Anastasiia Shchyrba embarked on her journey as a conductor at Lviv State Music College ‘S. Liudkevych,’ where she studied under the guidance of Oksana Samotos. Following her graduation from the college in 2019, Anastasiia continued her professional development at Lviv National Music Academy ‘M. Lysenko,‘ studying under Khrystyna Fleychuk. She completed her undergraduate studies in 2019, earning a bachelor’s degree with honors in Choral and opera-symphonic conducting, and later obtained a master’s degree with honors in 2021. Driven by her desire for artistic growth, Anastasiia participated in a guest student program at Zurich University of the Arts from 2022 to 2023, where she studied under the mentorship of Markus Utz. Concurrently, she pursued a Doctor of Art Degree at Lviv, focusing on her dissertation titled “Memorial choral music of Ukrainian composers of the 20th-21st centuries.” Anastasiia’s exceptional skills as a conductor have garnered recognition through numerous awards and distinctions. She received a special prize at the National Conducting Competition in Ivano-Frankivsk in 2013, achieved laureate status at the Conductor Competition in Drohobych in 2014, and secured the third prize along with the Audience Choice Award at the National Conducting Competition in Mykolaiv in 2017. Particularly noteworthy is her second prize win at the National Competition of young conductors ‘M. Kolessa’ in Lviv in 2019. Additionally, she participated in the Fosco Corti International Competition for Choral Conductors in Turin, Italy, in 2021. Her list of accomplishments and artistic projects is extensive, encompassing a wide range of endeavors including transdisciplinary collaborations, concerts, workshops, annual festivals, and art initiatives—all of which underscore her unwavering commitment to promoting choral art. Since 2014, Anastasiia Shchyrba has served as the Choirmaster of the National children’s and youth choir “Radunytsia,” achieving notable success in both national and international competitions. Under her direction, “Radunytsia” has recorded 8 albums featuring Ukrainian music. Additionally, she is the founder and conductor of the choir and instrumental group “Taize-Lviv” since 2013. Anastasiia has actively participated in numerous choral conferences and attended conducting master courses. Prior to the full-scale invasion, Anastasiia held roles as a conductor and teacher at Lviv Holy Spirit Greek Catholic Seminary, led the choir “Cadettes” at Lviv State University of Life Safety, and served as a cantor and conductor of the church choir “Soli Deo,” in addition to leading smaller church ensembles. Currently, she is preparing concert programs of Ukrainian sacral music in collaboration with the choir “Creatones” in Zurich.
Hailing from Taichung, Taiwan, Tzu-HanAnn Chen embarked on her doctoral journey in Choral Music at the University of Southern California (USC) Thornton School of Music in the autumn of 2023. Chen is a multifaceted talent, excelling as a pianist, vocalist, and conductor. She lent her voice to the Vancouver Cantata Singers from 2013 to 2016. During her tenure as the artistic director of the Essonance Chamber Choir from 2013 to 2014, the choir achieved recognition by receiving the runner-up Honourable Barbara A. Hagerman Award at the Performing Arts BC provincial festival. Chen’s dedication to music education extended to Vancouver’s public schools, where she served as a choral specialist for five years. Simultaneously, she held the position of Choirmaster at St. John’s Shaughnessy Anglican Church for a remarkable eight years. Throughout her teaching career, Chen’s choirs consistently earned scholarships and secured top-ranking positions in numerous music festivals. Since 2021, she has assumed the role of assistant conductor and section leader at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Los Angeles, California. During her tenure at USC, Chen served as the associate conductor of the Apollo Chorus and co-founded a dynamic a cappella octet, Exilio, in 2022. In that same year, her exceptional talents earned her the privilege of conducting at the Toronto Mendelssohn Choral Conductors’ Symposium and the Norfolk Chamber Music Choral Festival. In 2023, Chen was selected as one of the few accomplished conductors to participate in the Taipei International Choral Festival masterclass and the 12th European Academy for Choral Conductors in Fano, Italy, hosted by FENIARCO. Currently, she is a Graduate Teaching Assistant at USC, where she serves as the lead conductor of the University Chorus. Her pursuit of excellence in conducting has led her to enrich her skills through masterclasses with esteemed instructors such as Dr. Graeme Langager, Jon Washburn, Fred Sjöberg, Dr. Jean-Sebastian Vallée, Simon Carrington, Gábor Hollerung, Dr. Brady Allred, and Dr. Geoffrey Boers. During her studies at USC, she had the privilege of learning from distinguished mentors, including Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe, Dr. Nick Strimple, Dr. Cristian Grases, Dr. Tram Sparks, Dr. Larry Livingston, and Dr. Troy Quinn.
