The Jury


Michael Scheck, President of the Jury,
(*Hamburg, 1933) studied music in Freiburg (Germany), Antwerp and Brussels (Belgium). As a conductor, oboe player and member of chamber music ensembles, has performed all over the world. Since his youth, has been involved in choral music, singing and also conducting. Founder and artistic director of the Antwerp Bach Choir (1973-1991), appeared in many international music festivals in Europe, South Africa, USA and Japan. From 2006 to 2009, was the music director of the Brussels Bach Choir. In 1972, became a senior professor in choir conducting at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire in Antwerp and, from 1974 to 1991, held the same position in Ghent. After being appointed Principal of the Royal Flemish Conservatoire and Dean of the Department Drama, Music and Dance in Antwerp (1991-1998), continued his career, conducting and teaching at national and international courses and taking a seat on international choral juries. In 1998, founded SVM, a research and documentation centre for 19th and 20th century Flemish music, of which he is the general manager. Was President of the Flemish Choir Federation for almost 40 years. In 2006, was elected President of the AGEC (European Union of Choral Organizations). Is advisor to the board of the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat. Among the most recent of his numerous publications on musical and pedagogic matters, a Choir Conductor’s Tutor (Antwerp, 2010) and Flemish Romantic Part-songs (Munich 2011).

Born in Perugia, Leonardo Lollini, President of the Jury, began his musical training as a chorister in various choirs. Graduated in Piano, Choral Music and Choral Conducting and Composition at the Conservatory of Music in Perugia, studying with Riccardo Marini, Gabriella Agosti and Guido Baggiani. After having completed specialization courses in choral direction and musical education, worked with various choral ensembles, including treble voice choirs, chamber choirs, musical ensembles and small orchestras. Has also worked in collaboration with famous soloists and, as a conductor, has performed various types of repertoires, ranging from Medieval to Contemporary Music, with premières of contemporary composers. Has specialised in the Renaissance and Baroque periods.  In this field, has undertaken the transcription of manuscripts and original editions (for example “Trespolo Tutore” by A. Stradella, “Lo frate ‘nnamorato” by G.B. Pergolesi and Italian madrigals by various composers). At present, is artistic and musical director of the “Accademia degli Unisoni di Perugia” a choral group that he founded in 2006 and with whom he performs regularly in Italy and abroad. Has taught in music schools and conservatories and since 2000 has taught Choral Music and Choral Conducting at Cesena state conservatory.

Giacomo Monica, member of the Jury, studied violin at the Conservatorio di musica ‘A. Boito’ in Parma. He got his degree with ‘summa cum laude’, and then he did his specialisation at the ‘Accademia Chigiana’, in Siena, with Salvatore Accardo. After winning a public competition, he has been the first violin in the Orchestra Toscanini for more then four years, but then he left because he preferred to concentrate on chamber music. Since then, he has worked with a lot of famous chamber groups in Italy and abroad: ‘Carme’ from Milano, ‘Gruppo Musica Insieme’ from Cremona, ‘I Solisti Veneti’, ‘Orchestra del festival A. B. Michelangeli’ from Brescia, ‘Orchestra da camera di Mantova’, ‘I Solisti Italiani’, ‘Archi della Scala di Milano’. He teaches violin at the Conservatorio ‘A. Boito’, in Parma. Since the early seventies he has dedicated a lot of attention to choral singing and has done many researches in the field of folk music. He has been invited to lecture to many seminars and, in 2003 and 2004, he was a member of the jury at the International Choir Competition Seghizzi, in Gorizia and at the Rimini International Choir Competition. He regularly teaches classes for choristers or young choir conductors. In 1978, in Neviano Arduini (PR), he founded the Coro Montecastello, based now in Parma, for which he wrote songs that are now part of its repertoire and are sung by many choirs and well known also among the children of the schools in the area.  In 2003 he has published the two volumes of the book Canti dall’Appennino parmense, Parma 2003, which contains also two CDs dedicated to folk songs and their harmonisations for mixed voices chorus. With the Coro Montecastello, he has just recorded a CD for the Italian Swiss Radio (RSI) performing Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli’s harmonisations. Recently he is strongly interested in sonorities by Pinuccio Sciola sculptures and he is studying new expressive languages in harmony with the vocality.

