Sergei Ekimov – Russia – President of the Jury
Sergey Yekimov (1974) – composer, conductor, member of the Russia Composers Union and the Union of Concert Figures of St. Petersburg, art director of the International Choral Art Festival «The Singing World», art director and conductor of the Women’s Choir at the Choir-Conducting Department of the St. Petersburg N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Music College, professor, head of the Academic Choir at the faculty of the St. Petersburg Culture and Arts University and professor of the St. Petersburg State N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire, Laureate of the St. Petersburg Government in the field of art and culture. Sergey Yekimov is the graduate of the St. Petersburg State N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire, where he studied choir conducting (professor F. Kozlov) and composition (professor Yu. Falik). Yekimov completed his post- graduate studies in 2011 in the class of professor V. Uspensky. During the period of 1993-2009 S. Yekimov directed the St. Petersburg Youth Choir. Among his compositions there are choral and orchestral ones, instrumental and vocal ensembles, ecclesiastic and secular music a cappella, vocal cycles, piano and choral pieces for children, music to performances, choral arrangements of Russian folk songs, popular melodies, romances and variety music. Yakimov’s opuses and transcriptions enjoyed popularity via Russia and all over the world: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, USA and Japan. Leading Russian choirs include by radio and TV, published in Russia and aboard. Choir music of the 20th-21st centuries was not once the topic of his master-classes. He was also the participant and chairman of the jury at different choral festivals and contests.
John August Pamintuan – Philippines
John August Pamintuan is a renowned Philippine conductor, composer, singer, leader of master-classes, and adjudicator. Since 2007, John is recognized by the American Federation of Musicians as an artist of sustained international acclaim, and since 2012 has been a member of the World Choir Games Council. 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 Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong-Kong, 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).
Fabio Pecci – Italy
Fabio Pecci studied violoncello at Ravenna’s officially recognized “G. Verdi” Music School graduating with brilliant results. As a cellist his busy concert activity has led him to perform in theatres and concert halls in Italy and abroad. He has been awarded prizes in many competitions and has 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 400 performances, audio and television recordings to his credit. With them he also recorded three 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 ‘La Bohème’. Treble voice trainer and chorus master for the production of ‘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. Since 2013 he has been a member of the Artistic Committee of A.E.R.CO – The Regional Choirs Association. As conductor of the youth choir “Note In Crescendo” he represented the Emilia Romagna region at the Choral festival ‘EXPO Milano 2015’.
Mstyslav Yurchenko – Ukraine
Mstyslav Yurchenko was born 1951 in Kyiv. He is a musicologist, expert of Ukrainian liturgical music, professor of choral conducting at Kyiv National Institute of Culture and Art. After graduating in choral conducting from the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Kyiv, he worked as a conductor of numerous choirs (professional, amateur, church, educational), as a singer, and as a producer for music programming at the State Radio Company (he recorded 100 audio recordings to the Ukrainian radio fund, issued two СDs). Since the 1970s, prof. Yurchenko has taught choral conducting at various universities in Ukraine, as well as the history of sacred music at the Theological Academy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. In the early 1980s he studied as a doctoral candidate at the Rylsky Institute of Art History, Folklore, and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and defended his candidate’s dissertation entitled “The Works of Maksym Berezovsky in the Context of Ukrainian Musical Culture of the 18th Century” at the Leningrad State Conservatory. He was subsequently employed as deputy editor-in-chief of the publishing house Muzychna Ukraina. During the years 1987–2002, Yurchenko inaugurated the first-ever course in Ukraine on the history of Ukrainian sacred music, which he taught at the Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts and other universities. Since 2002, he realized Ukraine’s first training course for church conductor at the National Academy of Leaders of Culture and Arts. After Ukraine gained independence in the early 1990s, prof. Yurchenko headed the sacred music department of the Kobza Ukrainian-Canadian Joint Venture. In 1991 he travelled throughout the U.S. and Canada, collecting sacred music by Ukrainian composers. He realized the first no state publication in Ukraine of a collection of Ukrainian sacred music, edited by prof. Yurchenko. He also is Iinitiated publication the multivolume “Anthology of Ukrainian Sacred Music”. There are published spiritual works by Ukrainian composers of the 18th – 20th centuries that were uncovered him in various archives and rare collections (is published four volumes). He preparing to publish the first in Ukraine recordings of Ukrainian sacred music, performed by the leading choral ensembles in the country, also performer by its chorus “Vidrodzhennia”. In the 1980s, prof. Yurchenko established the Ukrainian Sacred Music Foundation, which supports choirs and sponsors the publication of scores. Prof. Yurchenko has published numerous articles about choral and sacred music in a large number academic journals and encyclopedias, both in Ukraine and abroad. He has been the head of the jury, the Art director and the member of jury at the various choral competitions and festivals in Ukraine and in Europe. Prof. Yurchenko is a member of the All-Ukrainian National Music Association, the American Choral Directors’ Association (ACDA), Europa Cantat, French Association “Amadeus Anjou”. He was a lead instructor for a 10-day intensive Choral Conductors’ Seminar in Edmonton (Ukrainian Music Society of Alberta, 2013) and he gave public lectures in different towns of Canada on newly discovered works by Maksym Berezovsky, as well as master-classes with leading Ukrainian choirs. Prof. M. Yurchenko is Ukrainian Music Award winner of Mykola Lysenko.
Ilario Muro – Italy
Ilario Muro, 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.