Dimitri ARNAUTS (BRUSSELS / Belgium)
Composer & Artistic Director
Dimitri Arnauts (°1973) is a composer who has dedicated himself to uplift and delight hearts, souls and minds through the reaffirmed beauty of melody, harmony, polyphony and counterpoint, and through the innumerable colors of instruments and human voices.
Born in 1973 in Brussels, Dimitri lives near the capital of Belgium.
As a composer, he has since written numerous works of various sizes and settings, being mainly cantatas, psalms, oratorios, concertos, and other choral or instrumental works - but also substantial symphonic and electronic music, and vocal improvisations.
As an autodidact, Dimitri feels free to follow the paths of his heart, both in the aesthetics of his music as in the emotion and message it aims to convey.
He completed choral and orchestral conducting courses, in Oxford, UK (with James Jordan and Steve Pilkington, USA) and in Sherborne, UK (with Maestro Rodolfo Saglimbeni, Venezuela and Amy Bebbington, UK), and film music composition courses at the HKU Utrecht, The Netherlands (with Rens Machielse).
Eirin Beate ÅSERUD-LØVLID (HOLSNØY / Norway)
Choral Director & Conductor
Eirin Beate Åserud-Løvlid (1970) lives in Holsnøy, north of Bergen, Norway.
Eirin works full time as a conductor and per today she runs three girl choir groups in Bergen Cathedral, Radøy women’s choir, a children’s choir in Hardanger, the men’s choir Laudamus also from Hardanger and the project-based female choir Vox Animae.
Eirin originally trained as a teacher, and after some years of teaching, she started Bergen Domkirkes Jentekor as a hobby. Later, she has studied conducting at the
Norwegian academy of music as well as in Trondheim at NTNU.
She has also studied privately under Kjetil Almenning and Maria Gamborg Helbekkmo. This has led to a fulltime commitment to the conducting of choirs at different levels during the last 9 years.
Kristina BOGATAJ (HELSINKI / Finland)
Choral Conductor & Teacher
Kristina Bogataj has graduated from the Academy of Music in Ljubljana with an award-winning choral concert in 2017, starting her conducting master studies at the Sibelius Academy in the same year. A pianist from an early age, she was attending competitions, playing in duos, chamber groups, and orchestras.
Based in Helsinki, Kristina is active as a chorus master in opera productions, choral projects, and workshops. She has conducted or collaborated with several choirs in Helsinki and nearby, such as EMO Ensemble, Akademiska damkören Lyran, Sibelius Vocal Ensemble and others.
She is the conductor of her own female vocal group
Lyckokatter, female choirs Riiarinna and NaisSound, and the mixed choir Cantus Mercurialis.
Kristina continues to follow the inspiration in both high level and heartfelt music-making, combining classical choral repertoire with folk heritage and collaborations with contemporary composers from the popular music scene. In addition to her choral conducting activities, she is also a teacher at the International School of Music Finland.
Jun LEE (MANCHESTER / USA)
Conductor, Educator & Church Musician
Jun Lee is a conductor, an educator and a church musician. He is a founder of Raon Children’s Choir and Grace Women’s Ensemble in South Korea, and his ensembles have won several competitions.
Jun has previously taught at Baekseok University in South Korea. At the University of Connecticut, he conducted the Collegiate Choir, Women’s Choir and Collegium Musicum and taught music theory. Currently, he serves as music director of the UConn Festival Chorus.
Also, Jun recently founded his own choral group named Project Choir ONE, and just had their first concert.
Jun has participated in fellowship programs in conducting at the Yale School of Music, Princeton Music Festival, and Europa Cantat in Belgium and has appeared as a guest conductor of the Vancouver Chamber Choir at the National Conductors’ Symposium, the Studium Chorale in the Netherlands.
A native of South Korea, Jun received his bachelor’s degree from Westminster Choir College, a master’s in Choral Conducting from Florida State University, and his DMA in choral conducting at the University of Connecticut.
David PÉREZ FERNÁNDEZ (ASTURIAS / Spain)
Conductor & Violinist
He started his musical studies in the Escolanía de Covadonga focusing on violin and choral disciplines.
A few years later, he moved into the Conservatorio Superior de Música del Principado de Asturias “Eduardo Martínez Torner” with Yuri Nasushkin where he got the superior certificate specialised in violin.
He was part of “El León de Oro” for more than ten years developing a very intense choral labor which has been demonstrated by the large amount of received prizes and the professional recordings made through all these years.
His professional instruction as conductor was given by international known masters in the choral scene as Josep Vila, Marco A. García de paz, Javier Busto, Johan Duijck and Xavier Sarasola among others.
