The members of the International Jury

Nadezhda AVERINA
conductor (Russia)

She graduated from the Ponomaryov VESNA Children’s Choir School (Moscow, Russia) and Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory. Professor of Moscow Conservatory, laureate of international competitions, she holds a PhD in History of Arts
Since 2012 she has been Artistic Director and Conductor of VESNA Children’s Choir. Under the leadership of Dr. Averina, the Choir received first places and Grand Prix at various international competitions, including Malcesine, Italy, 2012; Neerpelt, Belgium, 2014; Debrecen, Hungary 2016. In 2017 the Choir won the “Europe-2017 Grand Prix” in Tolosa.
Dr. Averina has written articles on the methodology of teaching, arranged a number of music pieces for choir performance and compiled numerous choir music collections. She regularly holds seminars and master classes for choirmasters and is a member of judging panels of many Russian and international choir competitions.


singer, conductor (United Kingdom)

For many years, Stephen Connolly sang Bass and co-directed the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble, The King's Singers. As well as having performed in excess of 120 concerts each year for almost a quarter of a century, he has made frequent appearances around the world on both TV and Radio and recorded extensively with EMI, BMG Records, Signum Records and Sony, collecting many awards - including three Grammy nominations and a Grammy. More recently, Stephen has devoted much time to adjudicating competitions and offering workshops as well as appearing as a guest conductor with choirs. In 2008, Stephen founded the International A Cappella School, which offers a series of international residential choral courses for singers. In 2010, Stephen was appointed as Head of Vocal Studies at The Cheltenham Ladies’ College. He lives in Gloucestershire.


conductor (Hungary)

Valér Jobbágy began studying music in Pécs and took his degree as choir leader and clarinet artist at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. In 1973 he attended Hans Swarowsky’s master course in conducting. He began his career as a teacher in Debrecen, then he moved to Pécs to teach at the Secondary School of Arts, the Teacher Training College, later at the Musical Faculty of the University of Pécs. Since 1988 he has also taught at the Liszt Academy of Music. In the course of his career his excellent choirs in Pécs and Szekszárd (Puellae Female Chamber Choir, Szekszárd Madrigal Choir, Schola Cantorum Sopianensis) came in as winners or runners-up at over 30 significant competitions in Europe and Japan (Arezzo, Cork, Debrecen, Marktoberdorf, Maasmechelen, Neuchatel, Rimini, Rome, Tolosa, Tours, Varna, Takarazuka, etc.). He has been on the jury in Arezzo, Debrecen, and Montreux. In 2003 he took his PhD Summa cum laude at the Liszt Academy of Music.


composer (USA)

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael Kaulkin's choral, chamber and orchestral music has been performed around the world. He holds a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory, having previously spent several years at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, studying composition with János Vajda and choral conducting with István Párkai. Currently, he is the 2017-18 Composer-in-Residence with San Francisco Choral Artists. Also active as a teacher, he serves on the Musicianship and Composition Faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory and has previously taught at the Kodály Summer Institute at Holy Names University in Oakland, California.
As an active publisher of his own music, in 2014 Kaulkin recognized the need for an easy way to make self-publishing composers’ work available in print and founded Swirly Music, a website for the work of now nearly fifty self-publishing composers and hundreds of titles in chamber, choral, vocal and orchestral music


Katalin KISS
conductor (Hungary)

Katalin was born in Debrecen and started studying music in her native town. From 1973 she was student of the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, from which she graduated as a secondary school teacher of singing and choir conducting She took her PhD at the same institution in 2002. From 1977 she worked as a teacher in Szombathely and, from 1983, at the Kodály School in Kecskemét. She was a visiting teacher and choir conductor at the Kodály Center of America in Boston for a year twice, in 1979 and 1988. Since 1989 she has been assistant professor at Kodály Institute, a branch of the Liszt Academy of Music in Kecskemét. She founded the Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble in 1990 and the Kecskemét Festival Choir in 2005. For the last 25 years they have given over 500 concerts, made several CD records and won first prizes at various competitions. Katalin Kiss has been invited to work as a guest conductor and hold workshops all over the world. She has also been on the jury of many competitions. She is the founder of Ars Nova Publishing. For her professional achievement she has been awarded several prizes, including the József Katona Prize (1996), the Artisjus Prize (1997, 1999, 2001), For the Art of Bács-Kiskun County (2000).


conductor (Hungary)

Csaba Kutnyánszky graduated in choral conducting and theory of music from the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest He did research at the University of Bologna in 1998 and In took his PhD at the Liszt Academy of Music in 2005.
Currently he conducts the Female Chamber Choir of Pécsvárad. He has won several first prizes with the choirs he has conducted and has produced several radio recordings and eight CDs with them.
In 2009 and 2010 he was the leader of the choir conducting masterclass of the Renaissance and Baroque Days in Keszthely. In 2011, he was chairman of the Artistic Committee of the 6th International Competition for Young Choral Conductors in Budapest.
As full time professor, he teaches choral conducting at the Liszt Academy of Music. He is the head of the Orchestral and Choral Conducting Department. Since 2011 he has been Vice Rector for Education of the Academy.
He is a member of the Presidency of the Association of Hungarian Choirs and Orchestras (KÓTA).