Brian Dungan is a versatile musician and educator, known for his roles as a conductor, percussionist, singer, and music educator. He honed his conducting skills through extensive training, including studies in Hungary under the guidance of renowned mentors such as Peter Erdei, Volker Hempfling, Brady Allred, Georg Grün, and Michael Reif. In 2018 and 2019, Brian served as RTÉ’s Conductor-in-Training in collaboration with the Irish Youth Choir. Notably, he spent five years as the musical director of the internationally acclaimed women’s chamber choir, Cantairí Óga Átha Cliath, achieving remarkable success, including winning the prestigious Grand Prix at the 3rd International Choral Festival of Aveiro in Portugal. Within Wesley College, Brian takes on the role of Director of Choral Activities, overseeing the Senior Choir, Junior Choral Group, Male Voice Choir, and Dramatic Productions. His impressive choral background includes past membership in esteemed groups like the World Youth Choir, the Irish Youth Chamber Choir, and the Christ Church Cathedral Choir. Currently, Brian is an active member and assistant conductor of the New Dublin Voices. He is highly sought after as a choral practitioner, having contributed as a bass tutor for the Irish Youth Choir and the National Youth Choir of Northern Ireland. Beyond his choral pursuits, Brian is a regular percussionist, collaborating with esteemed orchestras such as the National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra,Ulster Orchestra, Irish National Opera, and Crash Ensemble, among others. Brian’s educational contributions have extended to positions at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Newpark Academy of Music, as well as lecturing at the TU Dublin Conservatoire. He also serves as the Artistic Director of the Kodály Ireland International Summer Course. Brian’s academic achievements include an M.Mus. in Performance from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, an MA in Music Pedagogy from the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy in Budapest, and a B.Mus.Ed. from Trinity College, Dublin. Outside of his musical endeavors, Brian finds enjoyment in reading, playing football, and cultivating his own food.
Dong Chuanhong is a promising Chinese conductor and vocalist. While he primarily focuses on choral conducting, he is actively diversifying his repertoire and gaining experience in orchestral and operatic endeavors. Currently, Dong is in his third year of pursuing a Doctor of Arts degree at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). His studies at UNC are multifaceted, with Dr. Jill Burgett guiding him in choral conducting as his primary focus, Dr. Andres Felipe Jaime in orchestral conducting, and Prof. William Wilson in voice performance as his secondary area of concentration. Additionally, Dong has delved into the world of harpsichord under the tutelage of Prof. Debra Throgmorton. Within the academic realm, Dong has made significant contributions as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at UNC. Notably, he served as Chorusmaster for UNC’s Opera Theatre productions of Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” in Spring 2023 and Handel’s “Acis and Galatea” in Fall 2022. Furthermore, he took on the roles of conductor for the University Singers and assistant conductor for various other UNC choirs. Throughout his time at UNC, Dong has directed choral pieces spanning diverse styles and tackled challenging compositions such as Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” and Brahms’ “Ein deutsches Requiem.” One standout achievement was his role as Chorusmaster for Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasia” during the UNC Concert Choir’s collaboration with the Greeley Chamber Orchestra. Beyond his academic pursuits, Dong assumes the role of Music Director for The Shepherd Ensemble, a vocal group specializing in Renaissance music based in Shanghai, China. This summer, he joined the Saluzzo Opera Academy as an Assistant Conductor for Puccini’s “Suor Angelica,” collaborating closely with Director Cecilia Stinton and Conductor Dr. Kevin Class, garnering high praise for his contributions. In the previous summer, Dong participated in the Miami Music Festival for the CCM Opera Bootcamp, where he studied Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” under the guidance of Prof. Mark Gibson at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He not only rehearsed but also conducted a portion of the opera. Dong earned his Master of Fine Arts in Conducting from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China, where he studied under the mentorship of Prof. WANG Yan and received a comprehensive education in music theory from renowned German Music Theorist Prof. Reinhard Bahr. Prior to his music career, Dong obtained a Bachelor of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering from Fudan University.
