By Sonja Greiner, Secretary General of the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat
At the seventh International Competition for Young Choral Conductors in St Petersburg, Russia, held between April 3rd-7th 2013, 33-year-old conductor Donka Miteva from Bulgaria won the overall First Prize, the Special Prize for the best compulsory piece performance in the finals, and the Special Prize of the Choir of Smolny Cathedral for the best rehearsal in the final round.
The Second Prize of the competition and the Special Prize for the best performance of a contemporary piece by a St. Petersburg composer went to Eun Hye Cho from South Korea. Third Prize went to Anton Maximov from Russia, who also won the Audience Prize.
The Special Prize of the ECA – EC, which consists of an assistant conductorship at the EUROPA CANTAT festival in Pécs, Hungary in 2015, was given to Yuval Weinberg from Israel, who impressed the jury with his teaching and communication skills. The scholarship for a promising young conductor, awarded by the Noël Minet Fund of the ECA – EC, went to Zoltán Dévity from Hungary. Further Special Prizes went to finalist Alexander Humala from Belarus, Anastasia Belyaeva from Russia, and Krastin Nastev from Bulgaria. All results can be downloaded from the “News” section of our website on www.eca-ec.org or www.EuropeanChoralAssociation.org.
Two participants of the competition, Yuval Weinberg and Alexander Humala, received a scholarship from the Noël Minet Fund which allowed both of them to travel to Russia and participate in this event.
The International Competition for Young Choral Conductors, first organized in Budapest in 2001 and subsequently taking place in Tallinn (2002), Vienna (2004), Budapest (2007), Ljubljana (2009) and Pomáz-Budapest (2011), was a common project of AGEC and Europa Cantat and is now a project of the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat. The 2013 event, combined with the first International Forum of Choral Conductors in Russia, was organized by the Centre for International Cooperation ‘Inter Aspect’ in collaboration with the St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts and the Central-Eastern European Centre of ECA-EC. Prize-winners of previous events include conductors such as Florian Helgath, Dani Juris, Maria Goundorina, Mirga Grazinyte, and Maud Hamon-Loisance, who have conducted and will be conducting workshops at this year’s EUROPA CANTAT Singing Weeks and festivals. Carlo Pavese will be a member of this year’s international jury.
Choral organizations in Europe are also encouraged to invite the newly discovered conducting talents from this year’s competition to head workshops at any of their upcoming events.
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Edited by J. Aaron Baudhuin, Germany