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Jury 2024

The international jury consists of Lied experts, soloists and professors from music academies in Germany and Poland, conductors and artistic directors of festivals.


Prof. Alexander Schmalcz

Pianist, Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Leipzig

From early on, Alexander Schmalcz has worked with legendary singers such as Peter Schreier, Edita Gruberova, Grace Bumbry and Anna Tomowa-Sintow.
A close collaboration with Matthias Goerne as well as numerous performances with singers such as Daniel Behle, Konstantin Wolff, Stephan Loges, Inessa Galante, Eva Mei, Rachel Frenkel and Chen Reiss has shaped his career.
His chamber music partners include Céline Moinet, Albrecht Mayer, Dimitri Ashkenazy and Tatjana Masurenko.
As a sought after song accompanist, Alexander Schmalcz can be heard regularly in important cultural centres of Europe, the Americas, Japan and Korea and performs at international festivals such as Salzburger Festspiele, Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival, Tanglewood Festival, Prague Spring Festival and Schwetzinger Festspiele. He appears at Teatro alla Scala Milan, Wiener Staatsoper, Staatsoper München, Théâtre du Châtelet, Amphithéâtre of Opera Bastille, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Kölner Philharmonie, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Wigmore Hall London, Seoul Arts Center, Tokyo Opera City Hall and KIOI Hall Tokyo to name a few.
His comprehensive repertoire is documented on numerous CDs and broadcasts for German, British, Austrian, Dutch and Japanese radio and TV stations.
Alexander Schmalcz also orchestrated songs by Franz Schubert which were commissioned by Matthias Goerne. The transcriptions have since enjoyed great international claim with performances by the Berliner Philharmoniker, at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, the Wiener Symphoniker Frühlingskonzert at Musikverein Wien as well as with Dresdner Kapellsolisten at the Frauenkirche Dresden.
Alexander Schmalcz received his first piano lessons as a chorister in the Dresden Kreuzchor. He studied at Musikhochschule Dresden and Utrecht Conservatoire before accomplishing his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Iain Burnside and Graham Johnson.
Alexander Schmalcz is holding a professorship for song interpretation at the Leipzig Musikhochschule and gives international master classes.


Prof. Ewa Biegas

Sopran, Prof. in der Hochschule für Musik "Karol Szymanowski" in Katowice

She graduated from the Music School in Cieszyn (violin), the Music School in Gliwice (solo singing and violin) and the singing and acting department of the Music Academy in Katowice (1999) in the solo singing class of Prof. J. Ballarina (diploma with distinction). She continued her singing studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna in the singing class of Prof. Helena Łazarska (1998–2002). Winner of several singing competitions such as: 2nd prize and special prizes International competition F. Tagliawini in Deutschlandsberg (1998) - 1st prize and special prizes singing competition I.J. Paderewski in Bydgoszcz (2003) – 2nd prize and special prizes International singing competition St. Moniuszko in Warsaw (2004) – 3rd prize and special prizes International singing competition for young opera singers. K. Taev in Pärnu (2005) – 3rd prize participant in the World Young Singers Competition – Cardiff 2005. She made her debut as Lady Billows in B. Britten's opera “Albert Herring” (Vienna, 2001). Her next stage roles include Rosalinda in “Die Fledermaus” by J. Strauss, Halka in the opera “Halka” by St. Moniuszko, “Przyjaciółka” in E. Knapik’s opera “La liberta chiama la liberta”, Leonora in “Il Trovatore” by G. Verdi and Mimi in “La bohème” by G. Puccini. She has been a soloist at the Kraków Opera since 2004. In June 2004 she represented Poland at the Grand Gala Concert to mark the expansion of the European Union in the Vienna Konzerthaus. Her repertoire includes numerous songs and oratorios. He has made numerous recordings for Polish radio and television as well as concerts in Poland and abroad (including Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, USA) with the participation of the Silesian Philharmonic, the Olsztyn Philharmonic and the Toruń Philharmonic, the National Philharmonic, NOSPR, Warsaw Symphony, Polish Radio Orchestra. Since 2005 she has been a professor at the Kattowice Music Academy.


Victor Medem

Direktor der Franz-Schubert-Gesellschaft, Professor an der Escuela Superior de Música de Catalunya

Victor Medem was born in 1977 in Barcelona (Spain) of a German father and Spanish mother. He attended German school and after studies of Film and Audiovisual communication in Barcelona and Paris, he started to work for different media companies.

In 2001 he changed his profesional path into the music business working as assistant of the artistic director of the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. Later he joined the Heidelberger Frühling festival, as responsible for artistic planning where he initiated an era of expansion, creating a focus on string quartet, lied and new music.

In 2005, he joined Ibercamera, the leading private concert promoter in Barcelona. In his 10 years tenure, he led a dramatic change in the company that is now a leading actor in the music field in Europe.

