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International Masterclass for Choral Conductors
May 22 – 26, 2013

The International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf is recognised as being one of the most prestigious competitions for chamber-choirs in the whole world. With this International Masterclass for Choral Conductors, the Bavarian Music Academy Marktoberdorf is offering a chance to combine the musical impressions and experiences gained during the competition with an intensive follow-up seminar.
The seminar is, however, also open to participants who are not able to attend the Chamber Choir Competition.

Target group

All choral conductors who wish to improve their skills and knowledge at the highest level with outstanding teachers. Participants must have experience of choral conducting. The decision on active or passive participation will be taken on the first day, a piece for examination will be sent out in advance. 12 active participants will be admitted - all others will learn by observing the Masterclass.
The Masterclass is not suitable for beginners! Working language is English!


4 days incl. course fee, full board and accommodation
active participants 400/300 Euros (reduced fee for accredited students)
passive participants 300/250 Euros(reduced fee for accredited students)
Participants of the International Masterclass are offered a special prize for visiting the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf:

5 days incl. accommodation in simple accomodations in 2 or more bedded rooms, full board, entrance to competition, concert tickets, programme book
total costs 320 Euros
accredited students 240 Euros

International Masterclass for Choral Conductors information flyer
International Masterclass for Choral Conductors application form



Prof. Volker Hempfling (D)

He was born in the Saarland, Germany, in 1944,  studied in Herford and Cologne (church music, organ, orchestral conducting, singing). From 1972 to 1997 he was organist and church music director  (KMD) and conductor of the Domkantorei Altenberg as weIl as director of the ,,Sacred Music” series at Altenberg cathedral. In 1968 Hempfling founded the world famous Kölner Kantorei, specializing in a cappella music of the Romantic and modern periods. With both choirs he has given performances in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary, Rumania, Russia, Italy, Poland, Sweden, USA and Israel. In 1983 he became director of Cologne's Gürzenich-Chor. In 1984-85 Hempfling was recipient of a Deutscher Musikrat fellowship for work with Sawallisch and Penderecki. In addition to guest conducting appearances in Germany and elsewhere (e.g. Gürzenich Orchestra cologne, radio-orchestra pilsen, orchestras in poland and hungary and several times at the festival Europa Cantat), he acts as a lecturer in conducting and vocal training courses throughout the world. His activities as a jury member at national and international competitions have taken him to Regensburg, Marktoberdorf, Graz, Linz, Cork, Maribor, Tours, Legnica, Busan, Preveza, Tolosa, Budapest and Vilnius. He has been head of the jury of three editions of the Marktoberdorf Chamber Choir Competition.

In 1985 he became professor for choral conducting at the University of music Saarbücken. In 1993 he changed to the the Robert Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf, where he has been  professor of choral conducting, director of the Protestant Church Music division and conductor of the chamber choir until 2004. In June 2004 he conducted the World Youth Chamber Choir in framework of the festivities of  60 years D-day in Normandy/France. In 2006 he edited "Lore-Ley", the first edition of a German Folksong Book for mixed choirs, in 2009 "Lore-Ley" was published also for female choirs.  At the famous Israeli festivals Zimriya 2007 and 2010 he led ateliers with Puccinis Messa di Gloria and Mozarts Mass in C minor. He has been member of the Artistic Committee for the World Symposium on Choral Music, held in July 2008 in Copenhagen. In 2008 his Kölner Kantorei celebrated its 40th birthday. Since 2003 Hempfling is lecturer of the International Seminars for Choral Conducting in the Bavarian Music Academy following the International Chamber Choir Competitions Marktoberdorf.

Prof. Simon Carrington (USA)

Simon Carrington has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in music, performing as singer, double bass player and conductor, first in the UK where he was born, and latterly in the USA. From 2003 to 2009 he was professor of choral conducting at Yale University and director of the Yale Schola Cantorum, a 24-voice chamber choir which he brought to national and now international prominence, attracting the interest of his successor, Masaaki Suzuki, director of the Bach Collegium Japan. During his Yale tenure he led the introduction of a new graduate voice degree for singers specializing in oratorio, early music and chamber ensemble, and, with his faculty colleagues, he guided two Yale graduate students to their first prize wins in consecutive conducting competitions at American Choral Directors Association National Conventions. From 2001 until his Yale appointment, he was director of choral activities at the New England Conservatory, Boston, where he was selected by the students for the Krasner Teaching Excellence Award, and from 1994 to 2001 he held a similar position at the University of Kansas.

Prior to coming to the United States, he was a creative force for twenty-five years with the internationally acclaimed British vocal ensemble The King’s Singers, which he co-founded at Cambridge University. He gave 3,000 performances at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls, made more than seventy recordings, and appeared on countless television and radio programs, including nine appearances on the Tonight Show with the late Johnny Carson!

In the early days of The King's Singers he also maintained a lively career as a double bass player, first as sub-principal of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and then as a freelance player in London. He specialised in continuo playing, particularly for his Cambridge contemporary John Eliot Gardiner, with whom he made a number of recordings, but he also played with all the major symphony and chamber orchestras under such diverse maestri as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Benjamin Britten, Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Carlo Maria Guilini, Otto Klemperer, Ricardo Muti, Georg Solti and George Szell. As a teacher of conductors himself for fifteen years he only wishes he'd paid more attention!

Now a Yale professor emeritus he maintains an active schedule as a freelance conductor and choral clinician, leading workshops and master classes round the world including two recorded on commercial DVD - at Westminster Choir College in the US (GIA) and at the Three Choirs Festival in the UK (Masterclass Media Foundation) - and he was invited this year to give masterclasses at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Argentina. He has conducted the Monteverdi Vespers in Barcelona, the Fauré Requiem in Chicago and New York, Handel's Messiah in Dublin, Rachmaninov Vespers in Victoria, Canada, and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevski in Poland. He is a regular guest conductor at the Monteverdi Choir Festival in Budapest and the Tokyo Cantat in Japan, leads annual conducting courses at the Chamber Choir Festival in Sarteano (Italy), and the Yale Summer Festival in Norfolk, Connecticut and has just contributed a chapter on rehearsal technique to the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Choral Music. This season he has conducting engagements in England, Ireland, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Japan, and South America and as well as his customary round of performances in the US, and once a year he gathers together his own ensemble, the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers, for concerts and recordings.