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International Masterclass for Choral Conductors
June 7th - 11th 2017

The International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf is recognized as being one of the most famous competitions of its kind throughout the world.

Immediately following the competition event, the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf in cooperation with the Bavarian Music Academy Marktoberdorf, and supported by the Chorverband Bayerisch-Schwaben, is offering a unique opportunity to combine the musical impressions gained at the competition with an intensive follow-up seminar. A 4-day Master Class from June 7th to the 11th 2017, led by Prof. Volker Hempfling, Germany, and Prof. Maria Guinand, Venezuela, offers experienced choral conductors a chance to increase their knowledge and extend their contacts with other experienced colleagues.

The work of the international Masterclass will be particularly intensive through the cooperation of an excellent ensemble, chosen from the competition participants, which will function as a studio choir. In this course, which is based on intensive practical work, the emphasis will be on conducting techniques and the interpretation of musical literature from the competition and beyond. A main part of the content will be active rehearsal work singly or in groups. The course languages are English and German.

The course fee is 500 Euros, students who can present proof of current study pay a reduced fee of 380 Euros. The course fee includes the participation at the seminar, working materials, 4 overnight stays in double rooms or rooms with more beds (Wednesday, 7.6.2017 until Sunday, 11.6.2017), meals from Wednesday (lunch) until Sunday (breakfast).

Course participants have the chance to attend the 15th International Chamber Choir Competition 2017 for a reduced package price of 400 Euros (students with proof of current study 300 Euros).


International Masterclass for Choral Conductors Marktoberdorf 2017 - application information
International Masterclass for Choral Conductors Marktoberdorf 2017 - application form



Prof. Volker Hempfling, Cologne (GER)

Volker Hempfling was born in the Saarland, Germany, in 1944 and studied in Herford and Cologne (church music, organ, orchestral conducting, singing). From 1972 to 1997 he was organist, 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 four times at 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 University for Music in Düsseldorf, where he was  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 at the festivities for the 60th anniversary of the D-day landings 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 also published for female choirs.  At the famous Israeli festivals Zimriya 2007 and 2010 he led ateliers with Puccini's Messa di Gloria and Mozart's Mass in C minor. He was a 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. For more than 25 years he has led each year a seminar on choral conducting in Freiburg. Since 1996 Hempfling has been a lecturer at the International Seminars for Choral Conducting in the Bavarian Music Academy following the International Chamber Choir Competitions Marktoberdorf.

Prof. Maria Guinand, Caracas (VE)

Michael Reif, Cologne (GER)

Michael Reif studied piano, singing and choir conducting. He is founder and artistic director of the European Chamber Choir Cologne and since 2000 conductor of the Kölner Kurrende. Michael Reif regurlarly serves
as lecturer in workshops and Masterclasses.

Prof. Matthias Beckert, Würzburg (GER)

Matthias Beckert holds the professorship of orchestral conducting at University of Music in Detmold and he is professor of choral conducting at the University of Music in Würzburg. Furthermore he is guest professor at the University of Music in Hanover (Germany) as well as at the Academy of Music in Kraków (Poland). He is conductor of the Vocalensemble Cantabile Regensburg, the Monteverdi Choir and the Monteverdi Chamber Choir Würzburg.