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Also this edition, the International Choir Competition Flanders Genk invited a balanced international jury to play the 12  judging choirs from all over the world on their efforts. We introduce them to you.

Maarten Van Ingelgem, president of the jury (Belgium)

Maarten Van Ingelgem (b. 1976) studied piano and composition at the conservatories of Brussels and Antwerp. He shares his passion for the creative as a composition teacher at LUCA School of Arts - campus Lemmens and at the Academy for Performing Arts in Aalst.


Since 2001, he has been conductor of the chamber choir for contemporary music De 2de Adem from Ghent, with which he has since performed some 50 creations. He also gained years of experience as a singer and conductor with Aquarius and the Flemish Radio Choir.


His compositional oeuvre ranges from solo works over string quartets and a chamber opera to a piano concerto. For this last work, he received the Prize for New Music of the Province of East Flanders. Sabam awarded him the Golden Poppy for choral composition and he was a three-time laureate of the European Award for Choral Composers. For IKV 2017, he wrote the cycle 'White Songs' as a dutiful work.


Since the 2021 edition in Flanders, Maarten has been involved in the organisation of the World Choir Games as artistic director. 


Read and listen more:



Johannes Dewilde (Belgium)

Johannes received his professional training at various conservatories in Flanders, earning master's degrees in choral conducting and music theory-writing and a bachelor's degree as a performing musician, option trumpet/cornet.

In addition to his master's studies in choral conducting with Luc Anthonis and Geert Hendrix, he trained with a variety of teachers, including Dirk Brossé, David Anne, Marc-Michael De Smet, Florian Heyerick, Louis Buskens (NL), Jard van Nes (NL), Aarne Saluveer (EE) and Brady Allred (US).

He currently teaches choir, choral conducting and musical cultural education at the GO! Ghent, choral conducting at the Municipal Conservatory of Bruges and the Royal Conservatory of Ghent, KASK.  

Johannes is conductor of the youth choir Panta Rhei at the Arts Academy GO!, the ladies' choir Amaranthe and the vocal ensemble Saevus. Since 2020, he has been conducting the Brussels Young Adults Choir - BYAC. He has conducted concerts at home and abroad and received the 'conductor's prize' at choir festivals both in Rome (Musica Eterna) and Kerkrade (CantaRode).

He is in demand as a choral coach and as a jury member for festivals and conservatoires.

In 2023, he judged at the European Choir Games in Sweden.


Bernie Sherlock (Ireland)

Bernie Sherlock is a leading choral conductor. She founded New Dublin Voices in 2005, is Artistic Director of the Irish Youth Choir since 2020, and was co-conductor of EuroChoir 2021. She has won international conducting prizes in Finland, Hungary, Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Wales and Ireland. Her ongoing work as an international adjudicator of choral and conducting competitions and director of choral workshops has taken her around Europe and to the US, Canada and China.

Under Bernie, New Dublin Voices has gained critical acclaim for its innovative concert programming and its work in television, radio and recording. The choir is a multiple winner of international first prizes and has premiered approximately 80 works.

Bernie is a founding Board-member of the World Choral Conductors Network, and a representative for Ireland on the World Choir Council. She is a Lecturer in Music at the TU Dublin Conservatoire and for 12 years she directed and taught on the annual Sing Ireland International Choral Conducting Summer School.

She has a degree in music from Trinity College Dublin, she studied in Hungary for 2 years and she has Masters and Doctorate degrees in conducting from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music/DCU respectively.

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Ambrož Čopi (Slovenia)

Ambrož Čopi studied composition at the Music Academy of Ljubljana, where he received important prizes for his outstanding performances.

He gained his knowledge of vocal music and choral conducting as an assistant to conductor Stojan Kuret.  He himself conducted several Slovenian choirs such as the Chamber Choir Nova Gorica, Mixed Choir Obala, Academic Choir of the University of Primorska, KGBL Chamber Choir, with which he received national and international acclaim. 


His compositions were recorded on 4 CDs by leading Slovenian choirs led by Stojan Kuret, Martina Batic and Ambrož Čopi himself. The works have been published by Astrum Music Publications, Ed. DSS, Ed. ICOT and Sulasol.

Currently, Ambrož Čopi teaches at the School of Arts in Koper, at the Conservatory of Music and Ballet Ljubljana and is Associate Professor at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana.

A prominent promoter of Slovenian contemporary choral music, he is a mentor to the youngest generation of Slovenian composers. In the KGBL Chamber Choir, he brings together young singers, future composers and choral conductors. There, he encourages young composers to express themselves creatively through vocal music. He also regularly collaborates with established Slovenian composers such as Pavle Merku, Lojze Lebič, Tadeja Vulc, Črt Sojar Voglar, Damijan Močnik.

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Bengt Ollén (Sweden)

Bengt studied under Gösta Ohlin and Gunnar Eriksson at the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg and in 1981 he formed the Vocal Ensemble Amanda. Under Lennart Hedvall, Jorma Panula, Robert Reynolds and Everett Lee he studied orchestra-conducting. 

Bengt is also the founder and the conductor of Södra Dalarnas Chamber Orchestra and artist and conductor in residence for Oratorie choir VOX since 2003. Yearly this orchestra and choir take part in the festival “Musik vid Siljan”. During these years from 2003 Bengt has directed all the major important works for choir and orchestra from the Barocque to the 20th century at this festival.

From 1994 to 2018 he was working as a teacher of choir singing at the international well known Stockholms Musikgymnasium. With these choirs he has achieved great success in choir competitions around the world. 

Bengt Ollén is also Sofia Vokalensemble’s founder and constant conductor.

Since 1995 he has led the vocal ensemble with great passion and a never-dying enthusiasm, making it  a positive and resolute choir through musical development. The performances of Sofia Vocal Ensemble are characterised by a Swedish excellent choir-sound, presence and a joy of singing which have proved successful in international competitions and concerts all over the world.

His vision is to create music “beyond the notes.” The music will also have to move the listener. Therefore each singer’s commitment is a very important piece in the musical progress. Bengt constantly works on strengthening the choir’s group dynamics. 


Bengt is frequently engaged as adjudicator in competitions, guest teacher, teacher in conducting and as conductor at festivals, workshops and concerts, nationally and internationally.

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