Jury Member: Jürgen Faßbender - Germany

Jürgen Faßbender     Jürgen Faßbender is Choir Conductor of several qualified choirs.

Study of Music and German .
Scholar of the German Music Council in 1995.
Master Class with Eric Ericson.

Variety of activities (inter alia):
  • Multiple award with the Special Jury Prize for extraordinary artistic achievement.

  • Juror at national and international choral competitions.

  • Guest Conductor (among others: National Youth Choir of Rhineland-Palatinate, German-Polish Choral Academy "In terra pax", European Youth Choir).

  • Lecturer and workshop leader especially in the area of women's and men's choir (including Europe Cantat, World_assembly of Choirs „Zimriya“ Jerusalem, Landesmusikakademie Rhineland-Palatinate, Chorverband Vorarlberg, Hessian Choral Society, Bavarian Choral Society, German-Polish Choral Academy Choir Academy of Siena, Musica Mundi Choir studio of the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf).

  • Member of the National Music Committee of the Hessian Singers' Union and the Choir Association Rheinland-Pfalz, the literature commission of the German choir competition.

  • Since 2012 one of the three German members of the World Choir Council.

  • 2005: European representative at the World Choir Symposium in Kyoto/Japan and some main speaker Japanese choirmaster meeting Hyogo in various cities of Japan.

Jury Member: Dr. Timothy Koch - USA

Dr. Timothy Koch is Conductor of several qualified choirs and orchestras. Fifteen seasons as Music Director and Conductor of the Carolina Master Chorale (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina USA) and led the CMC conducting performances throughout Europe, Russia, Costa Rica and at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.

Variety of activities:
  • Guest Conductor (among others: Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra).

  • Baritone soloist (featured with the Meridian and Long Bay Symphony Orchestras and the Piccolo Spoleto and Aspen Music Festivals).

  • More than twenty-five premieres of important new works by former Carolina Master Chorale Composer-in-Residence Andrew Fowler. Koch and Fowler have conceived an opera production on Pat Conroy’s South Carolina novel, The Prince of Tides, which Fowler has composed for future premiere.

  • In 2009 successfully nominated America’s most venerated opera composer, Carlisle Floyd, to the South Carolina Hall of Fame.

  • Founder/music director of the professional Carolina Chamber Chorale.

  • Degrees from Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Illinois and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

  • Teacher (a.o.: the faculties of the Eastman School of Music).

    Dr. Tim Koch

Jury Member: Hans-Joachim Lustig - Germany

Hajo Lustig     Hans Joachim Lustig is a self-employed choirmaster and conductor (conductor of the choir boys Uetersen, with their male voices Sonux Ensemble he won at the 6th German Choir Competition a 1st national prize).

Study of School Music
Scholar of the German Music Council (1994/1995)

Variety of activities (inter alia):

  • Management of national and international choral and choral conducting seminars.

  • Juror at choir competitions.

  • Guest conductor (inter alia with the Belgrade Radio Choir, Philharmonia Chorus from London and the Ankara State Choir).

  • Founder of the Mendelssohn Choir of Hamburg.

  • Founder and director of the chamber choir "I Vocalisti" Lübeck/Germany. The ensemble has performed in numerous concert series and has received prizes at national and international choral competitions, including 1st Prize at the 6th German Choir Competition in 2002 and 1st Prizes at the international choral contests in Tolosa, Spain in 2004, and in Cork, Ireland in 2009. In addition, I Vocalisti has recorded works for radio (NDR) and television (ARD) as well as for the labels Carus, Rondeau and Sony. The ensemble performs at major festivals, including the "Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival" and the "Festival des Choeurs lauréats".)

Jury Member: Dion Ritten - Netherlands

Dion Ritten is Conductor of several qualified choirs and orchestras.

Study of School Music at the „Konservatorium“ in Maastricht.
Study of choral conducting at the „ Konservatorium“ in Maastricht and at the State University for music „Rheinland-Institut“ in Aachen.
Study of orchestral conducting with Professor Weemaels (former Dirgent of the National Orchestra of Belgium)
Masterclass orchestral conducting in Vienna.

Variety of activities (inter alia):
  • Works together with famed soloists, such as Harry Peters, Huub Claessens and Ernst Daniel Smid.

  • Guest conductor in many European countries and in the United States.

