), Artisjus Award (2005) and Kossuth Prize (2014).
Up to now his oeuvre is dominated by oratorical compositions and choral works. His instrumental compositions are varied from symphonic pieces, instrumental-vocal combination (songs with accompaniment of one or more instruments) to brass music, and, of course, chamber music. He also enriched the musical scene of Hungary with his operas. Orbán’s choral compositions root in the Hungarian choral traditions, and though partly written for liturgical use, include jazz-like elements. His songs often show up his remarkable sense of humour and great affinity for the grotesque. Several masses of his – with symphony orchestra or organ accompaniment – find their ways to the choirs all over the world. Orbán's international choral début has been in Sydney (1996) at the 4th World Symposium on Choral Music. There his newly published octavos and also some of his more extended works were introduced by John Rutter, in the framework of a highly successful reading session. He was an invited lecturer in 2000, in Madison WI at the North Central Regional convention of ACDA. György Orbán's works are published by Hinshaw Music Inc. Chapel Hill, NC (United States), Editio Ferrimontana Frankfurt am Main (Germany) and Editio Musica Budapest (Hungary).
Hideki Chihara, japan
Born on 1957, Hideki Chihara has graduated from the Department of Composition, Faculty of Music, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, then completed the Master course of the Graduate School of Music in the same University. The University Art Museum has procured his work.
He has achieved awards in multiple composition competitions such as the Japan Music Competition, Award of Excellence in the Shin-Nami no kai Vocal Music Composition Competition, Premio Citta di Trieste (Trieste, Italy), Carl Maria von Weber Preis (Dresden, Germany), and Concorso internazionale di composizione «Guido d'Arezzo» (Arezzo, Italy). His styles of chorus music have four axes, which constitutes his multifaceted music, namely the “Chihara-World”: One, music based on Japanese traditional literature, performing arts, and folk music, such as ‘Shoga’by solemnization used with the Japanese traditional instruments, and ‘Ajime no Waza’ by ancient Shinto requiems. Two, music with the theme of “Mixture of Orient-Occident Culture (Music)” that shows the interaction of the Japanese ethnicity and religion with Western Europe, which his Kirishitan music series such as ‘Orasho’(by Japanese medieval Christian text and Latin sacred songs) represents. Three, works incorporating the aspect of Japanese-unique popular music, such as ‘Miyako-wasure’. Four, works showing Hideki’s own understanding/claim of Chorus = Classical Music in Japan, such as ‘Winterreise (Franz Schubert)’ and ‘Hideki Chihara Chorus Transcriptions’.
His works are published from Zen-on music company, edition KAWAI, and Pana Musica.
Guido López Gavilán, cuba
The Cuban composer and conductor Guido López-Gavilán graduated in 1966 from the choral conducting program at the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Havana and in 1973 from the Orchestral Conducting program at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. He has received awards in the most important composition competitions held in Cuba and as a conductor has achieved extraordinary success and received recognition from international critics for outstanding performances in Latin America and Europe. He has also been invited as a guest speaker to many important festivals and musical events at various prestigious universities. In 2005 he was awarded the UNESCO Medal in Chile. His piece Conga, especially written for the Sixth World Symposium of Choral Music, Minneapolis, USA, was premiered at the Symposium’s opening concert. He has also made an outstanding contribution to the development of the Cuban Youth Orchestra Movement, is the President of the Havana Festival and Chairman of the Orchestral Conducting Department at the Instituto Superior de Arte. His style of composition incorporates rhythms from Cuban popular music, polytonality, unconventional sound resources and fi ne lyricism. His music ranges from humorous and joyful compositions to solemn and dramatic works.
Jocelyn Hagen, u.s.a.
