INTERKULTUR NEWS https://www.interkultur.com en INTERKULTUR Thu, 13 Aug 2020 13:43:02 +0200 Thu, 13 Aug 2020 13:43:02 +0200 news-2116 Thu, 13 Aug 2020 09:24:00 +0200 Tradition, architecture and lifestyle https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/competitions-festivals/details/news/tradition-architecture-and-lifestyle/ Albania welcomes singers to experience the country’s multifaceted history Join the international choir community – On Stage in Albania! From June 9-13, 2021 INTERKULTUR invites you to the country’s capital, Tirana. Three of the most prestigious venues of the country will open their stages for participating choirs and give a warm welcome to singers from near and far.

The first official event, the Welcoming Concert, will take place at Tirana’s Open Air Amphitheater. Situated among the trees of the city’s Grand Park and on the shores of a lake, this site, also known as Amphitheatre by the locals, is one of the city’s most attractive stages. First built in 1974 by some of the most renowned architects of the time, it was a popular stage for concerts and theatrical plays and was completely reconstructed and equipped with a modern stage in 2018.

In addition, the Cultural Center of the Resurrection Cathedral will welcome participants for workshops and other pedagogical activities. The cathedral, a landmark in the heart of the capital, is Europe’s third largest orthodox church and, since its opening in June 2012, one of the main tourist attractions of the city. Frescoes, mosaics, and the iconostasis, all harmonize with the interior architecture of the cathedral, leaving a lasting impression on its visitors.

The third venue is the St. Stephen's Catholic Cathedral (also called “Kisha e madhe”, the big church, by locals) which will be the main setting for Friendship Concerts. It was built during the Ottoman occupation and the cathedral’s vault contains paintings from one of the most renowned Albanian painters, Kolë Idromeno, who added them in 1909 and which can still be seen today.

More information about the event and the On Stage series is available here and on the corresponding Facebook page!

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Competitions & Festivals ON STAGE
news-2352 Mon, 27 Jul 2020 12:33:04 +0200 Mourning for Prof. Yang Hongnian https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/interkultur-news/details/news/mourning-for-prof-yang-hongnian/ Leading personality of Chinese choral culture and Honorary Artistic President of the World Choir Games deceased Professor Yang Hongnian, conductor, music pedagogue and Honorary Artistic President of the World Choir Games, died on 26 July 2020 at the age of 86. Professor Yang was a prominent figure in the Chinese choral community and was one of the most famous choral conductors and teachers in the country. For many decades, he promoted the development of choral music in his home country with great commitment and all his strength.

Since 2002, almost since the start of the World Choir Games, the Olympics of Choral Music, Prof. Yang supported INTERKULTUR's work and the various activities for the international choral community as a close advisor and friend. His innovative ideas and his professional and friendly manner have had a lasting influence on the development of the World Choir Games.

As an educator, his advice to all choirs was that in order to improve, one must go out into the world and broaden one's horizon. For him, choral music was the key to connecting people and living together peacefully. His departure leaves a great void in the world of choirs. However, his achievements and his influence on the Chinese, but also the international choral community remain unforgotten and his spirit will continue to embrace us during the World Choir Games.

On behalf of INTERKULTUR, the World Choir Council and all colleagues worldwide, President Günter Titsch offers heartfelt condolences to his dear wife Prof. Tang Chongqing and his son Prof. Yang Li. The choral world has lost a treasured person, a good friend and supporter. Our thoughts are with his relatives and friends.

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INTERKULTUR News Obituary
news-2348 Thu, 23 Jul 2020 15:22:00 +0200 Together! Experience! Singing! https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/choir-games/details/news/together-experience-singing/ New participation possibilities for a joint choir experience Finally, singing again! Since choir rehearsals have gradually become possible again in the various federal states with corresponding precautions, the singers' desire for shared choral experiences, such as the "Deutsche Chormeisterschaft" (German Choir Championships) from November 6-8, 2020 in Koblenz, has also grown constantly. "For the choirs from Germany it is first and foremost a matter of concluding the year 2020 positively and finally meeting and exchanging with other choirs again", says INTERKULTUR President Günter Titsch.

However, numerous choirs had to struggle with difficult rehearsal conditions in the past months and many groups thus had hardly any time and only few opportunities to prepare for an event or even a competition in the usual way. In order to provide them with the opportunity to experience a diverse choral community first hand again after months of musical isolation, the organisers of the Deutsche Chormeisterschaft have decided to expand the participation possibilities. In addition to the competition, choirs can also perform beyond the scoring system and register for non-competitive participation. They then have the unique opportunity to receive feedback from the top-class international jury directly after their performance as well as a recommendation for a participation in future national and international choir competitions. Thus, the German Choir Championships 2020 in Koblenz are open to all choirs in Germany, no matter whether they attend for competition or just for the collective choral experience.

You can find current information about the Deutsche Chormeisterschaft 2020 at www.chormeisterschaft.de.