John August Pamintuan, member of the Jury, is a renowned Philippine musician who has appeared as a conductor and composer in five continents, and whose compositions are widely sought after for international competitions.  Since 2007, has been recognized by the American Federation of Musicians as an artist of sustained international acclaim. As a conductor, has performed with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City (USA), the Chorus Messe Festival in Osaka (Japan), the Kamerinis Koras Brevis (Lithuania), the Male Choir of North Sulawesi (Indonesia) among others, and has held workshops and choral clinics in North America, Europe, and Asia. As a composer, has written around 300 commissioned works for choirs around the world.  His music depicts native music practices and traditions that are given rich sonority, rhythmic drive, a flood of character and fervent expression.  In 2009, was awarded the composition prize at the Florilege Vocal de Tours (France).  Also won the 2nd prize, at Kunitachi College composition contest in Tokyo (Japan) in November 2008. In past months, his new works have been performed at festivals and in competitions in Argentina, Arezzo (Italy), Brazil, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Korea, Lindenholzhausen (Germany), Maribor (Slovenia), Mainhausen and Marktoberdorf (Germany), Macau, Montreux (Switzerland), the Netherlands, Osaka and Tokyo (Japan), Singapore, Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada), South Africa, Taiwan, Tours (France), the United States, Varna (Bulgaria), Venezuela and Vietnam.

Ilario Muro, member of the Jury, was born in Vercelli where he studied at the Viotti School of Music. His introduction to singing came at the age of six, when he joined the treble voice choir at San Cristoforo church, Vercelli, under the guidance of the Dominican friars. He was a pupil of the late musician and composer Father Dante Destefanis. He subsequently joined the San Cristoforo polyphonic choir, becoming Choir-Master at the age of just eighteen. He moved to Rimini in 1988 and became Director of the Youth Choir founded three years previously, in 1985, at the parish church of Gesù Nostra Riconciliazione; the choir later took the name Jubilate Deo. Mr Muro attended courses held by Marco Gemmani, by Giovanni Acciai and courses in Gregorian Chant and Semeiotics held by Professors Oscar Chiodini and Massimo Pacifero at the Santa Cecilia Diocesan School of Music, Rimini. Mr Muro has also taken part in each of the annual Rimini International Choral Workshops for choristers and choir directors, held by Andrea Angelini and by Peter Phillips, Director of the Tallis Scholars. With the Jubilate Deo Choir, Mr Muro performs almost exclusively sacred music, specialising in Renaissance polyphonic music. Over the years he has directed the choir in numerous concerts and liturgical celebrations in Rimini and in many other cities in Italy, including  St Peter’s Basilica and Santa Susanna church, Rome; Milan Cathedral; Basilica of San Francesco, Assisi and many others. He has taken part in international events including the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Rome in the Jubilee year 2000 where the Jubilate Deo Choir formed part of the Diocesan Choir which sang Mass in St Peter’s Square. Ilario Muro is the Province of Rimini Deputy Delegate to A.ER.CO, the Emilia-Romagna Choirs Association.

Fabio Pecci, member of the Jury, born in Rimini, began studying music as a guitarist, before changing to cello after a few years; he studied at Ravenna’s officially recognized “G. Verdi” Music School graduating with brilliant results. As a cellist he has a particular preference for chamber repertory and his busy concert activity has led him to perform in theatres and concert halls in Italy and abroad. Awarded in many competitions, he recorded seven cds for Tactus, Bongiovanni and other labels. He founded and directs “Le Allegre Note” treble voice choir and “Note in Crescendo” youth choir, with which he has also performed in prestigious theatres. With these two choirs he has over 300 performances, audio and television recordings to his credit. With them he also recorded 3 albums which include his own choral arrangements. With “Note in Crescendo” he has held concerts in Berlin, Saint Etienne (Lyon) and in Czech Republic. With Le Allegre Note he also took part in the production of Te Deum by H. Berlioz, held in Bologna in October 2008, under the direction of Claudio Abbado, and was responsible for the preparation of the treble voices in Puccini’s Boheme. Treble voice trainer and chorus master for the Tosca staged for the 2010 New Year in Rimini, he was responsible for the treble voices in the production of Bizet’s Carmen in many theatres, as well as for Carmina Burana by C. Orff, with the soloists of the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome. An enthusiast of children’s vocalism, he also directs the activity of Rimini’s “Piccole Voci di Carla Amori” and “Una Canzone per Crescere” at Valconca Comprehensive School. As choir director, he has received awards and gained recognition in National and International Competitions. Being a music therapist, he is one of the founders of the Italian Music Therapist Federation (Bergamo) and President of “Papageno” Pedagogical and Music-therapy Association.

