Hall of St. Frančiška, Koper 23-25. March 2023 At the evening concerts, top Slovenian choirs will present themselves with a selection of programs from the 20th and 21st centuries. In addition to the round table on the anniversary of two Slovenian composers Tinet Bec (1993) and Ambrož Čopi (1973), where we will present their new CDs, we will present a number of their works at the festival as part of competitions and concerts.

About choirs:


Conductor Helena Fojkar Zupančič

St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir is one of the five high school choirs at The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium in St. Stanislav’s Institution. All forty girls of the choir, aged between 16 to 19, attend The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium. As this is a school choir, there is much turnover among singers; each year a third of the girls leave after finishing school, while new singers join. The St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir was founded based on the desire to provide musically and vocally ambitious girls the opportunity to further develop their singing ability through more demanding repertoire. Helena Fojkar Zupančič has been the choir’s conductor since its establishment in 1996.Their achievements in national and international competitions, as well as their participation at the most prominent world choir events rank the choir among the very best. St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir performed at two of the most internationally recognizable events for choral experts, namely at the IFCM World Choral Symposium 2017 and the ACDA 2018 National Convention. In the past season the choir performed a cycle of scenic concerts with the music of Hildegard from Bingen and Damijan Močnik. In October 2022 they achieved two second places in the categories of polyphony and folklore at the International Choral Competition in Tolosa. Their repertoire is very versatile – from classical choral music of various periods to vocal pop. They pride themselves in several world premiere performances of compositions by contemporary Slovene composers as well as in their performance of some larger vocal-instrumental works. The choir has been enthusiastically praised for its subtle interpretation, outstanding repertoire and colourful sonorities. The girls have fascinated the audience with their creative and vivacious performances, youthful passion and with their incredible concentration and sound accuracy at the same time.


Canductor Maja Cilenšek

Foto: Arhiv Glasbene šole Koper

was founded by Maja Cilenšek in 2004. It has won several prizes and recognitions at national and international competitions. It has also worked with renowned Slovene and foreign musicians and has been invited to various festivals both in Slovenia and abroad (Koper, Ljubljana, Graz, Chiavenna, Padova, Trieste, Bergamo). The singers are especially proud of a number of premiers of musical compositions by Sovene composers, such as Uroš Rojko, Ambrož Čopi, Bojan Glavina, Matej Bonin and Andrej Makor. On the 10th anniversary of the choir, a CD with the title Pesmi na dlani was released by the RTV Slovenia Publishing and Record Label.



Conductor Petra Grassi

VIKRA - The vocal group of the Glasbena Matica Trieste was formed in 2014 around conductor Petra Grassi, winner of numerous choral and choral conducting competitions. The primary group of choristers, strongly united by the love for Slovenian singing, was soon enriched by two male altos voices which gave personality and roundness to the calibrated sound of the female voices. The fine taste for the repertoire and the inspiration of concert proposals have accompanied the group and its director along a significant vocal and musical growth, making it one of the most successful ensembles in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. 

The group is made up of Slovenian and Italian choristers from Trieste, Gorizia, Udine, Venice and Ljubljana, who masterly navigate through the performance of compositions for equal voices from the Renaissance, romantic and contemporary repertoires. Of the latter, the ensemble boasts many premieres executions.

The vocal group VIKRA has won numerous prizes, such as the First Prize at the 51st National Choral Competition "Trofei Città di Vittorio Veneto" (2017), the First Prize of the Grand Prix and a special Prize at the 16th edition of the Regional Choral Competition "Corovivo "(2017), the First Prize at the 34th National Polyphonic Competition" Guido d'Arezzo "(2017), the First Prize of the Grand Prix, the First Prize of its category and a special Prize at the 10th National Competition for Children's and Youth Choirs “Il Garda in Coro” (2018). On the occasion of the 8th edition of the concept music festival Sozvočenja (2018), the group won the Prize as best proposal and subsequently performed its project at the Slovenian Philharmonic in Ljubljana, winning the festival’s First Prize. VIKRA also performed at the renowned ’Giuseppe Verdi’ Opera House in Trieste during the 87th concert season of the prestigious Trieste Concerts Society (2019), held a concert at the „Festival Corale delle Regioni“ at the invitation of the Ensemble Corale Mousiké directed by Luca Scaccabarozzi (2019) and exhibited at the „Razsvetljenje“ festival at the invitation of the Academic Choir of Maribor directed by Tadeja Vulc (2019).

Vikra regularly collaborates in choral seminars (Glasbena matica, JSKD Nova Gorica) and organizes masterclasses with notorious music professionals (Stojan Kuret, Matjaž Šček, Luca Scaccabarozzi, Silvana Noschese, Roberto Brisotto, Tamara Stanese) . 

The choristers also attend singing and vocal technique lessons with the Slovenian soprano Martina Burger.