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Choir Games Deutsche Chormeisterschaft
news-2346 Thu, 23 Jul 2020 11:04:00 +0200 Great to see you again! https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/competitions-festivals/details/news/great-to-see-you-again/ Traditional choir festival in Calella welcomes international choir community "And every beginning has an inner magic," the German poet Hermann Hesse said in a verse. And this magic of a new beginning of singing together, experiencing together and celebrating together after the rigid restrictions imposed by Corona will become reality in Canta al mar - Festival Coral Internacional from 22nd to 26th October 2020. Corona-compliant safety measures and security concepts make the popular choir event in Callela possible; the event has been restructured accordingly, so that the competition part is omitted. 

Canta al mar will thus take place in 2020 as a true festival, with the focus on togetherness and a shared festival experience in Spain. For this reason, the events, such as friendship concerts with choirs from different countries, will take place in open-air venues such as the Pati de l'Òs in Parc Dalmau, Plaça di Iglesia (church square) and Plaça de l'Ajuntament (town hall square), so that singing together and a united experience and enjoyment of choral music will be possible for all singers, guests and choral music fans.  In addition, the Catalan conductor Daniel Mestre offers various educational activities as part of the Canta al mar 2020 festival.

Further information about the event and impressions of previous editions are available at interkultur.com/calella2020 or on Facebook!

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Competitions & Festivals Canta al mar - Festival Coral Internacional
news-2350 Thu, 23 Jul 2020 09:34:58 +0200 The pandemic has no power over choral singing https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/choir-games/details/news/the-pandemic-has-no-power-over-choral-singing/ Exchange of the World Choir Council on the current situation in the choral nations A summary by Professor Alexander Soloviev, official representative of Russia in the INTERKULTUR World Choir Council, (published in http://muzlifemagazine.ru/khorovoe-penie-nepodvlastno-pandemii/  on July 15, 2020)

For more than 20 years, the choral paths have brought us together again and again at the World Choir Games, the largest choral event, which are held every two years in different places around the world and attract both choral experts and choirs from more than 100 nations of the world.

The World Choir Games 2020 were planned to be held in Flanders (Belgium), but had to be postponed to next year due to the pandemic.  Nevertheless, the traditional meeting of the members of the World Choir Council, the international advisory board of INTERKULTUR in artistic matters, was made possible virtually in ZOOM format, and renowned choral experts and choir conductors took part.

The President of INTERKULTUR, Günter Titsch (Germany), remarked: "The meeting of the 70 members of the World Choir Council, especially on these days which are difficult for all of us, is a very good opportunity to show our solidarity with and the unity of the worldwide choir family, which gives us a confident feeling for the future! Our first virtual meeting provides us with new impetus, which we will need for further discussions and consultations in order to master the current challenges and developments in the field of choral singing.“

The artistic director Johan Rooze (Netherlands/ Korea) gave a presentation which summarized practical advice on the topic " Survival of choirs in the digital world". During the pandemic, these and other digital tools became a popular way for overcoming creative isolation, which also affected the rehearsal process. Practice taught us that today it is only an opportunity to maintain social contacts, because it was practically impossible to sing and make music with the whole choir at the same time - the technical possibilities of the internet and software do not allow for synchronized singing and direct interaction. Concern was expressed from remote areas about the poor quality of music content, which has a negative impact on the education of young people's musical taste.

At the same time, a number of positive aspects of digital interaction within choirs have been identified: the possibility to focus on individual work with the singers as part of the rehearsal process; the possibility to draw additional attention to the presentation of archived material; overcoming the breakdown of creative contacts and, as an example, the creation of international projects, especially virtual choirs. The demand for online music lessons increases if a musician can find a curriculum that meets his or her needs.

Social integration is very important in today's world. Music has always had a healing effect, so it is very important to help people in a rehabilitation process by involving them in the rehearsal and concert process. Interkultur is actively involved in this issue and organises many projects that help people with physical disabilities to integrate into social life.

Here are the impressions of Mrs. Inessa Bodyako, director of the Association of Choral Conductors in Belarus, after her discussions with colleagues: "The first thing I experienced when looking at the screen was the feeling of belonging to people who are not indifferent to everything, to those who are familiar with the music and social activities of their countries and the whole world, to those who are open, energetic and friendly, to those who appreciate the present and think about the future in our choral work. In recent years the Belarussian Academy of Music has paid great attention to the work of our students with children's choirs for visually impaired people. We support them in their desire to create new opportunities for the emotional development of such children and develop educational and methodological recommendations."

At the meeting the XII. World Choir Games in the Republic of Korea were announced, to which the splendid choir festival will return after 20 years, this time to the city of Gangneung. Korea is known for its performing choral arts, which are popular with the people of the peninsula and are strongly supported by the state. Gangneung city is located in the Gangwon region, which has a long history of hosting major international events: in 2018, it became the venue of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, which went down in history as the "World Games" thanks to the joint appearance of North and South Korean athletes.

Zemfira Poloz (Canada) stressed that "it was a very productive time to share experiences in such difficult times. New creative ideas will continue to accompany us in the future. I would like to point out the excellent research on the implementation of virtual projects - the advantages and disadvantages of working with digital platforms. I was very happy to see old friends and colleagues from all over the world. Gulmira Kuttybadamova from Kazakhstan also expressed herself accordingly: "An important task of the Council is to unite the efforts of the national choral associations in order to achieve common goals for the further development of professional and amateur choral art.“

One of the central slogans of Interculture - "Singing Together Brings Nations Together" - has once again proven its vibrancy, despite the global threat of the pandemic.