Branko Starc, member of the Jury, (born 1954), composer, conductor and voice instructor, is a teacher at the Arts Academy (University of Split-Croatia). Has written over two hundred compositions for which he has received numerous awards. Teaches singers, choral directors, composers, actors, speech therapists, phoneticians and speakers and is also engaged in voice rehabilitation. Has participated in more than thirty scientific symposia and been guest professor at many faculties in Croatia and abroad. His speciality is hermeneutics and the voice, their scientific-pedagogic research and works published on these subjects. Holds lectures, seminars, master-classes and workshops worldwide (Argentina, China, Slovenia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, USA, Korea, South Africa, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Singapore). Is also a prominent judge for many international choral competitions (Croatia, Germany, Italy, Austria, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Japan). Is chairman of the Croatian Choral Directors Association, head of the Vocal Academy, a member of the International Council of the World Choir Games and Advisor for Croatia in the International Federation for Choral Music.

Graham Lack, member of the Jury, studied Composition and Musicology at Goldsmiths’ College and King’s College, University of London (BMus Hons, MMus), Music Pedagogy at the University of Chichester (State Certificate), moving to Germany in 1982 (Technische Universität Berlin, Doctoral Thesis). Lectureship in Music at the University of Maryland to 1992. Contributor to Groves Dictionary and Tempo. Commissions: Sanctus (Queens’ College Cambridge), Two Madrigals for High Summer, Hermes of the Ways (Akademiska Damkören Lyran), Estraines, (The King’s Singers, recorded on Signum), Four Lullabies (VOCES8, Signum), Petersiliensommer (Munich Philharmonic Chorus). The Legend of Saint Wite was a 2008 BBC competition prize-winner. REFUGIUM was premiered by Trinity Boys Choir London in 2009 and recorded for CD 2012. Recent works include Wondrous Machine for multi-percussionist Martin Grubinger, Nine Moons Dark for large orchestra. Premieres 2010/11: string trio The Pencil of Nature (musica viva, Munich), A Sphere of Ether (Young Voices of Colorado), The Angel of the East. Premieres 2011/12: The Windhover (solo violin and orchestra) for Benjamin Schmid. Corresponding Member of the Institute of Advanced Musical Studies King’s College London, regular attendee ACDA conferences. Publishers: Musikverlag Hayo, Cantus Quercus Press, Schott, Josef Preissler, Tomi Berg.

Mauro Marchetti, member of the Jury, was born in Rome, in 1963. Sang in the ARCUM Children Choir (over two hundred concerts), as a soloist in operas at Piccola Scala in Milan, Treviso Theatre, Santa Cecilia National Academy, Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, for state broadcaster RAI, singing under the baton of Berstein, Sawallisch, Sinopoli and Pretre. He obtained a diploma in harp, took part in many concerts as a soloist and with ensembles, in collaboration with the Santa Cecilia National Academy, Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, Abruzzo Symphony Orchestra. Studied choral conducting with Gerhard Scmidt-Gaden, Peter Neumann, Gary Graden and Stojan Kuret. Participated in courses for choral director organized by the Guido d’Arezzo Foundation with Graden, Fasolis, Gabbiani, White, Neumann. Since 2003 is the teacher of the Santa Cecilia National Academy Children Choir and since 1992 conductor of the Roma Choir, which has won awards in national competitions (Arezzo and Rieti) and international competitions (Varna, Gorizia, Arezzo and Maribor). Won the prize for best conductor at the Guido d’Arezzo International Competition (2009) and in the International Competition in Varna, Bulgaria (2010). Is a choral composer for children’s and mixed choirs and was a member of the Artistic Committee School Choir of ARCI (Regional Choir Association of Latium). Has been a jury member many times at choral and composition competitions. Since 1985, has taught choral singing and musical education in nursery and primary schools in Rome and the surrounding area.