Jury and marks

1. Members of the jury and work of the jury 

The jury will consist of 5 esteemed members, choral music experts from Slovenia and from abroad. 

Every member of the jury will score the choir with a numerical estimate up to 100.

Taken into account when evaluating:

  • the manual technique of the conductor, 
  • concept of the rehearsal with the choir,
  • interpretation,  
  • contact with the choir.


2. The declarations of the results

The names of the participants will be announced one hour after the end of each round in A category. The results of the competition will be publicly announced after the final concert of the competition. 

The decisions of the jury are final. Appeals are not possible. 

Each conductor will also receive a written opinion of the performance from each member of the jury.


President of the jury


Basilio Astulez teaches Shoral Singing at the Leioa Municipal Music Conservatory, where he founded the Leioa Kantika Korala children´s choir in 2000 and the SJB mixed  youth choir in 2008. This recently-founded choir school has over 250 singers aged between 9 and 25 and has already won many Spanish and European awards (Tolosa, Arezzo, Gorizia, Neerpelt, National Grand Prix…). He conducts also Vocalia Taldea choir, a multi awarded and renowed female ensemble. As the conductor of these choirs, he has recorded 12 records and toured in Europe, America and Asia. He currently teaches Choral Conducting for educational institutions, universities and choral federations in Spain and is frequently asked to be a member of the jury for many competitions and to run choral singing courses and seminars allover the world. He also teaches Choir Conducting at the Musikene Higher Conservatory of the Basque Country since 2018 and leads EHGA, the Basque Youth Choir, recently awarded with three first prizes in the Intertantional Choral Contest of Tolosa.

Jury member  


Composer and conductor Lorenzo Donati studied composition and choral conducting. With his ensembles Insieme Vocale Vox Cordis, UT Insieme Vocale-Consonante, Hesperimenta Vocal Ensemble, he received several national and international awards (Arezzo, Cantonigròs, Gorizia, Senlis, Tours, Varna, Vittorio Veneto). With UT insieme vocale-consonante, he won the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in 2016. In 2007, he won two first prizes at the International Competition of Choral Conductors (Bologna). He led the Coro Giovanile Italiano (2011-2014), the EuroChoir (2016-2017) and since 2016 he has been conducting the professional choir Coro della Cattedrale di Siena Guido Chigi Saracini in Siena. His compositions are performed and published all over the world. He won first prizes at many international composition competitions: Arezzo, Avellino, Gorica, Rome, Vittorio Veneto. He collaborates with several international cultural institutes such as Accademia Chigiana, ECA -EuropaCantat, Feniarco, Festival Incontro Polifonico Città di Fano, Fondazione Guido d'Arezzo, Concorso Nazionale per Direttori di Coro "Le mani in suono", Festa della Voce, UTopia Festival , Voci d'Italia. He leads master classes in choral music and composition (China, France, Indonesia, Russia, Poland, Spain, Taipei, Turkey, Great Britain) and is often invited to the juries of international competitions. He teaches choral composition and choral conducting at the Conservatory of Venice and choral conducting at the Accademia Chigiana di Siena Summer Academy.

Jury member


Helena Fojkar Zupančič, a graduated soloist and music pedagogue, works as a choir conductor and vocal technique teacher at the Škofija Classical High School in Ljubljana. When working with choirs, he pays special attention to creating a healthy, homogeneous and beautiful choral sound, as well as convincing stage performances. Leads the Choir of St. Nikolaj Litija and the Girls' Choir of St. Stanislav Ljubljana. He performs concerts with both of them in Europe and achieves first places and special prizes in competitions. Among her most important successes is the absolute victory at the EBU competition Let the Peoples Sing 2009 in Oslo, which she achieved with her girls' choir, with which she participated in the prestigious European Youth Choir Festival in Basel in May 2012 at the invitation of the organizers, and the absolute victory at the International Choir the Venezia in Musica competition with the choir of St. Nikolai Litija. She was awarded as the best conductor at several competitions. Since 2009, he has been recording and giving concerts with the Chamber Choir of Radio Slovenia. In 2004 and 2007-2009, she led the Slovenian Children's Choir. She leads vocal technique seminars, choral and conducting workshops and is a respected judge of national and international competitions.

Jury member 


Brian Stevens completed graduate and doctoral studies in choral conducting and choral music education at the University of Connecticut, Houghton College, and the University of Buffalo. Additionally, he holds a BA in Music Theory and Composition from SUNY Geneseo. Brian is director of choirs at Nazareth College in upstate New York, where he directs the Chamber Singers and Treble Choir. He is the founder and artistic director of Vox Eius, a choir focusing on the contemporary advanced repertoire of female composers written for high voices. Prior to his collegiate career, he spent more than a decade as a choir director for high school choirs in New York State. He has worked with international ensembles such as S:t Jacob's Chamber Choir and S:t Jacob's Vocal Ensemble in Sweden, Shandong Normal University in China, Adelisia Women's Choir and Voces Borealis in Canada and Kammerchor Hochschule für Muzik in Mannheim, Germany. Brian has a deep commitment to contemporary choral music. He is a frequent customer of new compositions and enjoys exploring new works by emerging composers with his ensembles. He has a strong interest in promoting the compositions of contemporary female choral composers around the world.

Jury member 


Sebastjan Vrhovnik after completing the High School of Music and Ballet (general theory major, 1997; singing, 2003), in 2004 he enrolled at the Academy of Music of the University of Ljubljana, majoring in music pedagogy. He graduated with honors under the mentorship of Marko Vatovac, and also completed his master's studies with honors at the University of Music and Visual Arts in Graz in the class of Johannes Prinz. As an associate professor of choral conducting, he is employed at the Academy of Music of the University of Ljubljana, at the same time he leads various choral conducting workshops at home and abroad and appears as a member of expert juries at Slovenian and international magazines and competitions. He currently works as the conductor of the Mixed Choir of the Academy of Music of the University of Ljubljana and the Mixed Choir of Glasbene matica Ljubljana. In the past, he collaborated with the Chamber Choir of RTV Slovenia, the Maribor Opera Choir, the female vocal group ČarniCe, and the Slovenian Children's Choir. Choir of the Slovenian Philharmonic and Chamber Choir DEKOR. He led the Mixed Choir Cantemus from Kamnik, the Ecce Vocal Group, the Teachers' Choir of Slovenia Emil Adamič, the APZ Tone Tomšič of the University of Ljubljana and the Mixed Choir Obala Koper. With the latter, he recorded several CDs and received many first places and special awards at various national and international competitions. His concert work with choirs is distinguished by his excellent knowledge of vocals and expressive musicality, his interpretations are characterized by a special softness and fusion of choral sound.