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Choir Games World Choir Council
news-2342 Wed, 15 Jul 2020 14:00:00 +0200 INTERKULTUR Video Award 2020: The Winners https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/interkultur-news/details/news/interkultur-video-award-2020-the-winners/ Prizes go to South Africa, Austria and Armenia The first online choir competition of INTERKULTUR was an amazing success. A total of 128 virtual choir videos from 44 countries were submitted to participate in the categories “Choirs A Cappella” and “Choirs with Accompaniment”.

The jury, which consisted of INTERKULTUR Artistic Directors Prof. Dr. Ralf Eisenbeiß (Germany) and Johan Rooze (Netherlands/South Korea), the Local Artistic Director of the World Choir Games in Flanders 2021, Maarten Van Ingelgem, the World Choir Games Project Director Jelena Dannhauer (Germany) and INTERKULTUR’s Project Director for Project Development, Francesco Leonardi (Italy), reviewed each video carefully and evaluated them according to different criteria, like “Choir Quality”, “Production”, and “Creativity”.

“I was impressed and also surprised by the high quality and creativity the choirs have achieved in their submissions. You can see in many of them that they put all their heart and soul into the production of their virtual choir video and came up with a fantastic result. We all in the jury really enjoyed watching all those videos and I am convinced that this will not have been the last virtual competition of INTERKULTUR,” says Prof. Dr. Ralf Eisenbeiß.

After an intense discussion the members of the jury finally decided to give the first-ever “INTERKULTUR Video Award” to the following choirs:

Category “Choirs A Cappella” 
Chor der Technischen Universität Wien, Austria

with „Some Nights“ by Nate Ruess, arr. Andy Black
Watch here!

Category „Choirs With Accompaniment“
Mzansi Youth Choir, South Africa

with “A Million Dreams” by Benj Pasek, arr. James Bassingthwaighte
Watch here!

Independent from the evaluation criteria the jury decided to award an additional
"Special Prize for the most encouraging video in times of Covid-19":

Armenian Little Singers, Armenia
with “Sing” by Pentatonix, arr. Momjian Ani
Watch here!

All entries of the INTERKULTUR Video Award in the categories “Choirs A Cappella” and “Choirs with Accompaniment” can still be watched at interkultur.tv/videoaward. The videos were presented on the video platform INTERKULTUR.TV as part of the “Virtual Choir Games”, which were held from July 5-15, 2020 through INTERKULTUR’s Social Media Channels. The Virtual Choir Games were dedicated to chorister from all over the world, who were not be able to join the real World Choir Games 2020, since the event has been postponed to 2021 due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

The 11th World Choir Games 2021 in Flanders will take place from July 2-12, 2021. The registration for choirs which are interested to join is still open until September 15, 2020. Please find more information on the official website www.wcg2021.com

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INTERKULTUR News INTERKULTUR.TV
news-2344 Wed, 15 Jul 2020 10:21:39 +0200 Update on INTERKULTUR events in fall https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/interkultur-news/details/news/update-on-interkultur-events-in-fall/ COVDID-19 pandemic still affects schedule of events 2020 is the year of COVID-19. There’s still no end in sight for the pandemic and therefore we have already started to find solutions for our upcoming events in fall 2020.
Here’s an update about what will happen to the next events from our original event calendar: 

Isola del Sole on the sunny island Grado in Italy will not happen this year. The next event is now scheduled for September 25-29, 2022. Detailed information about this event will be published soon.

The first edition of Sing’n’Joy Bohol on the Philippines has been postponed to 2022. The new dates are October 5-9, 2022. You can already find more information here.

Also the first international choir competition in Magdeburg will take place for the first time in 2022 now. The dates are from October 5-9, 2022. More information can be found here.

Our On Stage in Lisbon will unfortunately not be able to take place this year either. But its next edition in 2021 is already scheduled: September 10-13, 2021. More information is already available here.

Nevertheless we’re still confident that the Deutsche Chormeisterschaft in November will be a lighthouse for the German choirs to still experience a national choral meeting this year, and we’re also still keeping our fingers crossed for our international choir competition in Calella at the end of October and for the Franz Schubert International Choir Competition in Vienna, On Stage in Prague as well as Voices & Wine Málaga in November in order to conclude this year with positive and not least personal choir experiences.

We keep you in the loop!

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INTERKULTUR News COVID-19
news-2340 Fri, 10 Jul 2020 14:00:00 +0200 Top 10 choirs from the World Rankings in one concert https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/choir-games/details/news/top-10-choirs-from-the-world-rankings-in-one-concert/ Online Celebration Concert at the Virtual Choir Games This Friday the Virtual Choir Games come up with a special highlight: An Online Celebration Concert unites performances of the 10 best choirs of the INTERKULTUR World Rankings. These choirs have distinguished themselves in INTERKULTUR competitions of the last years by their top class performances. They have certainly sung their way into many of our hearts! 

