Volker Hempfling, Germany (Chair)
Volker Hempfling was born in the Saarland, Germany in 1944, and studied in Herford and Cologne (church music, organ, orchestral conducting, singing). From 1972 to 1997 he was organist, church music director and conductor of the Domkantorei Altenberg as weIl as director of the Sacred Music series in Altenberg Cathedral. In 1968 Volker founded the world famous KÃ¶lner Kantorei and in 1983 he became director of Cologne’s GÃ¼rzenich-Chor. In 1985 he became Professor of Choral Conducting at the SaarbÃ¼cken University of Music. In 1993 he moved to the Robert Schumann Hochschule in DÃ¼sseldorf, where he was Professor of Choral Conducting, Director of the Protestant Church Music division and Conductor of the Chamber Choir until 2004. For 21 years he has led an annual seminar on choral conducting in Freiburg. Since 2003 Volker has been a lecturer of International Seminars for Choral Conducting in the Bavarian Music Academy following the International Chamber Choir Competitions of Marktoberdorf.
In addition to guest appearances conducting in Germany and numerous other countries, Volker gives conducting lectures and vocal training courses throughout the world. His work as a member of the adjudicating panels at national and international competitions have taken him to cities such as Marktoberdorf, Cork, Maribor, Tours, Tolosa, Budapest and Vilnius.
UrÅ¡a Lah, Slovenia
UrÅ¡a Lah studied Musical Education at the Ljubljana Music Academy and Choral Conducting at the University of TromsÃ¸ (Norway).
With Mixed Youth Choir Veter, APZ Tone TomÅ¡iÄ University of Ljubljana and the National Radio Chamber Choir, she has been involved in many premiÃ¨re performances, and won many first prizes, golden plaques, special prizes and conducting awards at national and prestigious international choral competitions, including the Grand Prix of Europe (Debrecen, 2008).
In recognition of her valuable work with choirs, UrÅ¡a received the highest award of the Municipality of Ljubljana for cultural achievement in 2008, and in 2009 the award of Public Fund of the Republic of Slovenia for Cultural Activities. UrÅ¡a now lives in Norway, where she conducts the Finnmark Opera Choir, the choir of the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra and the chamber vocal ensemble of the TromsÃ¸ Music Conservatory. She teaches at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of TromsÃ¸, is a lecturer in educational seminars for choral conductors, a frequent member of adjudicating panels at international choral competitions, a guest conductor of recognised ensembles and one of two artistic leaders of the international Utopia & Reality Chamber Choir.
ZoltÃ¡n Pad, Hungary
ZoltÃ¡n Pad (1980) studied with PÃ©ter Erdei in Budapest and with Michael GlÃ¤ser in Munich. As a choir master ZoltÃ¡n has worked with prominent artists such as Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, Ennio Morricone, IvÃ¡n Fischer, Martin HaselbÃ¶ck and Howard Arman, and orchestras such as the Hungarian Radio Orchestra, KodÃ¡ly Philharmonic Orchestra, Oradea Philharmonic Orchestra and Alba Regia Symphony Orchestra.
ZoltÃ¡n worked as Choir Leader at the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, before becoming Principal Conductor of KodÃ¡ly Choir Debrecen (2009-2014). Since 2014 he has been the Principal Conductor of the Hungarian Radio Choir. Since 2005 ZoltÃ¡n Pad has also taught choral conducting at the Liszt Academyâ€™s KodÃ¡ly Institute. Between 2009 and 2014 he was a member of the Artistic Board of the BÃ©la BartÃ³k International Choir Competition, and was Artistic Director of the Competition in 2013/14.
ZoltÃ¡n is regularly invited to give music workshops and conducting master courses around the world, and he works frequently with youth choirs and amateur choirs. He has been a member of the adjudication panels of various international choir and conductor competitions.
Esther Jones, UK
Esther Jones is anÂ experienced choral clinician andÂ conductor who is in regular demand as an adjudicator, teacher and workshop leader. She studied music at Oxford University and choral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music as a postgraduate, where she was the first Open Academy Fellow and now teaches part-time. Alongside this role, she is currently Acting Artistic Director of London Youth Choir and Deputy Musical Director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.Â
She is also a collaborator on the â€˜Created out of mindâ€™ project, which draws together scientists, artists and broadcasters at the Wellcome Collection in London to produce research and artwork related to dementia.
Other recent engagements include working as a tutor on BBC TVâ€™s The Choir: Sing while you work with Gareth Malone, conducting Brittenâ€™s A childrenâ€™s crusade at Aldeburgh International Festival, and chorus-mastering NYCGB singers for an award-winning performance of Brittenâ€™s War Requiem conducted by Marin Alsop in November 2014.Â
David Brophy, Ireland
David Brophy was born in Dublin and is a graduate of the Dublin Institute of Technology and Trinity College Dublin. Following further studies in Ireland, England and Holland, he was appointed Apprentice Conductor with Chamber Choir Ireland and subsequently became the first appointee as Assistant Conductor with the RTÃ‰ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. A former Principal Conductor of the RTÃ‰ Concert Orchestra, David now enjoys a close relationship with both RTÃ‰ orchestras in addition to regular appearances as guest conductor with the Ulster Orchestra. His career has seen him conduct throughout Europe, Africa, Canada and China, in addition to engagements with some of the finest orchestras in the US, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
David has collaborated with many internationally acclaimed soloists, among them Tasmin Little, Barry Douglas, Lang Lang and Nicola Benedetti. He has broadcast on RTÃ‰, BBC, CBC (Canada), Sky Arts 2 and across the EBU, and has recorded for Silva Screen, LyricFM, Tara Records, V2 Records, New World Records and Compass Records recording labels.
Aside from his work as a musician, David presented the RTE1 award-winning TV series Instrumental and most recently fronted the IFTA award-winning High Hopes Choir for Tyrone Productions and RTE1 TV. He has most recently been appointed to the board of Irelandâ€™s Contemporary Music Centre.
Visit our 2018 gallery HERE