During his career we can highlight some choral awards given in Oviedo, San Vicente de la Barquera, Ejea de los Caballeros, Torrevieja and Gales. He was also recognised with and special prize to the Best Conductor in the XLVI Certamen Coral de Ejea de los Caballeros.
Nowadays he is still working as conductor while he keeps pursuing to finish his studies.
John MORROW (NORMAN / USA)
Associate Director of Music & Principal Organist
John M. Morrow is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma with an MM in Choral Conducting. He currently serves as the Associate Director of Music and Principal Organist at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman, Oklahoma, directing the youth choir and youth bell choir.
Having worked as a high school music educator, musical theatre director, established accompanist, and collaborative pianist/continuo player, John holds a dual undergraduate degree in Organ and International Studies.
He made his European premieres as organist at the Kamien Pomorski Chamber Music Festival in Kamien Pomorski, Poland (2018) and conductor in Eisenstadt, Austria (2017).
He attended the 2018 Sacred Music Intensive at Indiana University as an organist and conductor. In May 2019, John was named as a finalist for the American Prize in Choral Conducting (Church and Community Choruses Division), and toured with the Richard Zielinski Singers to Legnica, Poland.
Over the coming year, John will he preparing his choir for an international tour in May 2020.
Juan Ignacio NORONA (BUENOS AIRES / Argentina)
Composer, Teacher & Artistic Director
Juan Ignacio Noroña was born in Achiras, Argentina on January 25th 1974.
He began his musical studies in the Conservatory “Julián Aguirre” of Rio Cuarto in which he graduated as a piano teacher in 1999 with professor Jorge Lhez and then as a singing teacher in 2001 with Maestro Clifford Wagner.
He has sung in several choirs and was a selected member of the “World Youth Choir” in 1999 and 2000. Currently he is a profesional singer of the “Coro Polifónico Quírici”.
He studied choral conducting with Clifford Wagner, and continued with Dr. Néstor Zadoff in Buenos Aires.
He participates as an active student in workshops with Mtro. Pep Prats (Catalunya), Néstor Andrenaci (Argentina), Anton Armstrong (USA), Mariano Moruja (Argentina) among others.
He has been the conductor of many choirs in Río Cuarto.
Currently he is the conductor of “Camerata Vocal Arsis” (mixed chamber choir), “Cantoría San Ignacio” (female choir) and “Coro del Profesorado de música del Conservatorio Julián Aguirre”.
As a composer he won the first prize in the National Choral Competition 2016 with his work (“Amaneceres”) and many of his works are performed in several choirs in Argentina.
He is a professor of vocal studies and Choral conducting in the Conseravtory “Julian Aguirre” and in the “Institute of Musical Studies” in Villa Mercedes San Luis.
Marta Pilar HERNANDO (MADRID / Spain)
Orchestra & Choral Conductor
Marta-Pilar was born in Zaragoza (Spain) in 1990. She has a degree in Orchestra and Choral Conducting by the Royal Conservatory of Madrid, but her love for choral music has caused her to focus her education on choral conducting with important teachers such as Javier Busto, Stojan Kuret, Josep Vila i Casañas or Enrique Azurza among others. Recently, she has been selected as an active participant in a Masterclass with Harry Christophers.
As a choral conductor, she has worked with a large number of choirs in different cities of Spain. In 2010 she created the “Musicaire Chamber Choir” in Zaragoza, composed by young professional musicians with a wide choral experience and with whom she continues working. Also in Zaragoza, she has conducted other choirs, including children’s and mixed choirs.
When she moved to Madrid, she worked in the “Orquesta y Coro Filarmonía” as a choral conductor and orchestra assistant for two years. This gave her the possibility to work side by side with important soloists and musicians, and the opportunity to work and go deeper into the choral part of symphonic works such as “Messa da Requiem” by G. Verdi, “Grande messe des morts” by H. Berlioz, “Requiem in D minor” by W.A. Mozart among other symphonic works and operas, which have been performed at the National Auditorium of Music in Madrid.
She is currently the head conductor of the Orfeón Burgalés Choral Society, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary.
Brian STEVENS (Webster/ USA)
Teacher & Conductor
Brian M. Stevens is Director of Choral Activities at the Nazareth College School of Music in upstate New York, where he teaches choral conducting, choral literature, applied conducting, and directs the Nazareth Chamber Singers, and the Women’s Choir.
He also is Artistic Director and founder of the semi-professional women’s chamber ensemble Vox Eius.
He completed his DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Connecticut, where his dissertation focused on the choral music of contemporary Swedish composer Fredrik Sixten.
Brian has also served two summers on the conducting faculty as a visiting professor at Shandong Normal University in Jinan, China.
When not making music, he enjoys fishing, hiking, and traveling the world with his wife, Kelly.
The nine students who had been selected to take part in the International Masterclass 2019 for Choral Conductors “Sacred Music Today” were: