International Polyphonic Competition “Guido d’Arezzo”

Beginning in 1952, the Arezzo Friends of Music Association initiated the International Polyphonic Competition. It provides the most important stage for choral expressions from around the world: an incomparable range of repertoires, styles, and composers. Since 1983 the Competition has been organized by the Guido d’Arezzo Foundation.

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72nd International Polyphonic Competition Guido d’Arezzo.

Announcement of the 72nd International Polyphonic Competition Guido d’Arezzo Announcement of the 72nd International Polyphonic Competition Guido d’Arezzo   Chinese...

71st International Polyphonic Competition “Guido d’Arezzo”

RESULTS 71° INTERNATIONAL POLYPHONIC COMPETITION “GUIDO D’AREZZO” Special prizes Category A, Section 1 Category A, Section 2 Category A, Section...

Brief history of the Polyphonic Competition

by Claudio Santori

When the Polyphonic Competition named after Guido d’Arezzo began, there was no polyphonic tradition in Italy: the treasures of Marenzio, Gesualdo, Palestrina, and Monteverdi lay neglected or worse misrepresented (a madrigal could be performed by ensembles of as many as forty or more voices, there ‘was no interpretive tradition, there was a lack of masters). It was the ‘year 1952 and around the corner still rumbled the ghosts of the twenty-year period and the war. Piles of rubble were making a fine show in various strategic places in the city (the “Mancini” stadium is worth mentioning) and Arezzo was preparing for the transition from an agricultural economy (and mentality) to an industrial one: a passage as lightning-fast as it was massive that Piero Magi summarized in a phrase that has remained famous: the Aretine peasant, entering his house in the evening, leaned his hoe against the doorframe and left the next morning in his lambretta to go to work in the factory.

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The newly formed “Friends of Music” Association (it had just been founded under the auspices of the “Petrarch” Academy: the statute bears the date of January 14, 1950) succeeded in organizing the competition, which was prudently kept for that year at the national level (it was held in September, specifically on the 7th, 8th and 9th). The success, more than flattering, stimulated the imagination of the founders (a select patrol of professionals chaired by a young magistrate with a passion for music: Dr. Mario Bucciolotti, with honorary members of the caliber of M° Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Prof. Francesco Severi and the recently deceased Father Vigilio Guidi). Artistic director of the event was one of the most distinguished musicians and musical organizers of those years, Luigi Colacicchi, who was assisted by Augusto Cartoni and a group of talented musicians from Arezzo including Bruto Tignani, a violinist of the German school and director of the Scuola di Musica del Praticino, so that already the second edition (1953) was international, with the presence in Arezzo of as many as 6 nations. The days dedicated to the competition increased from three to five, with a shift from September to June (from the 25th to the 29th). “Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda,” Dante warned: the 1954 edition made the internationality of the competition definitive, although there were only three participating nations (Switzerland, Austria and Yugoslavia). However, the month of August was experimented with, which was, moreover, considered optimal, so much so that it remained definitive until 2010 and was reinstated for the next 2012 edition, after a brief September interlude that proved inadequate for several reasons.

 

The Polyphonic has made its mark on culture and custom in Arezzo with grace and harmony.

The Berlin Wall was torn down as early as the early 1970s with East and West German choirs singing with fraternal enthusiasm, heedless of ideological barriers. Even a president of the Republic, under whose high patronage the Competition stands, came to Arezzo for its tenth anniversary in 1962: Antonio Segni, the only head of state who ever attended the Arezzo event. The Polyphonic years marked the slow, but important and substantial improvements of Italian polyphony, which ended up winning prizes as well: in 1967 the Coradini Chorale (freshly founded, dating back to the beginning of that year!) won the men’s choir competition under the direction of maestro Fosco Corti destined to become one of the unforgettable characters of the choral kermesse and leaving with his untimely death an unbridgeable void. The organizers requested the high patronage of the President of the Republic Giovanni Gronchi, and obtained it without any difficulty: proof of the prestige now achieved by the event. A prestige reaffirmed and definitively sanctioned at the European level by the following year’s 1955 edition, the fourth since its founding and the third of the international competition. There were seven participating nations: Austria, West Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, France and, of course, Italy. The ‘organization was excellent in every respect, and the jury lined up some of the finest names in European choral music (Hans Haug, Hans Gillesberger [1]) and Italian choral music, from Alfredo Bonaccorsi to Celestino Eccher; from Lino Liviabella to Achille Schinelli (a name that in choral music for Italian schools corresponds to that of Sapegno for Dante!); from Bonaventura Somma to Luigi Toffolo, to a musician like Mario Peragallo. Other legendary names were those of Nino Antonellini, who replaced Colacicchi as director of the competition, and Franco Abbiati. Finally, of particular interest is the presence from the early days of the competition of W.S. Gwynn Williams, artistic director of the Llangollen Choral Festival, a sign that people were already looking to Europe and the world. And finally the political world and the big media realized the value that the Arezzo event could have, for the growth of the country’s cultural life tout court.