  • Management of symposia and workshops in choral and orchestral conducting (including in the Netherlands, Germany, Japan and regularly in the United States at the ACDA Convention USA, and the World Symposium Europa Cantat).

  • Jury member at choir festivals.

  • Award winner on a training orchestra conducting the Limburg Symphony Orchestra.

  • Lecturer on various topics in the field of choral singing.

    Dion Ritten

Jury Member: Prof. Jan Schumacher - Germany

Prof. Jan Schumacher     Jan Schumacher is Professor of Choral Conducting at the University of Sacred Music in Rottenburg and conductor of the „Camerata Musica Limburg“ and the Choir of TU Darmstadt.

Study of School Music and German at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz.
Study of choral conducting with Professor Wolfgang Schäfer at the University of Music and performing Arts in Frankfurt.

Variety of activities (inter alia):

  • Management of national and international seminars for singers and conductors in many European countries, Iceland, Turkey, Argentina, Venezuela and the United States.

  • Co-editor of several choral books.

  • With his choirs, he builds extensive repertoires from Gregorian chants to world premieres, from symphonic orchestra to Big Band, and vocal or electronic improvisation.

  • Vice President and Chairman of the Commission of Musik of the European Choral Association“-Europa Cantat (international and cultural exchange of singers, conductors and composers).

Jury Member: 林俊龍 Chunlung Lin - Taiwan

Chunlung Lin     Chun-Lung LIN is Manager of Foreign Affairs in Pana Musica (Japan), the largest choral music distributor in Asia and also the Executive Director of TMC Choral Institute (Taiwan), which operates five choirs in Taipei and one choir in Shanghai (China).

He started his choral education in high school.
After graduation, with his alumni Chun-Lung LIN established Taipei Male Choir where he gained his choral experience and celebrated major accomplishments.
Later, he became active in Asia's choral scene and initiated many culture exchanges, such as the Asian premiere of Zelenka's Missa Voltiva in 2011 (Dresdner Barock Orchestra, Dresdner Kammerchor and Taipei Male Choir).

Variety of activities (inter alia):

  • In 2015 he co-produced CD album "Romantische Musik für Männerchor" (Taipei Male Choir and Frieder Bernius).

  • In 2014 he produced CD album "From Darkness to the Light" (provisional title, Taipei Male Choir and Die Singphoniker).

  • In 2013 he was nominated as the best producer of the CD album "A Thousand Winds" (Taipei Male Choir) that won the prize of "Best Interpretation" (Golden Melody Award Taiwan).

  • In 2012 he commissioned 13 composers from around the world to write songs for Taipei Male Choir.

Jury Member: Prof. Matthias Beckert - Germany

Matthias Beckert holds the position of professor for choral conducting at the University of Music in Würzburg and of guest professor at the University of Music in Hanover (Germany) as well as at the Academy of Music in Kraków (Polen). As conductor, he leads ensembles such as the prizewinning Cantabile Regensburg vocal ensemble and the Monteverdi-Choir Würzburg.
In addition, he has been working successfully with renowned orchestras such as the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, the Hofer Symphonic, the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra , the Vogtland Philharmonic Orchestra, the Thuringian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Thuringian Symphonic Saalfeld-Rudolstadt.

  • Beckert has conducted numerous premieres in close collaboration with composers such as Krzysztof Penderecki, Wolfram Buchenberg, Zsolt Gárdonyi, Josef Lammerz, Alwin M. Schronen and Heinz Werner Zimmermann.

  • He has been awarded multiple times at the Bavarian Choir Competition and the German National Choir Competition. Furthermore, Beckert has been honored with the Cultural Medal of the City of Würzburg. Additionally, he was awarded by the Bavarian Vocal Society with the Orlando-di-Lasso-Medal and by the German Music Council with an award for choir directors.

  • Prof. Beckert has served as a judge for numerous national and international choral competitions. He has appeared as a conductor in performances worldwide, including France, Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Hungary and Japan. Beckert’s work is featured on numerous radio and television programs as well as on CD recordings, for example with the labels Musicaphon, co, TYXart and Spektral.

    Prof. Matthias Beckert

Jury Member: Mathias Staut - Germany

Mathias Staut - Germany     Mathias Staut is Choir Conductor of several qualified choirs (Young chamber Choir Dusseldorf, Germany), Musical director of the main- and the opera chorus at the Dusseldorf girls and boys choir and teacher at the Görres-Gymnasium in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Study of School and Church Music and Study of choral conducting at the University of Music in Saarbrucken, Cologne, Dusseldorf and Trossingen with Anders Eby, Rüdiger Bohn and Michael Alber.

