Prof. Thomas Caplin
Mr Caplin received his education as a singer, conductor and choral pedagogue at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen and at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. He is frequently engaged as guest conductor and clinician, and as adjudicator in competitions. Mr Caplin specializes within the psychological/pedagogical aspects of choral leadership, coupled with the traditional perspectives of choral conducting and the overall running of a choir including all aspects. This focus is fundamental in his book on choral leadership that was globally published in 2017 – ”The Learning Conductor”. Another speciality is the cross field between classical and rhythmical singing and conducting. His publications include a number of compositions, arrangements and CD recordings (Cantando Music Publisher, Stavanger and at Musikk-Husets forlag, Oslo.) He has received international recognitions for his leadership of the following choirs : The Lund University Male Choir (prominent male choir from University of Lund, Sweden, World Choir Champions, Shaoxing 2010), Chamber Choir Collegium Vocale (Norway), Oslo University Male Choir (World Choir Champion, Xiamen, China 2006). He presently conducts the internationally renowned Defrost Youth Choir, and is artistic leader of and singing member of the vocal group Nordic Blue.
Oksana Sukhetska
Oksana Sukhetska - founder, choirmaster, artistic director and conductor of the mixed «Molodizhnyi Kamernyi Khor (Youth Chamber Choir)», choirmaster, artistic director and conductor of the student women’s choir «Yunist (Youth)», senior lecturer at the Department of Musicology and Vocal and Choral Arts, Faculty of Arts, Pavlo Tychyna Uman State Pedagogical University. Laureate of All-Ukrainian and International competitions.
Michael Joseph Barrett
South Africa
Michael Joseph Barrett is the conductor of the University of Pretoria (Tuks) Camerata and a Senior Lecturer in Choral Conducting in the Department of Music. He was a member of the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir from 1992 to 1997. He obtained the degrees BMus in Performing Arts (cum laude) in 2005 and MMus (Performing Arts) in 2008 specialising in choral conducting, both from the University of Pretoria. From UNISA, he holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCE) and a Performance Licentiate in Singing, both received in 2008. In 2017, Michael completed his Doctorate of Music Degree (Performing Arts) in Choral Performance through the University ofPretoria. Michael’s choirs have won numerous national and international awards, as well as choral competitions all over the world, including Grand Prix of Nations (Latvia 2017), The 8th World Choir Games (Latvia 2014); St Petersburg Choral Competition (Russia 2013); Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (Wales 2012); Krakow International Advent Choral Competition (Poland 2012); Europe and its Songs (Spain 2010); and the International Youth Music Festival (Slovakia 2010). In 2017, the Tuks Camerata was invited to perform at the World Choral Symposium in Barcelona, Spain. The choir has released four CD’s, all that were nominated for a South African Music Award for best classical album. Michael is an active composer and arranger. His music is internationally published by Santa Barbara Music Publishers and Walton Music and his arrangements of traditional South African Music are especially popular. He is regularly invited to give workshops on South African Choral Music (both traditional and western) and to adjudicate choral competitions both nationally and internationally. Michael is also the Executive Director and Co-Producer of “Capital Singers”, South Africa’s largest community choir project.
Bengt Ollen
Choir conductor of the Year 2021 - Bengt Ollén We in Sofia Vokalensemble are incredibly proud that Bengt has today been named choir conductor of the year 2021! "Today is a day of joy when I have been awarded the scholarship" Choir Conductor of the Year "by the Rosenborg-Gehrman Foundation and the Swedish Choir Leaders' Association. (Föreningen Sveriges Körledare). I am proud and happy and feel very honored," says Bengt. Congratulations Bengt! The full motivation below: "Choir Leader of the Year is a person who, through his great love for and knowledge of both music and people, has greatly contributed to consolidating Sweden's position as a choir nation to be reckoned with. Through a long work in the service of choral music, this year's Choir Leader has maintained a playful and curious approach to choral work and thereby always presented new thinking and current choral experiences - important for both performers and recipients. This year's Choir Leader has established himself as a strong choir personality both nationally and internationally; partly through great success with his own ensemble in various prestigious international competitions, partly through all his assignments as a guest teacher, workshop leader and jury member worldwide. This year's Choir Leader is an ambassador for Swedish choir music, something that all collaborations with composers show. This year's Choir Leader has, with his permissive attitude and great faith in his singers, contributed to the renewal and development of Swedish choir singing. Several generations of young choir singers have been guided through the mysteries of choral music by this dedicated educator. "
Stefan Littmann
Stefan Littmann is a songwriter, composer and keyboard player/pianist from Hannover. Besides working as a live keyboard player for bands such as Strom&Wasser, Joachim Witt and RABEA, he is part of the team at the recording studio Institut für Wohlklangforschung. His musical career started, as most do, playing his mother’s pots and pans and the recorder before he had the first piano lessons at the age of 6. The fascination with music and especially keyboard instruments has remained with him ever since. As a graduate of the Hamburg Conservatory Popkurs and member of countless bands and ensembles, he has been working as a freelancer since 2015. In 2022 he will compose the music for the stage play Ja sind wir denn noch zu retten..? about the forest dieback in the German highland area Harz. With his band Strom&Wasser he will host the environmental protection project Die Rebellion der Gärten, that includes a tour with nearly 100 concerts, lectures and workshops all around Germany. Completing this kind of activism in music, he will participate in the World Choir for Peace Day, offering a workshop and creating an anthem of peace.