 

With the title “Voices from all over the world in Arezzo,” Incom Week devoted to this third edition of the Polifonico a short, but effective and incisive report: it was one of the first times that Arezzo rose to the ‘honor of the national chronicle not for a reason related to politics, art or literature, but for an exquisitely musical reason, moreover related to its most illustrious son in the “branch”: the monk Guido! The film shows the packed audience of the “Petrarca” at the moment of the ‘inauguration of the Competition by Undersecretary Brusasca. The camera then lingers (not so briefly that its artistic and spectacular features cannot be grasped: the shots are professionally impeccable) on five ensembles, including the one from Arezzo that had brought, out of competition, the city’s greetings to the foreign guests: it is the “Guido Monaco” Chorale Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Roll of Honor

+ Arezzo City Grand Prix

2008 – Coro El leon de oro (Spagna)

2009 – Vokalna Akademija (Slovenia)

2010 – Svenska Kammarkören (Svezia)

2011 – Chamber Choir Vox Gaudiosa (Giappone)

2012 – APZ Tone Tomšič (Slovenia)

2013 – New Dublin Voices (Irlanda)

2014 – OREYA (Ucraina)

2015 – Lautitia Mixed Youth Choir (Ungheria)

2016 – Philippine Madrigal Singers (Filippine)

2017 – Beijing Philarmonic Choir (Cina)

2018 – University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (Filippine)

+ Vocal Groups

2009

1. Unassigned
2. Rome City Choir (Italy)
3. Municipal Choir of the City of Mendoza (Argentina)

 

2010

1. Unassigned
2. Batavia Madrigal Singers (Indonesia)
3. New Dublin Voices (Ireland)

 

2011

1. Salt Lake Vocal Artists (USA)
2. William Byrd Consort (Latvia)
3. Unassigned

 

2012

Sec. 3 and 4 unify

 

2013

1. New Dublin Voices (Ireland)
2. Vocalia Taldea (Spain)
3. Collegium Cantorum Yokohama (Japan)

 

2014

1. Ingenium Ensemble (Slovenia)
2. Gallina Vocal Group (Slovenia)
3. Paragita Students choir of Universitas Indonesia (Indonesia)

 

2015

1. Unassigned
2. Imusicappella (Filippine)
3. Cappella Odak (Croatia)

 

2016

1. Unassigned
2. Ensemble Vocale Libercantus (Italy)
3. Unassigned

 

2017

1. Genova Vocal Ensemble (Italy)
2. Art’N’Voices (Poland)
3. Unassigned

 

2018

1. Unassigned
2. Lumen Vocale Soloists Ensemble (Poland)
3. Unassigned

+ Choirs

2009
1. Vokalna Akademija Ljubljana (Slovenia)
2. Rome City Choir (Italy)
3. Bøler Vokalensemble (Norway)

 

2010
1. Svenska Kammarkören (Sweden)
2. Batavia Madrigal Singers (Indonesia)
3. New Dublin Voices (Ireland)

 

2011
1. Ex aequo:
– Salt Lake Vocal Artists (USA)
– Chamber Choir Collegium Musicale (Estonia)

2. Chamber Choir Vox Gaudiosa (Japan)
3. Mannheim Chamber Choir (Germany)

 

2012
1. APZ Tone Tomšič University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
2. University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (Filippine)
3. Szekszárdi Madrigálkórus (Hungary)

