The programme of Leading Voices 2022 is designed by an international Music Commission appointed by the European Choral Association. The side programme Utrecht Zingt festival is designed by a local Music Commission of choral professionals from The Netherlands, appointed by ZIMIHC.
Info on the members of both music commissions can be found below.
Music Commission - Leading Voices 2022
Burak Onur Erdem - chair (TR)
Burak studied music theory & conducting at the Istanbul Technical University Center for Advanced Studies in Music. He followed masterclasses with Johannes Prinz, Maria Guinand, Volker Hempfling, Anders Eby, Denes Szabo and Michael Gohl. Prior to his musical studies, he finished a political science & international relations degree in Boğaziçi University, which was crowned with the Rector’s Prize. Burak is a member of the board and music commission of the European Choral Association (ECA-EC), and was appointed to the board of International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM) in 2018.
Elisenda Carrasco i Ribot (ES)
Born in Barcelona, Elisenda completed studies in Orchestral Conducting, Composition and Music Education. She has been teaching and conducting for over thirty years, and has specialized particularly in choirs, with a focus on children and equal voices. She co-directs the activity Cantània and conducts the Cor infantil Sant Cugat, El Cor Canta, and the female chamber choir Voxalba. Elisenda teaches at ESMUC (Superior School of Music in Barcelona). From her musical and pedagogical viewpoint, Elisanda works with a limitless energy and vision, broadening her choirs’ musical horizons both technically and artistically.
Seán Doherty (IE)
Composer and musicologist Seán Doherty completed a PhD in musicology at Trinity College, University of Dublin. His choral works have received many international performances and have garnered numerous awards: he won the Feis Ceoil choral composition award multiple times, as well as the Choir and Organ Magazine composition competition twice, and the Prix pour une œuvre de création at the international choral festival Florilège Vocal de Tours, France. His works have been performed by choirs around the world, including the choir of Merton College, Oxford, the National Youth Choir of Scotland, the choir of St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, Chicago a cappella, and the New Dublin Voices. Currently, Doherty is a lecturer in music in Dublin City University and active as a singer with the internationally acclaimed New Dublin Voices.
Laura Lopes (PT)
Born in Portugal, Laura also lived in Hungary, the Netherlands and the UK. Laura studied Choir Conducting/Music Pedagogy at Escola Superior de Musica de Lisboa (PT), Early Music Singing at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague (NL), and Arts Policy and Management at Birkbeck College, University of London (UK). She is a freelance administrator/producer for festivals and arts organisations such as Les Azuriales Opera and the Brighton Early Music Festival and leads singing workshops in schools for the Voces8 Foundation as a member of its Education Team. She is active as an ensemble singer, singing throughout Europe, and coordinates the international Tenso network of professional choirs.
Merel Martens (NL)
Merel studied Music Education and Choir Direction at the Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam and Rhythmic Choir Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in Denmark, studying with Jim Daus Hjernøe and Jesper Holm. Since November 2015, Martens is teacher and coordinator of the ‘Vocal Leadership’ programme at the conservatories of Rotterdam and Tilburg, based on ‘the Intelligent Choir’ method. Merel can often be found at (inter)national festivals promoting this method and presenting her vision when it comes to choir leadership. She also was an atelier leader at several EUROPA CANTAT festivals.
Panda van Proosdij (NL)
Panda van Proosdij has been working on her method / philosophy: ‘Voice & Physique’ for thirteen years now. This method is about supporting the voice by creating a good physical awareness and a way to let movement contribute to the quality of singing. She gives workshops and masterclasses all over the world and created prize winning programs for choirs. She also published several books. Panda studied at the Rotterdam Dance Academy in the Netherlands, and taught Music Theatre at Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam. She worked with The Netherlands Children Choir, The Netherlands Female Youth Choir and Wilma ten Wolde as a movement coach and director. As an atelier leader Van Proosdij has worked in different European festivals, amongst them EUROPA CANTAT, AMJ Eurotreff and Choralies. Panda also directs musicals, operetta and music theatre performances.
