Jury 2016

Vanya Moneva graduated with first-class honours from the National Academy of Music “Pancho Vladigerov” in 1979, in professor Vasil Arnaudov’s class, with “Choir Conducting” field of studies, which marked the beginning of her impressive artistic career.

Throughout her professional career as a choir conductor, Vanya has lead the Women’s Traditional Music Choir of the Bulgarian National Radio, the Choral School of Kazanlak, and many other male, female and children’s choirs, and has gained the much valuable experience which lead her to brilliant professional results and numerous awards and acknowledgements, such as: the “Golden Book” award for her contribution to the development of the Bulgarian culture; the “Golden Staff” award from the Union of the Bulgarian composers; the Echo award by the German music producers for the “Bulgarian Soul” CD – a collaboration with the opera singer Vesselina Katsarova; „Classics in the Other Genres” award by Allegro Vivace, Bulgarian National Radio; „Golden Feather” award for contribution to Bulgarian culture by Classic FM Radio; the Special Prize of „Salon des arts”, and many others.

Vanya Moneva actively works with the Bulgarian composers, provoking them and inspiring them with her creativity and deep knowledge of the choir conducting artistry. Her liking for the Bulgarian folklore as an author takes form of the foundation of the Cosmic Voices female folklore choir. Being the leader of the ensemble for 20 years to date, Vanya has established and strengthened her significance in the music industry. With her innovative ideas she has proven that a female folklore choir can be treated as a brilliant music instrument. She has developed a repertoire policy which brings out and emphasises on the traditional Bulgarian voices’ enigmatic abilities and leads them towards new genre dimensions. This has proven to be her unique professional trait.

Vanya Moneva is one of the brightest names in the Bulgarian choral artistry – she has established herself as a conductor with style, highest professionalism and artistic beauty. Not for nothing was she referred to as “The Bulgarian Karayan in a dress” by the composer professor Krassimir Kyurkchiyski.

Alongside with her choir works, Vanya Moneva is a musical producer in Bulgarian National Radio.

Ambrož Čopi (1973) was born in Bovec (Slovenia). Having completed the Secondary Music and Ballet School in Ljubljana he went on to study composition and piano at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana and in 1996 graduated in the composition class of Dane Škerl; he completed his post-graduate studies in the class of Uroš Rojko. His compositions received awards at numerous composer competitions. His compositions are included on copyrighted CD’s: Lyrical Aquarelles (by the Academic choir APZ Tone Tomšič, conducted by Stojan Kuret) and Birdies were still dreaming (ČarniCe, conductor Stojan Kuret), as well as on various CDs by national and foreign choirs. His compositions were published by the publishing houses Astrum, DSS, and Sulasol. For his outstanding achievements during his study Ambroz Copi was awarded the Young Musician Award in 1995, in 1997 he won the Prešeren Prize of the University of Ljubljana and was upon merit awarded the Bovec Municipal Award in 1997.

Since 1999 he has been teaching aural, harmony, counterpoint, fundamentals of composition and chamber music at the Art Grammar School in Koper. He also conducts the Youth Mixed Choir of Art Grammar School Koper, the Youth Mixed Choir of Conservatory of Music Ljubljana and the Chamber Orchestra “Vladimir Lovec”.

Already at the time of his study he founded the Chamber Choir Iskra Bovec (1992), which he led and conducted for ten years with great success. In 1998 he took the conductor’s position in the newly founded Nova Gorica Chamber Choir (till 2004) and in the Mixed Choir Obala Koper (till 2007); since 2004 he has been the conductor of the Academic Choir of the University of Primorska. The choirs brought him 12 gold medals from national competitions and 18 first places and several gold awards from competitions in Italia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Prague, Croatia, Lithuania, Poland, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Greece, Austria, Spain and USA.

For his interpretations he was awarded several special prizes; he further received prizes for exceptional achievements with the choir, and was selected the best conductor of the competition. In 2009 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the University of Primorska for the achievements with the APZ UP choir. Among his great successes are also his music tours to Iceland, France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, England, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As professional adjudicator and member of the competition juries he is regularly invited to various choral events and competitions, and as a lecturer he is involved in choral music seminars at home and abroad.

Valentina Georgieva, PhD is a conductor, music pedagogue, leader of children’s vocal groups, president of the Association “Musical world-Balchik”, creator and artistic director of the International choir festival “Chernomorski zvutsi”.
In 1994 she graduated the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv, where she studied conducting with the Associate Professor Nikola Lipov.

In the period 2000-2002 she specialized choral conducting under professor Liliya Gyuleva at the National Academy of Music ”Pancho Vladigerov” in Sofia.

Received her PhD in 2013 at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia for the topic “The songs for homogeneous formations by Stefan Dragostinov, recreated for mixed choir” with director of studies professor Elisaveta Valchinova-Chendova DsC.

Dr Valentina Georgieva is an active participant in international choral – conducting courses, a member of jury in national and international festivals, winner of the “Socially active person of the year” in three consecutive years, a Board member of the Bulgarian choral union.

As a conductor of “Chernomorski Zvutsi” mixed choir (since 1998) Dr Valentina Georgieva annually has taken part in numerous competitions and festivals in Spain, Greece, Macedonia, Germany, Italy, Serbia, Croatia, Turkey, Czech Republic, Romania and she is a prize winner at national and international forums.

As a leader of “Chernomorski zvutsi” mixed choir, she has four CDs released in 1998, 2004, 2011 and 2014.

Leaning on the tradition of Bulgarian choral performing arts, Dr Valentina Georgieva keeps the values and builds the new history of hundred-year-old choir “Chernomorski zvutsi” in accordance with the trends in the worldwide choral art.