Jack Apperley, a freelance conductor based in London, has an impressive musical journey. He earned a master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the Royal Academy of Music, mentored by Patrick Russill. His outstanding performance during his studies earned him a Distinction and the prestigious Sir Thomas Armstrong Choral Leadership Prize. Prior to this, Jack pursued his undergraduate studies in Music at the University of Birmingham, where he benefited from the guidance of Simon Halsey CBE. In 2019, Jack demonstrated his talents on the international stage by competing in renowned choral conducting competitions, namely the Jazep Vitols International Choral Conducting Competition and the World Choral Conducting Competition in Hong Kong, reaching the semifinals in both events. Jack’s exceptional abilities were recognized when he was awarded Second Prize at the inaugural London International Choral Conducting Competition in 2018. Currently, Jack holds the position of Music Director for two distinguished ensembles, the Goldsmiths Choral Union and Concordia Voices. Additionally, he serves as the conductor of the Epsom Chamber Choir. Previously, Jack played a pivotal role as an Assistant Chorus Master for the London Symphony Chorus, where he diligently prepared the chorus for performances of complex works, including Liszt’s Faust Symphony, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Britten’s Spring Symphony, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Luther Adams’ In the Name of the Earth. In a notable engagement, he led the London Symphony Orchestra Community Choir in a rendition of David Lang’s The Public Domain at the Barbican Centre in Spring 2019. Jack has also held teaching posts at the University of Birmingham and Imperial College. His exceptional skills as a conductor and Chorus Master have led to a growing demand for his services in both the UK and across Europe. Recent engagements have included collaborations with prestigious institutions such as the Hungarian National Choir, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Gothenburg Symphony Vocal Ensemble, and Choeur de Radio France. In the current year, Jack is set to work with the Berlin Radio Choir as part of their International Masterclass Series, cementing his reputation as a highly sought-after conductor on the international stage.
Katherine Chan, an accomplished conductor from Australia, is renowned for her boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm when leading orchestras and choirs. Currently holding the position of Director of Choral Activities and Associate Teaching Professor of Music at Northeastern University, Chan takes the helm of the Northeastern University Choral Society Chorus, Chamber Singers, and Mosaic Advance Treble Ensemble. Beyond her conducting prowess, Chan is a highly regarded choral educator and clinician. She also assumes the role of Artistic Director for the Boston Choral Ensemble and serves as the Chair for the ACDA East Region Collegiate Repertoire and Resource (R&R). Chan’s remarkable blend of musical talent and vibrant presence has shone on numerous prestigious international stages, including the Australia National Choral Association (ANCA) Choralfest National Convention and state conventions, the National Conductors’ Symposium in Canada, and various American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Conventions, State Conferences, and ACDA Honor Choirs. She has had the privilege of being a conducting scholar under the guidance of Maestro Helmuth Rilling, conducting at acclaimed events like the Oregon Bach Festival, Taipei Bach Festival, and Hong Kong SingFest. In recent times, Chan’s engagements have expanded to include guest conductor appearances with notable ensembles such as the Xi’an Symphony Chorus in China, the Minnesota Chorale, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, and the Cantata Singers in Boston. Chan holds an impressive academic background, having earned a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the University of Washington. She furthered her studies, obtaining a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Minnesota (UMN), where she benefited from the mentorship of esteemed figures like Kathy Saltzman Romey and Matthew Mehaffey.
