Archive for February, 2016

Chamber choir “Gaudeamus”, Moscow, Russia

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Chamber choir “Gaudeamus” of Bauman Moscow State Technical University was founded in 1968 . Dr. Vladimir Zhivov is the founder, artistic director and main conductor of the choir. Dr. Zhivov has titles of Honored Worker of Culture of Russia and Honored Worker of Arts of Russia.

“Gaudeamus” was founded as a number of small vocal ensembles. “Gaudeamus” got the title “People’s Collective of Russia” in 1977 and received a “Lenin’s Komsomol” prize in 1982.

The choir’s repertoire contains Russian and foreign classical and spiritual choral music.

“Gaudeamus” regularly participates in different Russian and international festivals and competitions, besides it: France (2004, 2008), Monaco (2008), Belarus (2010, 2014), Czech Republic (2012), Serbia (2015) etc., and is laureate and prize winner at many of them.

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Vladimir Zhivov (born in 1938) is a famous Russian choral conductor, Honored Artist of Russia, candidate of pedagogical sciences, professor of Vocal and choral conducting department at Culture and Arts Institute of Moscow City Pedagogical University. For more than half a century he is working with professional, training and amateur choirs. Since 1968 he is the founder and artistic director of Chamber choir “Gaudeamus” of Bauman Moscow State Technical University. Vladimir is a jury member of national and international choral competitions and festivals.  He’s the author of more than 200 works on choral singing and musical pedagogy, the chairman of academic choirs commission of Moscow musical society and a member of the Presidium of All-Russian choral society.

Youth choir “Contrast”, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

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Youth choir “Contrast” (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)

Artistic director and conductor – Olga Podolskaya.

Choirmaster – Olga Shiryaeva.

Youth choir “Contrast” was founded in December of 2006 by the initiative of Konstantin Ushinsky Nizhny Novgorod pedagogical college’s students (renamed to Nizhny Novgorod Provincial College in 2015)

Its participants are the college’s students and graduates and students of secondary and higher educational institutions of Nizhny Novgorod. Over the years, the choir “Contrast” represented its college at different stages of Nizhny Novgorod, Nizhny Novgorod region and Russia.

Youth choir “Contrast” is the Gold diploma winner at International competition “Young Prague” (Czech Republic, 2008), Silver diploma winner at International choral competition (Hungary, 2009), received Gold diploma at XI international choral competition (Italy, 2010), Gold diploma winner at International choral competition “Eurasia Cantat” (Yekaterinburg, 2013), Gold diploma at International choral competition (Lithuania, 2014).

The choir is multiple diploma’s winner and laureate of choral festivals: All-Russian choral festival of sacred music “From heart to heart” (Sarov, 2010/2013), International choral festival (Croatia, 2012), XIV International choral festival “Young Voices” (Nizhny Novgorod, 2012), All-Russian open choral festival “Young classics” (Vologda, 2015).

An important thing for the choir is its regular participation in Christmas and Easter choral cathedrals (Nizhny Novgorod). Invited by Metropolitan of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Georgy, the choir participates in Christmas and Easter night services.

The choir does not stop there and full of new creative ideas.

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Olga Podolskaya graduated from A. Shestakov’s class of Nizhny Novgorod music school, graduated from professor M. Samorukova’s class of conducting and choral department of M. Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory. Since 1998 she works as a lecturer at D. Ushinsky Nizhny Novgorod pedagogical college (Nizhny Novgorod Provincial college).

Linguistic University choir, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia

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Linguistic University choir was founded in 1991. Since its foundation and until 2012

its artistic director and conductor was the Honoured Culture Worker of Russia Vera Sladchenko. Nowadays the choir is the laureate of different competitions: “Spring of Nizhny Novgorod”, “Young Voices”, All-Russian competition of academic choirs “Singing Russia”, V. Sokolov International festival.

2004 – the choir was a participant of culture program “Russian Fair“ in Germany.

2005 – the collective won International festival and competition “Singers of the Third Millenium” in Rostov-on-Don.

2007 – the choir was awarded by silver diploma at “Young Prague” competition.

2008 – gold diploma at International competition in Italy.

2009 – participated in International festival “Danubian Rainbow”, where the collective performed with great success in Budapest and Bratislava.

The choir is the Grand Prix winner at F. Shalyapin International festival (Yalta, 2009), Grand Prix winner of International competition in France, 2011, the receiver of gold diploma of R. Shuman International choral festival (Germany, 2010), the winner of “Gold voices” competition in Spain, 2010, and also a participant of International choral festivals in Czech Republic in 2013 and in Austria in 2014.

