Romans Vanags – Latvia
Romans Vanags (1960) – a graduate of Emils Darzins’ specialized music college and of the Department of Choir and Orchestra Conducting of Jazeps Vitols’ Latvian State Conservatory in Riga (currently named – Jazeps Vitols’ Latvian Academy of Music). He received diploma in choir conducting as well as in music pedagogy. In addition, he was studying also symphonic orchestra conducting. In 2003 he received professional master’s degree in music. Romans Vanags’ professional work has been connected with conducting and pedagogy. Romans Vanags has been the chief conductor of teachers’ choir named “Vanema” for years (1984-2004) and since 1990 he has been the principal conductor of the Latvian University female choir named “Minjona”. Since 1987 he has been chief conductor and artistic director of Jāzeps Mediņš Riga 1st. Music School boys’ choir, 1990-1993 the principal conductor of Jazeps Medins Music College Symphonic Orchestra. Since 1987 Romans Vanags was employed at the Latvian Academy of Music in Riga as professor of choir conducting, 2005-2012 head of conducting department. He has been the organizer of various courses for conductors in numerous countries around the world and also jury member of many international choral competitions. He has also been appointed as one of the chief conductors of the All Latvian Song Celebration (in 1993, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2008 and 2013) and the Youth Song Festival (in 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015) as well. Since 2008 he are also council member of World Choir Games (WCG) organization. Since 2012 assoc. prof. Romans Vanags are the artistic director of WCG 2014 in Riga. Since August 2014 Romans Vanags are one of Artistic Director of Interkultur (Germany) organization and also chairman of the Latvian choral conductors’ board. 2016 professor Vanags was approved to be guest professor in Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, China. The choirs conducted by Romans Vanags have won numerous awards at international competitions ( Arezzo, Debrecen, Tour, Varna, Powel River etc.) and made concert tours all over the world. In 2008 Romans Vanags receives the highest civil decoration in Latvia – the Three Star Order.
Jo-Michael Scheibe – United States of America
Jo-Michael Scheibe chairs the Thornton School of Music’s department of Choral and Sacred Music at the University of Southern California. Currently serving as Chair of the Past President’s Council of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA), Scheibe has served as National President, National President Elect, Western Division President, and National Repertoire and Standards Chairperson for Community Colleges. Under his leadership, the USC Thornton Chamber Singers received the 2015 American Prize in Choral Music, performed for the 2015 ACDA National Convention in Salt Lake City (his seventh appearance at that event) and were one of twenty-five choirs selected to perform at the Tenth World Choral Symposium in Seoul, South Korea in 2014. Prior to his appointment at USC, Scheibe served as Director of Choral Studies at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Long Beach City College, Vintage High School in Napa, California, and Huntington Beach High School. He received his DMA from the University of Southern California and his BA and MM degrees from California State University at Long Beach, where he was presented with the distinguished alumnus award. Scheibe has collaborated with artists ranging from Luciano Pavarotti to Sir Elton John and the Rolling Stones, and he has prepared choruses for international conductors Helmuth Rilling, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Colin Davies, and more. Recordings of his ensembles have been released on the Albany, Cane, Naxos, Arsis and ANS labels. A champion of contemporary music, Scheibe regularly commissions and performs new works of choral literature. Music publishers Walton, Colla Voce Music, Pavane, and Santa Barbara distribute the Jo-Michael Scheibe Choral Series internationally. Scheibe presents nationally and internationally as a clinician, conductor, and adjudicator for choruses at all levels. Future engagements include international presentations in Shanghai, Bangkok, and Salzburg; and university presentations and all-state choirs across the country. www.jomichaelscheibe.org