Before the performances of the Top 10 choirs starts, a fantastic choir from the host country of the upcoming World Choir Games 2021, Belgium will showcase its amazing skills.

Tune in now and enjoy the concert!

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Choir Games World Choir Games 2021
news-2336 Thu, 09 Jul 2020 14:00:00 +0200 The 12th World Choir Games 2022 go to…KOREA https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/choir-games/details/news/the-12th-world-choir-games-2022-go-tokorea/ Former host of Winter Olympics will welcome thousands of singers from July 4-14, 2022 The World Choir Games are coming back to the Republic of Korea: The city of Gangneung, located in the Province of Gangwon, is the second Korean city after Busan in 2002 to host the world's largest international choir competition. From July 4-14, 2022 Gangneung becomes the meeting place for choir singers from all over the world to celebrate 11 days of competitions, singing together, international friendship, and cultural exchange.

Gangwon-do was the venue of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, which went down in history as the "Peace Games" due to the joint appearance of North and South Korean athletes, and is thus a perfect place for the unifying power of choral music to become an even more significant international symbol of peace.

INTERKULTUR President Günter Titsch: „I’m very proud that the World Choir Games will become a part of the province’s Olympic history – this will have a significant value for the Choral Olympic movement in the world and will be a unique experience for the singers from all over the world.”

Han-Geun Kim, Mayor of Gangneung City: “It is so meaningful and honorable to be the host of “12th World Choir Games, 2022” in Gangneung, Republic of Korea. Our citizens are eagerly waiting for the most splendid choral festival in the world with those who love singing a song.”

The host city of the 2022 World Choir Games in Korea, Gangneung, is known for its breathtaking location by the sea in front of fantastic mountain scenery. The Olympic Park and the Ice Arena were venues for the 2018 Winter Olympics and will also host the Winter Youth Olympics in 2024. A unique opportunity for World Choir Games participants to breathe Olympic air during the World Choir Games 2022!

After the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak there will be two World Choir Games for two consecutive years. The 11th World Choir Games in Flanders have been postponed to 2021, and the 12th World Choir Games Gangneung will regularly take place in 2022. “This is a new challenge that we never had before, but which we will definitely master,” says INTERKULTUR President Günter Titsch. "I am sure that choirs from all over the world will take the opportunity to participate in the 11th and 12th World Choir Games and finally share the stages of the world again!"

 

 

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Choir Games World Choir Games 2022
news-2338 Thu, 09 Jul 2020 09:52:04 +0200 World Choir Council - International exchange within the Virtual Choir Games https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/choir-games/details/news/world-choir-council-international-exchange-within-the-virtual-choir-games/ Choral experts from all over the world gather online for the first time The last weeks and months have demanded a lot from mankind. Especially the worldwide choir scene has been hit hardly by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting contact and travel restrictions. The ban on performances and rehearsals, the loss of community and singing together, financial and social worries - this affects choirs all over the world.

How to sing in these difficult times? How do you manage to maintain a sense of community, even without personal contact? What does the future of choral music look like - what challenges and opportunities do we face? These questions are currently on the mind of experts all over the world and they will be the focus of the next World Choir Council Meeting.

Due to the current situation, the World Choir Games 2020 and therefore also the planned Council Meeting in Flanders, Belgium had to be postponed by one year. This year we celebrate instead, with the Virtual Choir Games, virtually with the whole world. Even if the conference of the internationally active council cannot take place in Flanders on July 10 as planned, it is a great desire for INTERKULTUR and the members of the World Choir Council, especially in these difficult times, to exchange and share current experiences. The originally planned date of the meeting will be held and numerous members from all over the world will discuss for the first time online the current challenges and the future of the international choral scene.

The World Choir Games, the Olympics of Choral Music, celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. Since its premiere in Linz, Austria, in 2000, the World Choir Council has been supporting the development of this global choral event and INTERKULTUR's work of bringing nations together, in the true spirit of the motto "Singing together brings nations together". As the representatives of the worldwide choral community, the international council now comprises 120 experts from 90 nations and regions of the world. The members of the Council meet regularly every two years during the World Choir Games and report on the choral scene and activities of their respective countries.

This year, the Online General Meeting will not be the only opportunity for the experts to exchange ideas. At the end of July, three additional regional online meetings will be held for and with Council members on region-specific topics:

July 21, 2020 - Asia, Pacific, Middle East

July 22, 2020 - North/South America

July 23, 2020 - Africa, Europe

More information about the World Choir Council can be found here.

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Choir Games World Choir Games 2020
news-2334 Mon, 06 Jul 2020 13:38:16 +0200 "New means of singing will play a part in our future development" https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/interkultur-news/details/news/new-means-of-singing-will-play-a-part-in-our-future-development/ Interview with Mr LI Peizhi, President of the China Chorus Association China was the first country in the world affected by the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic. As everywhere else in the world, this had an impact not least on the Chinese choral scene. In an interview with INTERKULTUR the President of China Chorus Association, Li Peizhi, comments on the situation of choirs in China and the future of Chinese choirs after the pandemic. 

