The Cantemus Children’s Choir (founded in 1975 by Dénes Szabó) is the multi international prize winning senior pupils’ choir of the Kodály Zoltán Primary School in Nyiregyháza, Hungary. Since its formation in 1975 the choir has achieved the highest of standards in choral performance and has travelled extensively to give concerts, compete, and take part in festivals in countries throughout Europe and the rest of the world – including Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, South America and the United States of America.
The successes of the choir are founded on the principles of the Kodály music teaching method implemented under the leadership of Dénes Szabó, who teaches music to children in the senior years at the school, conducts and directs the choir and is the Director of the Cantemus Choral Institute.
The choir’s extensive repertoire is focussed on the the beauty of choral music - ranging from Gregorian chant through the Renaissance and Romantic periods to contemporary works. Some of the Hungarian repertoire is based on traditional folk music – including works by Bartók and Kodály - and some have been written especially with the choir in mind by leading contemporary Hungarian composers. As such the choir has become a standard bearer for both traditional and contemporary Hungarian music.
Cantemus Children’s Choir - Prizes and awards
1982. Debrecen International Choir Competition
1982. BBC "Let the Peoples Sing”
1984. Debrecen International Choir Competition
1984. Llangollen – International Eistedfodd, Wales
1987. Kodály Zoltán "Singing Youth"
1987. Celje - International Choir Competition, Yugoslavia
1987. Arnhem – Hollandia
1989. Kodály Zoltán "Singing Youth"
1993. Celje - International Choir Competition, Yugoslavia
1994. Kodály Zoltán "Singing Youth"
1998. Arezzo - International Choir Competition
1999. Olomouc - International Choir Competition Csehország
2001. Celje - International Choir Competition Szlovénia
2002. Busan Choir Olympics – South Korea, Olympic Champion
2003. Gorizia - International Choir Competition Italy
2005. Arezzo – International Choir Competition Italy
2009. Arezzo - International Choir Competition Italy
2010. Tours – International Choir Competition France
2010. Tolosa - International Choir Competition Spain
2012. Arezzo – GUIDONEUM AWARD
Dénes Szabó, conductor
Dénes Szabó was born in Makó in 1947 and is an outstanding figure in Hungarian and international choral life. He studied music in Szeged, Miskolc and Budapest and subsequently began his teaching career at the Zoltán Kodály Primary School in Nyíregyháza. He founded the Cantemus Children’s Choir in 1975. This has since grown into a choral institute and began to operate as an independent artistic organisation under his direction in 2004 with three choirs - the Cantemus Children’s Choir, the Pro Musica Girls’ Choir and the Cantemus Mixed Voice Choir. These choirs all perform at world-class standard. He is highly sought after as a choral conductor and lecturer in music education at international festivals and conferences. He regularly holds masterclasses in choral conducting, choral voice production and the implementation of the Kodály method. He has also been a member of the judging panels for several leading international choir competitions in the USA, Slovenia, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Belgium.
In appreciation of his artistic achievements and dedicated work in music education he was awarded the Ferenc Liszt-prize in 1985, the Bartók Béla – Pásztory Ditta Prize in 1985, the Kossuth Prize in 2000 and the Hungarian Cultural Heritage prize in 2004.
》Witloof Bay, Belgium
Concerts／ 2013/07/28 Sun. 19:30 Dadong Arts Center, Kaohsiung 協辦：高雄市政府文化局
2013/07/29 Mon. 19:30 National Concert Hall, Taipei
Witloof Bay was founded in 2005 by five Belgian singers and one beatboxer, when they decided to gather around their greatest shared passion for a cappella pop in the form of a small ensemble. They set off in this adventure, rehearsing two years without performing to develop a rocking sound and style that is all their own. The repertoire first focused on French and Anglo-Saxon pop and jazz songs arranged by Witloof Bay, to evolve towards new unique compositions.
With members coming from the three Belgian regions, the group fully possesses its own "Belgitude", and proudly goes for a name with a touch of that typical Belgian self-mockery, "witloof" being the Flemish word for the walloon "chicon" or English “chicory”. The group's uniqueness partly lies in the fact that all five singers have professional classical training, to which we add the unusual and exceptional know-how of the sixth member: a beatboxer that produces the overall sounds of the drums (and many other instruments) exclusively by - not just the voice - but the mouth!