Leonardo Sagliocca is an italian bass-baritone. He was born in Florence. After an audition with the world famous baritone Gino Bechi, he was encouraged by him to begin the Opera singing career and began singing studies in the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole under Elio Lippi, Donatella Debolini and Gianni Fabbrini. This school of music was founded by the world famous viola player of the “Quartetto Italiano”, Piero Farulli. After that, Leonardo Sagliocca continued his formation in the University of Music of Florence, the “Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini” under the scottish soprano Kate Lafferty Gamberucci. At the age of 23 he was noticed by the world famous italian baritone Rolando Panerai who immediately invited him to join his class of international singers and engaged him for the operas “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” by Gioachino Rossini, “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi and “Gianni Schicchi” by Giacomo Puccini. In 1996 he was invited also by the great baritone Leo Nucci to sing beside him in Verdi’s “La Traviata” and to join his class. Leonardo Sagliocca won the 1998 edition of international competition “William Walton – the actor-singer”,sponsored by The Prince of Wales, Charles, which gave him the chance to improve his acting and singing talents with world famous artists like James Lockhart, Graziella Sciutti, Jonathan Papp (Royal Academy of Music, London), Harriet Lawson (Rossini Opera Festival), Corradina Caporello (Juillard School, New York) and perform the opera “Gianni Schicchi” by Giacomo Puccini in front of the Prince. During this Master Class Leonardo Sagliocca was invited for a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music of London. Other peaks of his career: In 1999 he was singing in the Dome of Genova (Genua, Italy) with the Orchestra of Teatro Carlo Felice, the main theater in Genua, under Herbert Handt. The same year he was invited by the great specialist of Rossini’s Operas, Luis Alva, to sing the role of Mustafa in the Opera “L’Italiana in Algeri” of G.Rossini in Lima, Peru. Also in 1999 he was invited in Lucca by the american former tenor and conductor Herbert Handt to sing world premiere of works by eminent composers. The most famous one,winner of the Academy Award for his career, Ennio Morricone, author of many unforgettable soundtracks of famous movies like “Days of Heaven”, “The Mission”, “The Untouchables”, “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso”. Ennio Morricone was present at the rehearsals and at the concerts,cooperating with Leonardo Sagliocca and the other musicians. In 2005 Leonardo Sagliocca is invited at a very important season, The South Bank Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the season of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Following, a “resumé” of the entire career of Leonardo Sagliocca: He began the soloist career in 1993 in Italy and all over the world, in the fields of symphonic, oratorial, operatic music and from the middle age music to the contemporary. He performed as soloist with the following Associations and Musical Institutions: Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence main theatre and one of the oldest Festivals of the world), Festival dei Due Mondi of Spoleto (Umbria), Sagra Musicale Umbra (Perugia), Festival Puccini di Torre del Lago (where Giacomo Puccini composed many of his masterpieces), Ravenna Festival (organized by the wife of the great italian conductor Riccardo Muti), Nuova Cappella di Palazzo (Lucca), Associazione Musicale Lucchese (Lucca), Amici della Musica Firenze (Florence), Centro Busoni (Empoli), Festival Internazionale di San Gimignano (San Gimignano,Siena), Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina (Florence), Centro Internazionale di Musica Antica (CIMA,Rome), Tuscia Opera Festival (Viterbo, Italy), Orchestra della Toscana (ORT,Florence), Estate Regina (Montecatini Terme), South Bank Centre (London Philharmonic Orchestra Festival, London), Jeszienny Salon Muszyczny, Szceczin (Poland), Musiksommer Loisachtal (Germany). He performed together with world famous artists like: Gino Bechi, Rolando Panerai, Leo Nucci, Luis Alva, Gennaro Sica, Susanna Rigacci, Victor Micallef, Giorgio Casciarri, Duccio Dal Monte, Marina Comparato, Barbara Di Castri, Filippo Adami, Leonardo De Lisi, Alfie Boe etc. He performed with the following conductors: Salvatore Accardo, Claudio Scimone, Alberto Veronesi, Lu Jia, James Lockhart, Massimo De Bernart, Jeffrey Tate, Vinko Globokar, Claudio Desderi, Filippo Maria Bressan, Herbert Handt, Alessandro Pinzauti, Marco Balderi, Jonathan Brandani, Elisabetta Maschio, Riccardo Cirri, Giuseppe Lanzetta, Federico Bardazzi, Fabio Neri, Riccardo Martinini, Federico Sardelli, Sergio Siminovich, Marco Severi, Augusto Vismara, Giovan Battista Varoli, Piero Papini, Carlo Moreno Volpini, Franz Schottky etc. He performed with the following directors: Paolo Miccichè, Luciano Alberti, Aldo Tarabella, Luca Ferraris, Riccardo Diana, Gennaro Sica, Graziella Sciutti etc. He sang for the first time in the world works by Ennio Morricone, Luca Lombardi, Franco Mannino, Fabio Cifariello Ciardi, Riccardo Riccardi always in front of the composers and under their supervision. He has also performed many recitals with piano players, small vocal groups, small orchestras and big orchestras in cities like Barcelona, Madrid, Munchen, Frankfurt, Koln, Kassel, Sczeczin, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Zurich, Lugano, New Zealand, Australia and regularly in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Niigata). He is permanent member of high level Ensembles like the “Ensemble San Felice” of Florence,Italy, the “Nuova Cappella di Palazzo” of Lucca,Italy and the “Cappella Musicale di Santo Stefano” of Prato, Italy. He is co-founder of the “Ensemble San