John August Pamintuan (PH)
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, and since 2012 has been a member of the World Choir Council.
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 commissioned works for the governments of Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, Lithuania, and the Philippines. He has composed over 450 pieces which have been performed by choirs from 30 countries.
In the last couple of years, John has been invited in the jury of international choir competitions in Vietnam, Cincinnati, Rimini and Cattolica Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Riga Latvia, and the cities of Takarazuka, Kobe, Tokyo, and Karuizawa in Japan. He is also a member of the panel of adjudicators for composition contests in Croatia (2011, 2012, 2014), International Federation for Choral Music (2013), and International Choral Composition Competition Japan (2015, 2016, 2018).
Towards creating cross cultural ties and strengthening friendship and cooperation, John August Pamintuan has also organized many musical exchanges among conductors and choirs of Asian countries.
Ēriks Ešenvalds (LV)
The Latvian Ēriks Ešenvalds (b. 1977) is one of the most sought-after composers working today, with a busy commission schedule and performances of his music heard on every continent. After study at the Latvian Baptist Theological Seminary and the Latvian Academy of Music, he was from 2002-2011 a member of the State Choir "Latvija". In 2011 he was awarded the two-year position of Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge University. He has won multiple awards for his work, including the Latvian Grand Music Award three times (2005, 2007 and 2015).
Recent premieres include Lakes Awake at Dawn for the Boston Symphony and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Whispers on the Prairie Wind for the Utah Symphony and Salt Lake Vocal Artists at the ACDA National Convention in Salt Lake City, Passion according to St Luke for Sinfonietta Riga, and the major multimedia symphony Nordic Light in Riga. His full-scale major opera The Immured was premiered at the National Latvian Opera in 2016 to great acclaim. His writing continues with commissions from the Gewandhaus Leipzig, Grant Park Festival Chicago. 2018 sees his next multimedia symphony premiered in Riga, based on volcanoes.
Ēriks undertakes many international residencies working on his music and lecturing. His compositions appear on recordings from Trinity College Choir, Cambridge on the Hyperion label, Portland State Chamber Choir on Naxos, and VOCES8 on Decca Classics, amongst others.
Stephen Leek (AU)
Freelance Australian Composer/Conductor Stephen Leek has long associations with some of the finest and most innovative choirs around the world including Gondwana Voices (Australia), the Tapiola Children’s Choir (Finland), Kamer…Choir (Latvia), The Formosa Singers (Taiwan), and his own choirs, vOiCeArT and The Australian Voices, that he co-founded and conducted for 16 years until 2009. As a conductor, Leek is in demand to work as guest conductor around the globe. As a composer he writes in his own distinctive contemporary style. His works, which have broad appeal and are performed by a wide selection of choirs throughout the world. He has been commissioned by some of the leading choral groups world-wide. Having written 13 operas, numerous orchestral and chamber works, music for education and dance, yet, Leek is often credited as the “founder of Australian choral music” through his composition of over 700 innovative choral works which explore a uniquely “Australian” colour and texture. A Churchill Fellow, Leek has received many national and international awards including the prestigious “Robert Edler International Choral Prize” for his contribution to the development of global choral music(2003). He was Vice President of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM) from 2011 – 2017, and in 2012/13, was the Artistic Director of the Shanghai Youth Choir and in 2015, Conductor of the Asia Pacific Youth Choir. Whilst undertaking the role of Artistic Director/Manager of the Young Music Society in Canberra, he continues to pursue his hectic freelance activities throughout the world.
Paweł Łukaszewski (PL)
Born in Częstochowa in 1968, he is a graduate of the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw, where he studied the cello and composition (with Marian Borkowski, a diploma with distinction in 1995). He also finished the School for Arts Management at the University of Poznań (1994) and the postgraduate course in choral conducting at the Music Academy in Bydgoszcz (1996). He has been on the faculty of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music since 1996. In 2000 he gained his Ph.D. in composition and in 2007 he received a habilitation degree. He worked as a visiting professor in Chile and Argentina (2003, 2006). From 2016 he is full professor and vice-rector of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.
He has received numerous commissions from Poland and abroad (Japan, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Finland, France).
