Eleven choirs can take part in the Béla Bartók International Choir Competition

The 29th edition of the Béla Bartók International Choir Competition will be held in Debrecen, Hungary from 1-4 August. Eleven choirs from three continents will compete in this year’s competition.

Founded in 1961, the Béla Bartók International Choral Competition (BBCC) is one of the world’s most prestigious music competitions, dedicated to the high quality of contemporary a cappella choral music. This year’s competition, which has been revamped after the pandemic, is open to choirs in several sub-categories of two main categories.

In addition to the Italian, Greek and Catalan choirs, ensembles from Angola, Japan and from the Philippines will represent their country. Among the Hungarian choirs, the Ad Libitum Choir and the Zoltán Kodály Mixed Youth Choir will start the prestigious competition in Debrecen.

Zoltán Kocsis-Holper, the chairman of the artistic committee of the Béla Bartók International Choir Competition, emphasized that “the competition is also a celebration of contemporary choral music, where, in addition to the high professional standards, it is important to build professional relationships by getting to know each other’s musical culture.”

Dániel Somogyi-Tóth, Director of the main organiser, Kodály Philharmonic and chief music director of the city of Debrecen, expressed his pleasure that „after the success of the Zoltán Kodály International Music Competition, newly launched in 2022, the more than 60-year-old Béla Bartók International Choir Competition will be renewed this year, not only in its structure but also in its image, which, in addition to rethinking the prestige of a major competition with a long tradition, expresses the city’s commitment to quality, cultural innovation and the continued support of young musical talent. ”

In the international jury of the 2024 Béla Bartók International Choir Competition, chaired by Lorenzo Donati, professor at the Benedetto Marcello University of Music in Venice, conductor Bernie Sherlock, professor at the Dublin University of Arts, conductor Jānis Ozols, artistic director of the International Baltic Sea Choir Competition, conductor Dr. Betsy Cook Weber, professor at the University of Houston, leader of the grand prize choir of the 2018 Béla Bartók International Choir Competition, and Artisjus Award-winning composer Bence Kutrik will take part.

All rounds of the 2024 Béla Bartók International Choir Competition are open to the public. The event will be hosted at several venues in Debrecen, and there will also be accompanying events throughout the city.

This year’s Béla Bartók International Choir Competition Grand Prize winners will again be invited to compete in the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing, which will be held in Arezzo, Debrecen, Jurmala, Maribor, Tolosa, Tours and Varna, with venues changing annually.