 

2013
1. Collegium Cantorum Yokohama (Japan)
2. Cantatrix (Netherlands)
3. New Dublin Voices (Ireland)

 

(in even voices)
1. unassigned
2. Magnificat Youth Choir (Hungary)
3. Vocalia Taldea (Spain)

 

2014
1. OREYA (Ukraine)
2. Paragita Students choir of Universitas Indonesia (Indonesia)
3. Schola Cantorum Sopianensis (Hungary)

 

(in even voices)
1. Youth Choir of Tallinn Music High Scholl (Estonia)
2. Métaphores, female choir of the Conservatoire (France)
3. Ex aequo:
– Francesco Sandi Women’s Choir (Italy)
– Eos Women’s Choir (Italy)

 

2015
1. Ex aequo:
– Imusicappella (Filippine)
– Vocal Ensemble EST (Japan)
2. Onatiko Ganbara Abesbatza (Spain)
3. Cappella Odak (Croatia)

 

2016
1. Philippine Madrigal Singers (Filippine)
2. Helene Stureborg Kammarkör (Sweden)
3. Melodia Kammerkór Askirkju (Iceland)

 

(in even voices)
1. Women’s Chamber Choir Čarnice (Slovenia)
2. Gruppo Vocale Novecento (Italy)
3. Oriana Youth Female Choir (Ukraine)

 

2017
(in even voices)
1. Unassigned
2. Girls Choir Spigo (Latvia)
3. Unassigned

 

(in even voices)
1. Uranienborg Vokalensemble (Norway)
2. Mornington Singers (Ireland)
3. Unassigned

 

2018
(in even voices)
1. Marymount Secondary School Choir (China)
2. Coral San Justo (Argentina)
3. Eos Women’s Choir (Italy)

 

(mixed voices)
1. University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (Filippine)
2. Akademski Pevski Zbor Maribor (Slovenia)
3. Unassigned

+ Polyphony Prize Review

2005
Sections B/C unified: Coro Musicanova (Italy)
Section D: Hor Kulturno Umetničkog Društva Svetozar Marković (Serbian Republic)
Section E: Vocalia Taldea (Spain)

 

2006
Sections B/C unified: Schola Cantorum Coralina (Cuba)
Section D: Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club (Filippine)
Section E: Schola Cantorum Coralina (Cuba)

 

2007
Section B: Choir (United Kingdom)
Section D: Choeur National Des Jeunes a Cœur Joie (France)
Section E: Ex aequo:
Coro (United Kingdom)
Choeur National Des Jeunes a Coeur Joie (France)

 

2008
Section B: Victoria Chamber Choir (Hungary)
Section C: Gasshodan Mai (Japan)
Section D: Coro El Leon De Oro (Spain)
Section E: Coro El Leon De Oro (Spain)

 

2009
Section B: unassigned
Section C: unassigned
Section D: Vokalna Akademija Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Section E: Vokalna Akademija Ljubljana (Slovenia)

 

2010
Section B: New Dublin Voices (Ireland)
Section C: unassigned
Section D: Svenska Kammarkören (Sweden)
Section E: Svenska Kammarkören (Sweden)

 

2011
Section B: Chamber Choir Vox Gaudiosa (Japan)
Section C: William Byrd Consort (Latvia)
Section D: Ex aequo:
– Salt Lake Vocal Artists (USA)
– Chamber Choir Vox Gaudiosa (Japan)
Section E: Ex aequo:
– Salt Lake Vocal Artists (USA)
– Chamber Choir Vox Gaudiosa (Japan)

 

2012
Section A: Ex aequo:
– Coro Musicanova (Italy)
– Los Peques del León de Oro (Spain)
Section B: unassigned
Section C: University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (Filippine)
Section D: APZ Tone Tomšič (Slovenia)

 

2013
Section A: Vocalia Taldea (Spain)
Section B: unassigned
Section C: unassigned
Section D: Ex aequo:
– Collegium Cantorum Collegium Cantorum Yokohama (Japan)
– Magnificat Youth Choir (Hungary)

 