1. What impact has the sudden outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020 had for China Chorus Association?

The COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 has brought havoc to mankind and has greatly affected the lives of people all around the world. The pandemic has brought great disruption to peoples normal lives in China and globally, like a train running that comes to a sudden break. This kind of impact has caused tremendous inconvenience not only to people’s daily lives but also in special fields, for our case, the choral community and our choral life. To ensure the life and health of people, many activities have been suspended, and large choral events had to be postponed. Nonetheless, we have great confidence in defeating the pandemic. We will take advantage of previous experience and use modern scientific methods to overcome the pandemic and strive to shake off the shadow and restore normalcy. Although the choral activities in China has been given a sudden break, I believe that when everything has past, we will be back on the train heading to a bright future and the development of choral arts will resume its broad prospect.

2. What kind of choral activities were originally planned in China this year? What arrangements are there after the pandemic?

China Chorus Association started the annual planning at the end of last year and by the time at the beginning of 2020, we have the whole year planning and schedule established. Similar to past years, there were about 20 events - national and cooperation with regional government and choral foundations. All events has been suspended due to the pandemic: China International Chorus Festival, international choral festivals in Shenyang and Zhongshan, China Folklore Festival, the 2nd China Choral Directors Association conference, Voice of Beijing, the Yellow River Cantata Art Festival, Nie Er Choral Art Festival, home and abroad exchange programs, as well as cooperation with regional governments. The suspension of all the above events has had huge impact on us. Some of the activities can be resumed after the pandemic whereas others will have to be postponed to next year or two after. This depends on how the pandemic evolves and what the higher policies guides.

3.  As of today, the pandemic has happened for nearly 6 months, what has China Chorus Association done in terms of choral activities?

Due to the overall environment influenced by the pandemic, China Chorus Association tried to support existing online activities within the reach in the past 6 months, such as supporting online workshops, virtual choirs and sharing basic choral materials. These activities conform to the requirements as they do not involve direct contact. During the pandemic, the suspension of large events is indeed a way of supporting the fight against the pandemic.

4. Ever since the outbreak, there have been numerous virtual choir creating songs about the battle against the pandemic. Which ones are most impressive and what are their characteristics?

Indeed there have been a great many choral pieces themed in the battle against the pandemic in China and in the world. I think this how the people, and especially musicians using their ability and power to express and pass on emotions and their will. There are certainly successful projects and we have all been deeply impressed. Yet due to the restrictions and limitations of recording conditions, some could not fully demonstrate the original idea. Nevertheless all of them are beautiful as the message they send out are all positive and showed the people the great power of music.

5. Virtual choir and online courses have become a new and popular means under the current special situation. What kind of influence will this have on the development of choral culture? Will it continue to exist as a normalcy in the future?

These new ways of singing and online lecturing are so popular all over the world right now. I personally think this is a special countermeasure during the special time, to fulfill the eager to sing. Choral singing is a fantastic way for people to communicate emotions, which requires contact and time for running-in so we definitely need to experience the artistic collision generated in real rehearsals for the beauty and charm of choral art to be revealed. The charm of choral singing lies in its dynamic to realize the beautiful and harmonious effect. I am sure everyone cannot wait to relive the choral singing life like before, face-to-face communications, emotional collisions, having friends and colleagues in the same room for rehearsals and performances. Besides the normalcy we are all familiar with, I would say the new means of singing and rehearsing probably will still play certain part in our future development.

6. The pandemic has been effectively controlled in China but still serious in other parts of the world. What should choirs pay attention to when taking part in such chorus activities?

When we talk about the current situation in China, like you said, even if it has been contained on a certain level, we still need to be careful and take caution in what we do. It is without doubt that during rehearsal, aerosol generates droplets and it is not quite possible to keep long distance between each singer. We have to understand and agree that the health and safety of all people should come first no matter what. So I would suggest choir leaders and conductors not to resume rehearsals until the situation in your region is fully contained with impeccable precaution. In the meantime try to activate the singers by using online materials and listen to great concerts online. Health and safety of people are above everything else.

7. The pandemic is still putting the world in a difficult situation. How would you predict and under what circumstances could international choral exchanges proceed normally?

I agree and support the decision INTERKULTUR has made previously [editor's note: the World Choir Games were postponed to 2021]. At least it will not be until next year for these kind of large international events to resume. According to the analysis of medical scientists, this will be a “protracted war”. We will consider and resume such large events only when the overall security precaution and health arrangements are ensured.

8. What do you say Chinese choirs can do under the current circumstances?

I think it is a great time for Chinese singers and conductors to take advantage of the time to study and recharge. You will see great improvement when you look back at the development of China Chorus Association in the past 30 years, yet there are quite a lot of basic problems and fundamental struggles that need to be solved. So I would suggest singers and conductors to take time to realize their weaknesses and practice. They can read, listen and learn online and in small groups, enrich basic skills in music cultivation, score reading, which will make big difference when they come back to rehearsal after the pandemic is over. Even though the pandemic is severe and seems to recurrent, but it will come to an end whereas choral arts will continue to move forward and a solid foundation is always needed.