Leiu Tõnissaar, born in 1998, embarked on her journey in choral conducting by commencing her studies at Tallinn Music High School under the tutelage of Ingrid Kõrvits. In 2017, she furthered her education by enrolling in the bachelor’s program at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (EAMT), where she graduated with honors in 2020 under the mentorship of Professor Tõnu Kaljuste. Subsequently, she pursued her master’s degree at the University of Arts Helsinki Sibelius Academy, guided by Professor Nils Schweckendiek.Leiu has honed her skills by collaborating with various youth and amateur choirs, including the Children’s Choir of Tallinn Music High School, the Mixed Choir Akord, and the National Girls’ Choir Leelo. Currently, she is deeply involved with the Estonian chamber choir Avis Animi, a dedicated ensemble focused on commissioning and performing contemporary choral compositions. Beyond her role as a conductor, Leiu has showcased her vocal talents as a former member of Voces Tallinn (Musicales; 2017–2021) and her current participation in the Somnium Ensemble. She is equally passionate about early music and is accomplished as a harpsichordist and continuo player under the guidance of Professors Imbi Tarum and Elina Mustonen. Her repertoire spans various early music groups, and she has actively participated in numerous masterclasses facilitated by esteemed instructors such as Anne Marie Dragosits, Tea Polso, and Annamari Pölhö.Leiu’s dedication to choral artistry is evident through her participation in several choral masterclasses led by notable figures, including Romualdas Gražinis (2017), Risto Joost (2018), Zoltán Pad (2019), Georg Grün (2021, 2023), Lorenzo Donati (2021, 2023), David Hill (2023), Stuart Overington (2023), and Gary Graden (2023). In 2017, she was extended an invitation to the Thomas Mann Festival in Lithuania, where she actively contributed and performed an Estonian repertoire alongside the chamber choir Aidija. Leiu’s remarkable talent was acknowledged when she secured the second place in the choral conducting competition at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. In 2021, she was also honored with the choral conducting student’s scholarship from the Gustav Ernesaks Fund. Her dedication to the craft saw her represent Estonia in the Choral Conducting Masterclass at the World Symposium on Choral Music, led by Ragnar Rasmussen in Istanbul, Turkey, in April 2023.
Małgorzata Łukasik, hailing from Poland, embarked on her journey into the world of choral music in 2010. Her musical odyssey began with the completion of her studies at the Władysław Żeleński State Secondary Music School in Kraków, specializing in eurythmics, and culminated in 2020. Subsequently, she continued her musical education at the prestigious Karol Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice. Her focus shifted to Choral Conducting in 2020, a field she excelled in, ultimately earning her bachelor’s degree in 2023. Starting this year, she is set to pursue her master’s degree in this field, further cementing her dedication to choral music. A notable figure in the choral music scene, Małgorzata is not only a gifted conductor but also a versatile vocalist. She wears multiple hats, serving as the founder, conductor, and an esteemed singer of the ROCHOir Female Vocal Ensemble based in Oświęcim. Under her leadership, the ensemble has garnered acclaim and numerous awards in prestigious choir competitions. Some of their notable achievements include a 3rd place finish at the 51stNationwide Choir Competition “LEGNICA’51” in Legnica, Poland in 2021, a coveted 1st place award and Golden Diploma at the 17th Kazimierz Fober’s Choir Competition “GAUDE CANTEM” in Bielsko-Biała, Poland in 2022, a Silver Medal at the International Competition of Vocal Ensembles “VOCALIS BELLUS” in Olomouc, Czech Republic in 2023, and a Golden Diploma at the 18th Nationwide Choir Competition of Carols and Christmas Songs in Chełmno, Poland in 2022. In 2021, Małgorzata displayed her conducting prowess by preparing and conducting the premiere of ‘Poemat o Dzielnej Niewieście’ by Michał Goliński at the Student’s Composition Concert held at the Karol Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice. Her commitment to excellence in choral music extends beyond her conducting role. Małgorzata actively participated in Europa Chor Akademie’s Sommerakademie masterclasses tailored for choir conductors and singers. She also lent her vocal talents to various renowned ensembles, including the AMBITUS Early Music Vocal Ensemble from Katowice, MAKSYMALNI Choir from Harmęże, Wawel Cathedral Mixed Choir from Kraków, and the Chamber Choir of the Karol Szymanowski Music Academy from Katowice. Furthermore, in 2019, Małgorzata had the privilege of actively engaging in eurythmic masterclasses at Jacques Dalcroze’s Institute in Geneva, Switzerland, further enriching her musical knowledge and expertise.
