Conductors Sacred Music Today

Dimitri ARNAUTS (BRUSSELS/ Belgium)

Composer & Artistic Director

Dimitri Arnauts (1973) is a composer who has dedicated himself to uplift and delight hearts, souls and minds through the reaffirmed beauty of melody, harmony, polyphony and counterpoint, and through the innumerable colours of instruments and hu voices. Born in 1973 in Brussels, Dimitri lives near the capital of Belgium.

As a composer, he has since written numerous works of various sizes and settings, being mainly cantatas, psalms, oratorios, concertos, and other choral or instrumental works – but also substantial symphonic and electronic music, and vocal improvisations.

As an autodidact, Dimitri feels free to follow the paths of his heart, both in the aesthetics of his music as in the emotion and message it aims to convey.

He completed choral and orchestral conducting courses, in Oxford, UK (with Jam Jordan and Steve Pilkington, USA) and in Sherborne, UK (with Maestro Rodolfo Saglimbeni, Venezuela and Amy Bebbington, UK), and film music composition courses at the HKU Utrecht, The Netherlands (with Rens Machielse).

Kristina BOGATAJ (HELSINKI/ Finland)

Choral Conductor & Teacher

Kristina Bogataj has graduated from the Academy of Music in Ljubljana with an award-winning choral concert in 2017, starting her conducting master studies at t Sibelius Academy in the same year. A pianist from an early age, she was attending competitions, playing in duos, chamber groups, and orchestras.

Based in Helsinki, Kristina is active as a chorus master in opera productions, chor projects, and workshops. She has conducted or collaborated with several choirs in Helsinki and nearby, such as EMO Ensemble, Akademiska damkoren Lyran, Sibeliu Vocal Ensemble and others. She is the conductor of her own female vocal group Lyckokatter, female choirs Riiarinna and NaisSound, and the mixed choir Cantus Mercurialis.

Kristina continues to follow the inspiration in both high level and heartfelt mu­sic-making, combining classical choral repertoire with folk heritage and collaborations with contemporary composers from the popular music scene. In addition to choral conducting activities, she is also a teacher at the International School of M Finland.

 

Jun LEE (MANCHESTER/ USA)

Conductor, Educator & Church Musician

Jun Lee is a conductor, an educator and a church musician. He is a founder of Raon Children’s Choir and Grace Women’s Ensemble in South Korea, and his ensembles have won several competitions.

Jun has previously taught at Baekseok University in South Korea. At the University of Connecticut, he conducted the Collegiate Choir, Women’s Choir and Collegium Mu­sicum and taught music theory. Currently, he serves as music director of the UConn Festival Chorus.

Also, Jun recently founded his choral group named Project Choir ONE, and just had their first concert.

Jun has participated in fellowship programs in conducting at the Yale School of Music, Princeton Music Festival, and Europa Cantat in Belgium and has appeared as a guest conductor of the Vancouver Chamber Choir at the National Conductors’ Symposium, the Studium Chorale in the Netherlands.

A native of South Korea, Jun received his bachelor’s degree from Westminster Choir College, a master’s in Choral Conducting from Florida State University, and his DMA in choral conducting at the University of Connecticut.

 

David PEREZ FERNANDEZ (ASTURIAS/ Spain)

Conductor & Violinist

He started his musical studies in the Escolanfa de Covadonga focusing on violin and choral disciplines. A few years later, he moved into the Conservatorio Superior de Musica del Principado de Asturias ”Eduardo Martinez Torner” with Yuri Nasushkin where he got the superior certificate specialised in violin.

He was part of ”El Leon de Oro” for more than ten years developing a very intense choral labour which has been demonstrated by a large amount of received prizes and the professional recordings made through all these years.

His professional instruction as a conductor was given by international known masters in the choral scene as Josep Vila, Marco A. Garcia de Paz, Javier Busto, Johan Duijck and Xavier Sarasola among others.

During his career, we can highlight some choral awards given in Oviedo, San Vicente de la Barquera, Ejea de Los Caballeros, Torrevieja and Gales. He was also recognised with a special prize for the Best Conductor in the XLVI Certamen Coral de Ejea de Los Caballeros.

Nowadays, he is still working as a conductor while he keeps pursuing to finish his studies.

 

John MORROW {NORMAN/ USA)

Associate Director of Music & Principal Organist

John M. Morrow is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma with an MM in Choral Conducting. He currently serves as the Associate Director of Music and Principal Organist at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman, Oklaho directing the youth choir and youth bell choir.

Having worked as a high school music educator, musical theatre director, established accompanist, and collaborative pianist/continua player, John holds a dual undergraduate degree in Organ and International Studies.

He made his European premieres as organist at the Kamien Pomorski Chamber M Festival in Kamien Pomorski, Poland (2018) and conductor in Eisenstadt, Austria (2017).