Witloof Bay released its first album in 2008. They won the 2010 A Cappella Music Award for the best world/folk song arrangement for the title « Dans la Prison de Londres ».
Witloof Bay gained international recognition, having performed with huge success at the Polyfollia Festival (France), Mainz Vocal Jazz Summit (Germany), at the French Festival Les Choralies, at the London A Cappella Festival, invited by The Swingle Singers, at the 9th World Symposium on Choral Music in Argentina, at the Festival Europa Cantat in Torino (Italy), at the Festival America Cantat in Bogota (Colombia), and also in Sweden, Switzerland, Estonia, Finland, Luxemburg... and Canada.
In February 2011, Witloof Bay won the Belgian final of Eurosong Contest and therefore represented its country in Düsseldorf (Germany) in May 2011 with the song “With Love Baby” at the Eurosong Contest.
Witloof Bay has a very unique groove and a French colour that gives it a taste like no other group in the world.
Mathilde Sevrin: soprano
Florence Huby: mezzo
Nicolas Dorian: tenor
Benoît Giaux: baritone
Etienne Debaisieux: bass
Stijn Bearelle : beatboxing
》New York Polyphony, US
Concerts／ 2013/07/30 Tue. 19:30 National Concert Hall, Taipei 聯演： 苗栗建國國小合唱團 2013/07/31 Wed. 19:30 National Concert Hall, Taipei 2013/08/01 Thu. 19:30 Hsinchu Performace Hall
New York Polyphony are fast-rising stars on the classical music scene. Praised for a “rich, natural sound that’s larger and more complex than the sum of its parts” (National Public Radio), “Early music’s Fab Four” (Brattleboro Reformer) are
recognized as one of the finest vocal ensembles active today. The all-male quartet apply not only refined musicianship and interpretative detail but also a refreshingly modern touch to repertoire that ranges from austere medieval melodies to cutting-edge contemporary works. Dedication to innovative programming, as well as a focus on rare and rediscovered early music, have earned New York Polyphony critical accolades and a devoted following.
In early 2012, New York Polyphony released endBeginning, their third album and first on acclaimed label BIS Records. Containing rare and never-before recorded works from the Franco-Flemish Renaissance, it has amassed substantial critical acclaim. endBeginning has been featured on NPR’s Deceptive Cadence, selected as ‘CD of the Week’ by Alex Ross (TheRest Is Noise), and rated 10-out-of-10 by Classics Today. It also received high marks from international publications including Klassik Heute (Germany), Diapason (France) and Gramophone (UK).
Hailed as a “stunning tour through chant, polyphony and renaissance harmonies” (Minnesota Public Radio), their second album Tudor City spent three weeks in the Top 10 of Billboard’s classical album chart. It has been featured on Danish Public Radio, American Public Radio and NPR’s All Things Considered.
NYP’s debut album I sing the birth was released in 2007. The disc—an intimate meditation on the Christmas season—garnered unanimous praise. Gramophone named it “one of the season’s best,” BBC Music Magazine selected it as Editor’s Christmas Choice 2007, and Classic FM Magazine deemed it “a disc for all seasons.”Since their founding in 2006, New York Polyphony have maintained an active performance schedule. They have participated in major concert series and festivals throughout North America and Europe, including Miller Theatre at Columbia University; Dallas Chamber Music Series; Ireland’s Ardee Baroque Festival; Denmark’s Vendsyssel Festival; Festival de Música de Morelia, Mexico; and Choral at Cadogan Hall in London. They have been featured on Footprints toParadise: A Medieval Christmas for Public Radio International, Performance Today for American Public Media, and InPractice for National Public Radio. In December 2011, New York Polyphony made their national television debut on TheMartha Stewart Show.
Recent engagements include a residency at Dartmouth College, a broadcast holiday event for Minnesota Public Radio, and the premiere of the Missa Charles Darwin—a newly commissioned secular Mass setting based on texts of Charles Darwin by composer Gregory Brown—at a TEDx event in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
Upcoming highlights of the 2012-2013 season include a return to Miller Theatre, a holiday performance for the Kansas City Friends of Chamber Music, as well as a residency at Stanford University. In addition to appearing in recital on the inaugural
season of Stanford’s new Bing Hall, NYP will be the featured ensemble in the world premieres of Theotokia and The War Reporter. Composed by Stanford music professor Jonathan Berger with librettist Dan O’Brien, these two new chamber
operas will be directed by Grammy winner Rinde Eckert and accompanied by members of the St. Lawrence String Quartet. The ensemble will also return to Sweden for the recording of their next album with BIS Records slated for release in 2013.