Mario Lo Russo Henriquez, the talented Venezuelan Bass-Baritone, boasts an impressive academic and musical background. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Arts from the Central University of Venezuela and graduated in Vocal Performance from the National School of Music “Juan Manuel Olivares” in Caracas, Venezuela. Additionally, he holds a master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the “Cecilio Acosta” Catholic University in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and a master’s degree in Educational Management from Yacambú University in Cabudare, Venezuela. Mario’s musical journey includes membership in esteemed musical groups within Venezuela. Notably, he was associated with the “Schola Cantorum de Venezuela,” where he served as a singer and assistant conductor. He also lent his vocal talents to the male voice’s ensemble “Cantus Firmus” in Caracas from 2006 to 2008, and he showcased his guitar skills as part of the student group of the National Typical Orchestra in 2008. His participation extends to significant symphonic-choral productions, including notable performances of Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” under the baton of Irwing Hoffman, Gustavo Dudamel’s rendition of “La Cantata Criolla,” Penderecki’s “Eighth Symphony” conducted by the composer himself, Alberto Grau’s “La Doncella,” Mozart’s Requiem under the direction of Maria Guinand, Verdi’s Requiem, Bach’s Mass in B minor, and “Joan of Arc at the Bonfire,” all conducted by Helmunt Rilling, among others. Mario’s choral prowess has taken him to prominent national and international choral festivals, where he has graced the stages of large theaters, both in his home country and abroad. Mario’s journey in choral conducting began under the tutelage of Venezuelan conductor Luimar Arismendi. He furthered his career by assuming the role of conductor for the children’s choir “Pequeños Cantores de Altagracia” within the “Schola Cantorum of Venezuela.” Additionally, he served as an assistant conductor for the professional choir associated with the same institution, working under the esteemed conductor Maria Guinand, known internationally for her expertise. Currently, Mario is a singer in the newly formed “National Choir of Colombia,” a professional initiative of the “National Symphony Orchestra” of Colombia, which brings together the finest vocal talents from across the country. He also directs “Zebtysqua Voces Oscuras,” a male chamber ensemble that has received invitations to prestigious national and international festivals. In the realm of music education, Mario serves as a choral teacher at the renowned “Music in the Temples” Foundation in Bogotá. Simultaneously, he holds the position of Principal Training Artist with the “Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra,” where he works as a choral professor and coordinator within a school program. His dedication to music education and performance excellence is further exemplified by his role as Assistant Director of the esteemed “Children’s Philharmonic Choir” of the same orchestra, a position he held between 2021 and 2023. Mario’s expertise has earned him invitations as a workshop speaker at various universities and conservatories, where he shares his knowledge and passion for music.
Matteo Guerrieri obtained a diploma in Composition at the Conservatory of Music Niccolò Paganini in Genova under the guidance of M° Luigi Giachino and M° Riccardo Dapelo. He studied Opera Singing at the same conservatory and obtained a diploma in Choir Direction and Choral Composition at the Conservatory of Music Giacomo Puccini in La Spezia under the guidance of M° Fabio Lombardo with a score of 110 with honours. In 2015 he obtained a diploma from the three-year academy of opera orchestra conducting at the Spazio Musica association founded by M° Gabriella Ravazzi under the guidance of M° Daniele Agiman. In 2014, he obtained a Master’s degree in Choir Conducting at the Scuola Superiore per Direttori di Coro della “Fondazione Guido d’Arezzo” in Arezzo. In addition, he has participated in various composition seminars, courses for choir conductors and choral didactics courses for children’s choir with Maestri Carlo Pavese, Nicola Conci, Klara Nemes (Kodaly didactics), Jhonny Gomez and Naybeth Garcia (Coro Manos Blancas, El Sistema Abreu), Thierry Lalo and the Swingle Singers. Sensitive to the theme of inclusion with Music, he specialised in Sign Language obtaining a third level LIS diploma at the ENS in Genova (Ente Nazionale Sordi) and working as a Communication Assistant at primary and secondary schools. A founding member of the Trillargento association (www.trillargento.org) since 2013, he has been its artistic and educational director and principal conductor of the youth and children’s choir and orchestra, and of the adult choir and orchestra. With Trillargento he carries out an intense teaching and concert activity collaborating with various national realities. At the same time, he collaborates with various choral realities both as a cantor and as a soloist and arranger, including the Musicaround Ensemble conducted by Maestro Vera Marenco, the Torino Vocalensemble conducted by Maestro Carlo Pavese, the Musical Academy of Arenzano, the Chiabrera Theatre of Savona, and the Vox Antiqua conducted by Maestro Marco Bettuzzi. He has been the conductor of several Genoese choral groups, and currently directs the mixed-voice choirs CoReMì, with which he won second prize at the CorAmare competition in Sestri Levante in 2022 in the popular and folkloristic category, and the women’s choir Goodnews! in Genova. He has collaborated as a vocal coach with the choral ensembles of the Vocal Academy of Genova directed by Maestro Roberta Paraninfo. He also carries out an intense teaching activity as a music teacher in primary and secondary schools and as a trainer of primary and secondary school teachers and directors of children’s and youth choirs. Since 2020, he has been a member of the artistic direction of CLAss_Liguriacanta, with which he has organised various choral conducting and concert activities. He currently teaches at the Biennial School for Choir Directors together with maestros Fabio Lombardo (principal teacher at the school), Daniele Rinero, Piero Caraba and Roberta Paraninfo.