Yuval Weinberg (IL)
Yuval studied orchestral conducting in Tel Aviv and choral conducting with Grete Pedersen at the Norwegian Academy of Music, as well as with Jörg-Peter Weigle at the Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler’ in Berlin. There, he worked with several chamber choirs such as the NeuerChor Berlin, enchore and Hortus Vocalis. As a guest conductor at the Israeli Li-Ron choir, he has conducted the choir in concerts and festivals throughout Europe and Israel. He has received several awards as conductor and together with his choirs. Since 2014 he is a scholar of the German Music Council’s conductors forum. He is the musical director of the NOVA Chamber Choir and the Norske Kammersangere (Norwegian chamber singers) in Oslo, as well as artistic director of the SWR Vokalensemble in Stuttgart.
Martin Wildhaber (CH)
Martin studied music at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK) and graduated with Master degrees as a piano pedagogue in 2012 and as a high school teacher and conductor in 2014. Wildhaber is member of the board of the European Choral Assocation – Europa Cantat (ECA-EC, 2019-2021) and of the Swiss Federation Europa Cantat. He conducted several regional choirs before founding the renowned Swiss provincial youth choir “Junge Stimme Zürich” and the semi-professional chamber choir “Turicum” of which he still is the musical director. Currently he works as a conductor, high school teacher and as juror for the Swiss Choir Association.
Music Commission - Utrecht Zingt
Maria van Nieukerken
Maria van Nieukerken is conductor and artistic director of PA’dam chamber choir, Toonkunst Rotterdam and Toonkunst Rotterdam Chamber Choir. In 2017 and 2018, Maria conducted the international EuroChoir project. At that time, she became artistic director and conductor of the Belgian national youth choir BE-Vocal. Maria often works as assistant conductor for ensembles like Collegium Vocale Ghent and the Nederlands Kamerkoor. Maria studied choral conducting with Daniel Reuss, at the Conservatory of Amsterdam where she also followed her piano studies for several years. Conducting courses she followed among others with Eric Ericson, Marcus Creed, Paul van Nevel and Mark Shapiro. Maria is often invited as a jury member for choir and composers’ competitions, and was already a member of the Music Commission for the EUROPA CANTAT Festival in Pécs, Hungary in 2015.
Hans Noijens studied Choral Conducting with Cees Rotteveel at the Brabant Conservatory, as well as piano at the Conservatory Maastricht and completed a Musicology studies in Utrecht. After receiving his choir direction diplona, Hans studied with Eric Ericson in Stockholm for six months. Many conducting courses followed, for instance with Frieder Bernius, Daniel Reuss en Jos van Veldhoven. Hans remained an active singer in professional ensembles like Ensemble Currende (Brussels), Cappella Amsterdam en the Netherlands Bach Society. For some time, he worked at the Dutch classical music radio station as music programmer. In 2009 he also was involved during the Europa Cantat Festival in Utrecht. Hans is project leader Amateur Arts at the LKCA, the Dutch research institute for amateur arts. He also conducts various choirs all over the Netherlands.
With great love and passion for piano & choir singing, Rohan started his career as a choir conductor in 2004. His humble presence and great communication and musical skills make Rohan an experienced and inspiring teacher and musician. After graduating at HKU Music in Education he decided to specialize in Rhythmic Choir Music. He finished his master and post-master studies at the Royal Academy of Aalborg. Rohan is currently working as the artistic director at Vocal Statements, a company that supports music education in high schools. He teaches various choir leading programmes at the HKU Conservatory Utrecht, Codarts Rotterdam, and ArtEZ Zwolle. He works internationally as a coach and trainer for music teachers and conductors. Rohan is also the conductor and artistic leader at “The Amsterdam Vocals”.
Marijke de Wit
Marijke is a renowned director and coach, and specializes in working with choirs: she has worked with over 100 choirs in The Netherlands, developing acting and regie training programmes for choirs. She completed her studies as a singer, dancer and actor at the Amsterdam Theater Academy. Afterwards, Marijke took up private singing lessons, which led to her singing in various choirs ever since. She was also active as an actress for television, leading her to follow acting masterclasses with Helmert Woudenberg, and improvisation trainings with Hugo Vos.