Felice”, a vocal and instrumental group specialized in early music, with original instruments. With the Ensemble he performed, among others, “Vespro della Beata Vergine” of C. Monteverdi, Haendel’s “Messiah” and “The Fairy Queen” by H. Purcell. He cooperated as talent scout, teacher and soloist singer with the “Maggio Fiorentino Formazione”, the formation agency of the main theater in Florence and one of the more historical and important festivals in Italy, the “Maggio Musicale Fiorentino”. He recorded actually 8 cd’s published and sold all over the world for the following labels (Tactus, Bongiovanni, Kicco Classic, Clavis, Brilliant Classics). He is also co-founder of the “Florence International Choir Festival” and invited as member of the jury in important Festivals like The Singing World in Saint Petersburg, the Choral Festivals in Bratislava, the Credo Festival in Tallinn, the Nederlands Koor Festival in Haarlem, the Mozart Festival in Prague, the Juozas Naujalis and Kaunas Cantat Festivals in Kaunas, the Monteverdi Choral Competition in Venice, the Mundus Cantat Festival in Sopot, the Silver Bells Festival in Daugavpils. He is also regularly invited as member of committee in official auditions. He was invited, in August 2014, as lecturer in the 10th World Symposium on Choral Music in Seoul, South Korea. In May 2015 has been invited for masterclasses on opera repertoire for soloists in China in very important institutions like Peking University (PKU), Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) in Beijing and Xi’an Conservatory of Music (XACOM). Last June 2016 he has been invited to give masterclasses in China in important institutions such as: East China Normal University, Shanghai International Studies University, Zhejiang Conservatory of Music, Zhongshan University, South China Normal University. Recently he performed concerts in USA in important Festivals and halls such as Castelton Festival, founded by Lorin Maazel and Strathmore. Leonardo Sagliocca is also the creator of the season “A Night at the Opera in Florence”, Italian Opera & Baroque. Young talents and international acclaimed singers from all over the world.
Born in Bologna, Italy, Andrea Angelini began his piano studies as a child, at the Rimini Lettimi School. He later earned a Doctorate of Music (Piano) at Ferrara’s Frescobaldi Conservatory. After earning a Master in Choral Conducting he studied music therapy with Professor Cremaschi of Milan University. His interests led him to the choral field, and he earned a Bachelor studying at the International Art Academy in Rome with Fulvio Angius. He also studied organ at Pesaro’s Conservatory of Music. Finally he got his PHD in Choral Music at the Cesena Conservatoire of Music. He is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the professional group Musica Ficta Vocal Ensemble that frequently performs in important Festivals in Italy and abroad. For many years, Andrea Angelini has conducted concerts with the choir Carla Amori, in Italy and abroad. Named Director of the Rimini Community Choir, Alessandro Grandi, he led this choir in several performances, including in important venues such as St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome – where he was able to personally meet Pope John Paul II – and in Milan’s Cathedral. He has also conducted the Belarusian National Capella Choir, the Lithuanian Jauna Muzika Choir, the Latvian Ave Sol, the Ukrainian Ave Musica, the Russian Domestik and the Tudor Consort from New Zealand. Dr. Angelini is the Artistic Director of the Choral Festival Voci nei Chiostri held annually in Rimini each spring. He has been member of the Jury at many International Choir’s Competitions in Italy, Europe and Asia. He frequently leads choral workshops in Italy and abroad. Recently his Masterclass about the “Venetian Renaissance choral music” has been presented to the students of the prestigious Liszt Music Academy of Budapest and in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) for the Young Choral Academy. He has led similar workshops in Romania, Russia, Belarus, Moldavia and China too. He is the artistic director and one of the tutors at the Rimini International Choral Workshop, where he teaches with Peter Phillips, director of the Tallis Scholars. Mr. Angelini is also the artistic director of the Rimini International Choral Competition, of the Claudio Monteverdi Choral Competition and of the Queen of the Adriatic Sea Choral Festival and Competition and of the Liviu Borlan Choral Festival. He is the Editor of the International Choral Bulletin (ICB), the membership magazine of the IFCM (International Federation for Choral Music). He has written numerous transcriptions and arrangements for choirs and chamber ensembles. His transcription of Faure’s Requiem is published by Gelber Hund Verlag of Berlin. For the American CanticaNOVA Publication, he has prepared transcriptions of important Renaissance Motets. He has published his composition with Eurarte and Ferrimontana. He is a member for Italy of the World Choir Council. Actually he is the President of AERCO, the Emilia-Romagna Regional Association of Choirs.