The laureate of international competitions Alena Bondina is its artistic director and conductor since 2013.


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Alena Bondina

Alena Bondina graduated with honors from M. Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory in 2012 from class of professor Eduard Fertelmeister. Since 2010 she was working as a choirmaster at Linguistic University choir and became its main conductor in 2013.


JazzVocals, Berlin

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The JazzVocals are a group of chaotic-creative individualists of very different ages: Around 25 singers are part of the Berlin based a cappella choir. The ensemble rehearses since 1991 at the music school Béla Bartók in Pankow-Weißensee, Berlin.

For us “Jazz“ is more of a universal idea. It describes everything that has a groove to it – be it songs by The Beatles, funk or world music. Our repertoire is quite colourful, ranging from jazz standards to pop and folk music as well as our own arrangements. We perform with passion and joy and our concerts are filled with improvisations mouth percussion and sound experiments.

The JazzVocals participated in numerous festivals and workshops throughout Europe and Latin America. We tied many connections as well as organizing and participating in exchanges with international choirs – always searching for unique harmonic compositions, eager to share experiences and to build new friendships all over the world.

Friendship is the center of the JazzVocals and that’s what you can hear, see and feel. The fun we have at our concerts is contagious.

After being honoured with outstanding achievements and the first place at the Berliner Chortreff in 2013, JazzVocals won third place at the Deutscher Chorwettbewerb 2014 in the category Jazz and Pop Music and merely two weeks later first place at “Cracovia Cantans” the International Choir Festival in Kraków, Poland.

On this occasion the choir was invited by the chair woman of the jury, Irina Roganova, to the International Choir Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, which she is presiding over as Artistic Director.

Naturally, JazzVocals accepted the invitation and visited this breath-taking city in March 2015 and once again won over the Jury and took first place in the competition.
The collective would like to thank Goethe institute for the financial support which made its participation possible goethe10

In June 2015 conductor Susanne Faatz and four members of the choir once again travelled to St. Petersburg and gave a master class for other conductors and choirs. It was a resounding success and so the choir is delighted to be invited to the “Young Voices” Festival 2016 in Nizhny Novgorod as the special guests of the festival.

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After working as an academic high school teacher for many years our conductor Susanne Faatz now fully dedicates her time and passion to music and especially choral singing and is a freelance conductor at the music schools Treptow-Köpenick and Pankow-Weißensee in Berlin. Besides conducting the JazzVocals and other choirs she is attending national and international jazz and choir workshops and is herself organizing workshops since 2001, training other teachers and working as a Juror. She is a member of the music committee for the Berliner Chorverband.

During her years as an active teacher she initiated various musical projects with her students. In her free time she was a member of the Berliner Singakademie and its chamber choir.

In 2013 Susanne Faatz received the Geschwister-Mendelssohn-Medal acknowledging her extraordinary achievements for the choir community in Berlin.

Nizhny Novgorod State University Choir

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People’s collective of Russia Nikolay Lobachevsky Nizhny Novgorod State University Choir (Nizhny Novgorod).

Nizhny Novgorod State University Choir is one of the oldest choral collectives of Nizhny Novgorod: its history began in 1949. Vladimir Izyumenko was its artistic director and main conductor for 35 years. The choir received the honorary title “People’s collective of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic” in 1974 under his baton.

Nowadays the choir is a participant and laureate of Russian and foreign festivals and competitions in choral music, winner of many honors and awards.

Between the recent awards there are: 2 Silver medals of VIth World Choir Games (Shaoxing, China, 2010); GRAND PRIX  of Ist International choral assemblies (Yekaterinburg , Russia, 2011); 2 Gold medals of VIIth World Choir Games in Cincinnati (USA, 2012); GRAND PRIX of the International Choral and Folklore Music Festival SLOVAKIA CANTAT (Bratislava, Slovakia, 2013); 2 Gold medals of VIIth World Choir Games (Riga, Latvia, 2014).

Nizhny Novgorod State University Choir also participates in the projects of Mstislav Rostropovich Nizhny Novgorod State Philharmonic and Mikhail Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory (Academy) and collaborates with “Soloists of Nizhny Novgorod” orchestra.

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Conductor Larisa Erykalova

Graduated from Mikhail Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory (class of Vladimir Izyumenko) in 1996, she was working as a choirmaster of Nikolay Lobachevsky Nizhny Novgorod State University Choir from 1992 till 2002. In 2003 she became the artistic director and conductor of Nizhny Novgorod State University Choir.  Since 2004 she is the artistic director of International choral festival “Young Voices” (Nizhny Novgorod). Larisa was awarded by Nizhny Novgorod prize in 2010.