Vytautas Miškinis (LT)
Vytautas Miškinis (born in 1954) is the Artistic Director of the Azuoliukas Boys’ and Men Choir, Professor of Choral conducting at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, President of the Lithuanian Choral Union. Graduated as Choral Conductor from Lithuanian Academy of Music in 1976 (conducting class of Prof.H.Perelsteinas) He began his career in Azuoliukas at the age of seven as a vocalist, and continued as Artistic Director from the age of 25. All the achievements of the choir from 1979 have been due to Mr. Miškinis’ leadership.
For several years he conducted the Kaunas State Choir and Vocal Ensemble Museum Musicum. With the choirs he has won prestigious prizes at numerous National and International competitions – in Marktoberdorf, Gorizia, Varna, Maribor, Tampere, Mainhausen, Nantes. Currently Mr.Miskinis is an Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the All-Lithuanian Choir Festival.
Vytautas Miškinis has led the choral performances in Austria, Byelorussia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Ukraine and USA. A number of compositions for choir with symphonic orchestras have been conducted by Vytautas Miskinis.
He also lectured and held seminars on subject of Musical education and conducting in Lithuania and abroad – in the Czech Republic, Korea, Latvia, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Singapore, Italy, Poland, Philippines and etc. He has participated in numerous National and International choral events as composer and advisor. He also has led workshops in several countries. Also he actively worked as a member of Jury at International Choir and Choral Composition Competitions in many countries worldwide.
Vytautas Miskinis has composed aprox. 400 religious motets a’cappella, 18 Masses, Magnificat, St .John Passion, Cantatas, 2 Musicals and aprox.400 of secular songs, which are performed and recorded by choirs throughout Lithuania and the rest of the World.. Lithuanian and foreign choirs record his compositions to CD. Mass of compositions are published in Lithuania and also in France, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Spain, Japan, Singapore, Latvia and USA. He is awarded by many governmental and national prizes.
Bob Chilcott (UK)
Bob Chilcott has enjoyed a lifelong association with choral music, as a chorister and choral scholar in the choir of King’s Cambridge, and for 12 years as a member of the King’s Singers. He became a full-time composer in 1997, and has a large catalogue of music for all types of choirs published by Oxford University Press. His most often performed pieces include Can you hear me?, A Little Jazz Mass, Requiem, and the St John Passion.
Bob has conducted choirs in more than 30 countries and has worked with many thousands of amateur singers in a continuing series of Singing Days. For seven years he was conductor of the Chorus of The Royal College of Music in London and since 2002 he has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers. In 2017 Bob was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by The Royal School of Church Music.
His music has been widely recorded by leading British choirs. Forthcoming recording projects are with Gloucester Cathedral Choir, Houston Chamber Choir, and Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir.
Rihards Dubra (LV)
Rihards Dubra was born on February 28th, 1964 in Riga. He studied music first in Jurmala School of Music, after that at the Emils Darzins College of Music. In 1989, he graduated from the Latvian Music Academy composition class under Adolfs Skulte (as an elective he learned symphonic conducting), and in 1996 earned his Master’s degree at the Latvian Academy of Music under Juris Karlsons. In 1985 he began to teach harmony and composition at the Jurmala School of Music, where he was working until November of 2015. Since September of 2016 Dubra is a teacher of composition and music theory at Ventspils Music College. His other sphere of work is involved with the organ and liturgy. Rihards Dubra was the organist at the Riga Our Lady of Suffering Church, and for now is the voluntary cantor of the Riga St. Mary Magdalene Church. As the side line over the last fifteen years Rihards Dubra regularly takes part in international choral competition juries in various European countries.
The basic genres of the composer’s creative work are large-scale genres for voices with instrumental accompaniment, choir music, organ music and symphonic music.
Irrespectively of his genre choice, Dubra’s basic creative interests turn to sacred music. The composer’s activities at St. Mary Magdalene congregation in Riga and singing in the group Schola Cantorum Riga from its very beginning give inspiration for his creative work.
The basis of Rihards Dubra music style is the unification of minimalism, neo-romantic tunes and modern technics with the intonation, form and philosophy of Gregorian, Medieval, Renaissance and Barock music.
Rihards Dubra’s music has been performed in several countries of the world: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Poland, England, France, Austria, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Canada, Argentina, USA and others.
Reijo Kekkonen (FI)
Reijo Kekkonen was born in 1961 in Finland. He studied at the Sibelius Academy from 1980 and graduated in 1991 as a music teacher. His major subject at the Academy was the violin. He also has an exam in oboe, piano and singing. He studied composition and music theory under Vladimir Agopov and Tapani Länsiö. Choral conducting Kekkonen has studied under Erkki Pullinen and Matti Hyökki.
Reijo Kekkonen was acting as a music teacher in Espoo, Finland, when he was assigned a post in Sulasol (the Finnish Choral Association) in 1988. He was then employed as the musical expert of the association. Between 1990 and 1992 he worked as an editor at the publishing house Fazer Music and came back to Sulasol in 1992. Reijo Kekkonen has held several positions of trust in various associations in Finland and abroad.
Since the schooldays Reijo Kekkonen has been singing in choirs. He has been a professional singer in the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir for 23 years and several years in the Sibelius Academy Vocal Ensemble. He has also conducted choirs (mainly youth and female choirs), but his main domain is singing and composing for choirs. As a composer his output is mainly choral and vocal music, but it does include also some chamber music and e.g. works for string orchestra.
Takatomi Nobunaga (JP)
Takatomi NOBUNAGA has graduated from Sophia University, Faculty of Humanities in 1994. In addition to the numerous choral compositions, his works vary from vocal music to instrumental music etc. He has been awarded in several composition competitions, such as:
1994, 95, 99 The Asahi Award for Composition (choral music)
1998 1st Prize in the Sohgakudoh Japanese Song Competition (composition category)
2000 a finalist of the New Composer Award held by Japan Society for Contemporary Music (chamber music section)
2001 2nd Prize in the Japan Music Competition, Composition category (chamber music section)
Recently he has been composing choral music with orchestra or instrumental ensemble, and theater pieces for choral music. His major works are:
“Children’s will” Oratorio for children’s chorus and orchestra
“Cantos Nuevos” for mixed chorus (or male chorus) and piano
“Fragments” for solo vocal (or male chorus) and piano
“The Sower” for marimba and piano
Marimba Concerto “The Crossed Sonar of Dolphins”