His honours include honourable mention at the Tadeusz Baird Composers’ Competition (1994), First Prize at the Warsaw Music Academy Competition (1994), Second Prize at the 2nd Young Composers’ Forum in Kraków (1994), Second Prize at the Adam Didur Competition in Sanok (1996), and Second Prize at the 27th International ‘Florilege Vocal de Tours’ Competition in France (1998). He won the ‘Fryderyk’ Awards of the Polish Phonographic Academy (2005, 2006, 2016, 2017), the Award of the town of St Quentin (for the best performance of a contemporary work) at the Concours Europeen de Choeurs et Maitrises de Cathedrales (2006).
He has received the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1998), the award of the Mayor of Częstochowa for outstanding compositional achievements (1995), the award of the Rector of the Music Academy in Warsaw (2005) and the Saint Brother Albert Chmielowski Award for outstanding achievements in composition, conducting and organization of musical life (2006).
His works have been performed at over 100 festivals in Poland and abroad. His discography includes over 100 CDs (Hyperion, Signum Records, DUX, Acte Préalable, Musica Sacra Edition). Over sixty of his pieces have been published in Britain (ChesterNovello), Poland (PWM Edition), Germany (Edition Ferrimontana) Japan (Pana Musica) and the United States (Walton). Almost all of his works have been recorded and broadcast by numerous radio and television stations.
He has sat on the juries of the composers’ competitions in Arezzo, Moscow and Bucharest. He is Artistic Director and Conductor of ‘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 from London and Cambridge 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.
Teruaki Suzuki (JP)
Teruaki SUZUKI (b.1968, Sendai) is a well-known Japanese composer. After graduating from the music composition undergraduate and post-graduate course at TOHO GAKUEN School of Music, he continued to study under Akira MIYOSHI.
He has experiences of winning 1st prize at the 46th Music Competition of Japan (Chamber Music section) and 2nd prize in the 51st Music Competition of Japan (Orchestral work section). Also he has won the 1st place at the 7th Japan Symphony Foundation Award (1984), also at “Hambacher Preis” International Composition Competition (West Germany) in 1985(Orchestral work department), and in 1987(String trio department). His compositions have been well performed and broadcasted all around Europe.
He also composes Opera. In 1988, Opera “The Twin Stars (Futago no Hoshi)”, whose original text was written by Kenji MIYAZAWA, was premiered in Sendai. “Hymnos” pour Double Choeur et Orchestre, commissioned by the 16th Min-on Contemporary Music Festival, was premiered in 1990.
He has received many awards: “Muramatsu Preis” (1991), the 12th Kenzo Nakajima Award (1994), as a member of “Art Respirant” a group of players and composers, and the Miyagi Prefecture Arts Award (2001).
As a member of The Japan Federation of Composers and Group “Art Respirant”, he has provided performances by Japanese chamber music, since 2007. From 2012 to 2017, he was lecturer at Tokyo University of the Arts. Currently, professor at Toho Gakuen School of Music.
His major works are “Quatour a cordes”(1983), “Concerto pour Violin et Orchestre”(1984), “Symphonique Metamorphose”(1985), “Prolatio” pour Clarinette et 13 Instruments(1990), “Cinq Fragments Concertants” pour Orchestre de chambre(1994), “Mimi o Sumasu” for Children’s chorus and Orchestra(1999), “Requiem” pour Choeur Mixte, Instruments a vents et Percussion(2000), “Canto Manierismo” for Chamber orchestra,(2001), “Tohno Gen-to” for Children’s chorus in two groups and Percussion(2002), “Tir na nog”(2004), “ Son structure?” pour Cinq Executants(2007), Quatuor a cordes?(2008), “Triptychos” pour Orchestre de chamber(2009), “Junitsuki” for Children’s Chorus and String Orchestra(2010), SUITE pour Violoncelle seul NO.1, “Divertissement” pour Violoncelle ensemble(2011), “Spirituel ” pour Orcheatre a Cordes(2013). Quatuor a cordes ?. “Spirituel ?” pour violencelle et piano(2015), Trio N91 pour Violin, Violoncelle et Piano(2016) , and so on. Most of his works are published and recorded in various CDs.