© Inessa Bodyako, Belarus
World Choir Games 2018

#WCG2018 – Meet the Jury

Q&A with Inessa Bodyako (Belarus)

Renowned choral experts from 28 different nations are going to evaluate the competition performances at the World Choir Games 2018 in Tshwane, South Africa. Time to learn more about them!

Q&A with Inessa Bodyako (Belarus)

Inessa Bodyako is the chairperson of the Belarusian Choir Director Association, head of the Choral Conducting Department and Artistic Director of the awarding-winning Student Choir of the Belarusian Academy of Music. Furthermore she is a regularly invited specialist for lectures and master classes on Russian, Belarusian Orthodox and modern choral music worldwide.

Who or what is your greatest inspiration in life?

If we are talking about the choice of a professional destiny, then I received musical education at a school, college, academy from the hands of beautiful, selfless musicians, their names are Vitaly Rauzo, Raisa Karlinskaya, Zhanna Prigun, Viktor Rovdo, Larisa Shimanovich. And the greatest inspiration for the search for qualitative and truthful interpretations of choral music I found in the playing of the brilliant violinist Vladimir Spivakov. I admire his human and musical personality. The intonation of the human word, the bright and expressive dialogue that Vladimir creates with his violin gave me a clear understanding that the sound of the choir can and should be "talking" and colorfully explaining even without using words.

What would you be doing today, if you were not in choral music?

I think I could become an organizer, manager in the music field, or create a private music school. I still can not separate myself from music. This seems impossible.

When did you last sing?

As a singer, I sang on Easter service this year in an Orthodox church in honor of the Christmas all night. I remembered how I came to this church 21 years ago and how we started to create a choir and a church music library. You should know and understand that by the end of the 20th century there was not yet enough printed spiritual choral music for the church in Belarus.

Which song never fails to move you?

Aria Maddalena from "Andrea Chenier" by Umberto Giordano performed by Maria Callas. "Tears in Heaven" is a ballad written by Eric Clapton.

With whom would you like to sing a duet once in your life?

With Kiri Te Kanawa. At a time when I was actively engaged in the vocal profession, I admired her ability to perform Mozart and Maori songs so easily and admirably.

What is the greatest piece of choral literature that has ever been written?

For me, these are a few works. These compositions are capable of changing consciousness, understanding the world and its structure and my dream is to prepare a choir for their performance. I.S. Bach The High Mass, S. Rachmaninov "Vespers", V. Gavrilin symphony-action "Chimes"

Acting as adjudicator at choir competitions, what is your main focus of evaluation?

Be honest. BUT I can not be too strict to children ... If there is love between the leader and the children, if they follow on the way of a happy search in music, I will always support such a collective.

What is your personal advice to choirs/conductors competing at the World Choir Games?

If you perform at the World Choir Games, you are certainly talented. But, if you want to win, you have to be a strategist. If you want to be remembered by the public, you have to be a screenwriter and director. If your target is music, then I have no more advice for you.

What’s the most useless talent you have?

Did not find.

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