Summer Music Academy offers a once-in-a-life-time opportunity for local students to experience Austrian music education without leaving Hong Kong. Our Austrian conductors will lead the participants through a musical journey, not only to sharpen their musical skills but also their intercultural competence. 50 students will participate on full scholarship to ensure that music is accessible for all regardless of background.
Camp 1: 18 – 23 Jul, 2016 (Mon – Sat)
Camp 2: 25 – 30 Jul, 2016 (Mon – Sat)
* Programmes are identical
Chinese University of Hong Kong
- Individual / ensemble vocal training
- Resonance training
- Body Awareness and breathing training
- Musical aural training and sight reading skills
- Primary school students (aged 8 – 12)
- Secondary school students (aged 12-17)
- Are interested in vocal training
- With or without experience
(Students will be divided into groups according to experience)
Mon - Fri
09:30 – 11:30
Assembly and Tutti Rehearsal / Lecture
11:45 – 13:00
Small Group Activity on Music or Cultural Knowledge
13:00 – 14:00
14:00 – 15:30
Sectional / Master Class
15:45 – 16:30
09:30 – 11:30
Preparation / Community Performances
11:45 – 14:00
Lunch / Transfer
14:00 – 15:30
16:00 – 18:00
Concert and Celebration
Gerald Wirth received his first musical training as a member of the Vienna Boys Choir at the Anton Bruckner Konservatorium in Linz, Austria, where he studied voice, oboe and piano. As a teenager, Wirth already conducted a children choir and was the founder of a Youth Choir and a trio sonata ensemble. He was involved in countless premier performances of new works by a wide variety of contemporary European composers. He was one of the youngest ever choir directors of the Vienna Boys Choir and Chorus Director at the Salzburg Opera company “Landestheather”. In 1991, Wirth moved to Calgary Canada to take on the position as the Artistic Director of the Calgary Boys Choir Organisation. He also founded and directed a professional vocal ensemble, “Sangita”. He was the Music Director of the Calgary Civic Symphony as well as the Associate Conductor of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He has conducted choirs and orchestras all over the world, and sings and plays himself in a number of ensembles. Wirth is regularly invited throughout the globe as a clinician to conduct workshops about music pedagogy and all aspects of choral music. He plays and sings himself in many different ensembles and he can practically get anyone and anything to sing.
In 2001, Wirth became the artistic director of the Vienna Boys Choir. While he is keenly aware of the choir’s rich tradition, he also explores new ways to create and make music. He has instigated a number of projects involving world music, a cappella pop and film music. Wirth’s first love is the voice; as is evident from his own compositions: his works include three children’s operas, several oratorios, theatre projects, music especially written for festivals and countless arrangements for choirs. He finds much of his inspiration in myths and philosophical texts. His works are commissioned and performed internationally. Wirth is convinced that intensive engagement in music has a positive impact on every realm of the personality, and motivates his students to utilise their potential. Together with his close friends, Wirth founded the Organization “Superar”, an European movement supporting the integration of underprivileged children and people in difficult social situation through high quality music education. Over the years, he has developed a unique method to teach people of all age groups to express themselves in music by training their voice, sense of rhythm, hearing and sight-reading skills.
Quote “A choir consists of many individuals whose aim it is to act as a single entity. A concert is only really powerful and exciting when each individual is able to convey his own personality. But if that happens, it’s magic.”
Andy Icochea Icochea is a multi-faceted musician who regularly appears as an orchestral and opera conductor, choral conductor and accompanist, and whose compositions and arrangements are performed internationally. He has appeared in over 500 concerts in 29 countries and four continents, in prestigeous venues such as Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall, Wiener Musikverein and Berliner Konzerthaus. Additionally, he has served as choral clinician and conductor for the World Peace Choir (Vienna and Beijing), and guest clinician for Boston Symphony Orchestra education programs.
Icochea Icochea has collaborated as choral conductor and rehearsal accompanist under Riccardo Muti, Georges Prêtre, Adam Fischer, Franz Welser-Möst, Bertrand de Billy, Bernard Haitink and Charles Dutoit. His choruses have performed with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony, the Royal Stockholm Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Symphony. He has conducted world premieres of operas in Austria, Italy and the United States.
He currently serves as the Music Director of ((superar)), a non-profit organization that provides high quality music instruction free of charge to 2,000 children in six countries in central as well as Eastern Europe. Previously, he served as the Artistic Director of Voices Boston and as Kapellmeister of the Vienna Boys Choir.
