International Choral Competition Ave Verum

Jury information 2024

ICC Ave Verum 2024 jury members

Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny

Poland, titular professsor of musical arts, conductor, singer, teacher (Academy of Music in Wrocław and Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw), manager of culture, vocal consultant and juror of choir, vocal and composition competitions. Artistic director of professional and academic choirs. She made 25 CD recordings and many world premieres of Polish music.

Pavel Šnajdr

Czech Republic, Pavel Šnajdr (*1975) was born in Brno, where he studied at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts – composition at first (with Alois Piňos), later adding conducting (with Emil Skoták). In addition to working with a number of czech symphony orchestras, he has also had several full-time engagements (the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Plzeň, the State Opera in Prague, the Moravian Theatre Olomouc) and is currently a conductor at the opera of the National Theatre Brno. After returning from his engagement in Plzeň, he established (2010) the BCO (Brno Contemporary orchestra) – ensemble focussed on interpretation of contemporary music. With this ensemble he achieved leading position on the czech contemporary scene. They perform both many world premieres of contemporary pieces and planty of contemporary music as well. Numbers of such pieces are recorded by Czech Radio. Beside this he collaborates with the Parma recordings – many pieces by world contemporary composers as conductor of both symhonic orchestra and chamber ensembles. In the last time - together with BCO they released two Cds – Music by world composers and BCO project My country available on the various platforms (Spotify, Naxos, Apple music...)

Simon Erasimus

Austria, Simon Erasimus is founder and director of the vocal ensemble Momentum Vocal Music as well as assistant to the artistic director of the Vienna Singakademie. He studied vocal pedagogy (majoring in choral and ensemble conducting), music education (majoring in choral conducting), conducting and musicology in Vienna. His formative teachers include Otto Kargl, Alois Glaßner and Johannes Hiemetsberger. He also attended master classes and workshops with Erwin Ortner, Florian Benfer, Daniel Reuss and VOCES8. During his studies, Simon Erasimus founded Momentum Vocal Music, "one of the most interesting young ensembles in the German-speaking world" ( In 2021, Simon Erasimus initiated the vocal festival Totzenbach, of which he has been the artistic director ever since. He also hosts the choral podcast "sprech:gesang," which aims to help shape a community-building discourse about choral singing. Since 2022, Simon Erasimus has assisted musical director Heinz Ferlesch in the Vienna Singakademie, the choir of the Vienna Konzerthaus, and in this context regularly works on milestones of the choral symphonic repertoire.

Sofia Agren

Sweden, Sofia ågren is the conductor of the newly started professional “Ensemble Å” and conductor/music teacher at the renowned Stockholm Musikgymnasium/Kungsholmens gymnasium. She has worked with ensembles such as Uppsala Vokalensemble (2011-2021), the Swedish Radio Choir, Gustaf Sjökvist Chamber Choir, S:t Jacob’s Chamber Choir and the chamber choir A Scalpella. She has previously worked at the music school Adolf Fredriks Musikklasser where she also was the leader of the Adolf Fredriks Girls’ choir and the Royal Opera Children’s Choir. She has lectured at the Eric Ericson International Choral Centre, Conservatori di Milano, Hilton College in South Africa and Music Academy of Ljubljana. Sofia is also a dedicated singer and has sung in ensembles such as World Youth Choir, Chamber Choir of Scandinavia, Mikaeli Chamber Choir and the Singers ensemble of the Royal College of Music. Educated a choral and orchestral conductor at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden, she also has a Master of Arts in Education (in choral conducting, music theory and classical singing methodology). Furthermore, Sofia has studied music science, choir conducting, and music theory at Uppsala and Stockholm universities.

Sofia Gioldasi

Greece, Sofia Gioldasi studied choral conducting (BA & MA) at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Jos Vermunt and Jos van Veldhoven. During her Master studies she received individual coaching from Basilio Astulez (Spain) and Andrew Nethsingha (UK). She also holds a Bachelor degree in Musicology/Music Education from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. For the last 13 years she has been working with children and young singers, specializing in the intertwinement of choral singing, body movement and stage action. During her time as conductor of the Nieuw Vocaal Amsterdam, the choir had the honour to perform at the inauguration of the Dutch King Willem-Alexander, record for Deutsche Grammophon, perform at the greatest halls in the Netherlands (Concertgebouw, Muziekgebouw, Dutch National Opera & Ballet, etc) and also win Silver prize at the Cantemus International choir competition in Hungary. In 2015 Sofia moved back to her home-country, Greece. She is the founder, conductor and artistic leader of the Voci Contra Tempo - Female Vocal Ensemble. She also conducts the Thessaloniki State Conservatory Choirs and the Youth and Children’s Choir of the “Friends of Music” Society in Thessaloniki, Greece. Voci Contra Tempo functions as a project choir and its members are classically trained singers who are passionate about choral music. The ensemble’s versatile repertoire includes the main works for female choir (such as Holst’s ‘Planets’ and Debussy’s ‘Nocturnes’), as well as a cappella works, focusing on contemporary and traditional music. They have performed at the most prestigious venues in Greece and collaborated with important Institutions, such as the Greek National Opera and the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, among others. In August 2021 they were invited to participate at the International “Guido d’Arezzo” Choral Festival, giving concerts all over Italy with great success. In 2022 they created “Project Patrida”, a multidimensional educational and artistic project in order to enhance the creation of new Greek choral music. 8 new choral works were especially written for VCT and all premiered within 2 days during Homelands Festival, organized by Choralspace, at the Kammermusiksaal of the Berliner Philharmoniker and the St.Matthäus Kirche in Berlin in February 2023. Sofia is a much sought-after workshop and masterclass leader all across Europe. She frequently collaborates with organizations, institutions and associations such as Europa Cantat, IFCM, Feniarco, Leading Voices, Greek National Opera, Greek Radio Choir, International Choral Festival of Preveza, Hacettepe University of Ankara, Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, Thessaloniki Megaron Concert Hall, and many others. Her next future collaborations include a Masterclass in Choral Conducting as part of the Accademia Corale Italiana (Arezzo, Italy - March 2023), her active participation as a presenter at the World Choir Symposium (Istanbul, Turkey - April 2023), a choral workshop with the Cantus Nova Femina (Limassol, Cyprus - May 2023) and many concerts with her own ensembles and the Greek Radio Choir (July 2023).

Márton Tóth

Hungary, Márton Tóth was born in Budapest in 1975. He acquired his first degree in conducting and music teaching in Eötvös Loránd University in 1998. Between 2007 and 2013, he studied church music at the Liszt Academy of Music with László Dobszay. His musical career was mostly inspired by Ferenc Sapszon, with whom Márton has worked for almost 25 years. Márton is a baritone singer, artistic director of The Gemma Singers and choirmaster of the Exsultate Boys Choir. He teaches music in the Zoltán Kodály Hungarian Choirschool. He is one of the official conductors of the Carol Service Budapest since 2009. In 2013 and 2016 he was the member of the Mária Rádió Choir Competition’s jury. In 2018 he invited to work with the jury of the 57th International Choral Singing Competition Seghizzi (Gorizia). In 2021 he awarded by the KÓTA(Association of Hungarian Choirs, Orchestras and Folk Ensembles) in Conducturs Category.

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