New York Polyphony is:
Geoffrey Williams, countertenor
Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenor
Christopher Dylan Herbert, baritone
Craig Phillips, bass
Last updated August 23, 2012
The Academic Female Choir KYN was founded in 1981 by students of Helsinki School of Economics who shared a passion for vocal music. The first conductor was Heikki 5aari. He focused KYN's repertoire on Finnish folk songs and completed it with musical songs. Saari was followed by Laura Tarpila who conducted KYN in 1988-1989. 5he widened KYN's musical scope by acquainting the choir with American barbershop arrangements.
The present conductor Kaija Viitasalo started her journey with KYN in 1989. From the very beginning, she has worked to create and develop a recognizable and unique musical identity for the choir. Viitasalo guided KYN into the realm of jazz music, which was a natural progression from the choir's concentration in barbershop at the time. She began this transformation by creating choral arrangements of jazz standards which allowed KYN to familiarize itself in jazz phrasing, harmony and rhythm. Before immersing itself fully into jazz, the choir ventured into the world Finnish popular music characterized by strong melodies and stories. With this repertoire, KYN started to develop its skills as an interpreter of text and emotion. The album Sydän Liekeissä (Heart in flames,1993) is a representation of this era.
During its next phase KYN brought Finnish folk music to the fore and drew particularly from its storytelling tradition. During this period KYN gave new form to the traditional melodies through jazz arrangements it commissioned. The songs on the album Hämärää Vailla (Without dusk, 1988) are an exemplification of this fusion. Five years later, in an international choir competition "ln...canto sul Garda" KYN's
unique musical style was recognized by the jury who also coined the term"ethnic jazz"to describe it. KYN embraced this label and begun to further explore its character.
During the next years KYN concentrated on the jazz side of "ethnic jazz". This is portrayed in its album Kynnyksellä (On a Treshold, 2006).lt presents fresh Finnish jazz music where contemporary harmonies and compelling rhythms give new forms to the lyrics derived from Finnish folklore. While developing the repertoire for this album KYN worked particularly with instrumental style of singing and scat technique.
In the most recent years KYN has strengthened the ethnic roots in its music. As a result ethnic jazz flows stronger than ever KYN's the latest album Virtaan (lnto the flow, 2011). At the core of ethnic jazz is the recognition that the cultural heritage of a nation influences us with traditions, stories, deep emotions and great truths from centuries ago. This is accompanied with the insight that jazz, as a modern way of expression, can be used to address people of the present time, here and now, Ethnic jazz, thus, offers a means to pass valuable tradition to future generations. In this way,
ethnic jazz is grounded in the present, connected with the past and reaching towards the future.
From the very first album directed by its current conductor, Kaija Viitasalo, KYN has consistently worked with renowned Finnish composers in order to enrich and expand the field of female choir music. More specifically, KYN has aimed to introduce elements of genres that have previously been excluded from choir music, predominantly due to the poor availability of appropriate arrangements. Thus, by commissioning pieces that enable KYN to pursue its musical ambitions, it has not only built a repertoire that is meaningful for itself but also renewed the wider field of choir music. Composers that have been particularly important collaborators for KYN include Anna-Mari Kähärä, Jukka Linkola, Kirmo Lintinen, Mirja Mäkelä and Soila Sariola.
As a part of this renewal, KYN has played a pioneering role in performing with and as a part of a jazz ensemble. In KYN's music the instruments are not used solely as accompaniment but the choir and the musicians are woven together in different ways. Sometimes the choir acts as one player of the jazz ensemble whereas on other occasions the instruments join the choir as one its voices. Throughout its history KYN has collaborated with prominent Finnish musicians, such as pianist Kirmo Lintinen, saxophonists Manuel Dunkel and Sonny Heinila, accordionist Johanna Juhola, jazz vocalist Mirja Mäkela, soprano Soile Isokoski and pianist Marita Viitasalo.
