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Rihards Dubra
Alla Iastrebova
Artur Wróbel
Ko Matsushita

Romuald Twardowski

Romuald Twardowski was born in Vilnius in 1930. During years of occupation he studied violin playing and after the war piano and organ. In the years 1946-1950 he used to be organist in Vilnius churches. In 1952-1957 he studied composition in the conservatory of Vilnius. Later moves to Warsaw and continuous studies at Warsaw Academy of Music in years 1957-60 in Bolesław Woytowicz class. In year 1963 and 1966 he studied Gregorian chant and medieval polyphony in Nadia Boulanger class in Paris. Since 1971 Romuald Twardowski has been the Professor of Warsaw Academy of Music. The 1960s and 1970s were for the composer the most fruitful period. Apart from operas: “Cyrano de Bergerac” (1962), "Tragedy or the Story of John and Herod"(1965) and “Lord Jim” (1973) composed ballets: “Naked Prince” (1960), “Wizard's Sculptures” (1963). In the 1980s composed operas “Maria Stuart” and “History of St. Catherine” which were also performed abroad. Twardowski composed about 200 choral works, compositions for piano and orchestra. Recently his works are still widely performed in Poland and abroad – mainly in Eastern Europe and in USA where e.g. his “Trio for violin” has been very successful. He is a laureate of many prizes and distinctions. Just to name few: 1st prize of Polish Young Composers competition, two Grand Prix in Monaco, 1st Prize of Prague spring, 2nd place of UNESCO International Composers’ Tribune in Paris, two awards in Tours for choral works and prize of AGEC (1994). Recently in 2006 he received Paderewski Award (USA). He is the jury member of many choir competitions

Rihards Dubra

Was born on February 28th, 1964 in Riga. He studied music first in Jurmala School of Music, after that at the Emils Darzins College of Music. In 1989, he graduated from the Latvian Music Academy composition class under Adolfs Skulte (as an elective he learned symphonic conducting), and in 1996 earned his master’s degree at the Latvian Academy of Music under Juris Karlsons. During his studies, he began to teach harmony and composition at the Jurmala School of Music, where he still works today. His other sphere of work is involved with the organ and liturgy. Rihards Dubra was the organist at the Riga Our Lady of Suffering Church, and, as of 1999, he is the cantor of the Riga St. Mary Magdalene Church. The basic genres of the composer’s creative work are large-scale genres for voices with accompaniment, choir music, organ music and symphonic music. Irrespectively of his genre choice, Dubra’s basic creative interests turn to sacred music. “As the belief is the only purity in this world, I cannot see anything better, only to write sacred music,” the composer comments on his creative activities. The composer’s activities at St. Mary Magdalene congregation in Riga and singing in the group Schola Cantorum Riga from its very beginning give inspiration for his creative work. The basis of Rihards Dubra music style is the unification of minimalism and neo-romantic tunes with the intonation, form and philosophy of Gregorian, Medieval and Renaissance music. “My music often is meditative; I like to stop a moment and to check it for some time. It is not possible in life, but music lets manage the impossible – light, longing and eternity speak to us feeling every moment…” Rihards Dubra’s music has been performed in several countries of the world: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Poland, England, France, Austria, Italia, Japan, South Africa, Canada, Argentina, USA and others.

Alla Iastrebova

Alla Iastrebova (Moscow, Russia) is a choir conductor, teacher of choral music, artistic director of the choir school of boys and youths “Debut”. Her experience is over 50 years. The choir under her leadership repeatedly became the laureate of the first degree and “Grand Prix” at many All-Russian and international competitions. Alla Iastrebova is honorary worker in the field of art of Russia, the laureate of Grant Moscow premium, owner of the pedagogical medal “Silver branch”.

Marta Kierska-Witczak

(Wroclaw, Poland) She graduated from music universities in Wrocław (diploma with distinction, 1990) and Bydgoszcz, professor of music (2011). Head of the Church Music Department at the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław. She specilizing in education for performing church music and manages the nationwide symposia and workshops in the field of church music and choir conducting. She too part many times in the program of The Erasmus and Ceepus Erasmus Scholarships and cooperated with many European universities in Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Spain and Croatia, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus and Lithuania. She works with various Wroclaw choirs, with which she won many Polish and European festivals. In the years 1993-2015 she was the artistic director of the Choir of Wroclaw University of Technology "Consonanza", with which she led several hundred concerts and won high prizes (also individual prizes) during numerous festivals and music competitions (Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, France, Macedonia, Germany, Portugal, Hungary, United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, France). Currently she is the conductor of Choir "Convivium", which mainly performs sacred music. Sfe is the author of numerous articles in the field of performing choral music.

Damija Mocnik

(Kranj, Slovenia) He won GRAND PRIX with his choir at 2016 edition of our Festival. Damijan Mocnik completed his musical studies, under the tutelage of Professor Dane Škerl, at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana in 1991, where, along with excellent grades, he won the Student Prešeren Award for the outstanding student for his Symphonic movement for symphony orchestra. He developed his craft by studying abroad, which included coaching with famed Swedish conductor Eric Ericson. Since 1993, Močnik has been the choral conductor and music director at the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and since 2000, the artistic director of all musical activities at the St. Stanislaus Institution in Ljubljana. In 1999, the World Youth Choir with Gary Graden performed two of his compositions, his “Missa in organi benedictione” was performed for the first time with Chamber Choir Slovenicum at the official presentation of the new organ in the Franciscan Church in Ljubljana. In 2000, three cantatas by Damijan Močnik were premiered: “Tempus fugit” was performed on the occasion of the reconsecration of St. Joseph’s Church in Ljubljana. The combined high school choirs and the Slovenian Philharmonic also performed Vode novega neba/Waters of New World in the Jeunesse Musicale of Ljubljana Music Series and Pesem moja je posoda tvojega imena was performed in Kranj on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of famed Slovenian poet, France Prešeren. Močnik’s cantata “Circulus aeternus” was conducted by Malcolm Goldring at the Europa Cantat Singing-Week 2004 in Ljubljana. His tenure as composer-in-residence in 2006, at the Bavarian Musikakademie in Marktoberdorf, resulted in a new score: “IM-MORALIA”. And he was invited to be the leader of the Composer’s Conducting workshop at the Europa Cantat 2006 in Mainz, Germany. In 2007 (October-November), he was invited to Washington in the United States. He performed a concert of his compositions on Orcas Island with their choir and orchestra. He gave lectures about his composing activities in Seattle at the University of Washington and at Seattle Pacific University, where he conducted eight of his choral compositions. Močnik’s music thrills musicians and audiences around the world with its directness, and numerous dramatical turns with rich, exceptional and mysterious sonorities.

International Wroclaw Choir Festival "VRATISLAVIA SACRA" is member of Polonia Cantat - Polish Federation of Choir Festivals