Jocelyn Hagen composes music that has been described as “simply magical” (Fanfare Magazine) and “dramatic and deeply moving” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis/St. Paul). Her first forays into composition were via songwriting, and this is very evident in her work. The majority of her compositional output is for the voice: solo, chamber and choral. In 2015, Test Pilot, her dance opera collaboration with choreographer Penelope Freeh, received a Sage Award for “Outstanding Design,” and the panel declared the work “a tour de force of originality.” Her melodic music is rhythmically driven, texturally complex, and has recently become more experimental in nature. In 2013 she released an EP entitled MASHUP, in which she performs Debussy’s “Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum” while singing Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team."
Her commissions include Conspirare, The Minnesota Orchestra, the American Choral Directors Associations of Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut and Texas, the North Dakota Music Teacher’s Association, Cantus, the Boston Brass, The Metropolitan Symphony, and The Houston Chamber Choir, among many others. She is currently an artist-in-residence at North Dakota State University and regularly composes for their ensembles. For ten years she was a composer-in-residence for the professional choir she also sang in: The Singers, under the direction of Matthew Culloton. Her music has been performed all over the world, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City. Her work is independently published through JH Music, as well as Graphite Publishing, G. Schirmer, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Fred Bock Music Publishing, and Boosey and Hawkes.
Bernat Vivancos, catalonia
The musical personality of Bernat Vivancos (Barcelona, 1973) is marked by the impressions received during his school years at the Monastery of Montserrat. Son of a deeply musical family, having completed studies in piano and composition with Maria Canals and David Padrós in Barcelona, he moved to Paris for five years to study composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris -center for avant-garde European music-, with professors Guy Reibel, Frédéric Durieux, Marc-Andre and Alain Dalvabie Louvier, where he graduated on Composition, Orchestration and Analysis. The year of 2000 became a turning point in his career, he discovered the music of Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen, and moved to Oslo to broaden his studies there, in fact, this will mark his musical directions and future work. Thereafter Vivancos style incorporates elements that make his work a unique proposal: a music sound rich of color and textural, modal music converge on Western tradition and the search for a spirituality based on a Spectral harmonic inspiration. These two fundamental aspects represent the strong influence of the nature of Vivancos' work: nature as root and soil, symbol of tradition, but also as a presence that manifests itself consistently in the physical properties of sound.
Since 2003 he is professor of Composition and Orchestration in the Catalonia College of Music (ESMUC) a post he combines with his research activities in the field composition, and the request to participate as member of the jury in international orchestration and composition competitions. From 2007 to 2014 he served as the music director of the Choir of Montserrat. During 2014-2015 he was Composer on Residence, shared with Arvo Pärt, in Palau de la Música Catalana (Barcelona).
He has published several CDs, among which stand out “Blanc” (2011) (doubly rewarded by critics as the best album of 2011), and “Requiem” (2015), both recorded by the famous Latvian Radio Choir conducted by Sigvard Klava (Neu Records). Vivancos’ music, full of limpid sounds and ecstatic harmonies, climbing architectures and resonances of nordic luminosity, aims to unite beauty, sensuality and spirituality. Vivancos has a wide range of vocal and instrumental music, with particular attention to orchestral production, and receives commissions from numerous international ensembles.
Xavier Pagès Corella, catalonia
Xavier Pagès-Corella (Sant Pere de Ribes, 1971) studied piano, composition and conducting in Vienna and Barcelona with Margarita Serrat, Salvador Pueyo, Albert Argudo, Reinhard Schwarz and Georg Mark. In 1994 he won the Competition Josep Mirabent i Magrans for young performers with which he studied conducting and composition with Lou Harrison, Laszlo Heltay and Diego Masson at the Dartington International Summer School. He has collaborated with musicians like Edmon Colomer, Joan Guinjoan, Salvador Mas, Josep Pons and Antoni Ros Marba and has conducted groups such as the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes (Mexico), the Mendoza Philharmonic Orchestra (Argentina), the Philharmonie Thüringen (Germany), the Orchestre de Catalogne (France), the Camerata Eduard Toldrà ant the Orquestra Camera Musicae. He has been main conductor of the Cobla Sant Jordi - City of Barcelona, and the Sitges 94 and Música Mínima ensembles.