He attended the 2018 Sacred Music Intensive at Indiana University as an organist a conductor. In May 2019, John was named as a finalist for the American Prize in Cho Conducting (Church and Community Choruses Division), and toured with the Rich Zielinski Singers to Legnica, Poland.

Over the coming year, John will he be preparing his choir for an international tour in May 2020.

 

Juan Ignacio NORONA {BUENOS AIRES/ Argentina)

Composer, Teacher & Artistic Director

Juan Ignacio Noror’ia was born in Achiras, Argentina, on January 25th, 1974.

He began his musical studies in the Conservatory ”Julian Aguirre” of Rio Cuarto in which he graduated as a piano teacher in 1999 with professor Jorge Lhez and then a singing teacher in 2001 with Maestro Clifford Wagner.

He has sung in several choirs and was a selected member of the ”World Youth Cho in 1999 and 2000. Currently, he is a professional singer of the ”Coro Polif6nico Qufri He studied choral conducting with Clifford Wagner, and continued with Dr Nestor Zadoff in Buenos Aires.

He participates as an active student in workshops with Mtro. Pep Prats (Catalunya), Nestor Andrenaci (Argentina), Anton Armstrong (USA), Mariano Moruja (Argentina) among others.

He has been the conductor of many choirs in Rio Cuarto.

Currently, he is the conductor of ”Camerata Vocal Arsis” (mixed chamber choir), ”C torfa San Ignacio” (female choir) and ”Coro del Profesorado de musica del Conservatorio Julian Aguirre”.

As a composer, he won the first prize in the National Choral Competition 2016 wit his work (”Amaneceres”), and many of his works are performed in several choirs in Argentina.

He is a professor of vocal studies and choral conducting in the Conservatory ”Julia Aguirre” and in the ”Institute of Musical Studies” in Villa Mercedes San Luis.

 

Marta Pilar HERNANDO (MADRID / Spain)

Orchestra & Choral Conductor

Marta-Pilar was born in Zaragoza (Spain) in 1990. She has a degree in Orchestra and Choral Conducting by the Royal Conservatory of Madrid, but her love for choral music has caused her to focus her education on choral conducting with important teach­ ers such as Javier Busto, Stojan Kuret, Josep Vila I Casanas or Enrique Azurza among others. Recently, she has been selected as an active participant in a Masterclass with Harry Christophers.

As a choral conductor, she has worked with a large number of choirs in different cities in Spain. In 2010 she created the ”Musicaire Chamber Choir” in Zaragoza, composed by young professional musicians with vast choral experience and with whom she continues working. Also in Zaragoza, she has conducted other choirs, including chil­dren’s and mixed choirs.

When she moved to Madrid, she worked in the ”Orquesta y Coro Filarmonfa” as a choral conductor and orchestra assistant for two years. This gave her the possibility to work side by side with well-known soloists and musicians, and the opportunity to work and go deeper into the choral part of symphonic works such as ”Messa da Requiem” by G. Verdi, ”Grande Messe des morts” by H. Berlioz, ”Requiem in D minor” by W.A. Mozart among other symphonic works and operas, which have been performed at the National Auditorium of Music in Madrid.

She is currently the head conductor of the Orfeon Burgales Choral Society, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary.

 

Brian STEVENS (Webster/ USA)

Teacher & Conductor

Brian M. Stevens is Director of Choral Activities at the Nazareth College School of Music in upstate New York. There he teaches choral conducting, choral literature, ap­plied conducting, and directs the Nazareth Chamber Singers, and the Women’s Choir.

He also is Artistic Director and founder of the semi-professional women’s chamber ensemble Vox Eius. He completed his DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Connecticut, where his dissertation focused on the choral music of contemporary Swedish composer Fredrik Sixten.

Brian has also served two summers on the conducting faculty as a visiting professor at Shandong Normal University in Jin an, China.

When not making music, he enjoys fishing, hiking, and travelling the world with his wife, Kelly.

 

Eirin Beate ÅSERUD-LØVLID (HOLSNØY / Norway)

Choral Director & Conductor

Eirin Beate Åserud-Løvlid (1970) lives in Holsnøy, north of Bergen, Norway.

Eirin works full time as a conductor, and per today she runs three girl choirs in Bergen Cathedral, Radøy women’s choir, a children’s choir in Hardanger, the men’s choir Laudamus also from Hardanger and the project-based female choir Vox Animae.

Eirin trained initially as a teacher, and after some years of teaching, she started Bergen Domkirkes Jentekor as a hobby. Later, she has studied conducting at the Norwegian Academy of Music as well as in Trondheim at NTNU.

She has also studied privately under Kjetil Almenning and Maria Gamborg Helbekkmo. This has led to a fulltime commitment to the conducting of choirs at different levels during the last nine years.