Second place went to Rezonans (Turkey) and third place went to Marylhurst University Chamber Choir (USA).
An all-male chamber choir established in 2000, DelicaTon Freigericht is very active on the festival scene, performing a wide range of musical styles and winning numerous awards. They believe that singing brings together the body, soul and emotions as one. One of their recent major achievements was winning the Grand Prix at the Choir Competition in Llangollen, Wales in July 2012.
Matthias Schmitt is an acclaimed conductor of several choirs in the state of Hessen Germany. He was art director at the international choir competition “Heart of Europe” in Gelnhausen in 2010 and his main occupation is culture ambassador in the Main-Kinzig-Destrict in Hessen.
The premiere choral ensemble at Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon, Marylhurst University Chamber Choir is a highly selective mixed voice choir founded in the autumn of 2013 by Dr. Justin Smith, holder of the Joseph Naumes Endowed Chair in Music. The group is already rapidly gaining a reputation for excellence through the Northwestern United States.
In 2014-2015, the Chamber Choir toured the East Coast of the US including Carnegie Hall, New York City. In 2015-2016, they travelled to Europe for their first international tour, and will collaborate with Grammy and Pulitzer-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth.
pourChœur Vokalensemble is a young Swiss choir that aims for a mixture of traditional classical music and contemporary music. Founded in 2012 by the two conductors Marco Beltrani and Samuel Strub, the choir has already attracted much attention, and has found a unique place within the Swiss Choral world.
The ensemble specializes in rarely sung a-cappella repertoire of the 20th Century, and demonstrates an extraordinary balanced choral sound, and vocal and rhythmic flexibility. They have released 5 projects so far in a relatively short period, and premiered more than 10 commissioned works.
Ahjo Ensemble is a young and ambitious chamber choir from Helsinki, Finland, conducted by Paavo Hyӧkki. They mainly perform modern choral music, with an emphasis on Finnish and Estonian composers, and their focus lately has been on reformist Finnish composer Bengt Johansson. Since their appearance on the choral scene, Ahjo Ensemble has gained public interest and critical acclaim for their rich, balanced and cultivated sound.
Paavo Hyӧkki is currently the conductor of 3 choirs, and has worked on many projects with various other Finnish choirs and orchestras. He is the Artistic Director of the Finnish Male Choir Association and has been a member of the board of the association since 2010.
Tórshavnar Kamarkór was established in 1985 in Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. They focus on new as well as traditional Faroese repertoire and have travelled to other Nordic countries, Europe and the US to perform. In 2015 they won the prize of best choir in the Faroe Islands at the Faroese Choir Festival in April 2015.
Conductor Bernharður Wilkinson began his musical studies at an early age as a chorister at Westminster Abbey in London. Besides Tórshavnar Kamarkór and other international engagements, he is the conductor of the Faroese Symphony Orchestra.
Rezonans was founded in 2010 by a young team with an innovative and dynamic understanding of music. Having accomplished numerous international projects to date, Rezonans shares its repertoire with a focus on a cappella music with music lovers all around Turkey. In November 2015, the choir presented a music show under the baton of Eric Whitacre in Zorlu Performing Arts Center, just one of their many accomplishments. Alongside Rezonans and many other musical pursuits, the acclaimed and prodigious Burak Onur Erdem conducted the 50-years old Istanbul European Choir in 2013, and is assistant conductor of State Choir Turkey in Ankara.
Bærum Vokalensemble is one of Norway’s leading ensembles for female voices. Founded in 1984, the choir is known for its beautiful sound and exciting repertoire and focuses on modern choral music as well as commissioning new pieces from noted Norwegian composers. They have won many awards at national and international level, and feature on the Grammy nominated recording ‘Immortal Nystedt’.
Sindre Hugo Bjerkestrand has been musical director of the ensemble since 2014. He also works in Oslo Cathedral conducting the youth choir, and has conducted many of the leading choirs of Norway.
Mixed Choir K.O.O.R. was founded in 2012 by conductor and musical director Raul Talmar. The choir has participated in and won awards at many international choral festivals such as the International Choir Festival ‘Tallin 2013’ in Estonia, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, and the International Krakow Choir Festival in Poland.
The accomplished Raul Talmar has conducted a number of choirs, was nominated for the Conductor of the Year by the Estonian Choral Association, and as of 2013, is the President of the organization along with other positions.
Helene Stureborgs kammarkӧr was founded in 2011 by conductor Helene Stureborg together with former singers of Stockholm’s Music Gymnasium. With approximately 35 active singers today, the chamber choir has acquired a high reputation on the Swedish choral scene, with one concert performed in the main concert halls of the Nordics to an audience of over 50,000,
Helene Stureborg is an accomplished conductor who has worked at Stockholm’s Musikgymnasium since 1990. In 1994 she became the conductor of Kongl Teknologkӧren at the Royal Institute of Technology until 2002 and in 2014 she was appointed member of the Artistic Council of Statens Musikverk, amoung other positions.
Formed in Cork in 2011, Voci Nuove has performed all over Ireland and beyond, winning numerous accolades. In 2013 the ensemble won first place in the international category at the Derry International Choral Festival, and won ‘Ireland’s Choir of the Year’ at the Cork International Choral Festival in 2015. In 2012, they worked with the King’s Singers in a workshop in Dublin, and opened for San Francisco-based Chaticleer in 2014.
Under the direction of Lynsey Callaghan they have undertaken two Irish concert tours in 2014 and 2015, and have premiered works by Irish composers Ben Hanlon, Sam Perkin and Ciaran Hope.
Mixed-voice choir Laetare Vocal Ensemble was formed in 2014 and is based in Dublin. The choir’s concert series ‘There will be Peace: reflections on conflict, love and loss’ was a collaboration with Cork group Voci Nuove and their conductor Lynsey Callaghan in November 2014, and also featured on RTE Radio 1’s The History Show. They have won the National Choir of the Year award at the Navan Choral Festival and the Premier Competition at the Mayo International Choral Festival.
Conductor Dr Róisín Blunnie is Head of the Music Department at Mater Dei Institute, Dublin City University. She studied choral conducting with Prof Péter Erdei and Dr Katalin Kiss at the Kodály Institute in Hungary, and holds a PhD in Musicology from Trinity College in Dublin.