Jury

Chantal Mathieu

Chantal Mathieu, President of the Jury

France

The French harpist, Chantal Mathieu’s musical gifts were recognized early on and rewarded by numerous prizes: She won the first prize of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris when she was only 14 years old in the class of Jacqueline Borot. This was notably followed by the first prize of the very famous International Harp Contest in Israel and first prize of the International Contest of the Soloists’ Guild of Paris, and the 2nd prize of the Geneva International Music Competition. She studied harmony, counterpoint and chamber music at the Paris Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique whilst working in several orchestras and continuing her schooling by correspondence. Since, Chantal Mathieu has pursued an international career as a soloist as well as with famous orchestras (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra notably), alongside well-known conductors and famous partners. Her numerous records or CD’s. reflect the richness of her repertory. Chantal Mathieu worked in Germany for a while (Symphonic Orchestra of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk and Musikhochshule of Hamburg), before settling in Geneva. It is with great generosity that she transmits her knowledge to her students at the Lausanne Music High School (Switzerland). Most of them now hold important positions within the musical world.

Julia Rovinsky

Julia Rovinsky

Israel

Julia Rovinsky is the principal Harpist in the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, and a teacher in the “Buchman” Music School in Tel-Aviv University. She has performed as a Soloist with the Israeli Philharmonic and with other orchestras in Israel and abroad. She has performed in recitals in the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Julia was born in St. Petersburg and has a Music Master’s degree from the Rimsky Korsakov Music School in St. Petersburg. In 1988, she won the first prize in the National Harp Contest in Moscow. Julia has played chamber music in various Festivals in the World and conducted Masterclasses in numerous renown music schools. She has recorded several CD’s as a solo harpist and several of chamber music. In 2002, she won the Prime Minister’s award for best performance of an Israeli piece.

Jung Kwak

Jung Kwak

South Korea

Harpist Jung Kwak, otherwise known as Harpist K, is recognized worldwide as one of classical music’s most captivating and gifted artists. Since that debut, she has performed in the music capitals of Europe, America and Asia collaborating with the world’s leading orchestras and with the world’s most esteemed conductors. Jung is the only harpist in the world to be selected three times as the winner of ‘Focus on Youth’ award by the World Harp Congress. Jung has reached an even wider audience through her many television appearances, which she has taken the harp to the forefront of the contemporary music. Jung Kwak is the first harpist in Asia that made her mark with a continuous exploration of all sides of the musical spectrum in concerts, recordings, teaching as well as creating a unique musical experience that is both classical and contemporary. Jung is one of the leading harp teachers of Korea. She is currently on the faculty of Ewha Womens University, Han Yang University, Choong Ang University, Yae Won Music, Art, & Dance Institute, Seoul Art High School, Sun Wha Middle and High School. She is also the Artistic Director for Harpyday Ensmble, a renowned Korean professional harp ensemble. Ms. Kwak is also on the board of the prestigious USA International Harp Competition since 2000.

Mario Falcao

Mario Falcao

Portugal- United States

Mario Falcao, Professor Emeritus at State University of New York at Fredonia and Visiting Professor at Escola Superior de Musica de Lisboa, Portugal. A winner of a Special Prize at the 5th International Harp Contest in Israel for the performance of a contemporary Israeli harp composition. Frequent collaboration with composers in Europe, US and South America has produced many new solo, chamber and Concertos written specifically for him and recorded in several albums. Extensive international career as a recitalist, orchestra Soloist and chamber music player. Frequent member of Jury of International Harp Competitions (United Stated, Great-Britain, France, Japan, Russia). Member of the American Harp Society he is a Past Chairman of Board of Directors the AHS and is a current member of the Board of Directors. He is a Founding member of the World Harp Congress and member of the Board of Directors. Guest at Master Classes and Harp Courses in US, Europe, Japan, China, Brazil and Australia.

Mabel Rodríguez

Mabel Rodríguez

Mexico

Mabel Rodríguez is a graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Música, UNAM. She studied under the direction of teacher Lidia Tamayo and later Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia Tower and teachers Tatiana Nadieshda Nikitischna. She participated for several years in various symphony orchestras in our country. Mabel studied Master of Music - Music Education at the Faculty of Music of the UNAM under the guidance of Dr. Graciela Guadalupe Martinez Salgado (+) and received the title in 2010 with honors. Today is dedicated to teaching, she is in charge of the chair of harp at the School of Music at the National Arts Centre. Also, part of the Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Cuauhtemoc.

