MGR. ART. JANKA RYCHLA
Janka Rychla graduated from the piano at the Žilina Conservatoire and from conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. She also attended a six-month scholarship stay in Paris (1983–4), where she studied polyphony under Philippe Caillard and completed a conducting course taught by the world-renowned choirmaster Eric Ericson.
After earning her degree she was engaged as the choirmistress and art director of the Child and Youth Choir of Slovak Radio in Bratislava (1984–2003), with which she presented Slovak culture at concerts, festivals, and competitions both at home and abroad (France, Spain, German, Portugal, Austria, Italy). She was also active as the repetiteur (1985–6) and choirmistress (1989–90) of the Slovak Philharmonic Choir and collaborated with a number of vocal ensembles in Slovakia and abroad. In July 2003 and 2004 she served as choirmistress at the European Academy of Choral Singing in the French Pyrenees.
She is the conductor and art director of the Pressburg Singers since 2004; she regularly performs with the ensemble on concert stages, at festivals and competitions throughout Europe (Croatia, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia). She is a juror of international choir contests (Jihlava International Choral Festival, etc.). In 2012 she was the art director of the Prievidza Sings International Choral Festival. She served as the chairlady for Slovakia at the International Young Choir Festival Summa Cum Laude in Vienna for four years.
In May 2013 she rehearsed and conducted the world premiere of the children’s opera OASIS by Tsippy Fleischer in English (direction: Pavel Smolík, choreography: Elena Záhoráková, set and costume design: Lucie Šedivá).
PHDR. LUBOŠ HÁNA PH.D.
Luboš Hána is aprofessor at the University of J. E. Purkyně in Ústí nad Labem. During his university studies, he specialized in choir directing, music theory and pedagogy.
Besides teaching, he has also served as the director of NONA Chamber Choir since 2002, a group of choristers chosen from the students of the University of J. E. Purkyně. Outside of the school grounds, he directs a mixed adult choir, Ventilky Jirkov. Both of the abovementioned choirs have won numerous prizes at international festivals (Malta International Choir Competition, Festival of Songs Olomouc, IFAS Pardubice, Internationaler Chorwettbewerb Austria etc.).
Luboš Hána is often invited to lecture at workshops and courses (Bohemia Cantat, Franco-German Forum for Young Artists in Bayreuth) and is a member of many choir festival juries.
In 2007 Luboš Hána founded Jirkovský Písňovar, an international choir competition focused on popular and jazz choir music.
MGR. ET MGR. MAREK VALÁŠEK, PH. D.
Marek Valášek graduated from the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in conducting. At the Faculty of Education of Charles University in Prague he specialized in music education and choral conducting. At the Týn School in Prague he studied church choir direction. During his studies he started conducting in the Municipal Theatre in Ústí nad Labem and between 2002 and 2006 he also worked as a choirmaster at the Prague State Opera where, in addition to his regular choirmaster job, he conducted Leoncavallo’s opera La Bohéme. Since autumn 2015, he returned to the choirmaster’s position at the State Opera again.
At the Young Stage Festival 2002, he was awarded the 1st prize in the conductors’ competition for the concert with the Prague Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra. Within the frame of the Prague Spring music festival 2005, he carried out the Czech premiere of the full-length oratorio Ecce Homo by Jan Hanuš; in November 2005 he recorded Hanuš’s 1st symphony with the Czech Radio Symphonic Orchestra. In 2006, he was a guest conductor in Vilnius, Lithuania, and in Kyoto, Japan. He regularly works with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Hradec Králové and is often invited to lead choirmastering courses and to chair choral competition juries. In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious Ferdinand Vach professional prize by the Czech Music Foundation and the Association of Choral Conductors of the Music Scholars and Performers Association.
Marek Valášek is the principal organist of the Capuchin order in Hradčany, Prague; he teaches at the Prague Conservatory (department of music theory) and also conducts all the conservatory choirs. Since 2002, he has been teaching at the Department of Music Education of the Charles University in Prague and he has worked as the head of the Choral conducting Department since 2011.