Director YoungChul Choi
Youngchul Choi earned a bachelor’s degree in Orchestral Music and master’s degree in Musicology from Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea. Then, he studied Choral Conducting under Robert Shaw in the United States. He also majored in Orchestral and Opera Conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. In addition, he studied Oratorio as an apprentice under Maestro Miltiades Caridis.
Choi established Seouloratorio Choir, Seouloratorio Orchestra, and Dvořák Academy one by one from 1991. He has been leading those organizations as a director and permanent conductor since then. He is also well-known as a famous oratorium maestro both in Korea and Europe. He also has tirelessly worked to discover the principles and rules governing music for over the past 38 years. These researches result the publication of academically recognized textbooks, Counterpoint-Palestrina Style (Vol. I & II, English version) and Traditional Harmony respectively. Therewith, the world is paying attention to him as a musicologist who organized pure counterpoint and traditional harmony precisely for the first time in history.
He has been putting his efforts on establishment of theories to globalize Korean cultural heritages. As a result, he laid the solid foundation to fuse eastern and western music cultures, also he is trying to spread root culture of our music by holding concerts, international academic seminars and symposiums with traditional art teams.
He has stood at the forefront of cultural exchanges through performances and educations with Europe. With highly praising those achievements the government of the Czech Republic awarded him a “Silver Medal” and the “Gratias Agit” Award, which is the highest honor in cultural diplomacy. Currently he is the director of International Antonín Dvořák Composition Competition, the world’s most prestigious contest, and a judge of International Antonín Dvořák Vocal Competition. Many performers who are now active on the world stage have studied music under Youngchul Choi.
Youngchul Choi’s achievements transcending nationalities are more than enough for being one and only monument of music history in the world. Despite this fact, he says, “I hope the audience truly honor the composers rather than remembering my own name while listening to my performances.” He always pays reverence to the essence of music and does his best to spread out spirits and works of great composers, to find theoretical root of classical music.
Counterpoint(Palestrina Style) I, II - English Edition Publication
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
The Palestrina style is the style of polyphonic vocal music as written by the 16th century ltalian Renaissance composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594). One of the most prolific composers of the late 16th century, Palestrina wrote 104 settings of the Mass, over 250 motets, Magnificats, other sacred music, and some secular madrigals, well-ordered musical language style made him a model for other composers from his own time to the present day.
Palestrina’s music is still regarded as the apotheosis of the polyphonic vocal ideal of that era, a music that seeks to obtain a balance between melodic independence and harmonic cooperation of individual voices.
COUNTERPOINT – Palestrina Style (Vol. I & II), Young-chul CHOI
Based on more than 160,000 model examples and extracts from the works of Palestrina and on pieces from his contemporaries, scientific methods and statistics have been applied in the analysis of the compositions, through repeated verifications and revisions to finally arrive at this 15th edition. The books (Vol. I &II) consist of 48 chapters, 1,315 pages, with the aim of enabling self-educators and researchers to easily learn all the species of counterpoint, based on cantus firmus and imitative counterpoint, homophonia, style transition, coda and other counterpoint styles. In addition to having all this material, the books delicately deliver crucial clues about how homophony developed into polyphony.
Dvořák Academy Press, 15th Edition
* ‘Counterpoint(Palestrina Style)’-English Edition has been published with the support of Samjin LND President Kyungjae LEE, the Korean Business Council for the Art, and the Arts Council Korea. The book will first be delivered to Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, where Palestrina once held office, and then to the Pontifical college, followed by music colleges, libraries, and conservatories around the world, as well as to all those who desire to know the essence of music.
Antonín Dvořák IV
Jury Chairman Pavel Trojan
Pavel Trojan was born in Domazlice, west Bohemia region. From 1977 to 1982 he studied composition under Ilja Hurník at the Prague Conservatory. That was followed by Jiří Pauer’s class at the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (HAMU) from 1982 to 1989. His graduation work was the Concert for Piano and Orchestra. Since 1986 he has worked at the Prague Conservatory, first as a teacher of music theory subjects and, since 1991, teaching composition. From 1992 to 2004 he was the Prague Conservatory’s vice-director and since December 2004 its director.
Pavel Trojan composed his first major pieces while still a student. His Violin Sonata won an honourable mention in the Generation 84 competition; and his Musica per Archi composition won 2nd prize in Generation 86. In 1990 Trojan’s Concert for Violin and Orchestra, featuring solo violinist Jaroslav Sveceny, made it to the semi-final of the Concerto Prize in London, a combined composition and interpretation competition. His Four Waltzes for Piano (1982) was performed at the 1994 Contemporary Music Days festival; a year later his Piano Trio (1995) was performed at the same festival. Trojan’s cycle of studies for the accordion Days (1994) was honoured in the Citta di Castelfidardo competition in Italy in 1995. In 1998 he completed an extensive Missa Solemnis for soloists, choir, organ and orchestra, which is dedicated to Charles University. Astoriana, variations on a theme by Astor Piazzolla from 1998, was first composed for solo accordion. It was later reworked for various instruments and is one of the most widely played of the author’s compositions. His Cantabile a Capriccio for violin and piano was also commissioned by Mozartiana Iuventus in 2000; it has become a repertoire piece and has been interpreted by a number of musicians. A year later Trojan’s work for orchestra Omaggio al Duomo di Trento (Homage to Trento Cathedral) premiered in Trento, Italy. Pavel Trojan’s works also include pieces for children. These are mainly children’s choirs, e.g. Splinters (1999) to words by Jiří Žáček (premiered at Contemporary Music Days 2002) and an opera There Were Five of Us (2000-2002; libretto Marie Kronbergerová) to motifs from the book of the same name by Karel Poláček. The last of these works was first performed at the Prague Spring in May 2003. Trojan’s Capriccio for Brass and Organ (2002) was played at Contemporary Music Days 2003 and his Dancing Quartet (for string quartet) premiered at the Touches of Poetry festival in 2004.
Pavel Trojan is also the author of a number of compulsory compositions in various performers’ competition. For example, for the senior category of the Citta di Castelfidardo international competition in 2006 he composed a compulsory composition called Capriccio for Accordion and for the 59th Prague Spring International Music Competition 2007 a composition titled Solo for French Horn. In 2006 he wrote the orchestral Variations on a Theme in Honour of Vaclav Trojan (composed to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Vaclav Trojan). Trojan’s latest symphonic work is Sinfonia Giocosa, which was written for the Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra. It was first performed during the Prague premiere festival in 2008.
Trojan’s works have been released on a number of CDs and more than twenty of his compositions have been recorded by Czech Radio. Trojan’s oeuvre also includes scenic and film music (e.g. for the film Unchaste by director Jiří Krejčík). He is also the author of a publication called Selected Examples of Harmony (2003).
Since 1998 he has been a regular member of the jury judging the Citta di Castelfidardo composers’ competition; he is also a member of the Society of Czech Composers, the association for contemporary music Pritomnost (chairman 2000-2003 and 2005-2006), and the Collegia 2001 and Harmonie composers’ associations.