T.J. HARPER – United States of America
President of the Jury 2021
T.J. Harper is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. Choirs under the direction of Dr. Harper have performed at the 2017 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Eastern Division Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, the 2014 NAfME National Conference in Nashville, TN, the 2013 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) New England Collegiate Choral Conference in Keene, NH, the 2012 ACDA Eastern Division Conference in Providence, RI, the 2011 NAfME Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore, MD, and the 2010 Rhode Island Music Educators Association (RIMEA) Spring In-Service Conference. International performances by invitation include Austria (2015), Czech Republic (2015), Spain (2013), and Italy (2011). Dr. Harper maintains an active schedule in the US and abroad as a guest conductor, clinician, and jury member. Recent engagements include headlining the China National Choral Conference and conducting the Beijing Harmonia Choir, October 2016; Master classes for El Sistema and conducting the Venezuela National Choir, July 2016. Additional engagements include residencies, guest conducting, lectures and master classes in China, Argentina, Indonesia, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Germany, Costa Rica, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Venezuela and honor choirs in California, Mississippi, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. He has been engaged as a lecturer, presenter, and guest speaker at the 2015 Yale University International Choral Music Symposium; the 2015 European Choir Games in Magdeburg, Germany; Harvard University, Hofstra University, and the New England ACDA Collegiate Choral Conference.
LORENZO DONATI – Italy
Member of the Jury 2021
Lorenzo Donati is a composer, conductor and violinist, who studied composition with R. Pezzati, C. Togni, E. Morricone, P. Dusapin, choral music with R. Alessandrini, R. Clemencic, O. Dantone, R. Gabbiani, D. Fasolis, G. Graden, C. Hogset, P. Neumann. He performed at concerts with Coro Giovanile Italiano, Insieme Vocale Vox Cordis and Hesperimenta Vocal Ensemble winning several national and international awards (Arezzo, Cantonigròs, Gorizia, Lugano, Montreux, Senlis, Varna (Grand Prix), Vittorio Veneto, Tours). In 2007 he won two first prizes at the V^ International Competition for Choral Conductors “Mariele Ventre” in Bologna. In 2016 he won with UT Insieme Vocale-Consonante the 28th edition of the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. From 2016 he conduct the professional choir Coro della Cattedrale di Siena Guido Chigi Saracini. His compositions are being performed by ensembles around the world and have been published by Carus Verlag, Pizzicato Verlag and others. His choral works were asked and/or performed by Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Joyfull Company of London, Philippine Madrigals Singers, St. Jakobs Chamber Choir Stockholm. He won notable awards in international competitions such as Arezzo (1996-1999), Gorizia (1999-2002), Rome (1999), Avellino (2003), Vittorio Veneto (2007). He collaborates with several cultural institutes like EuropaCantat, Feniarco, Incontro Polifonico di Fano, Fondazione Guido d’Arezzo. He often is invited to join the jury at international contests and teach in international masterclass. He teaches choral conducting at the Conservatory of Trento and Chigiana Summer Academy (Siena).