Monika Grigaitytė, hailing from Lithuania and born in 1998, embarked on her musical journey at a young age of nine when she enrolled at A. Kačanauskas’ music school. Her deep passion for music guided her to pursue further education, leading her to the Kaunas Juozas Gruodis Conservatoire in 2016. In 2022, she proudly attained her bachelor’s degree in choral conducting and music education, achieving this milestone under the meticulous guidance of Laurynas Vakaris Lopas at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. The subsequent year, Monika undertook a post-graduate internship in Italy at the Associazione Emiliano-Romagnola Cori. Here, she assumed the role of assistant conductor for a variety of choirs, including CoroIldebrando Pizzetti dell’Università di Parma, Coro Multietnico di Bologna, Corale Lirica San Rocco, Bologna, and Coro dell’Arengo, Bologna. In addition to her conducting duties, she lent her vocal talents to Coro Giovanile dell’Emilia-Romagna and Coro Regionale dell’Emilia-Romagna.In 2023, Monika was selected to participate in the IFCM YOUNG program at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Türkiye, further enriching her musical experiences. Since 2019, she has actively engaged in conducting masterclasses, learning from distinguished conductors such as Burak Onur Erdem, Basilio Astulez, Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny, Lorenzo Donati, Petra Grassi, Manolo da Rold, Martino Faggiani, Walter Testolin, Ilaria Poldi, Vincenzo Marino, and others.Monika currently serves as an assistant conductor, closely collaborating with Christian Frattima at “Varpelis,” one of Lithuania’s esteemed boys’ choral singing schools. Simultaneously, she dedicates her time to mentoring aspiring talents in the field of choral conducting. Furthermore, she holds the position of choir director at Birštonas’ art school. Her overarching goal is to continually seek new professional challenges and refine her skills as a conductor.Monika’s remarkable dedication to the world of choral music has not gone unnoticed, as she has been selected as a participant in Lithuania’s “National Youth Choir” project. Beyond her contributions as a choral conductor and educator, Monika aspires to broaden her horizons in the realm of cultural management. Actively involved in the Lithuanian National Culture Centre’s Lithuanian Song Celebration 2024 office, she stands ready to make a significant impact on the cultural landscape.
Pietro Consoloni, born in Pisa in 1993, cultivated a deep passion for music from a young age, enabling him to explore the world of music across diverse contexts. His journey commenced with a distinguished graduation, Cum Laude, from Livorno’s “Istituto di Studi MusicaliMascagni,” specializing in Composition. Within his hometown’s theater, he crafted the musical accompaniments for revamped renditions of iconic plays such as B. Brecht’s “Rise and Fall of the City Mahagonny,” C. Collodi’s “Pinocchio,” and W. Shakespeare’s “Tempest,” all of which graced the stage between 2013 and 2015. Subsequently, he continued to refine his musical prowess, achieving Cum Laude honors in Organ and Organ Composition at the “Conservatorio Puccini of La Spezia.” He further distinguished himself through exemplary performances in Choral Conducting and Choral Composition, earning top marks and accolades from the “Conservatorio S. Pietro a Majella of Napoli” and the “Pontificio Istituto of Sacred Music” (PIMS) in Rome, with the prestigious qualification “summa cum laude probatus.” At present, Pietro is pursuing advanced studies in orchestra conducting under the mentorship of Maestro M. Benzi at the “Conservatorio G. Rossini” in Pesaro. Simultaneously, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Musicology at PIMS. Driven by his passion for conducting, he has actively participated in masterclasses conducted by luminaries such as V. Parisi, W. Marzilli, D. Renzetti, Gyorgy G. Rath, and M. Benzi. Additionally, he holds the role of founder and conductor of the chamber-music ensemble “I Bei Legami,” which has earned acclaim at various prestigious music festivals. As an organist, Pietro is highly active in concert performances and is frequently invited to participate in significant national organ events. Currently, he serves as the organist at Pisa’s “Primaziale” Cathedral and holds a seat on the board of the “S. Cecilia” Italian Association. He collaborated with Prof. G. Baroffio on the publication of the historical volume titled “Musica in Cattedrale. Fonti storiche e carte musicali” (Pacini-Editore 2019), dedicated to the archives of the “Dome musical Chapel” in Pisa. Notably, he is the permanent conductor of the Resonare Vocale Ensemble, which achieved the 3rd prize at the 2021 Fermo National Competition and secured the 1st prize at the 2023 Piombino Riviera Etrusca National Competition.