During those years he founded a young artist’s concert platfom at Gaudí’s Unesco World Heritage La Pedrera and the Cervià de Ter Music festival and the Orquestra Da Camera, formed by Spanish leading instrumentalist of the younger generation.

In 2015, he decided to take a new profesional step establishing himself as a freelancer working for different institutions like the Conservatory of Music in Barcelona, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the Revista Musical Catalana, Festival de Granada and the SWR (South West Broadcasting) in Stuttgart.

In 2016, he took over the general management of the Schubert Society in Barcelona. This institution organizes the Schubertiada Vilabertran, a leading lied and chamber music festival in Spain. Medem has promoted new cycles in Barcelona and Basque Country and has reinforced its educational activities with the program Lied the future an international academy led by Prof. Wolfram Rieger (Hochschule für Musik Berlin) and that has had Matthias Goerne, Juliane Banse, Dorothea Röschmann and Christoph Prégardien as mentors of the selected fellows, who have benefited from a wide range of benefits, including a network of concerts.

In 2017, at his proposal, the three main music institutions in Barcelona, Liceu Opera, Palau de la Música and L’Auditori created Barcelona Obertura, a platform to promote the town as a destination for international music lovers. Medem acted as director of Barcelona Obertura between 2017 and 2020. Since 2023 he is in charge of artists program of the the cycle Ciutat de clàssica, presenting 25 concerts in unusual locations of the city.

In April 2018, he was invited by Karsten Witt, legendary music manager and impresario in Berlin and former president of the Deutsche Grammophon to join his team as a consultant, developing as main task the strategy and bussiness plan for the new concert platform with activity held in Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and Berlin Philharmonie.

Medem also looks after an extensive roster of international artists of highest prestige for artistic services. Between 2015 and 2019, Medem taught Arts management at the Universitat International de Catalunya and since 2017 he is professor for artistic programming at Barcelona Superior School of Music (ESMUC). He helds a Master in Marketing direction by ESADE (Barcelona) and SDA Bocconi (Milano). He lives in Barcelona with his daughter.

Britta Schwarz

Prof. Britta Schwarz

Alt/Mezzosopan. Professorin in der Hochschule für Musik in Dresden

Born in Neubrandenburg (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), mezzosoprano Britta Schwarz began her singing studies at the “Hanns Eisler” University of Music in Berlin, later moving to Dresden to study with Prof. Christian Elßner and Prof. Hartmut Zabel. She then received a four-year engagement at the studio of the Dresden State Opera (Semper Opera). She won prizes at international competitions in Karlovy Vary (Antonin Dvorak), Zwickau (Robert Schumann) and London (Walter Gruner). In numerous concerts with renowned orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the Cappella Andrea Barca, she was able to demonstrate her extensive repertoire with great success. She works with such well-known conductors as Philippe Herreweghe, Milan Horvat, Michel Plasson, Helmuth Rilling, Kent Nagano, Jörg-Peter Weigle, Bruno Weil, Marek Janowski, Peter Schreier and Gustavo Dudamel. The long-term, intensive collaboration with Sir András Schiff was very inspiring. Concerts and song recitals have taken Britta Schwarz to almost all European countries. She was a guest again at the Lucerne Festival in 2014 with the Missa Solemnis by Ludwig van Beethoven under the direction of Sir András Schiff. Britta Schwarz has devoted herself intensively to baroque music for many years. This led to many encounters with important baroque ensembles, e.g. the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, with Cantus Cölln, with Musica Antiqua Köln, the Concerto Köln, the Batzdorfer Hofkapelle, the Academy for Early Music Berlin and others. In January 2001, the first solo CD with secular Italian baroque cantatas was released by Berlin Classics. There are now two more solo albums available: chorales from the Schemelli collection (Querstand 2017) and Schubert's “Winterreise” (Rondeau 2019). For several years now, Britta Schwarz has been teaching at the Carl Maria von Weber University of Music in Dresden, where she leads the interpretation course for oratorio. In October 2015 she was appointed honorary professor at the “Hanns Eisler” University of Music.

Bartosz Żurakowski - photo 1.jpeg

Bartosz Żurakowski

Dirigent. Künst. Leiter der Stiftung "Belle Voci" und mehreren Festivals

Bartosz Żurakowski is born in Opole. He completed his conducting studies at the Music Academy. Fryderyk Chopin in Warsaw and music education at the Grażyna Music Academy and Kiejstut Bacewicz in Łódź as well as management studies at the University of Warsaw and in 2011 acquired the title of Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam School of Management and the Gdańsk Foundation for Management Education. From 2001 he was associated with his hometown philharmonic, successively as deputy conductor, conductor and director of the Opole Philharmonic. From 2016 to 2022 he was principal conductor and artistic director of the Sudeten Philharmonic in Wałbrzych. Bartosz Żurakowski took part in national and international master classes, including with Kurt Masur. He is a winner of the “Witold Lutosławski” International Conducting Competition. In 2015 he conducted the premiere of Stanisław Moniuszko's “The Haunted Castle” at the Kraków Opera. He is the founder and president of the foundation for the promotion of young artists "Belle Voci" as well as the initiator and artistic director of the international music festival "BelleVoci", which takes place every year in Lower Silesia (Brzeg Dolny). He is also director of the International Sacred Music Festival “Masters of Prayer with Music”. The year 2013 was a breakthrough year for the artist in his conducting career, thanks to the positive reviews of the CD of violin concertos by the Maltese composer released by Divine Art Records. This led to numerous invitations to concert halls around the world, including: In May 2014 with the Royal Scottish Opera Orchestra and the City Glasgow Chorus (Verdi's Requiem and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis). He has performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York (USA), Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City (Mexico), Gran Teatro National in Lima (Peru), Sala Sao Paolo in Sao Paolo (Brazil) Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow (Scotland). He regularly gives concerts in renowned halls in European, American and Asian countries. In addition to symphonic music, the artist's main interests include oratorio and opera music. He has performed with the most outstanding soloists and personalities from all over the world.


Alexandros Charkiolakis

Musikwisschenschaftler / Direktor der Gesellschaft der Freunde der Musik in Athen

Alexandros Harkiolakis was born in Athens in 1977. He studied at the Eperimentales and the Elliniko Conservatory, where he graduated with degrees in singing, harmony and counterpoint. He then studied at the University of Sheffield, where he completed a bachelor's degree in music and a master's degree in musicology and conducting. He is completing his doctoral thesis on Alekos Xenos at the Institute of Music Studies at the Ionian University. He was conductor of the University of Sheffield Students Symphony Orchestra and associate conductor of the Sheffield Youth Orchestra, during which time he conducted all orchestral ensembles at the University of Sheffield as well as several ensembles and orchestras in Greece. He has presented several publications at various conferences in Greece and abroad, while his articles have been published in scientific journals and conference proceedings. He is head of the “Biographies of Greek Composers” series at the “Fagotto” publishing house. The book he co-authored with Avra He worked at the Great Music Library of Greece “Lilian Voudouri” as a musicologist and was responsible for educational programs, while since January 2013 he has been the director of the “Erol Üçer” music library in Turkey as well as the position of lecturer in historical musicology at the Research Center for MIAM Music Istanbul Technical University. Since May 2017 he has been general director of the Friends of Music of Athens association.


Eleni Ioannidou

Künstlerische Leiterin und Ideatorin des Wettbewerbes. Vorsitzende Ars Augusta e.V., Sopran

Born in Wroclaw (Poland) in 1972 and raised in Greece, she completed her singing studies with honors in Volos. In 1998 she won the "Alexandra Triandi" scholarship from the "Society of Friends of Music" in Athens, with the help of which she studied in Vienna (University of Music and Performing Arts) and at the famous "Accademia della Scala di Milano" with, among others, Leyla Gencer. She was a first prize winner in several international competitions in Italy and completed the two-year course of the European Union/Academy for Dramatic Art "Silvio d'Amico" in Rome "Il Teatro e la Musica". She sang Fiordiligi in Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" at the Maggio Musicale Trapanese, Leonora in "Trovatore" and Violetta in "La traviata" by Giuseppe Verdi in Dolo. After her debut in 1999 at the Teatro Mancinelli in Orvieto in Puccini's "La Boheme" (Mimi), she appeared on stages such as the Athens State Opera (Contessa in "Nozze di Figaro, 2006), Milan's Scala (Bianca in "Ugo, Conte di Parigi" by Donizetti in 2006 and Fiordiligi in 2006 "Cosi fan tutte" in 2008), at the Teatro Strehler di Milano (Cosi fan tutte), Teatro Massimo di Catania, Teatro Donizetti di Bergamo ("Parisina" by Donizetti) , in Germany (Passau), Munich and at concerts in Japan, France and Colombia. She accompanied Jose Carreras in concerts for the Leuchemia Foundation at Megaron Mousikis in Athens. In 2015 she started producing music events ("Segreto di Susanna" in Wolf-Ferrari-Haus in Ottobrunn). She lives in Görlitz since 2016 and heads the non-profit society Ars Augusta e.V. with which she has initiated several projects, such as the first revivals of three baroque operas (Antonio Lotti's "Giove in Argo", Antonio Bioni's "Issipile" and scenes from Hasse's "Il re pastore "). In 2022 she initiated the International Song Competition "Bolko von Hochberg". She was a scholarship holder of the Fonds Darstellende Künste for the discovery of Dresden opera treasures from the SLUB. In 2023 she was awarded the Barbara Jurkowska Medal for achievements in the fields of literature, music and Culture in the Kraszewski Museum in Dresden. Since 2023 she has been the artistic director of the international music festival “Music at J.I. Schnabel” in Nowogrodziec (Poland) and has worked with the Silesian Music Festival. She has a diploma in agricultural science and speaks five languages.


Augustastrasse 6

02826 Görlitz


+49 3581 8778460

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