Evaluation and Jury :: Jazeps Vitols International Choral Conductors Competition ::

Evaluation and Jury

Performance of the participants (in rehearsals and concerts) is evaluated by an international jury consisting of five members. The jury acts in accordance with the Competition Regulations. The performance of participants is evaluated in points 1 to 25. The mark of the round is calculated by deleting the highest and the lowest marks and counting together the three middle range marks.

In Round I the conducting with the piano and the work with the Mixed Choir of JVLMA are marked separately. After the end of the round the marks are summed up.

In Round II separate marks go for the work with the Latvian Radio Choir and work with the Riga Chamber Choir Ave Sol, the performance with the Latvian Radio Choir and the performance with the Riga Chamber Choir Ave Sol. After the performances all four marks for the given competitor are summed up and the marks of Round I are added to the results of Round II.

In Round III separate marks go for the rehearsal with a choir and orchestra and for the concert. Both marks are summed up. The marks for Round I and Round II are added to the mark for Round III. The resulting sum determines the prizewinning positions.

The jury reserves the right to refuse candidates, interrupt the competition, or exclude a competitor during a round without having to provide justification. If two competitors produce equal marks, the Jury has the right to divide the prize between the two competitors.

Decisions of the jury are final and beyond appeal.



Ainars RubikisAinārs Rubiķis took up his position as Music Director of the Komische Oper Berlin at the start of the 2018/19 season. Latvian-born, he came to international attention as winner of the 2010 Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition when he emerged from strong competition to take the prestigious competition’s first prize: “This year, as with Gustavo Dudamel in 2004, we have found an exceptional conductor” observed Jonathan Nott, president of the Competition jury. The following year, he was recipient of the second Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award and subsequently conducted the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester at the Salzburger Festspiele. He served as Music Director and Chief Conductor of Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre from 2012 to 2014, and was awarded a prestigious Golden Mask Award as “Best Conductor” for the new production of Bernstein’s Mass.

Beyond new productions at Komische Oper season this season he makes guest visits to Bamberger Symphoniker, where he conducts a concert version of Rimski-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri, Ulster Orchestra and returns to the Bolshoi Theatre for their new production of Rusalka.

Ainārs Rubiķis has produced two operas at Latvian National Opera, has led several remarkable amateur choirs in Latvia and has been singer and conductor`s assistant at Latvian Radio Choir.


Vivianne SydnesVivianne Sydnes is also Director of Music in Oslo Cathedral where she is the conductor and artistic director of Oslo Cathedral Choir. Her choral activities included both the a cappella repertoire and major works for choir and orchestra. She led the premiere performances of a number of works by such composers as Gisle Kverndokk, Ståle Kleiberg and Ola Gjeilo and helped to develop exciting new concepts of concert performance.Vivianne Sydnes is appointed professor of choral conducting at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo where she is responsible for the bachelor degree in conducting.

Sydnes was educated as an organist and choirmaster at the Norwegian Academy of Music and has diploma in conducting from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

She is frequently used as an instructor in courses for choirs and conductors both in Norway and abroad, and is engaged as guest conductor by the Norwegian Soloist Choir.



Fokko OldenhuisFokko Oldenhuis is course instructor and teacher of choral conducting at the Application Course for choral conducting and the International Kurt Thomas Course for choral conductors at the Conservatory of Utrecht. Fokko Oldenhuis is conductor of the Hollands Vocaal Ensemble Amsterdam, the Utrechtse Studenten Cantorij and Kamerkoor Next. He also leads a number of project choirs, including the Neon choir for newest music and Slotkoor. From 2020 onwards, he will be conducting the annual Good Friday performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion in Edam. He has performed in Belgium, Germany, Poland, France, England, Italy, Spain, Croatia and Brazil and has appeared on radio and television, both in the Netherlands and abroad.

He was educated at the conservatories of Groningen and Amsterdam, where he graduated with distinction in 1997. His teachers included Bruno de Greeve and Daniel Reuss.

Fokko Oldenhuis frequently works in Brazil. He has given guest lectures and masterclasses at the universities of São Paulo (USP) and Londrina (UEL). Every year he performs at the Festival Unicanto de Corais in Londrina, and in 2018 he conducted the Londrina premiere of Mozart’s Requiem with the orchestra of the UEL and an international choir, consisting of singers from Brazil, the Netherlands and Colombia. Furthermore, he has given workshops on a variety of topics, among others at the Europa Cantat festival of 2015 in Pécs, Hungary.

Fokko Oldenhuis strives to perform a great deal of new music. He has conducted many premieres of choral compositions written at his request. Every year his choir Neon and the Conservatory of Amsterdam work together to perform new compositions for choir and organ at the Orgelpark in Amsterdam. Moreover, he annually performs new compositions for choir and live electronics with the Neon choir and the composition department of the Conservatory of Utrecht, at the Open Performance Site in the St Nicolas church in Utrecht.

Fokko Oldenhuis is artistic adviser of the Foundation for Cultural Events of the St Nicolas Church in Utrecht and a member of the artistic committee of the Netherlands Student Chamber Choir. In 2010 he and his colleague Hans Noyens wrote a book about the dos and don’ts of rehearsal technique for choral conductors (Doen en Laten, repetitietechniek voor koordirigenten).


Guntars PrānisGuntars Prānis is the rector and professor at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, a leader of many master classes in early music and a much-demanded lector in Latvia and abroad. His Doctoral Dissertation (2015) deals with the topic of Medieval music tradition of Riga. He has published research papers in many international journals.

He is is a conductor, singer, musicologist and the founder/artistic director of the Schola Cantorum Riga – internationally acknowledged professional vocal group which performs regularly in Latvia and abroad. In 2017 the group has been nominated for the Latvian Grand Prix Award in music. Guntars Pranis has studied music in Latvia, Germany and Austria, particularly focusing on music from the Middle Ages.



LianaLiana Chonishvili has been the founder and president of Georgian Choral Society since 2014. She is an Associated Professor, Artistic Director and conductor of the Bachelors’ choir at the V. Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire (TSC) since 1996. She also is a coordinator of the Quality Assurance Service of the Choir Conducting Department. Since 2004 she’s been the head of the Choir-conducting Department at the E. Mikeladze Tbilisi Central Music School.

Liana Chonishvili is the founder and artistic director of Georgian children’s and youth choirs national contest (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019); the restorer and Director of the I international Choral Festival – “Gori 2016”. She has done active concert work in Georgia and internationally (taking part in international and republican festivals, concerts, collaboration with the Baku State Philharmonic Symphonic and Tbilisi Symphonic, Tbilisi State Opera Symphonic orchestras and choirs); The member of Jury of multiple contests and Festvials as the head of the Academic Choir Department.

Liana Chonishvili is a Musical editor of well-known Georgian Choir composers’ first edition sheet collection (Choral Compositions of composer Ioseb Kechakmadze; composer Jemal Beglarishvili’s Choral Music Collection in two volumes). From 1997 to 2004 she was a Conductor of the Opera studio choir of the TSC. She has an active Pedagogical Experience – Masterclasses, Seminars; (students’ professional success)… She also is the Facilitator and expert of multiple levels (BA, MA, DOC) of educational musical programs; the Facilitator of the Professional Development of Professional Quality Enhancement Programs: Choir Conductor; Choir Singer (National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement; Georgia).