Lorenzo Donati heads the jury of BBCC 2024

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. Hungary is reptesented by The Ad Libitum Choir and the Zoltán Kodály Youth Mixed Choir.

The international jury of the 2024 Béla Bartók International Choir Competition will include Bernie Sherlock, Professor of Music at the Dublin University of the Arts, Jānis Ozols, Artistic Director of the International Baltic Sea Choir Competition, Dr. Betsy Cook Weber, Professor of Music at the University of Houston, conductor of the Grand Prize Winning Choir of the 2018 Béla Bartók International Choir Competition, and Artisjus Award-winning composer Bence Kutrik.

The jury is chaired by Lorenzo Donati, professor at the Benedetto Marcello University of Music in Venice.

The Italian conductor studied in Arezzo, Florence, at the Music School of Fiesole, the Accademia Chigiana di Siena and the Accademia di Francia.

He studied composition with Pascal Dusapin, Ennio Morricone, Rosario Mirigliano, Romano Pezzati, Camillo Togni and Azio Corghi. He studied conducting with Rinaldo Alessandrini, René Clemencic, Ottavio Dantone, Diego Fasolis, Roberto Gabbiani, Gary Graden, Carl Høgset and Peter Neumann. In 2007 he won first prize as a choral conductor at the IV International Mariele Ventre Competition in Bologna.

He has received numerous invitations from prestigious international music organisations and regularly conducts renowned orchestras in Italy. He has collaborated with choirs and vocal ensembles such as Insieme Vocale Vox Cordis (1997), UT Insieme Vocale-Consonante (2014), Coro Giovanile Italiano (2011-2015) and Hesperimenta Vocal Ensemble (1996-2011).

With these ensembles, he has won first prizes and special prizes at numerous national and international competitions, including in Arezzo, Cantonigròs, Gorizia, Montreux, Senlis, Tours and Varna. With the UT Ensemble, he won the European Choirs Grand Prix in 2016. Since 2016 he has been the director of the official choir of the Siena Cathedral.

He has conducted international ensembles such as the Turkish State Choir and the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir.Professor at the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello in Venice, he also teaches at the Chigiana Summer Academy in Siena. He is an invited member of the jury of the most important international competitions in choral music and composition, and has given seminars and courses at numerous international masterclasses and festivals.

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