2014
Section A: Ingenium Ensemble (Slovenia)
Section B: unassigned
Section C: OREYA (Ukraine)
Section D: OREYA (Ukraine)

 

2015
Section A: Non assegnato
Section C: Vocal Ensemble Est (Japan)
Section D: Vocal Ensemble Est (Japan)

+ Monograph Program

2017
1. Ex aequo:
– Vokalensemble Vocappella Innsbruck (Austria)
– Genova Vocal Ensemble (Italy)
2. Ex aequo:
– Art’N’Voices (Poland)
– Beijing Philarmonic Choir (China)
3. Rezonans (Turkey)

 

2018
1. University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (Filippine)
2. Akademski Pevski Zbor Maribor (Slovenia)
3. Marymount Secondary School Choir (China)

 

+ White Voices

2008
1. Rostov-on-Don Conservatory Children’s Voice Choir (Russia)
2. White Voices of the Comprehensive Institute (Italy)
3. Children’s Choir Gloria (Ukraine)

 

2009
1. Ex aequo:
– Cantemus Children’s Choir (Hungary)
– Leioa Kantika Korala (Spain)
2. Unassigned
3. Unassigned

 

2010
1. Prague Philharmonic Children’s Choir (Czech Rep.)
2. Vdokhnovenie (Russia)
3. Unassigned

 

2011
1. Unassigned
2. Children’s Choir Gloria (Ukraine)
3. Unassigned

 

2012
– Section deleted

 

2013
– Section deleted

 

2014
1. Unassigned
2. Ex aequo:
– Children’s Choir GLORIA (Ukraine)
– Children’s Choir of Musamari Choral School (Estonia)

 

2015
– Section deleted

 

2016
1. Unassigned
2. Unassigned
3. Gloria Children’s Choir (Ukraine)

 

2017
1. Unassigned
2. Beijing Philarmonic Choir (China)
3. Unassigned

 

2018
1. The Little Singers of Barcelona (Italy)
2. Garda Trentino White Voices Choir (Italy)

+ Contemporary Music

2004 – Victoria Kamarakórus (Ungheria)

2005 – Cantatrix (Olanda)

2006 – 2008 Competition cancelled

2009 – Vokalna Akademija Ljubljana (Slovenia)

2010 – Unassigned

2011 – Chamber Choir Collegium Musicale (Estonia)

2012 – section deleted

 

Arezzo Colors Prize Festival

2013 – Vocal Ensemble Gregorianum (Polonia)

2014 – OREYA (Ucraina)

2017 – Beijing Philarmonic Choir (Cina)

+ Folk song choral festival

(Special prize awarded by the audience)

 

2004 – Rodnik (Russia)

 

2005 – Musicanova Choir (Italy)

 

2006
Audience Award: Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club (Filippine)
Hearing Commission Award: Schola Cantorum Coralina (Cuba)

 

2007
Audience Award: Coro Femminile Eos (Italy)
Hearing Commission Award ex aequo:
– Pearls of Odessa (Ukraine)
– Musicanti Kinderkoor (Netherlands)

 

2008
Audience Award: El Leon de Oro (Spain)
Hearing Commission Award: El Leon de Oro (Spain)

 

2009
Audience Award: KHP Coro Techniuv, (Filippine)
Hearing Commission Award ex aequo:
– Bøler Vokalensamble (Norway)
– Cantores Maruli (Croatia)

 

2010
Audience Award: Madrigal de Brasilia (Brazil)
Hearing Commission Award: Madrigal de Brasilia (Brazil)

 

2011
Audience Award: Institute Teknologi Bandung Choir (Indonesia)
Hearing Commission Award: Coro Tonos Humanos (Colombia)

 

2012
1. University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (Filippine)
2. Los Peques del León de Oro (Spain)
3. Szekszárdi Madrigálkórus (Hungary)

 

2013
Audience Award: Magnificat Youth Choir (Hungary)

 

2014 – OREYA (Ukraine)

 

2015 – Imusicappella (Filippine)

 

2016
Audience Award: Oriana Youth Female (Ukraine)
Hearing Commission Award: Philippine Madrigal Singers (Filippine)

 

2017 – Aurum (Spain)

 

2018 – Coral San Justo (Argentina)