© Donka Miteva, Germany
World Choir Games 2018

#WCG2018 - Meet the Jury

10 questions with Donka Miteva (Germany)

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!

10 questions with Donka Miteva (Bulgaria/Germany)

Donka Miteva is an award-winning choir conductor born in Sofia, Bulgaria and living in Germany. She studied Choral Conducting at the State Academy of Music in Sofia and Orchestra Conducting at the Robert Schumann Music Academy in Düsseldorf, Germany. Since 2011 she is Artistic Director and Conductor of Collegium Musicum Berlin at the Free and Technical Universities in Berlin.

Who or what is your greatest inspiration in life?

My greatest inspiration in life is working and communicating with people. And when I am alone, I enjoy the solitude of Nature, mostly somewhere up in the mountains

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

I guess I would have become a lawyer or a psychologist.

When did you last sing?

I sing every day!

What is the best (and funniest) story to tell from your choral life?

Due to a flight delay, my choir and I arrived just minutes before the opening ceremony of a competition was about to start. We had still our luggage with us and then marched for almost an hour through the city, dragging our suitcases behind us and endlessly repeating the Hymn of the competition over and over again. Realizing an hour before a competition round, that my nail polish is really damaged and nobody in the choir has any nail polish remover. Then sending one of my singers to roam around the town (on a saturday, not a big town) and him coming back just about 20 minutes before we were supposed to be on stage. I still managed to remove the old polish and put a new one on, matching the colour of the dresses of the girls from the choir. Vanity, i know! :) 

Trying to conduct/sing a compulsory work by Bruckner in the competition, while also trying to ignore a rock concert happening right in front of the theater building.

Which song never fails to move you?

"Our father" by Nikolai Kedrov

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

With the fantastic Mezzo Vesselina Kasarova!

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

Impossible to pick only one, but Verdi´s, Mozart´s and Brahms´ Requiems are definitely on the top 5 list.

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

My main focus is always the music and the message that the choir has in each piece while singing. Technical perfection is worthless, if the music does not move you.

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

Be honest, be yourself, show the uniqueness of your ensemble/country and let the music speak for you.

What’s the most useless talent you have?

Being able to recite almost any line from any episode of "Friends".

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