Variety of activities (inter alia):

  • Masterclasses and Workshops inter alia with Peter Neumann, Wolfgang Schäfer, Morten Schuldt-Jensen, Friederike Woebcken, Stefan Parkman, Klaus Arp und Sebastian Tewinkel.

  • Hospitations at WDR Rundfunkchor, ChorWerk Ruhr and SWR Vokalensemble.

  • Musical Assistant at the female choir at the cathedral of Essener, Germany.

  • Lectureship in choral conducting at the Academy of Saarland.

  • 2013-2015: Artistic director of the University Choir at the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf.

  • Several concerts in Europe and Canada.

Jury Member: Tristan Meister - Germany

Tristan Meister was born in 1989 and received his first musical training as a member of the Limburger Domsingknaben.

He studied choral conducting with Georg Grün, Harald Jers and Frieder Bernius as well as orchestral conducting with Klaus Arp at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim. His studies have included courses with Kai-Uwe Jirka and Morten Schuldt-Jensen.

He serves as the director of several choirs including the Ensemble Vocapella Limburg, with which he won a first prize at the Deutscher Chorwettbewerb in 2014, the Wormser Kammerensemble, the Vox Quadrata chamber choir and the Jugendchor Hochtaunus. Alongside these commitments he lectures at the Heidelberg University, where he is an assistant to the university’s music director.

With his choirs Tristan Meister is frequently invited to festivals at home and abroad. He is a frequent collaborator of ensembles such as the Baden-Badener Philharmoniker, the Chorakademie Lübeck and the Festivalchor of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik-Festival, and holds workshops and courses for choir singers and conductors.
    Tristan Meister - Germany

Jury Member: Jonathan Bligh - AUSTRALIA

Jonathan Bligh - AUSTRALIA     Jonathan is a passionate advocate for young singers in Australia. He is a Vocal Coach, Music Director and Secondary School Teacher of Music.
Jonathan has a Bachelor of Music (Elder Conservatorium, Adelaide), Graduate Diploma of Education (University of Adelaide)
and a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music (London). Jonathan has studied conducting in the USA at the Westminster Choir College and George Fox University.
He has worked with over 40 different ensembles including singing as a core member of world renowned Adelaide Chamber Singers.
Jonathan has worked as conductor of groups such as the Tutti Choir, the Adelaider Liedertafel 1858, The Adelaide Harmony Choir, The Kapelle Singers, The Australian Girl’s Choir.
Jonathan has also directed a number of musicals including Footloose, Les Miserables, Gypsy and Spring Awakening.
Jonathan was Head of Vocal Studies at The Scot’s College (Sydney) and previously worked as a senior music teacher in the Selective Entry Performing Arts Program at Charles Campbell Secondary School (Adelaide).

Jury Member: Thorsten Weber - Austria

Born in Bad Schwalbach, Germany in 1971.
He is working as a choral music editor at Helbling Verlag, an innovative publishing house specializing in choral music as well as teaching and learning materials for music education. Its office is located in Innsbruck (Austria)

Study of Protestant Theology in Mainz, Choral Conducting at Conservatory Frankfurt
Since 1989 choral conducting of all kinds of choirs (Men, Mixed, Women, Children)

Variety of activities (inter alia):

  • Juror at choir competitions

  • Conductor of "Church choir of the Lutheran Christ Church" in Innsbruck, Chamber choir "Pars pro toto" in Innsbruck and Male voice choir "Mühlauer Sänger" in Innsbruck

  • active member in choral networks around the world

    Thorsten Weber

Jury Member: Julia Gerber - Germany

Julia Gerber - GERMANY     Julia Gerber is editor and product manager of the choral music department at the traditional publishing house Schott Music in Mainz, Germany.

She studied musicology and Romance philology at Saarland University and worked at the CSIC (Spanish Institute for Musical Research) in Barcelona to obtain her master’s degree.

She studied choral conducting at Saarländischer Chorverband (Saarland Choral Association) and Mission Voix Alsace (France) and was an assistant to the university’s music director during her musicologial studies.

In addition to her editorial work, she is conducting a church choir and works as a singing teacher.

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WAC Contest