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Review and outlook
"We went home with deep impressions and full of enthusiasm and the effect continues undiminished. Congratulations on the great event" wrote Gerhard Schempp, chairman of the Bürgerstiftung Ostallgäu. The 17th International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf ended successfully on 7 June and left an extremely positive impression on participants, visitors, guests and team. After two years of waiting due to the pandemic and a war-related crisis situation in Europe, the long-awaited live competition, the international get-together and above all the personal encounter was for many an important and clear sign of the revival of choral music. And it was precisely this that was celebrated with a great deal of passion and musical virtuosity at Whitsun.
This could already be felt during the first public performances of the Cape Town Youth Choir from South Africa on the opening day at the Marktoberdorf weekly market. When the alphorn players greeted the guests of the opening concert at MODOEN Marktoberdorf, there was a euphoric "Now it's finally starting again" feeling, despite the onset of rain. At the opening, the Federal Youth Choir showed what choral music means at the highest level and gave the presentation of the participating choirs a festive musical setting.
When the Artistic Director, Prof. Jürgen Budday, officially opened the competition the next day with the festival anthem "Come Ye Sons Of Art" by Henry Purcell as the conductor of the whole hall, the tension was great. The two days of competition with about 300 singers from the USA, Indonesia, South Africa, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Germany on the MODEON stage were highly concentrated. Not only for the choirs, but also for the jury and the audience.
You could have heard the proverbial pin drop in the well-filled hall.
The three concert evenings, each with two choirs and four parallel concerts, were very well attended. Enthusiastic concert-goers in Altenstadt, Waal, Kempten, Memmingen, Augsburg, Kaufbeuren, Nesselwang, Wildpoldsried, Isny, Füssen, Krumbach and Weilheim achieved a new record of standing ovations. The choirs were thrilling live and left most of the audience wanting more. The after-show parties after the evening concerts in the tent next to the MODEON provided space for a lively exchange and interaction between choirs, visitors, guests and host parents.
On Whit Monday, the traditional ecumenical services with participating choirs in Altenstadt, Kaufbeuren, Kempten and Marktobedorf again provided high-quality musical spirituality. The Singschoppen with the Indonesian Malang Choral Art thrilled the audience in the packed choir tent and created a harmonious open-air feeling on the entire MODEON grounds in the best sunshine. Especially the unifying togetherness within the framework of a music competition and the uncomplicated possibility to exchange ideas with local choirs created a highlight of what had been so sorely missed in the past two years.
An international, top-class jury chose the winning choirs. As usual, the announcement of the results took place amid enthusiastic cheering and many tears of joy. The final CHOIR with all participating choirs in MODOEN Marktoberdorf was the festive conclusion of the 17th International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf.
The 17th International Chamber Choir Competition Markoberdorf 2022 had barely faded away when the International Masterclass for Choral Conductors and Conducting Competition began the very next day at the Bavarian Music Academy Marktoberdorf. The master class was led by Georg Grün and Ko Matsushita. The renowned Calmus Ensemble from Leipzig supported the participants as register and voice instructors. The competition choir University of Montana Chamber Chorale from the USA acted as practice choir. The Masterclass and the Conducting Competition concluded after five days with a final public concert.
After the festival is before the festival. We are therefore already looking forward to the 18th International Chamber Choir Competition from 26 to 30 May 2023. Save The Date!