Conductor Ambrož Čopi

Foto: Jana Jocif

Choral activities at Conservatory for Music and Ballet Ljubljana (Slovenia) started progressing when composer and conductor Ambrož Čopi assumed leadership of the choir in 2010.  After four years of growing quality and various achivements at competitions, the decision to split the choir into two groups was made - one choir that consists of all the students of the conservatory that are not included in the schools' orchestras, and the other - Chamber choir - that consists of about 40 singers who are willing to improve their vocal technique, to sing a more demanding range of choral music and to reach higher performing standards. During the past three years, the assistants of the conductor were Petra Jerič, Tine Bec, Evgen Bibianko, Tom Varl, Lara Willewaldt and Rebeka Dobravec. Chamber choir regulary colaborates with vocal educators Edita Garčević Koželj and Tatjana Vasle. The KGBL Chamber choir, embraces a wide range of music genres and styles, from the Renaissance to modern music.  In the past three years the choir had commissioned many prominent composers, such as Lojze Lebič, Tadeja Vulc, Damijan Močnik, Črt Sojar-Voglar, Peter Šavli, Andrej Makor, Tine Bec, Matej Kastelic, Klara Mlakar and Jan Triler to create new compositions, which the choir successfully promotes at concerts and competitions in Slovenia and abroad.  The last three years have been very prolific for the KGBL Chamer Choir, as it achieved second and third place at the International Choral competition Talinn (Estonia, 2015); won the Grand prix in Moscow (Russia, 2016); it achieved first place at the National Choral competition ''Naša pesem'' (Our song), Maribor (Slovenia, 2016); second place at the International Choral competition ''Gallus'' Maribor (Slovenia, 2017); first place in category Polifonia and second place in category Folklore at the International Choral competition in Tolosa (Spain, 2017); first place at the International competition Cork (Irland, 2019). The choir successfully performed various concert cycles in Slovenia and abroad: Stockholm (Sweden, 2016); Borja, Ordizia, Getxo, Doneztebe (Spain, 2017); International Festvals in Basel (Switzerland, 2018); Taipei (Taiwan, 2018) and Beijing (China, 2018), EC, Ljubljana (Slovenia, 2021), Torino (Italy, 2021), Tours (France, 2022), Budapest (Hungary, 2022).


Conductor Maja Cilenšek

The girls' choir of the Koper School of Music grew out of the Youth Choir of the Koper School of Music. He has been working under the direction of Maja Cilenšek since 2010. He has been invited several times to choral festivals in Italy, Austria and Slovenia. In 2012, he took second place at the international competition "Citta di Rimini" (Italy). In the same year, he took part in the international competition "Varsovia Cantat" in Warsaw and received the 1st prize in the category of girls' choirs. In July 2015, he took part in the international competition "Incanto Mediterraneo" in Milazzo. In the category of adult choirs, it won a gold award and 2nd place, as well as a special award for the best performance of a compulsory composition. In September 2017, he won 95 points and 2nd place at the "International Baltic Sea Choir Competition" in Latvia, and received the award for the best performance of the obligatory composition Lux Aeterna by Erik Ešenvalds. In the same year, he was the absolute winner of the coastal regional competition in Postojna. In October 2019, he took part in the international competition "Flanders" in Belgium, winning 1st place in the women's choir category and a special award for the best rated choir of the entire competition. The choir prides itself on performing compositions by renowned Slovenian composers such as Uroš Rojko, Ambrož Čopi, Bojan Glavina, Tadeja Vulc, Matej Bonin, Andrej Makor, Tine Bec...


Conductor Barbara Kovačič

The singing ensembles of the Francet Bevko Tolmin Primary School are an unmistakable factor in Slovenian choral music as well as in the wider cultural scene. One third of all pupils sing with enthusiasm in them, and their driving force, choirmaster Barbara Kovačič, has for many years enabled the choirs to perform at a high level in Slovenia and internationally. The Children's Youth Choir, one of the seven choirs of the Tolmin Elementary School, has been active since 2011. The choir director pays special attention to the in-depth work with the singers, dedicating numerous singing workshops with invited teachers to the development of the choir. For many years the choir has been working with outstanding Slovenian conductors such as Stojan Kuret and Petra Grassi, as well as vocal pedagogue Martina Burger. Their activities are closely linked to local, national and international projects, which they carry out in cooperation with experts, professional institutions and Slovenian and foreign schools. The choir has been collaborating with Slovenian composers (Tadeja Vulc, Ambrož Čopi, Andrej Makor, Patrick Quagiatto, Matej Kastelic, etc.) for many years, whose innovations regularly appear in their programmes. In addition to the large number of children involved, its long tradition and its involvement in the cultural environment, the choir has also achieved outstanding results in regional, national and international competitions, where both the audience and the jury are repeatedly impressed by their sonic fusion, the conviction of their interpretations and the choice of their programme. They are invited to perform throughout Slovenia and abroad, as demonstration choirs for choir training and for archive recordings at the national radio station. Choirmaster Kovačič is also the mastermind behind the Young Singers' Camp, which brings together many young singers from Primorska and beyond every summer.


Conductor Andrej Makor

The Mixed Choir Obala Koper was founded in 1977 at the initiative of the founding choir director Mirko Slosar, who united young singers from the coast in a new, ambitious ensemble. Over time, several important conductors took over the conductorship, such as Walter Lo Nigro, Ambrož Čopi, Maja Cilenšek and Sebastjan Vrhovnik, and the choir entered its fifth decade together with a new artistic director, renowned composer, solo singer and conductor Andrej Makor. As many as 12 gold plaques from the national choral competition Naša pesem in Maribor and numerous top prizes and recognitions from international competitions testify to Obala's constant effort to reproduce a variety of musical literature in high quality. Among its most recent successes, the choir is proud of the 1st prize in two categories and the grand prize of the CorAmare competition in Italy in 2019. In the same year, Obala presented itself to a Slovenian audience at the regional choir competition in Postojna, where, in addition to the gold award, it received five special awards. In addition, the singers are particularly fond of the many projects that they have performed all over Slovenia, and of the Koper International Choir Festival, which this year is in its 14th version. In addition to its competitive streak, Obala also plays the role of an important promoter of the cultural scene in Primorska, as it strengthens and deepens the role of choral singing among both professional and general audiences by organizing numerous concerts and, in past seasons, competitions for choral compositions and conducting master classes with renowned Slovenian conductors.