9. With the rapid development of 5G network and internet connecting everything, what changes do you think the choral world will encounter? How should we react to that?

Surely the rapid development of 5G network, booming of internet and the interconnection of everything is attracting the world. Like I mentioned before, the charm of choral arts lies in the culture heritance, interpersonal communication and emotional collision. These can only be fully generated during an actual rehearsal or performance. That is not going to change. We expect to add more flavors to our choral life by using the new and popular ways through internet and maybe to achieve certain aspect that can only be done this way. What people are pursuing is the real artistic enjoyment during rehearsals and performances, this can indeed be well-balanced with some support of new technology as auxiliary means.

10. Do you have confidence and hope for the future of choral singing?

We do have full confidence and hope. The history of choral arts has been going on for nearly a thousand years and has also developed vigorously in China during the past decades. Its artistic charm and humanistic value is irreplaceable. Although the current pandemic has created obstacles in our path, it is only a brief moment in the long course of human history. I believe the tree of art is evergreen and the art of chorus is forever. We as a united world will certainly overcome the difficulties and soon we will be able to carry out the choral scene over the country and for the world to hear our voices. I believe that choral singing will have much better communication and development around the world by singing together to bring people around the world together.

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INTERKULTUR News Latest news
news-2332 Mon, 06 Jul 2020 11:41:47 +0200 "Vox Lucensis" - Singing is for those who love https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/competitions-festivals/details/news/vox-lucensis-singing-is-for-those-who-love/ New choir event invites to a double premiere in the Toscana 10 categories, 1 grand prize, numerous friendship concerts, endless musical enjoyment: From April 7-11, 2021 INTERKULTUR welcomes the worldwide choir community for the first time to the traditional Italian city of Lucca, the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini, for the choir competition "Vox Lucensis". For this special occasion, the Luccese-born composer and guitarist Saverio Rapezzi composed the piece "Vox Lucensis", which was written especially for singing together in a great collective interpretation. 

Saverio Rapezzi studied with composers such as Azio Corghi at the Royal Philharmonic Academy of Bologna and specialised in film music with renowned film composers such as Ennio Morricone, Luis Bacalov and Robert Drasnin. He is founder of the Film Scoring Lab in Los Angeles and splits his activities between Europe and the United States. His repertoire of concert music, film music and music theatre includes a wide range of compositions without restrictions of genre or form; his music is frequently commissioned by prestigious festivals and music institutions, performed by renowned musicians all over the world and has won several awards in international competitions.

Composed for 4 voices a cappella, "Vox Lucensis" is characterized by a festive character and a corresponding text taken from a famous passage of the sermons of St. Augustine: "Cantare è proprio di chi ama" (Singing is for lovers); "La voce di questo cantore è il fervore di un santo amore" (The voice of the cantor is the passion of a holy love). The scores of the piece are available for download here, a first audiofile of the piece can be found here.

Further information about participation and registration for Vox Lucensis 2021 can be found here. Follow the event also on Facebook for further updates! 

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Competitions & Festivals Vox Lucensis - Concorso Corale Internazionale
news-2330 Mon, 06 Jul 2020 10:11:52 +0200 INTERKULTUR Video Award: First videos published! https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/interkultur-news/details/news/interkultur-video-award-first-videos-published/ "Choirs A Cappella" at INTERKULTUR's first online choir competition INTERKULTUR's first Online Choir Competition was a great success: 128 virtual choir videos from 44 countries and regions were submitted to compete either in the category "Choirs A Capella" or in the "Choirs With Accompaniment" category. The international jury is now reviewing all the videos to see if they meet the regulations and evaluates them to determine a winner, which will be announced on July 15, 2020 during the Closing Show of the Virtual Choir Games

On July 6, which would have been the first day of competitions at the World Choir Games 2020 in Flanders, the videos that were submitted to compete in the "Choirs with accompaniment" category were published in a playlist on www.interkultur.tv/videoaward.

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INTERKULTUR News INTERKULTUR.TV
news-2325 Mon, 29 Jun 2020 11:00:55 +0200 Welcome to the Virtual Choir Games https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/choir-games/details/news/welcome-to-the-virtual-choir-games/ Exciting Opening and Closing shows as well as highlights from past years Over the past few months, we have been forced to do one thing in particular: find new ways and look for solutions.The postponement of the World Choir Games to 2021 was one of the first results, and in the meantime we have also found a solution for the period July 5-15 (the original dates of the World Choir Games 2020): Welcome to the Virtual Choir Games 2020!

2020 is the 20th anniversary of the World Choir Games, which the Virtual Choir Games will help us to celebrate: From July 5-15, 2020 we will present the colours, voices and emotions of the World Choir Games on screen, so that we can enjoy a little WCG atmosphere despite all. 

On July 5th at 14:00 CEST we will start with an Opening Show, produced by the Local Organizing Committee in Flanders, which will officially open the Virtual Choir Games.

Starting on July 6, we will present all the things that make the World Choir Games so special: The Parade of Nations, Friendship or Celebration Concerts, and much more. At the final show there will even be a small Award Ceremony: We will announce the winners of the INTERKULTUR Video Award - the first online choir competition which we recently launched.