LEON SHIU-WAI TONG – Hong Kong, China
Member of the Jury 2021
- President, World Youth and Children Choral Artists’ Association
- Artistic Director & President of the Organizing Committee,
World Choir Festival and World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival – Hong Kong
- Former First Vice-President, International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM)
- Founder and President, Hong Kong Treble Choirs’ Association
- Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Hong Kong Treble Choir
- Former Music Director and Principal Conductor, Hong Kong Children’s Choir
- Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Guangzhou Children’s Palace Choir
- Chair Professor, Xihua University
- Visiting Professor, Tianjin University, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanxi Normal University, Sichuan University of Media and Communications
Founder and President of World Youth and Children Choral Artists’ Association (WYCCAA), Former First Vice-President of International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), Prof. Leon Shiu-wai Tong is an internationally renowned choral expert, conductor, speaker, juror, and curator of world-class choral festivals. Currently the Artistic Director of Guangzhou Children’s Palace Choir, China, Tong was former Music Director & Principal conductor of the Hong Kong Children’s Choir (-1997) and Artistic Director & Principal Conductor of the Hong Kong Treble Choir (-2020). As President and Chairman of the Artistic Committee, Tong has organized many global events with WYCCAA, including the 2019 World Choral Conducting Competition, World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival (in 2019, 2017 & 2015), 2018 Belt & Road World Choir Festival, and the Hong Kong International Youth & Children’s Choir Festival (in 2013, 2011, 2008 & 2006). In 2008, he curated with the Olympic Committee of Hong Kong “The World Sings for Olympics” concert, in which the World Youth Choir (whose choristers came from over 36 countries and regions) was also invited to perform. Respectively in 1998 & 2001, with the Hong Kong Treble Choir Association, he organised the 1st and 2nd “China International Children’s Choir Festival & World Symposium for Children’s Choral Music”, which were followed by the World Children’s Choir Festival and the world-renowned Songbridge Programme in 2005. He is also frequently invited to adjudicate at internationally acclaimed choral festivals and competitions, including competitions under the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing Association, and was the only foreign juror at the 67th NHK All-Japan School Choir Competition. As an expert who currently holds several guest professorships in a number of universities in China, Tong has received a number of awards for his contribution to choral music nationally and internationally, including the China Treble Choir Contribution Award in 2004 (from China Chorus Association) and the Award for Arts Achievement (Music) in 2007 (from Hong Kong Arts Development Council).
MAURO MARCHETTI – Italy
Member of the Jury 2021
Born in 1963 in Rome, Mauro Marchetti graduated in Harp at Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome. He performed both as a soloist and in duo and trio with singers and instrumentalists, in orchestra, like Accademia Santa Cecilia, Opera di Roma. He studied Choir Conduction with many teachers (Paolo Lucci, Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden, G. Graden, S. Kuret,). He conducted several vocal and instrumental groups and since 1992 is the conductor of Città di Roma Choir in Rome, a polyphonic mixed choir which performed all over Europe and abroad. Under his direction the choir won many Tirst prizes and special jury prizes in national and international competitions. He is conductor of the Modus Ensemble, vocal group specializing in early and contemporary music. He conducted premiere works of Ennio Morricone, Michele Josia, Javier Busto, Piero Caraba, Andrea Basevi, Lorenzo Donati, Manolo Da Rold and Italian and european premieres of Eric Whitacre and Benjamin Britten. He was a member of the artistic committee of the FENIARCO. He was often appointed as a jury member in competitions of composition and choral performance. He has been a teacher for many courses in choral conducting and composition and actually is teacher at the Conservatory of Music of Messina. Awarded for Best Choir Conductor at the International Choral Competition in Varna (Bulgaria) and the Polyphonic Arezzo (Italy).
SIGURDUR SAEVARSSON – Iceland
Member of the Jury 2021
Sigurður Sævarsson was born in Iceland in 1963. He began graduate studies at Boston University in 1994, where his teachers included William Sharp, Charles Fussel, Sam Headrick and Martin Amlin. In 1997, he earned M.M. degrees in both voice and composition. Sævarsson’s main focus since then has been on opera and choral works. He conducted both his operas: Z – A Love Story at Norðuróp Opera Festival in 2001 and Hel at the Reykjavík Art Festival in 2009. For the last ten years Sævarsson has mostly composed for choir; everything from small a cappella pieces to oratorios for choir and orchestra. His oratorio Hallgrímur´s Passio (Hallgrímspassía) was released on CD in 2011 and was nominated for the Icelandic Music Awards as best Album in the category of Classical and Contemporary Music. Last July his Requiem, Nunc dimittis and Magnificat were recorded at All Hallow´s Church, Gospel Oak in London by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and the soprano Carolyn Sampson, conducted by Graham Ross and produced by John Rutter. The music will be featured on the choir´s forthcoming CD for Harmonia Mundi International in 2022. Sævarsson is also principal of the New Music School (Nýi tónlistarskólinn) in Reykjavík. www.sigurdursaevarsson.com