Vytautas Miskinis – Lithuania
Vytautas Miškinis is the Artistic Director of the Ažuoliukas Boys’ and Men’s Choir, Professor of Choral Conducting at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and President of the Lithuanian Choral Union and renowned composer. He graduated in Choral Conducting from the Lithuanian Academy of Music in 1976 (conducting class of Prof. H. Perelšteinas). He began his career in Ažuoliukas at the age of seven as a vocalist, and continued as Artistic Director from the age of 25. All the achievements of the choir from 1979 have been due to Mr. Miškinis’ leadership. For several years he conducted the Kaunas State Choir and Vocal Ensemble Museum Musicum. With the choirs he has won prestigious prizes at numerous national and international competitions – in Marktoberdorf, Gorizia, Varna, Maribor, Tampere, Mainhausen, Nantes. Currently Mr. Miškinis is an Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the All-Lithuanian Choir Festival. Vytautas Miškinis has led choral performances in Europe, Canada, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, and the USA. A number of compositions for choir with Symphonic Orchestras have been conducted by Vytautas Miskinis. He has also lectured and held seminars on Music Education and conducting in Lithuania and abroad – in the Czech Republic, Korea, Latvia, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Singapore and the Ukraine. He has participated in numerous national and international choral events as composer and advisor. He has led workshops and has been a Member of the Jury at International Choir and Choral Composition Competitions worldwide. Vytautas Miškinis has composed about 400 religious motets a cappella, 18 Masses, Magnificat, Cantatas, Musicals and about 400 secular songs , which are performed by choirs throughout Lithuania and the rest of Europe. Lithuanian and foreign choirs have recorded his compositions on CD. Many compositions for children’s choirs are published in Lithuania and a couple of religious compositions also in France, Germany, Slovenia, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan, Latvia and the USA. V. Miškinis has several times been awarded prestigious State and Government Prizes such as Honoured Artist of Lithuania, the Prize for Culture and Art, Order of Grand Duke Gediminas, Medal of Duke Žygimantas Augustas. In 2002 as a composer he was nominated “Author of the Year”. In 2010 Carus Verlag Publishing House, Germany, recorded the CD “V.Miškinis Portrait“ (Consonare Choir), Hyperion in UK published the CD “The Time is Endless” (choir of Royal Holloway University).
Jevgeņijs Ustinskovs – Latvia
Jevgenijs Ustinskovs, Head of the Choral department of the Daugavpils Music College, conductor, composer. Graduated by Latvian Academy of Music and Daugavpils University. He is a leader of six choirs and vocal ensembles and has performances in Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Estonia, Russia, Poland, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Hungary, Macedonia, Spain, Great Britain. Dr. Ustinskovs is an Artistic director in several International Music Contests: Sacred music festival and contest ‘Silver Bells’, contest of Young conductors, contest for Young singers of Christmas songs, contest for Young singers of Folk songs and others. He is a member of jury in International music contests in Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Moldova and Poland.