Sanders Lau is a versatile choral musician who possesses an unwavering belief in the singular power of choral music to both express emotions and forge profound connections. He stands as the Artistic Director and visionary founder of NOĒMA, an esteemed chamber choir based in Hong Kong, rapidly emerging as one of the most dynamic and innovative influences in the city’s vibrant choral landscape. Sanders has also enjoyed a rich collaboration with Die Konzertisten, during which he cultivated a specialized interest in historically informed performances of early music. Throughout his illustrious career, Sanders has served as a chorusmaster, collaborating with a constellation of globally acclaimed artists, including renowned conductors such as Stephen Layton, Jonathan Cohen, John Butt, and Maxime Pascal. Together, they have breathed life into timeless masterpieces, including Bach’s Mass in B minor, St. John Passion, Handel’s Messiah, Israel in Egypt, and Mozart’s Requiem. Beyond his dedication to traditional choral works, Sanders is a fervent advocate for contemporary choral music. He has forged close partnerships with some of Hong Kong’s most prominent composers, contributing to the evolution of the genre. Sanders is equally passionate about nurturing the next generation of choral leaders, and his commitment is palpable through his numerous engagements. He has been invited to teach, guest-conduct, adjudicate, and offer masterclasses, workshops, lectures, and pre-concert talks for prestigious organizations such as the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Voices of Singapore Festival, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, The Education University of Hong Kong, Macao Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Interschool Choral Festival, Hong Kong Children’s Choir, and Macau International Choral Festival. Beyond the borders of Hong Kong, Sanders’ talents have resonated across the globe, with performances in Austria, Sweden, Italy, the USA, Canada, Taiwan, and China. Sanders’ musical journey is underpinned by his academic achievements, holding degrees from the Eastman School of Music and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His mentors, including luminaries such as William Weinert, Brad Lubman, Paul O’Dette, Esmond Lim, and Felix Yeung, have profoundly shaped his artistic path. Over the years, Sanders has gleaned wisdom from esteemed masters such as Simon Carrington, Nicolas Fink, Chen Yun Hung, Ivars Taurins, Jeanne Lamon, Peter Harvey, Helmuth Rilling, and Gábor Hollerung.
Tom Varl (1998) stands as a young Slovenian composer, conductor, and Willems pedagogue. Over the past few years, he has showcased his conducting talent in numerous choral and conducting competitions while collaborating with a range of national and international choirs. In July 2021, he secured the coveted 1st place at the international Aegis Carminis competition in Koper. Then, at the close of May 2022, he clinched the 3rd prize at a national conducting competition and earned recognition as the most promising young conductor at a national choral competition. In 2021, his compositional prowess was also acknowledged with two awards. He received the prize for the best newly composed song at the Aegis Carminis singing competition and secured the 2nd place as part of a team with a pianist and a singer at the SpevSlam competition. Varl’s musical journey began with studies in music theory and singing at the Conservatory of Music and Ballet Ljubljana (KGBL). Subsequently, he continued his education at the Academy of Music Ljubljana, where he graduated with degrees in composition, music theory, and choral conducting. His educational experiences extended to an Erasmus exchange program in conducting at the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya in Barcelona. During his academic pursuits, he also immersed himself in Willems teaching, earning an honors degree in July 2022. Currently, Tom Varl is enrolled in the second year of a master’s program in choral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music Aarhus in Denmark. There, he also serves as the conductor of the Aarhus youth male choir. In the academic year 2022/23, he assumed the role of an assistant conductor for the academy’s girls’ choir. Since March 2023, he has held the position of conductor for Aarhus Studiekor. Notably, Varl has been at the helm of the Boy’s Vocal Group of Ivan Cankar since 2016, with which he has made appearances at national and international levels, amassing several accolades. In May 2021, the group clinched two gold awards at the International Choir Festival in Bjeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In one of the categories, they achieved a perfect score of 100 points and secured 1st place. In May 2022, they received a silver prize at the Slovenian national choral competition. Throughout his academic journey, Varl lent his voice to the KGBL Chamber Choir, where he also served as an assistant conductor. During the 2020/2021 season, he held the position of an assistant conductor at the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir, affording him the opportunity to perform. Furthermore, he is both a singer and an assistant conductor of the foreign vocal group Vikra. Their outstanding talent was recognized with the grand prix at the Seghizzi international competition in July 2022. Tom Varl has enriched his knowledge and skills through guidance from various esteemed conductors, including Josep Vila i Casañes, Georg Grün, Petra Grassi, Ragnar Rasmussen, Martina Batič, and Stojan Kuret.
