View Past Festival Adjudicators

Aarne Saluveer (Estonia)

Aarne Saluveer is one of the most active Estonian figures in the international music scene - a producer, conductor and educator. He serves as founding Artistic Director Estonian TV Girls’ Choir, the President of Estonian Choral Association, a Board member of IFCM, Europa Cantat 2000-2009, a member of the Estonian Music Council and Council of World Choir Games, and a founding member of Estonian Society for Music Education and its first Chairman. He has been heavily involved in the Laulupidu Estonian Song Celebrations since 1993, where he conducts the world biggest joint choir with 30,000 singers to an audience of 100,000. Saluveer has worked as adjudicator and presentator in Europe, Asia and the Americas, and published articles in International Choral Bulletin, Europa Cantat Magazine and others. Mr Saluveer was decorated with the Order of the White Star of the Republic of Estonia in 2004, and the Arezzo Guidoneum Award in Italy in 2012. Under his leadership the Estonian Television Girl‘s Choir and Children’s Choir have won awards and Grand Prix at diverse choral contests, including Tolosa, Gorizia, Arezzo, Arnhem, Pohlheim and the European Broadcast Union live-competition ”Let The Peoples Sing”. In 2009 he won Grand Prix in Estonian Chamber Choir Competition with the Tallinn University Chamber Choir. He has shared the stage with Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis, Roxanna Panufnik, Neeme Järvi, Paul Hillier, Urmas Sisask, Imogen Heap, Ana Silvera, and Michael Jackson.

María Guinand (Venezuela)

María Guinand, choral conductor and University Professor, is frequently invited as conductor and teacher in the U.S.A, Europe, Asia and Latin America. A specialist in Latin-American Choral Music of the 20th and 21st centuries, she has won the ‘Kulturpreis’(1998) of the InterNationes Foundation, the Robert Edler Preis für Chormusik (2000), and recently the Helmuth Rilling Preis (2009). A graduate of Bristol University (England), Guinand studied choral conducting with Alberto Grau. She has studied with Helmuth Rilling, Luigi Agustoni and Johannes B. Goeschl. Ms. Guinand resides in Venezuela, where she directs the Schola Cantorumde Venezuela and the Cantoría Alberto Grau. Her choirs have toured extensively and won many awards. Always interested in new choral music, she has participated in a variety of performances and recordings for the labels Deutsche Grammophon and Nonesuch, including Osvaldo Golijov ́s Pasión según San Marcos and John Adam ́s A Flowering Tree. For over 30 years she has been Associated Conductor and Advisor of Choral Symphonic Performances and Activites of El Sistema( FESNOJIV). She teaches in the Master Degree Program for Choral Conductors at the University Simón Bolívar where she has worked as professor and conductor for 28 years.

Karen Anderson (California, USA)

Karen Anderson has taught private voice for 25 years and has had students win San Francisco Bay area competitions and full scholorships to several universities throughout the United States. Ms Anderson is known as a vocal lecturer to various vocal groups.

Martin Benvenuto (California, USA)

Martín Benvenuto is one of the leading treble choir conductors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he is Artistic Director for WomenSing (WS) and the Peninsula Women’s Chorus (PWC), and is active as a clinician, panelist, and guest conductor. Recognized for his exacting technique, compelling presence, and a passion for drawing the finest choral tone, Benvenuto’s repertoire is extensive. In addition to the historical repertoire, his choirs are dedicated to commissioning new works from composers such as Kirke Mechem, Libby Larsen, Mark Winges, Ted Hearne, Chen Yi, Stacy Garrop, Judith Shatin, Frank Ferko, Brian Holmes, and David ConteBenvenuto's choirs have earned high marks in international competitions in Argentina, South Africa, Canada, Hungary, and Spain. Of particular note is third prize awarded to the PWC at the Béla Bártok International Choir Competition in 2006, PWC’s second place in the 2011 American Prize in Choral Performance, and the 2010 Chorus America/ASCAP Alice Parker award, which recognized WomenSing for programming recently- composed music that expanded the mission of the chorus and challenged the chorus’s audience in new ways. He holds a D.M.A. in choral conducting from Boston University. He earned his master’s degree from Westminster Choir College, majoring both in Choral Conducting and Voice Performance and Pedagogy. His undergraduate degrees in choral conducting and composition are from the Universidad Católica Argentina.

Elise Bradley (Canada)

Elise Bradley, Artistic Director of the Toronto Children’s Chorus, is a passionate musician, career educator, award-winning conductor, and internationally respected adjudicator and clinician. Since arriving from her native New Zealand in 2007, she has toured with the Chorus to Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Sweden and South Africa. Ms. Bradley was honoured during the 2012-2013 season to serve as guest clinician and conductor for Australia’s Gondwana Voices, the Manitoba Honour Choirs, the Alberta Choral Federation, and the America Cantat 7, held in Bogotá, Colombia; this season she has been invited to work with choirs in Nova Scotia, Calgary and Grande Prairie, and will be presenting at Canada’s national biennial choral conference and at the 2014 World Choral Symposium in Korea.

Judit Hartyányi (Hungary)

Judit Hartyányi holds a diploma from the Liszt Academy of Music in Choral Conducting and Teachers’ Training. She is recently retired as an Associate Professor of Orchestra and Choral Conducting at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. From 1972 to 2011, she conducted several choirs, including the Girls’ Chorus of Székesfehérvár, Hungary, which premiered works by many contemporary Hungarian composers and won awards in international competitions. She was awarded the ARTISJUS prize for performers of contemporary music.
 Since 1995, she has been a frequent visiting professor at Holy Names University. She has served as juror for numerous international choral competitions (France, Hungary, Italy, Romania, USA) and has taught summer courses and workshops in Italy, Slovenia, Ireland, New Zealand, U.K., Malaysia, the Philippines and the U.S. Judit is a Vice President of the International Kodály Society (IKS), and a president of the Arts Council of the Association of Hungarian Choirs and Orchestras.

Linda Tillery (San Francisco, USA)

Linda Tillery is a Grammy nominated vocalist, percussionist, producer and Cultural Historian, whose life mission is to preserve and share the rich musical traditions of the African Diaspora. This music is rooted in the deep, American south and strongly connected to its West African and Caribbean origins.
Through stick, song, dance and story, the listener is transported to a place in time when the roots of American popular music, were being sewn by the "involuntary immigrants" from Africa's western regions. 
An articulate and provocative speaker, Ms. Tillery is in demand as both workshop leader and lecturer. She has conducted music workshops with the MIT Concert Choir (Boston),  St. Mary's College (Moraga, CA), the Center for Christian Studies (Toronto), The Muse Choir of Cincinnati, The Oakland Symphony Chorus, The Universal Gospel Choir of Vancouver, B.C., The Oakland Youth Chorus, Concert Choir at Univ. of Cincinnati, Stanford University  and Williams College. 
If you would like to learn the tradition of call and response, and the rhythms that drive this music and give it vitality, Linda Tillery will teach you how to approach singing with the ears, eyes and the heart.
Linda Tillery and her group the Cultural Heritage Choir have collaborated with veteran performers Taj Mahal, Eric Bibb, Wilson Pickett and Odetta Their CD entitled "Shakin' A Tailfeather", was nominated for a Grammy (1997) and their second collaborative effort "Hippity Hop", was awarded a Parents Choice Award (2000). Her CD titled, "Say Yo' Business" was been nominated for a California Music Award. (2003)
CD’s are available on iTunes, and CD Baby.