As a composer, he has been awarded in several national and international composition awards, such as the Andrés Gaos Composition Prize (A Coruña, 2014), in the International Composition Competition 'City of Tarragona', and the Oare String Orchestra Composing Competition (United Kingdom, 2004). He also has received commissions such as L'Auditori of Barcelona ('Cantània', 2015), the Cervera Music Festival (2014), the Sardanist Federation of Catalonia (2014 ,2012), the Orfeó Català Foundation — Palau de la Música (2006, 2008, 2011), the Sant Cugat Symphony Orchestra (2005), the Pocket Opera Festival of Barcelona (2004) and the Memorial Joaquim Serra (2001). His music has been performed by ensembles such as the Galicia Symphony Orchestra, the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra, Ibiza Symphony Orchestra, the Knox-Galesburg Symphony (USA), the Oare String Orchestra (UK) and contemporary music ensembles such as Platypus (Vienna, Austria) and Neoars Sonora (Granada). A peculiarity of its production is the use of the cobla —a traditional Catalan ensemble— in combination with classical instruments. All his music is published at Influx Sheet Music.
Josep Ollé Sabaté, catalonia
Josep Ollé Sabaté (Tortosa, 1987) began playing the piano and composing when he was seven years old. He received his first composition lessons from Joan Vidal Arasa. In 2005 he moved to Barcelona to study musical pedagogy and composition at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC) where he studied with Bernat Vivancos and Albert Guinovart.
He composes mainly for choir with special focus on Catalan poetry and sacred texts. His works have been performed by Orpheus-Vokalensemble, the C.H.O.I.R. Chor, l’Orfeó Català, PaxCor de Cambra, Cor Infantil SantCugat, Cor de Noies Exaudio, Cor de Noies de l'Arc among other choirs in several European countries. He is also interested in musical theatre and wrote the music of “L’esbudellador de Whitechapel” running in Barcelona (Teatre del Raval) in 2014. He currently combines composing with educating through music at Joventuts Unides (La Sénia) and Escola Municipal de Música Can Ponsic (Barcelona).
Jaako Mäntyjärvi, finland
Jaakko Mäntyjärvi (b. 1963 in Turku, Finland) studied English and Linguistics at the University of Helsinki, graduating with an FK (=MA) degree in 1991; he is accredited as an Authorised Translator from Finnish to English and English to Finnish. He has also studied theory of music and choir conducting at the Sibelius Academy.
As a composer, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi describes himself as an eclectic traditionalist: eclectic in that he adopts influences from a number of styles and periods, fusing them into his own idiom; traditionalist in the sense that his musical language is based on an awareness of tradition, continuity and communicativeness. Because he is himself active in making music, his music is very pragmatic; he is a choral singer, and thus most of his works are for choir. His major choral works include Four Shakespeare Songs (1984), Dagen svalnar... (Day is cooling, 1991/1993), Pseudo-Yoik (1994), El Hambo (1997), More Shakespeare Songs (1997), the choral drama SALVAT 1701 (2001), the 40-part Tentatio (2006) and Stuttgarter Psalmen (2009); Canticum Calamitatis Maritimae received 3rd prize in the European composition competition for cathedral choirs in 1997. His major commissions include works for the Cork International Choral Festival (1999), the 700th anniversary of the consecration of Turku Cathedral (2000), the World Symposium on Choral Music (2008), and for Chanticleer (2001) and the King’s Singers (2002). He was composer-in-residence of the Tapiola Chamber Choir from 2000 to 2005.
Jaakko Mäntyjärvi has been active as an amateur and semi-professional musician, mainly as a choral singer with a number of Finnish choirs, including the Savonlinna Opera Festival Choir, the professional Sibelius Academy Vocal Ensemble, the Tapiola Chamber Choir, the Klemetti Institute Chamber Choir and the Finnish Chamber Choir. He conducted the Savolaisen Osakunnan Laulajat student choir from 1988 to 1993 and was deputy conductor of the Tapiola Chamber Choir from 1998 to 2004. More recently (2015), he founded Chamber Choir cc FREIA. He has also taught a course in the history of choral music at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.