Alexander Koller
Alexander Koller is one of our guest conductors. His choral existence began in Wels, Austria towards the beginning of the 80s. Wolfram Stelzer Children’s Choir Wels, Choir of the Pichl Main School of Music, Choir of the Linz School of Music, Steinhauser Singkreis, Jeunesse Choir Linz, Chorus sine Nomine Vienna, World Youth Choir, Vienna Chamber Choir, Renaissemble, Company of Music, Chamber Choir of Europe, … # chorsingenistgeil Performing contemporary choral music in all its nuanced facets and to captivate young people is one of Alexander Koller’s passions. Hard-Chor Linz, Linz Singakademie, choir of the musical Borg Linz, Vocalmania and the Upper Austrian State Choir, … # conductor Fascinated by the pure, harmonious beauty of the human voice, Alexander Koller lives and works as a choir director, singer and teacher for vocal music.
Norbert Hermanns
As well as being a professional singer Norbert works as a music therapist. He will explain the interactions between the body, soul and music and how we can use this to activate our self-healing powers. With insights from psychoneuroimmunology (how psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems interact), music medicine, music therapy, vocal teaching and psychosomatics, Norbert conveyed the great potential that singing has in our lives. It can improve our communication with others and thus shape relationships as well as activate our "body's own pharmacy".
Elke Wunnenberg
Graduate psychologist, psychiatric psychotherapist, graduate music teacher, 1st chairwoman of Singing Hospitals network. Clinical work from 2004-2018 in the field of psycho-oncology / psychosomatics. She developed a theoretical-methodological foundation of "healing singing", which she has been passing on in seminars and lectures since 2007. Winner of the Hilde Ulrichs Foundation for Parkinson's Research 2018. Own practice.
Jamie Wright
Jamie studied Music at the University of York and undertook the vocal performance Masters programme at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with distinction He is Baritone & Vocal Percussionist for the 5-time Grammy award winning group The Swingles and co-founder of the Stay at Home Choir, a 24,000 member global choir, with conductor Tori Longdon. In 2021 Stay at Home Choir won the RPS Inspiration Award. After leaving the Royal Academy of Music, Jamie worked closely with Gareth Malone as an arranger and vocal coach for his two shows, The Naked Choir and Gareth’s Best in Britain, going on to join Gareth in his choir ‘Voices’ for a UK tour and subsequent recordings. As a singer Jamie has performed at the BBC Proms, Shakespeares Globe, and as a soloist at The Barbican for The Britten Sinfonia Voices, and sings at the Tower of London Chapel Royal. He has appeared on numerous film soundtracks as a session singer with London Voices and Audio Network.
Tori Longdon
Tori Longdon studied at Durham University and the Royal Academy of Music, where she was awarded a distinction for her MA in Choral Conducting. She now directs a number of ensembles around London including the Covent Garden Chorus, and holds the post of International Music Director for the Alpha Choral Courses in Shenzhen, China. ​ Tori is a conductor for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and is the co-founder of the 23,000 strong Stay At Home Choir, together with Swingles baritone Jamie Wright. Tori is currently an on-screen conductor for Songs Of Praise on BBC1, as well as an adjudicator for their competitions including ‘Young Choir Of The Year’ and ‘Young Chorister Of The Year’. She appeared on BBC2 as a judge on two series of the ‘The Choir’ with Gareth Malone. She has written several articles for ClassicFM’s online magazine, lectured for the Artist Development course at the Royal Academy of Music in London and interviewed some of Classical music’s most famous names, including Marin Alsop, John Rutter, Sir Karl Jenkins, Cecilia McDowall, Sir James MacMillan and Christopher Tin.

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