Be part of it, tune in to the World Choir Games Facebook page every day at 14:00 and enjoy the atmosphere of the world's largest international choir competition easily from home!

Here you can have a look at the event calendar of the Virtual Choir Games:

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Choir Games World Choir Games 2021
news-2323 Thu, 18 Jun 2020 14:45:55 +0200 New registration deadline for the Deutsche Chormeisterschaft https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/choir-games/details/news/new-registration-deadline-for-the-deutsche-chormeisterschaft/ Additional Early Bird discount for registrations by June 29 Slowly but surely life is coming back to the German choral scene. Nearly all federal states allow choirs to start small rehearsals again under the appropriate safety and hygiene measures.

With these first successes the hope is rising that in November 2020 the Deutsche Chormeisterschaft will finally be the place again for a national choir meeting and German singers will be able to come together on stage.  In order to guarantee interested choirs the highest possible planning security, the application deadline for the Deutsche Chormeisterschaft was recently extended until September 5.

There is also a small early bird discount available for registrations before June 29: choirs which register before this date will not pay any participation fee for the choir conductor!

In addition, the free of charge change and cancellation option up to 60 days before the start of the event (September 5) is still valid.

You can find further information at www.chormeisterschaft.de. For more news keep following the Deutsche Chormeisterschaft on Facebook!

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Choir Games Deutsche Chormeisterschaft
news-2321 Wed, 17 Jun 2020 09:27:24 +0200 Singing in the land of Gods https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/competitions-festivals/details/news/singing-in-the-land-of-gods/ Special Opening Concert at a marvellous venue Kalamata in Greece welcomes choirs of all nations and religions to sing in the “Land of the Gods” from October 7-11, 2021. The INTERKULTUR team is also looking forward to resounding choral music from all parts of the world after a silent Corona time and welcomes the singers to an extraordinary Opening Concert in historical surroundings: Messene, in ancient times one of the most powerful Greek cities ever until Roman times, opens the gates of its ancient amphitheater for a special spiritual choral experience for the participants of the INTERKULTUR festival.

To express hopes, wishes, prayers and thanks in music has been a need of people since the beginning of time. In all cultures people believe in superior powers, spirits, gods or in the might of nature and their ability to affect life and history. At this unique concert on the occasion of the Opening of the Kalamata International Choir Competition and Festival 2021, choirs have the opportunity to present their individual beliefs in an ancient setting with their unique choral music which is characteristic for their country.

More information and impressions of previous editions can be found at www.interkultur.com. For regular updates please follow the event also on Facebook!

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Competitions & Festivals Int. Choir Competition & Festival Kalamata
news-2319 Mon, 08 Jun 2020 16:32:48 +0200 Solidarity in times of crisis https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/interkultur-news/details/news/solidarity-in-times-of-crisis/ Special fundraising campaign for the German choral scene Many singers currently have only one wish: finally being able to get together again, pursue their passionate hobby and experience the joys of choral singing together in their community. And things are looking good:

Choir rehearsals are already possible again in some federal German states subject to appropriate precautions, others will follow soon. And there will be bigger choir meetings taking place again, like at the end of the year at the “1. Deutsche Chormeisterschaft” in Koblenz. The partners in Koblenz and the INTERKULTUR team are really confident that in November there will finally be an opportunity again to experience new encounters, joint singing and long-desired moments of community.

But the time at a distance and without joint rehearsals is also accompanied by financial worries, especially for the amateur choir scene. Fixed costs must be covered every month - without the corresponding income from concerts and other events. But the anticipation of being on stage again together with other choirs should not be overshadowed by worries of this kind. Therefore German choirs which are still planning to join such a choir event this year shall be financially supported in this difficult time, as INTERKULTUR President Günter Titsch announces in a new video message:

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INTERKULTUR News Günter Titsch
news-2317 Mon, 08 Jun 2020 09:14:17 +0200 INTERKULTUR scholarship for talented choir conductors https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/interkultur-news/details/news/interkultur-scholarship-for-talented-choir-conductors/ Apply now for the International Conductor’s Seminar Wernigerode 2021 From now on INTERKULTUR will award scholarships for the 6th International Choir Conductors' Seminar Wernigerode (July 17-20, 2021) to young talented conductors up to 40 years of age. Applications will be accepted until November 30, 2020 via www.interkultur.com/scholarship2021.

The seminar addresses to international students, young conductors, choir assistants and young professionals and will take place in the city of Wernigerode in the week before the 12th International Johannes Brahms Choir Festival and Competition 2021. Participants will then have the additional opportunity to attend the festival or compete in the competition with their choir and apply their newly acquired knowledge.

As in 2019, the internationally renowned choral conductors André van der Merwe from South Africa and Romāns Vanags from Latvia will act as lecturers for the choral conducting seminar. Studio choir is one of the most famous youth choirs in Germany, the Rundfunkjugendchor Wernigerode under the direction of Peter Habermann, who is also the artistic director of the conductor’s seminar.