Josu Elberdin, basque country
Born in 1976 in Pasaia (Gipuzkoa, Spain), he began his musical studies at the Conservatory of Pasaia, Pasaia Musikal, from which he received a degree (2001, 2003) as a teacher of piano and singing. He is also graduated in Social Education by UPV (Universidad del País Vasco) in 1997.
Since 2000, he works as a Music teacher at the Musical School of Pasaia, where he teaches Music and Movement, Composing Techniques, Score arrangement, Organ, and Piano, and also conducting and cooperating with several choral or instrumental groups. He also works as an organist at Nuestra Señora del Carmen de Trintxerpe Church (Pasaia). Both as a choral singer and as a soloist, he has frequently joined groups that have obtained awards and excellent press reviews.
He is active as a clinician for both children and adult choir conducting courses in Spain and abroad in Indonesia, France, Bulgary, and Colombia. He acts frequently as a juror in national and international choral and composition competitions.
Elberdin is most known for his compositions. He has won several composing awards at the Tolosa Musical Contest and Lore Jokoak composer contest in Ondarroa. He has been commissioned by prestigious choirs all over the world and has set compulsory scores for international choral contests such as the Tolosako Nazioarteko Abesbatzen Lehieaketa, Europa Cantat Junior, Simposium Coral Mundial de Argentina, Quincena Musical de San Sebastián, Musikaste, and more.
His music is mainly dedicated to children choirs and has often been performed as musical stories or tales, some of which are symphonic works. Though his works are mainly choral, Elberdin has also written a large number of symphonic works, pop-rock songs, and instrumental works. He has composed and recorded for Basque TV, ETB (Euskal Telebista), and for artists such as Garikoitz Mendizabal, Kepa Junkera, and has written for well-known international choirs such as the Philippine Madrigal Singers and the Salt Lake Vocal Artists.
Some of Elberdin’s scores are published by Walton Music and CM Musical Editions.
John Pamintuan, philippines
John August Pamintuan is a renowned Philippine conductor, composer, singer, pianist, and adjudicator. Since 2007, John is recognized by the American Federation of Musicians as an artist of sustained international acclaim.
As a conductor he has given workshops, performed in concerts, and won in competitions in Asia, Europe, and North America. As a singer, he has sung in solo recitals at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and Moscow Glinka Hall. As a composer, John was awarded the composition prize in Tours (France), Tokyo (Japan) and has written commissioned works for the governments of Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, Lithuania, and the Philippines. He has composed around 500 pieces which have been performed by choirs from 30 countries.
In the last couple of years, John has been invited in the jury of international choir competitions in Vietnam, Cincinnati, Rimini and Cattolica Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong, Riga Latvia, and the cities of Takarazuka, Hyogo, and Karuizawa in Japan. He is also a member of the panel of adjudicators for composition contests in Croatia (2011, 2012, 2014), International Federation for Choral Music (2013), and Karuizawa Japan (2015, 2016).
Andrea Venturini, italy
For almost thirty years he has been choir director, conducting many vocal groups. At the same time he began his work as a composer, specializing, among others, with F. Donatoni and V. Nees. He also studied Gregorian chant under the guidance of N. Albarosa.
His production is mainly dedicated to choral music, for which he has won awards in national and nternational competitions, the last in order of time is the first prize at the II International Composition Competition for a work of sacred music "Francesco Siciliani", promoted by the Pontifical Council for Culture.
His works have been performed by renowned choirs, including the "Italian Youth Choir", the French National Youth Choir "A Coeur Joie", the "World Jouth Choir", the "St. Jacob's Chamber Choir ".
He is Artistic Director of Union of Choral Societies of Friuli and is a member of the Artistic Committee of '' USCI Friuli Venezia Giulia ".