Michalis PATSEAS
conductor (Greece)

Director of the Kodály Conservatory - Greek Kodály Institute. Immediate past President of the International Kodály Society. Vice-President of the Greek Kodály Society. Honorary member of the Hungarian Kodály Society. Invited member at the Friends of Hungary Foundation.
He conducts choirs and orchestral ensembles. He is invited as member of jury to international choral festivals. He was the first conductor of the Greek Radio Children’s choir.
He has taken part in congresses of musicology in 14 countries as an invited lecturer. He teaches conducting, music pedagogy and singing at international seminars and universities.
He holds the Pro Cultura Hungarica and the A Kodály Intézetért awards. He is decorated with the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic (2003)
He studied choir and orchestra conducting, composition, singing and Byzantine church music at the National Conservatory of Athens, the Vienna University of Music, and at the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music of the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music. He graduated from the latter with an advanced diploma with Peter Erdei as his professor.


conductor, composer (Italy)

Felix Resch was Rector of the Claudio Monteverdi Conservatory in Bolzano from 2008 to 2014, where he is full professor of music theory and analysis.
During his composition studies with Professor Francesco Valdambrini at Bolzano Conservatory he began composing a considerable number of various chamber music works (Quartetto d’archi, Sonata Pf. e Vlc. Cadenz per VI. Solo, Ballade per Pf. Fantasia per Ob. e Pf.) and orchestral works (Perspektive I per orchestra, Perspektive II Fl. solo e orchestra, “Strade segnate” Soprano and orchestra).
He graduated in choral music and choral conducting in 1981 and started his teaching activity at the Tartini Conservatory in Triest, while he continued composing and conducting choirs. He has been awarded various national and international prizes as choir director of the musical ensemble “Ars Cantandi” (in Arezzo, Verona, Vittorio Veneto) and as composer of choir music in Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, Switzerland and Germany.


conductor (Hungary)

Dénes Szabó studied music in Szeged, Miskolc and Budapest. He has taught at the Kodály Primary School in Nyíregyháza since 1969. In 1975 he founded the Cantemus Children’s Choir, an ensemble which has developed into three choirs: the Cantemus Children’s Choir, the Pro Musica Girls’ Choir and the Cantemus Mixed Choir, coordinated by the Cantemus Choir of Nyíregyháza since 2004. Each of the three meets the highest standards of artistic performance.
Dénes Szabó is often invited to give lectures and master classes on choir conducting, choral voice training and the application of the Kodály method. He has been on the jury of several international competitions from the USA to Japan.
He holds various prestigious Hungarian and international awards, such as the Liszt Prize (1985), the Bartók – Pásztory Prize (1993), the Kossuth Prize (2000), the IFCM Prize (2013). Since 2012 he has been regular member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts. In 2014 he was promoted to “Artist of the Nation”. In 2017 he was awarded the Gold and Silver Rays of the Order of the Rising Sun, the highest Japanese decoration that can be conferred upon a foreigner for his contribution to the development of connections between the two countries.


Mikael WEDAR
conductor, singer (Sweden)

Mikael was educated at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. He has a degree in conducting, piano and vocal singing. From 2003 to 2011 Mikael was a teacher at Kungsholmens Gymnasium and Stockholms Musikgymnasium, teaching choral singing. Mikael has worked with some of the most notable choirs in Stockholm, including the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir and the Swedish Radio Choir. In 2007 Mikael founded St Jacobs Vokalensemble, and has been its musical and artistic leader ever since. In November 2013, the choir took part in 45th Tolosa choral contest in Spain, where they won all the five possible prizes and qualified for the European Grand Prix in Debrecen, Hungary 2014, where they were also winners. In the summer of 2017, St Jacobs Vokalensemble was invited to represent Sweden at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona, Spain. Mikael was part of the jury in The International May Choir Competition – Varna, Bulgaria in 2014 and in the Tolosa Choral Contest in 2016. In the summer of 2018, he will attend the competition in Debrecen, Hungary as jury member, and also teach a conducting masterclass.