The scholarship holders, as active participants in the seminar, have the opportunity to intensively study, practice and finally present selected international choral literature in an evening concert with the Rundfunkjugendchor Wernigerode.

The scholarship includes participation fees and accommodation for 4 nights in Wernigerode as well as the required sheet music package. Applications can be submitted online via this website (deadline for applications is November 30).

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INTERKULTUR News Latest news
news-2313 Sat, 06 Jun 2020 10:58:00 +0200 „I was born for nothing but composing“ https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/competitions-festivals/details/news/i-was-born-for-nothing-but-composing/ Keeping Franz Schubert's choral life's work alive Franz Schubert was born on 31 January 1797 as the son of a teacher in the former Viennese suburb of "Himmelpfortgrund" and baptized in the Lichtental parish church. Here he received his early musical education through the choral director Michael Holzer, sang in church services, played the violin and also performed on the late baroque organ built in 1774. In addition, he spent five years as a choirboy at the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle. At the age of 17 he composed and conducted his first mass in F major for the 100th anniversary of the Lichtental Church - his first great success in public. This debut stage, where his first composition premiered, is probably the best-preserved memorial to his work and music, and therefore a special Viennese landmark. 

After a short time as a school assistant, Schubert lived as a freelance composer. Although he already died at the age of 31, he left behind a rich and varied opus of about 1000 works, including 7 masses, 8 symphonies, 15 string quartets, 22 sonatas, chamber music works, operas and musical comedies, and over 600 songs. A significant part of his life's work consists of around 130 completely preserved choral works. The composition of polyphonic songs occupied Schubert throughout his creative life and his pieces now hold a prominent place in the repertoire of challenging choral literature.

Keeping his work alive and spreading it throughout the world - this is one of the aims of the Schubert Society Vienna-Lichtental, founded in 1984. In the year of its founding, it initiated the 1st International Franz Schubert Choir Competition in Vienna, which since 2007 has become a permanent tradition for choirs all over the world thanks to INTERKULTUR's organisational and artistic support. Honorary patronage over this event is provided by the respective Mayor of the City of Vienna and the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Vienna, and the Department of Culture of the City of Vienna additionally provides the Schubert Choir Prize in the amount of € 2,000.00.  

In 2020 the 32nd International Franz Schubert Choir Competition will take place in Vienna, Austria, from 11th to 15th November and the Schubert Society is once again looking forward to collaborating with choirs from all over the world in fulfilling its mission of "helping the work of Franz Schubert, in conjunction with his places of activity, (...), to gain greater recognition and significance".

More information about the 32nd International Franz Schubert Choir Competition and impressions of past editions are available here. For further updates keep following the event's official Facebook page!

Thanks for all background information to Friedrich Lessky (Austria), Artistic Director of the Franz Schubert Choir Competition

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Competitions & Festivals Franz Schubert Choir Competition
news-2315 Fri, 05 Jun 2020 12:02:45 +0200 Planning for "Deutsche Chormeisterschaft" makes progress https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom/choir-games/details/news/planning-for-deutsche-chormeisterschaft-makes-progress/ Organizers in Koblenz and INTERKULTUR look into the future with confidence Something is going on in the German choral scene: In North Rhine-Westphalia, choir rehearsals are already permitted again after the corona pandemic, Rhineland-Palatinate is following from June 10 onwards and in other German states, too, choir rehearsals are gradually being made possible again - of course under appropriate health and hygiene conditions.

Many choirs have nevertheless found ways to stay connected to each other and to choral singing during the time without joint rehearsals: Exercises and tips for singing at home, supported by sound and video recordings, exchange and assistance in video conferences - up to numerous virtual choir videos. All this is great, but it cannot replace the real choir experience in the long run. For this reason, the organizers of the Deutsche Chormeisterschaft 2020 are continuing to stick to their plans in order to finally create the opportunity for a national choral meeting, competition and personal encounters in November 2020 after months of privation. 

INTERKULTUR President Günter Titsch is convinced: "In November we will again have the opportunity to experience choral community together and personally. The first German Choir Championships in Koblenz will finally give us and the German choral singers back the opportunity to meet each other, to get to know each other and to experience each other on a big, real stage".

Willi Becker, one of the artistic directors of the Deutsche Chormeisterschaft 2020, is also optimistic: "We will find solutions for the first German Choir Championships from 6 to 8 November 2020 in Koblenz - with real encounters. Perhaps not 'as before', perhaps in a 'new normality' - but in any case with singing, with joy, with community!"

In addition to the competition in the categories Mixed Choirs, Male and Female choirs, Children's and Youth Choirs, a top-class festival program provides numerous musical highlights such as an Opening Concert in the Basilica St. Kastor with the chamber choir of the Singschule Koblenz and the renowned ensemble "amarcord" from Leipzig. 

In view of the worldwide corona pandemic, the organizers are also working together with the city of Koblenz on a detailed hygiene and safety concept for the Deutsche Chormeisterschaft 2020. In addition, the organizers are currently working on concrete solutions to support the participating choirs. 

Further information on registration and participation in the event can be found at www.chormeisterschaft.de.

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Choir Games Deutsche Chormeisterschaft