Preview: London International Choral Conducting Competition 2018

For the first time in the U.K., the art of taking notes on a page and converting them into a masterpiece using only other people is getting its own competition. 

We normally only ever get to experience the final product of a great choral work after all the dynamics, articulations, and imagery has been painted on.

The first-ever London International Choral Conducting Competition is about to get underway and this competition is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. And you can catch all the action right here on FloVoice.

Curated by two of London’s top choirs, Chantage and Coro, this is the first competition of its kind in the U.K.

First, the world-class choirs, including Finland’s Freia, will be featured in concert before the focus shifts towards the next generation of choral conductors.

The six finalists are coming in from all over the world to compete in this unique contest.

Your 2018 LICCC Finalists are:

Pascal Adoumbou

The 32-year-old Frenchman finalist currently directs the choirs of the Catholic University of Lyon (UCLy), the choirs of the city of Vienne, France, and the gospel choir One Step from Lausanne, Switzerland.

He holds a master’s degree in choral conducting from the Lyon National and Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance, the only school in the country to offer the degree.

He also holds the State Diploma in Vocal Ensemble Conducting, allowing him to teach in French conservatories. 

Maria Avdeyeva 

Twenty-three years old and representing Russia, Avedeyeva holds a first-class honors and a bachelor of music degree in choral conducting from the Ippolitov-Ivanov Moscow State Musical and Pedagogical Institute. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in choral conducting at the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory

Earlier this year, Avdeyeva was given the post of the Choirmaster of the Moscow State University Academic Choir and founded the New Youth Chamber Choir.

Earlier this month, Avdeyeva assumed the position of the Artistic Director for the Concert Choir and Teacher of Sol-fa of the Aleksandroff State Children’s Music School in Moscow.

Jack Apperley

The London based freelance conductor is currently the Music Director and Conductor of the Imperial College Chamber Choir and Concordia Voices, the Interim Music Director for the Brentwood Choral Society, as well as directing several workplace choirs, for the John Lewis Partnership, the Royal College of Physicians and the Silicon Valley Bank.

While receiving his master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the Royal Academy of Music, Apperley participated in several masterclasses with ensembles such as the BBC Singers and the Clarion Choir as he received tuition from Paul Brough, Jamie Burton, David Hill, Amy Bebbington, and Roland Börger.

Julia Selina Blank

Born in Germany in 1989, Blank studied conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich with Michael Gläser, at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm with Fredrik Malmberg and completed her master's degree at the Norwegian Academy of Music with Grete Pedersen. 

The young professional group “Junges Vokalensemble München” was founded by Blank, where she regularly stages “concerts in unusual settings and crossover projects.” 

For the past three years, Blank has conducted the ensemble in the prize-winning music theatre “Mittelreich” at the Münchner Kammerspiele in Germany. She then went on to found and premiere the north-European female choir DAME.

Blank is currently the conductor of the mixed choirs Asker Chamber Choir and Norske Kammersangere in her new home of Oslo, Norway.

Rebecka Gustafsson

Originally from Sweeden, Gustafsson studied piano and choral singing at Södra Vätterbygdens Folkhögskola in Jönköping before completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Choral Conducting at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. 

She then began her Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting at The Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, where she assists with the Norwegian Soloists' Choir.

Jono Palmer

Palmer is an Associate Instructor and doctoral student in choral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

He is originally from Auckland, New Zealand, and he continues his work in that community as the Artistic Program Coordinator for Choral Connect, the New Zealand Choral Federation Association of Choral Directors National Conference, and as a part-time high school teacher. 

He has gained national and international praise for his choirs, including two gold medals at the 2015 Grand Prix of Nations in Magdeburg, Germany.

First place takes home £5,000 (GBP).

Don’t miss the Gala Concert on Saturday (6 PM) featuring Chantage, Coro, and Freia and the adjudicated Grand Final Performance on Sunday at 6PM.

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