Maryén

Maryén G. Muñoz

Mexico

From the outset of her career, Maryen has given numerous recitals, solo concerts, performed in symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras and stage shows at many esteemed cultural forums and international festivals in Mexico, the United States, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, England and Spain. Originally from Mexico, she currently lives in Madrid, where her main undertaking is to promote the harp and Latin American music from a humanistic, inventive and contemporary perspective. It is from this same aspiration that Tierra 47 has emerged, leading to the creation of a multidisciplinary team whose goal is to craft a harp festival that considers additional perspectives of creation, exhibition, thought, openness and research. Member of the World Harp Congress, the American Harp Society, Spanish Harp Association and voting member of The Recording Academy which awards the annual Grammy Awards. Her discography includes Agave Invention, Noa’s Harp Music, Angel Coo, Angel Christmas and the DVD It’s Bedtime, all available on current major digital platforms. She was the recipient of a grant from Mexico’s National Fund for Culture and the Arts (1999), with which she compiled a series of harp pieces based on Mexican children’s poetry. The result was Arpaso a Pasito a children’s beginner harp method for those just starting out in the harp world. She has given numerous lectures on the need to include the study of harp in early childhood education. And has been part of the jury of three International Harp Competitions held in Mexico and Argentina. From 2001 to 2004 she was director of the Music and Dance Initiation School at the Ollin Yoliztli Cultural Center (CCOY) in Mexico City, a space for the creation and promotion of artistic and cultural education under the sponsorship of the Mexico City Ministry of Culture, and where she also taught the harp from 1996 to 2008.

Marcela Méndez

Marcela Méndez

Argentina

Marcela was born in Argentina. She started her studies at the Escuela Superior de Música “Celia Torrá” in Concepción del Uruguay, Entre Ríos with the teacher Elena Carfi. She went on to study in Buenos Aires with Oscar Rodriguez Do Campo. Between the years 1998-1999, studying with Marielle Nordmann in Paris. In 2003, she studied in Italy, with the renowned investigator and harpist Mirella Vita. She has received many national and international prizes and in 1999, she got an award at the Arles International Chamber Music Competition. Marcela is a member of the Board of Directors of theWorld Harp Congress. Marcela has performed in recitals, concerts, masterclasses, lectures and courses in many conferences and festivals in Latin America, America and Europe. Frequently she has been a part of relevant artistic projects in her country and abroad. Marcela is the Artistic Director of the Nueva Escuela Argentina de Arpa, a society whose objective is the promotion of the musical instrument, the harpists and its music.

Kayo Otake

Kayo Otake

Japan- Canada

KAYO OTAKE is a Graduate of the Musashino Academy of Music in Tokyo, Japan majoring in Piano. After graduating, she took on the post as an instructor of the Nagoya College of Music and the Chunichi Culture Centre in Nagoya, Japan. In 1991, she started teaching Piano as a Registered Teacher for the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto producing many successful graduates. She also served as a juror of local musical competitions. Enthusiast in helping the next generations of young talented harpists reach their own dreams, she founded the Otake Family Fund to support the World Harp Congress: Focus on Youth to assist and support the young talented harpists to come to the World Harp Congress. Beside music, she is also making a difference in the world by working for the International Service Committee as a proud Rotarian receiving the prestigious “Paul Harris Award” for recognition of her community service to the world as a Vancouver Rotary Club Member.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything” - Plato

Alfredo Aguilar

Alfredo Aguilar

Mexico

Originally from Tultepec, the State of Mexico, Alfredo Isaac Aguilar studied at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico, the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, “Alfred Cortot” and the International Summer Academy of the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria. His teachers were, Luz Maria Puente, Jorge Federico Osorio, Aquiles Delle-Vigne and Germaine Mounier. Alfredo is one of the most active Mexican performers in the last five years. He has studied and developed as a concert soloist; however, he also performs with orchestras and with chamber ensembles. Currently he participates in festivals and concert halls in Mexico City and throughout the entire country of Mexico. He earned his Master of Interpretation at UNAM and currently belongs to the concert of Fine Arts and teaches at the National Conservatory of Music. Alfredo has won the following awards: 2nd place at the National Piano Competition 1996, organized by the CONACULTA and the Symphony Orchestra of Coyoacan; Interpreters FONCA scholarship for 1997 and 2004; the FOCAEM three times; 1st Place at the National Chamber Music Competition CONACULTA-INBA 1997; 3rd Place at the Second National Piano Competition “Angelica Morales” 1998; 3rd Place at the National Piano Competition “Edward Grieg” 2001; 3rd Place at the Grand Prix of the Fifth International Piano Competition “Albert Roussel, Sofia” 2002 in Sofia, Bulgaria; 1st Place / Overall Winner of the Soloists Competition of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Mexico City, 2003.