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Competition & Concerts

Barcelona, Spain September

Competition rules - Further information

Addressed to male, female, mixed, gospel, youth and children choirs; repertoire of folksongs without compulsory piece and difficulty level with at least one piece of folk music from the choir’s country of origin and one European folksong. The choir competition will take place in the spectacular setting of the Church of Santa Maria del Pì, in the historical “Barrio Gótico” of Barcelona. A beautiful Gala Dinner will close the Festival. A unique chance to mingle with choirs from all over the world.

For the choirs who do not take part in the competition: SPECIAL FESTIVAL CATEGORY WITHOUT COMPETITION.


Competition Rules

1. Category Festival (Without Competition)

- In this category choirs will perform with a program of their choice (free program). The lenght of the performance must be of 16 minutes maximum. The choirs will sing in a special and different session than the competition. Choirs will be listened by one or more members of the international jury.

- At the end of each choir’s performance, the jury members will be at the choir and conductor’s disposal for a short meeting and discussion. A written expert analysis will be drafted and sent to the choirs at the end of the Festival.

- All choirs (male, female, mixed, youth, gospel choirs) can take part in this category. The number of choir members is not restricted.

- Choirs in this category will not be ranked.

- The instrumental accompaniment is permitted during the performance and is not compulsory prior confirmation of the Jury (choirs are kindly requested to communicate the song with instruments and the kind of instrument).

- Choirs enrolling in this category will also take part in the other music activities such as the open air concert and the choir parade.

2. Categories With Competition

Male, female and mixed choirs, youth choirs and vocal ensembles may enrol. All the choir members, except the conductor, must be amateurs.

Competition’s entries fall into different categories all without level of difficulty and no set piece:

Category M1 male choirs min. 40 voices
Category M2 male choirs from 16 to 39 voices

Category F1 female choirs min. 40 voices
Category F2 female choirs from 16 to 39 voices

Category X1 mixed choirs min. 40 voices
Category X2 mixed choirs from 16 to 39 voices

Category Y youth choirs max. 21 year old
Category V vocal groups up to 12 voices

Categoria G1 gospel choirs from 1 to 30 voices
Categoria G2 gospel choirs min 30 voices

Choirs have to enrol in the category corresponding to their number of voices; enrolments in higher categories are not admitted. All choirs can only sing in more than one category if their composition and musical programme are radically changed. Men and women in mixed choirs may also enter for the men's and women's choir categories.

3. Repertoire
In all categories the repertoire must include a cappella folksongs; original compositions cannot be performed. The choirs should perform at least one folksong of their country of origin and one European folksong. All songs have to be performed in their original language.
The instrumental accompaniment is permitted during the performance and is not compulsory prior confirmation of the Jury (choirs are kindly requested to communicate the song with instruments and the kind of instrument).

The length of the performance must be minimum 12 and maximum 20 minutes, not intending the length of each separate work but the complete performance from the beginning of the first work to the end of the last piece. Performances in a tonality different from the original score are allowed but they must be previously communicated to the jury.

4. Jury
The jury’s decisions are final and binding. No appeals through the courts may be made. The deliberations of the jury are not public. After the prizes have been awarded, the choir directors may meet the members of the jury to discuss the results. All the competition events are public.

5. Assessment criteria
a) technique
b) artistry


Gold, silver, and bronze medals will be awarded for each category. Basing on a maximum of 100 marks, the medals will be awarded as follows:

70,00 - 79,99 marks - Bronze
80,00 - 89,99 marks - Silver
90,00 - 100,00 marks - Gold

One single money prize will be given in each category to the choir which has achieved the highest marks. The amount of the money prizes - see the tables below - will depend on the type of medal awarded to the choir with the highest marks in its category.

  highest mark with
Gold Silver Bronze
Category M1 € 500 € 250 € 125
Category M2 € 350 € 150 € 100
Category F1 € 500 € 250 € 125
Category F2 € 350 € 150 € 100
Category X1 € 500 € 250 € 125
Category X2 € 350 € 150 € 100
Category Y € 350 € 150 € 100
Category V € 350 € 150 € 100
Category G1 € 350 € 150 € 100
Category G2 € 250 € 150 € 100

These prizes will only be awarded if a minimum of three choirs enter in the category. If there are less entrants, the prizes may be reduced. At the discretion of the jury, the prizes may be divided or assigned several times.

PLEASE NOTE: the money prizes will be awarded pre-tax

"Europe and its songs" Cup
The "EUROPE AND ITS SONGS International Folksong Choral Festival Barcelona Cup” will be awarded to the choir with the highest marks among all categories.

Choir master’s prize
The jury may award choir masters a prize of € 250 for particularly outstanding performance.

