Andrea Angelini, ICB Managing Editor
You will no doubt have noticed that the most recent issues of ICB have a new graphic design and so a new look. You may find it hard to believe, but this new look began with a conversation in a typical Bavarian beer cellar in Munich last February, when Graham Lack – with whom I share the delights and difficulties of editing the ICB – and I got together to talk about the journal and try to find a way to give it a more attractive up-to-date look.
I have to admit it took a fair number of beers (but we both stayed sober, honestly!) before we found the answers to our queries and came up with the solutions you can now see implemented in our journal. We haven’t quite finished yet; there will be further small adjustments to be made, because the first issues to be published after the ‘great change’ serve as a workshop, so to speak. However, we’re almost there. I would be pleased to know your opinions, so I hope that many of you will write to tell me!
The rules for the second IFCM International Competition for Choral Composition were published in the last issue, and it was an immediate success; we have already received numerous applications. The prize for the winner of the competition is an attractive one: the composer whose score is considered the best will receive 5,000 Euros, and his or her piece will be performed by the famous Philippine Madrigal Singers conducted by Mark Anthony Carpio. There is also another splendid prize, for the composer whose score shows the greatest ‘harmonic originality’: the opportunity for a workshop-rehearsal with the young British vocal ensemble VOCES8. You can find interviews with both choirs in this issue of ICB.
As usual, there is a vast variety of events all around the world: in this issue we concentrate on the ‘Musica Sacra International’ Festival in Marktoberdorf which has just finished. This was a festival devoted, as always, to promoting mutual respect and tolerance among different religions. Our compliments to Dolf Rabus and his staff for the excellent quality of the artistic content and for such efficient organisation.
You can find other reports from Zagreb, where in April the biennial ‘Ars Choralis’ conference took place, devoted to everything that comprises the world of choral music. A mini-symposium with concerts, lessons, workshops, publishing … And there is an interesting article on Australian Church Music putting us in touch with a musical universe which perhaps – sad to say – is not very well-known. And don’t miss the reports from Leipzig on the thirteenth ‘A Cappella’ Choir Festival, on the ‘Gondwana National Choral School’ and on choral music in Korea. And on the subject of Korea, I should like to remind all our readers that we are getting everything ready for our next ‘Symposium of Choral Music’ which is to be held in South Korea in 2014. Of course, you will all want to take part, so you’ll need to know something about Korean choral traditions!
The Dossier in this issue deals with the situation of choral music in Greece and Cyprus, two Mediterranean countries in which the World Youth Choir will meet this summer. As you will see, the beginnings of choral music here date back over two thousand years.
I leave you to discover the rest of the contents for yourselves. ICB is, as always, a loyal friend and companion to all lovers of choral music. And don’t forget that you can now read it online at http://icb.ifcm.net
It only remains for me to say, ‘happy reading!’
Translated from the Italian by Gillian Forlivesi Heywood, Italy