Ars Choralis 2010

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Artistic and scientific Symposium on choral music – 8-10 April 2010 in Zagreb, Croatia

 

Branko Stark

President of the Croatian Association of Choral Conductors

 

In 2010 we resolved to improve choral life in Croatia.  As that sort of thing cannot be achieved in a short time we set up a 20-year plan which we called CHOROATIA 2010.  At the time there was no association of choral conductors, nor any place where choral conductors could train.  Thus we started by setting up the Croatian Association of Choral Conductors HUZ.  After that, in 2004, the school for choral conductors was founded (www.vocal-academy.com).  In addition to that we established a website on which all information and links of importance to choral conductors and choirs can be found (www.choralcroatia.com).  Then, in 2008, we started the international choral competition Sounds of June, and we also produced a CD with Croatian choral music that is being distributed free of charge all over the world.  In view of our experiences and successes so far in respect of the training of choral conductors and the informed promotion of choral life, we began an international project in order to make our knowledge available to colleagues and choirs all over the world.  It is called IPDCM (International Project for the Development of Choral Music) and at the moment it is run in South Africa in collaboration with the Bloemfontein International Choral Centre.  Our next goal is the organisation of an international Symposium on choral music.  It will take place in the Croatian capital, Zagreb, from 8-10 April 2010, entitled ARS CHORALIS 2010.  The idea is to connect choral music and science.  The Symposium is intended to contribute to the international improvement of choral music and sees itself as complementing other symposia.  Thus we hope to supply a stimulus for choral conductors to incorporate more of today’s scientific insights in their artistic and educational work.  We feel particularly strongly about the comparatively new discipline of vocology.  Today’s objective knowledge about the voice and singing is huge, but in our opinion choral conductors are not sufficiently aware of it.  On the other hand we are equally keen on researchers and scientists finding out more about choral singing and choral music, in order to identify the aims of their future work more precisely and more consciously.  Therefore we have flung the areas open to discussion at our Symposium very widely, so that all those who have any – direct or indirect – contact with choral music and singing can take part.  The official languages of the Symposium will be Croatian, English and Slovenian.  The following topics will be discussed: Choir/Choir director, Singing/Vocal pedagogy, Conducting/Interpretation, Composition/Analysis, Voice/Vocal style, Science/Voice/Hearing, Science/Music, Music pedagogy/Education, Sacred Music, Music media/Technology, other topics.

Amongst others we are expecting the following guest lecturers to take part: Thomas Caplin (Norway), Rudolf de Beer (South Africa), Werner Jauk (Austria), Joy Hill (Great Britain), Johan Sunberg (Sweden), Josef SchlömicherThier (Austria),  Giovanni Acciai (Italy), Vanangs Romans (Lithuania), Vatovec Marko (Slovenia), Andrea Angelini (Italy), Annemarie van der Walt (South Africa), Harald Jers (Germany), Irena HočevarBoltežar (Slovenia). Alongside the papers to be read there will also be workshops and master classes.. Annemarie van der Walt and Andrea Angelini will speak to the participants in order to introduce them to the IFCM and the ICB.  The women’s choir Tokio Josei Choir from Japan with its conductor Yoichi Adachi will be the guest choir of the Symposium (www.geocities.co.jp/tokyo_josei_choir/). On the second day a major choral concert will take place.  Within the framework of the Symposium there will also be the award of prizes and recognitions to persons of merit.  All further information about the Symposium and the Croatian Association of Choral Conductors can be found at www.choralcroatia.com.

 

Translated from the German by Irene Auerbach, United Kingdom

 

About the Author

Branko Stark
Branko Stark (1954), composer, conductor and voice instructor, is a teacher at the Arts Academy (University of Split-Croatia). He has written over two hundred compositions for which he is the recipient of numerous awards. He teaches singers, choral directors, composers, actors, speech therapists, phoneticians and speakers and also engages in voice rehabilitation. Mr. Stark has participated in more than thirty scientific symposiums and has been guest professor at many faculties in Croatia and abroad. His specialty is the theory and practice of voice, vocal stylistics and expression stylistics in singing and speech, hermeneutics and works published on these subjects. He gives lectures, seminars, master classes and workshops worldwide (Argentina, China, Slovenia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, USA, Korea, South Africa, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brunei, Latvia). Mr. Stark is also a prominent adjudicator for many international choral competitions (Croatia, Germany, Italy, Austria, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea). He is President of the Croatian Choral Directors Association, head of the Vocal Academy and a member of the International Council of the World Choir Games.

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