Yuan Ziqi holds a bachelor’s degree in Composition and Conducting, which she earned at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She is currently on track to complete her master’s degree in Conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich in Germany, where she is studying under the guidance of Prof. Andreas Herrmann and Prof. Micheal Gläser. Her comprehensive musical education includes training as a pianist at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and vocal instruction under the tutelage of the esteemed vocalist Li Jing. Ziqi has honed her skills and expertise as an assistant conductor within the realm of vocal ensembles, serving at both the Shenyang Conservatory of Music and Northeastern University. Her remarkable talents have led to successful collaborations with renowned institutions such as the China Lanzhou Grand Theater and the Madrigale Chorus at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich. Beyond her academic and professional pursuits, Yuan Ziqi has played multifaceted roles in the world of choral music. She founded and conducted the Munich Moon Choir, served as the Choral conductor of the Department of Composition and Conducting at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, directed the Shanghai Xuhui District LGBT Acapella Choir, led the Shanghai HuiSheng Law Firm Choir, conducted the Traffic Institute of Tongji University Choir, oversaw the Shanghai Police College Men’s Choir, helmed the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Choir, guided the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology Choir, directed the Shanghai Municipal administration of Culture and Tourism Choir, and served as the Conductor for the Children’s Choir in Jiading District, in addition to her role as Conductor of the Wenzhou Grand Theater Youth Choir.
Yuto Yamaguchi, a Japanese musician, has dedicated the past five years of his life to the pursuit of choral conducting and music education at the renowned Kodály Institute within the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Hungary. Under the mentorship of distinguished instructors such as Péter Erdei and László Norbert Nemes, Yuto excelled in his conducting studies and graduated from the master’s program in music pedagogy with the highest honors across all subjects. Presently, Yuto is deeply immersed in advancing his research in choral conducting and music education within the academy. He not only contributes to this academic pursuit but also extends his expertise beyond the institution by conducting masterclasses and sharing his knowledge while teaching choral conducting and solfege in the academy’s specialized class. From 2021 to 2022, Yuto held the prestigious role of conductor for the Chamber Choir of the Kodály Institute. Starting in 2022, he assumed the role of conductor for the Kecskeméti Cantus Nobilis Kórus, an ensemble with a remarkable history spanning over 60 years in Hungary. In addition to his duties as a choral conductor, Yuto frequently leads Japanese choirs during the summer months and conducts chorus workshops across various regions in Japan. In the year 2023 alone, he conducted 15 workshops in 13 different prefectures, imparting invaluable lessons in “Solfege for Choral Singers based on Hungarian music education” and “Choral Conducting based on Kodály Concept.” Notably, he organized a concert featuring three amateur choirs and used this event as a platform to teach aspiring singers how to enhance their choral skills, thus expanding his influence as both a conductor and an educator. Yuto’s journey in the world of choral music began as an amateur choral conductor in Japan, where he achieved remarkable success, earning second place in the Japanese national choral competition at an exceptionally young age—an accomplishment that earned him a special recognition as a budding conductor. Further establishing his reputation, Yuto joined the Japan Youth Choir in 2017 and subsequently became a member of the World Youth Choir in 2017 and 2018. His dedication and expertise also led to his appointment as an assistant conductor for the Japan Youth Choir in 2022, cementing his role as a rising star in the realm of choral music.