Conducting is the essence of choral art! The professional activities of the choir director are mostly communicative, as he acts as an organiser and guide of the artistic idea of the repertoire to be performed, from the first rehearsal to the final concert. Unlike any other musician, the choir is the conductor’s instrument, which consists of a set of voices owned by living and thinking people, with different levels of training, personality and temperament, who have their own creative relationship with the conductor and each other.To be a good choir director, nowadays, one needs perfect control of many subjects: obviously the director will have studied gestures in depth but his skills will include vocal technique, performance practice, knowing how to arrange parts for one’s choir, having managerial skills, understanding the needs of one’s singers, knowing how to be humble even when seemingly arrived at. It is a difficult profession but one that repays with incredible satisfaction. The ‘Romano Gandolfi’ International Competition, the great maestro who should inspire us all, was born out of these reflections, to provide an opportunity to compare different cultures, to see what use can be made
of the same repertoire and how a jury is able to understand the differences in interpretation; all this, of course, while respecting the evaluation parameters adopted which ensure correctness and transparency of judgement. During these three days, the candidates will measure themselves against six laboratory choirs, each of them different in terms of formation and conformation, repertoire and style.The ability to relate to amateur and professional singers, together with knowledge of their ‘craft’, will be the key to the jury’s verdict. I would like to thank AERCO and all its staff for being so far-sighted as to have understood the importance of having 16 young conductors from all over the world here in Parma.
Andrea Angelini, Artistic Director of the Competition and AERCO President