John August Pamintuan is a renowned Philippine conductor, composer, singer, clinician, and adjudicator. Since 2007, John is recognized by the American Federation of Musicians as an artist of sustained international acclaim.
As a conductor he has given workshops, performed in concerts, and won in competitions in Asia, Europe, and North America. As a singer, he has sung in solo recitals at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and Moscow Glinka Hall. As a composer, John was awarded the composition prize in Tours (France), Tokyo (Japan) and has written around 450 pieces which have been performed by choirs from 30 countries.
John has been invited in the jury of international choir competitions in Hoi An, Cincinnati, Rimini and Cattolica Italy, Singapore, Penang, Hongkong, Taiwan, Chiang Mai and Bangkok Thailand, Jakarta and Manado Indonesia, Riga Latvia, and the cities of Takarazuka, Kobe, Karuizawa, and Tokyo in Japan. He is also jury for composition contests in Croatia (2011, 2012, 2014), International Federation for Choral Music (2013), Arezzo Italy (2020),and International Choral Composition Competition Japan (2015, 2016, 2018, 2020,2021).
Jeffery L. Ames serves as Director of Choral Activities, and was recently promoted to Full Professor at Belmont University. As a choral clinician, Dr. Ames has conducted collegiate, senior and junior high school mixed, and male choirs at national, regional, and state conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education. He has performed and guest conducted internationally in the countries of Australia, Costa Rica, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Estonia and South Korea.
Dr. Ames has collaborated with well-known conductors such as André Thomas, Allen Crowell, Jo-Michael Scheibe, Lynne Gackle, and Anton Armstrong. Additionally, well-known celebrities include Trisha Yearwood, Laura Bell Bundy, CeCe Winans, Connie Smith, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites, Denyce Graves, Michael W. Smith, Kathy Mattea, Sheryl Crow, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton, and legendary rock band the Rolling Stones.
A published composer and writer, Dr. Ames specializes in composing works that are from the heart. His literary publications focus on choral music in the concert gospel genre, as well as choral music in the Western tradition composed by modern African American composers. Professor Ames holds the Ph.D. in Choral Conducting/Choral Music Education and a Master of Choral Music Education degree from The Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Music degree, with a double major in Vocal Performance and Piano Accompanying, from James Madison University. He holds the honor of being the first recipient of the National ACDA James Mulholland Choral Music Fellowship, as well as being the first African American ACDA ICEP Conducting Fellow.
Ambrož Čopi (1973) studied composition and piano at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana. He is composer, conductor, music motivator and artistic director of International Youth Choirs Choral festival Koper.
Already as a young teacher he would encourage his students to create choral music and in time, he became the mentor of Slovenia’s youngest generation of composers. With his choirs, he has stimulated the creation of new works and his collaboration with aspiring composers and creators always proves prolific. His original works, recorded on four CDs, regularly appear on stages around the world. His compositions are published by Astrum and Sulasol.
Čopi has led many a Slovene choir and achieved enviable results at home competitions (15 gold plaques) and internationally (26 first places). Currently, he conducts the KGBL Chamber Choir and APZ UP, both ranking among the top Slovenian choir ensembles. In 2014 he was awarded with the Gallus Medal, the highest award in the field of musical activity in Slovenia and a prestigious national award Prešeren Fund Prize.
He is regularly invited to act as a member of the jury at various choral events and competitions, and is often involved in choral music seminars as a lecturer.
PAWEŁ ŁUKASZEWSKI One of the leading representatives of Polish sacred and choral music, he is regarded as the successor of such composers as Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Krzysztof Penderecki, Arvo Pärt and John Tavener.
Born in Częstochowa in 1968, he is a graduate of the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw, where he studied the cello (with Andrzej Wróbel, diploma in 1992) and composition (with Marian Borkowski, an honours diploma in 1995). He has been on the faculty of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music since 1996, holding a Ph.D. in composition and the title of Professor. In 2016 he was elected Vice-Rector. He worked as a visiting professor in Chile and Argentina (2003, 2006).
His distinctions include First Prize at the Warsaw Music Academy Competition (1994), and Second Prizes at the 2nd Young Composers’ Forum in Kraków (1994), the 5th Adam Didur Competition in Sanok (1996), the 27th International ‘Florilege Vocal de Tours’ Competition in France (1998). Also, he has received numerous awards for his compositions and recordings. His works have been performed at over 100 festivals in Poland and abroad.
He has served as the Director of the International Festival ‘Laboratory of Contemporary Music’ (since 1995) and as President of the Musica Sacra Association (since 2000). He is a member of the ZAiKS Association of Authors and Composers, the Presidium of the Council of the Phonographic Academy and of the artistic council of the Gaude Mater International Festival of Sacred Music in Częstochowa. He has sat on the juries of the composers’ competitions in Arezzo, Moscow, and Bucharest. He is Artistic Director and Conductor of the ‘Musica Sacra’ Choir of the Warsaw-Praga Cathedral and of the Musica Sacra Edition.
In recent years Paweł Łukaszewski’s music has gained a high recognition in Britain. His works have been performed (and some premiered) by such renowned choral ensembles as The Holst Singers, BBC Singers, Trinity College Choir, Tenebrae, Britten Sinfonia and Polyphony under the direction of prominent conductors Stephen Layton and Nigel Short. Two CDs devoted exclusively to his music have been released by Hyperion.
Born in Tokyo in 1964, Rikuya Terashima studied composition at Tokyo University of Arts, and acquired the Master's degree in 1992. He has been very active professionally both in composition and in piano performances already since he was a student, and In 1986, he was awarded the "Medaille d'Or" for his piano performance at the L.C.Competition of the Settsu-shi Music Festival. He has performed and collaborated with many major artists as a composer/pianist in concerts, CDs, and theatres, and he was very highly acclaimed for his work, production and playing, especially: collaboration with "The Opera theater Konnyaku-za"; "The Tail of Hoffmann", opening performance for the Theatre Cocoon in 1989, for which he was the music director; Serial concerts devoted to Erik Satie "Disguise of Tradition", which was organized to commemorate the Exhibition "La Collection du Centre Georges Pompidou" in the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo in 1997. His activities cover a great variety of fields, not only composition but conducting, concerts planning and piano playing mainly for chamber music; thus he has been the music director of "International Art Festival for Children" in Bihoro since 1999.
His composition work includes the operas “The life of Galilei”(based on B. Brecht),”Suetsumuhana”(based on Genji-story), Vaudeville "On the harmfulness of smoking"(based on A.Chekhov), “Concerto for shakuhachi, 20-strings koto and orchestra”(commissioned by Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra), “Foreign scenery” for oboe, shamisen and percussion (commissioned by Hibiki Hall Festival in Kitakyushu city), “Psalm 49”(commissioned by The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford). He published many CDs such as “Continent・Peninsula・Islands－Works of Rikuya Terashima” （ALCD-9026）, and piano solo, in chamber music, with songs, etc.