As KYN's history demonstrates, its music is diverse in terms of genres and their distinct sound worlds. This challenges KYN in all aspects of musical expression: rhythm, harmony, and interpretation of text. By stressing the interplay of these elements KYN aims to create experiences that touch the listener on an emotional level. It is the intensity of expression and delicacy of interpretation that is at the core of KYN's musical identity.
》Hover Chamber Choir, Armenia
Concerts／ 2013/08/02 Fri. Performance Hall of the Nantou Cultural Affairs Bureau
Sona Hovhannisyan, conductor
2013/08/03 Sat. 19:30 National Concert Hall, Taipei
2013/08/04 Sun. 14:30 National Concert Hall, Taipei
Sona Hovhannisyan, conductor
Hover Chamber Choir was started in 1992 by the choral director Sona Hovhannisyan. It is made up almost entirely of students from the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory. The musical ambassador of Armenia, the choir has since performed all over Europe, collecting several prizes on the way, e.g. Tours in 1999.
In 2009 it became a national choir, and appeared for the first time in a theatrical work “The Parallel” (music by Anna Azizyan) commissioned especially for it by the Ministry of Culture.
Hover’s repertoire is broad and varied, including more than 200 classical, religious, traditional and contemporary Armenian, European and American works, as well as original compositions. The freshness of its unique style and the nuances of its voices have enabled it to win over the critics, who now consider it the prime example of excellence in Armenian music.
Sona Hovhannisyan, Artistic Director, comes from a musical family in Yerevan. She studied at the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory, under Romanos Melikyan. Over the years she has founded and directed a large number of choirs and has made a significant contribution to her country’s musical scene. In 2008 the Armenian Ministry of Culture awarded her a Gold Medal for her remarkable career in choral music.
》 Festival Choir
Final Concert／ 2013/08/04 Sun. 14:30 National Concert Hall, Taipei
Puccini: Missa di Gloria Gábor Hollerung, conductor Festival Choir
Taipei Philharmonic Chorus
Taipei Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
The members of Festival Choir, each year, consist of the attendants of Taipei International Choral Workshop. Since 1994, Festival Choir had been rehearse and performed many masterpieces, such as “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff, “Elijah” by Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 9 “Choral” by Ludwig Van Beethoven, “Taiwaness aboriginal folk suit -The Maiden of Ma-Lan” by Taiwanese composer Nan-Chang Chien, “Gospel Mass” by Robert Ray , “African Sanctus” by David Fanshawe, “Gloria” by John Rutter,”Chichester Psalma” by Leonard Bernstein, "Te Deum"Ryan by Philippine contemporary composer Cayabayb, Requiem of Mozart, and “Beatu Vir” by Hungarian contemporary composer Roland Szentapli.
》 Taipei Philharmonic Chorus / Youth Orchesra
Taipei Philharmonic Chorus
Taipei Philharmonic Chorus was founded in 1972, through the efforts of its previous conductors, has established an extensive repertoire and a reputation as one of the most prestigious choruses in Taiwan. Members of the chorus are music lovers from all walks of life. Their love of music, combined with the vision of the conductors, has allowed the Taipei Philharmonic Chorus to greatly increase the number of performances it gives each year. Since it is one of the leading performing groups in Taiwan, Taipei Philharmonic Chorus is awarded and sponsored by the Council for Cultural Affairs from 1994 to date as an“Outstanding Performing Groups”.
From the 140-voice chorus, a smaller 40-voice choir is selected to tour and to perform more selected musical works. This group, known as “Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir”, has an impressive history of overseas performances. The chorus and the chamber choir together have been collaborated or invited to perform with famous conductors and orchestras in many different festivals and countries, such as Mahler Symphony No.2 with Russian State Orchestra and Gilbert Kaplan, Brahms Requiem, Bach B Minor Mass,St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion with Helmuth Rilling, Mendelssohn Midsummer Nights’ Dreams and Bach Christmas Oratorio with Macao Orchestra, to name a few. In Taiwan, the chorus has collaborated with all the major orchestras, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Taipei City Orchestra, National Taiwan Orchestra, and Evergreen Orchestra, performing Beethoven Symphony No.9 with Gunther Herbig, Mendelssohn Elijah with Jahja Ling, Mendelssohn Symphony No.2 with Frieder Bernius, among others.