Photo by Lukas Beck
Oliver Stech was appointed Kapellmeister (choirmaster) of the Vienna Boys Choir in January, 2011. He has since led his choir in numerous concerts and on tours of Austria, Canada, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, Slovakia, South America, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United States.
Stech is responsible for the concert and tour repertoire; he conducts choir and solo rehearsals, and prepares the boys for the sung services at Vienna’s Imperial Chapel. In addition, he trains the boys for productions at the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Volksoper, and for performances of large symphonic and choral works. He has worked with conductors such as Christian Aming, Vladimir Fedosejev, Mariss Jansons, Fabio Luisi, and Franz Welser-Möst. Appearances on radio and television, sound recordings, interviews, and film shoots are part of the choir’s routine. Stech conducted the choirboys in different locations in Italy and in an Austrian ice cave for Curt Faudon’s Christmas film on the choir, “Songs for Mary”, and on location in Jerusalem for the upcoming film “Good Shepherds”.
Stech was born in Waidhofen/Ybbs in Lower Austria. He had piano and singing lessons as a child. He went on to study romance languages at the University of Vienna, and voice and music education at the University of Music, focussing on choral and ensemble conducting. In addition to his studies with Alois Glassner and Johannes Hiemetsberger, he took courses in conducting with Robert Sund and Jing Ling Tam.
To Stech, himself a singer, the voice is an important means of expression. Stech was a member of Chorus sine nomine, the World Youth Choir, and the supporting choirs of the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Volksoper. He had sung at festivals such as Klangbogen Wien and the prestigious summer festival in Baden-Baden, Germany. As a tenor soloist, Oliver performs lieder, masses, oratorios, operas, and operettas. As a choir member, Oliver has travelled to Belgium, Croatia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Namibia, South Africa, and Spain. He has appeared under conductors like Bertrand de Billy, Placido Domingo, Alfred Eschwé, h.k. Gruber, Martin Haselböck, Kristian Järvi, Philippe Jordan, Fabio Luisi, and Georges Prêtre.
Oliver Stech began to conduct while he is still a student. In 2006, he co-founded the voice ensemble uni-sono, which went on to win international competitions. In 2008, he conducted Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in two Lower Austrian castles. From 2009 to 2011, Oliver led Chorus Discantus, an Austrian women’s chorus. In 2009, Oliver was appointed artistic director of the ‘Jugendsingwoche’, a choral festival in Lower Austria. He is also an assistant of the artistic director of the Vienna Singakademie. For the past three years, he has been lecturing and teaching voice at the University of Music in Vienna.
Photo by Lukas Beck
Florian Maierl received his first lessons in choral conducting at the age of 15. He continued his studies at the Vienna University for Music and Performing Arts (Church music, Voice and Vocal Pedagogy) and at the prestigious Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland during a year abroad. In 2011, Maierl graduated in church music with honours. Florian Maierl has worked as an artistic assistant with different choirs (e.g. Wiener Singakademie, German Youth Chamber Choir, Gumpoldskirchner Spatzen). He is the founder and choirmaster of the mixed choir Coro Siamo, which has been awarded the title “Austria’s best choir” at the ORF choir competition “Österreich singt!”(Austria sings!) in 2014. In addition, Maierl is head of church music at the Vienna Votivkirche and teaches at the Vienna Diocesan Conservatory for Church Music as well as at the University for Music Mozarteum in Salzburg. Since 2015, he is the artistic director of Chorus Viennensis (male choir of former members of the Vienna Boys’ Choir).
Compositions and settings by Florian Maierl have been performed and recorded by the Vienna Chamber Choir, Chorus sine nomine, the University for Music Graz Chamber Choir, and the LALÁ Ensemble.
Rafael Neira Wolf (*1975 in Vienna, Austria)studied classical guitar with Jorgos Panetsos at Vienna´s Prayner Conservatory, instrumental and vocal pedagogy (IGP) for popular music styles at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and voice with Gordon Bovinet.
Besides producing, composing and performing Rafael dedicates himself to educating the young ones, working for educational programs such as Unisono (Wiener Konzerthaus), ELEMU (Vienna school of music) and the Conservatory of Vienna. Since 2009 Rafael works as choir conductor for ((superar)).
Quote: “Teaching is not only as a way to pass on knowledge and experience, it is a way of helping students to be more joyful and passionate in musical processes such as practicing, performing, writing or improvising. This really pushes on both, the personal and the artistic development!”