6. All photographic and recording rights are vested exclusively by the organizer.

preliminary Program

Thursday 29th September, 2016

- Arrival of all participants in Barcelona and surroundings for check-in in the hotels.

- In the afternoon, meeting of all choir directors and the jury members, discussion of the festival program and Welcome of the Jury members. Explanation of the Festival program and the choirs’ order of performance during the competition and the other music events in the Church S. Maria del P (Plaa del P).

- Inaugural concert in the Church S. Maria del P..

Friday 30th September, 2016

- in the morning rehearsal before the choir competition in S. Maria del P – Barrio Gotico

in the morning I part of the Choir Competition in S. Maria del P – Barrio Gotico.

- in the afternoon rehearsal before the choir competition in S. Maria del P – Barrio Gotico.

- in the afternoon/night II part of the Choir Competition in S. Maria del P – Barrio Gotico.

Saturday 1st October, 2016

- in the morning rehearsal and performance of choirs enrolling in the FESTIVAL category (without competition) in S. Maria del P – Barrio Gotico

- In the afternoon announcement of the winner choirs and the prize awarding ceremony in the Church S. Maria del Pi’ – Barrio Gotico.

- At the end of the ceremony, “Fiesta Catalana” for the choirs with a special greet by the President


Sunday 2nd October, 2016

- in the morning Open-air concerts in the historical squares of Barcelona..

- Departure.

The organiser reserves the right to make any changes required due to technical reasons.

If the minimum number of participants has not been reached within the subscription deadline, the competition will be transformed into a choir festival. Choirs that have subscribed will be entitled to take part in the choir festival, i.e. perform in all the concerts, parades and other performances scheduled, or obtain the refund of the deposit.

Festival President

Dr. h.c. Hans-Albert Courtial

International Jury

Michael Rinscheid

Musician and choir director, Germany
President of the Jury of the International Choral Festival “Europe and its songs”

Michael Rinscheid is the chief conductor of the Sngerbund Rheinland Pfalz, the President of the German Choir Conductor Association (FDB-Fachverband Deutscher Berufs-Chorleiter), a member of the music association ‘Sngerbund NRW’, a Board member of national and international choir competitions (Verona, Prague, Barcellona, etc.), Professor of Choir Direction, and honorary citizen of Nebraska and of its capital city Lincoln (USA). He works with the St. Petersburg Chamber Choir, the Wesleyan University Choir, and with other important institutions in the U.S.A. He is very well known due to his choirs performing in concerts and choir competitions in Germany and abroad. He studied at the Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz where he got the diplomas in Choir and Orchestra Direction.

Kai Te Ellermaa
Musician and choir director, Estonia

Kai-Te Ellermaa is the founder and has been the conductor of the girl’s choir Elise since 1990. She started choir-conducting studies in Tartu Music School. She got the higher music education in Tallinn Conservatoire. She has conducted the girls choir “Nurmenukk”, the children’s choir “Pial-Liisi” and also the chamber-choir “Ave Canto” of Prnu town. She has sung for years in the chamber-choir of Estonian choir-conductors and participated in the workshop Europa Cantat in Austria, in international festivals and also in the seminars held in Estonia in Vana-Vigala and Sauga.

Felix Resch
Musician and choir director, Italy

Felix Resch is professor for “Harmonie- and Formenlehre” at the Music Academy “C. Monteverdi” of Bozen (Italy) and works as a composer and choral conductor. He was born in Brixen (Italy) in 1957 and graduated in choral music and choral conducting at the Music Academy in Bozen. His work was shown at contemporary music festivals and won prices at international and national competitions in Antwerpen, Trieste, Uster, Interlaken, Verona, Szombathely, Riva del Garda, Arezzo, Recklinghausen, Innsbruck, Spittal a.d. Drau, Bozen, Bruneck, and Prag. Resch`s orchestral and choral work has been published in Tv (Rai, ORF, SFS), on the radio, and on CD.

Jury members of the previous editions of the Festival:

- Javier Baulies i Bochaca, Catalonia-Spain
- Gerd Zellman, Germany
- Gerold Engelhart, Germany
- Winfried Siegler, Germany
- Miroslav Kosler, Czech Republic
- Kalman Strausz, Hungary


Courtial International s.r.l.
Via Paolo VI, 29 – 00193 Roma
Tel.: +39 06 6867480
Fax: + 39 06 68308568
Email: dir@courtial-international.it


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President of the Festival
Dr. h.c. Hans-Albert Courtial
VIA PAOLO VI, 29 - 00193 ROMA (ITALIA) - C.F. 97124180585 - TEL. +39 0668805816 - INFO@AIAMS.IT