The Mozart Choral Festival, celebrating the life, work, and legacy of renowned Classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, will take place June 29-July 3, 2016. The 2016 festival, Jubilate Mozart! celebrates 260 years since the composer’s birth. The spectacular festival will feature a large chorus of mixed voices from across North America. Singers from a variety of backgrounds will work side-by-side for three days of festival rehearsals and a grand finale concert in the historic and stunning Salzburger Dom in Salzburg, Austria.
The festival chorus will perform outstanding classical works under the direction of Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe, Chair of the Thornton School of Music’s department of choral and sacred music at the University of Southern California, and Prof. János Czifra, music director and choirmaster at the Salzburger Dom. The festival culminates in a performance of Mozart’s Coronation Mass in C Major, KV 317, accompanied by the Salzburger Domorchester all under Prof. Czifra’s direction.
Overseen by a nearly 1,000-year old hillside fortress, Salzburg is quaint, delicate, and utterly charming. This picturesque city within the heart of the Austrian countryside rests along the northern boundary of the Alps, and literally resonates with the “Sound of Music.”
Salzburg’s most famous historical resident is, by far, the 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. As a teenager, Mozart was employed as a court musician by the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg. During this time, the composer worked in many genres, including symphonies, sonatas, string quartets, serenades, and a few minor operas. After a brief stay in Paris, Mozart returned to Salzburg in his early twenties to serve as court organist and concertmaster. In this position, he composed numerous works of sacred music for Salzburg, including his great Coronation Mass in C Major.
Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe chairs the Thornton School of Music’s department of choral and sacred music at the University of Southern California, where he conducts the USC Chamber Singers, teaches choral conducting and choral methods, and supervises the graduate and undergraduate choral program. In 2008, he assumed a new post as National President Elect of the American Choral Directors’ Association, and in 2011 became National President. No stranger to the ACDA, Scheibe previously served as the organization’s Western Division President (1991-1993), as well as National Repertoire and Standards Chairperson for Community Colleges (1980-1989). Ensembles under his leadership have sung at six national ACDA conventions (1985, 1991, 1993, 1997, 2003, 2007), as well as two national conventions of the Music Educators National Conference (1996, 2000), and various regional and state conventions.
A champion of contemporary music, Scheibe regularly commissions and performs new works of choral literature. He has helped to launch careers of promising young composers and to promote music by international composers largely unknown in the United States. Music publishers Walton, Colla Voce Music and Santa Barbara distribute the Jo-Michael Scheibe Choral Series internationally.A member of Chorus America, the International Federation of Choral Music, and several other professional and education organizations, Scheibe is in frequent demand internationally as a clinician, conductor and adjudicator for choruses at the university, community college, community and secondary levels.
Prof. János Czifra is a native of Hungary and has been the music director of the Salzburger Dom since 1989. In addition to the normal services at the cathedral, he has led the cathedral choir and orchestra in events of international interest, including two papal visits, episcopal consecrations and jubilees, festivals of sacred music and symposiums. Invitations from abroad and numerous concert tours have led Prof. Czifra and the cathedral choir to the USA, Japan and many European cities.
In 2002, he became a member of the European Academy of Science and Arts and was awarded the title of Professor. He very much values and enjoys the opportunities to work together with the many musical guests to Salzburg and the cathedral.
For more information about Jubilate Mozart! and how your ensemble can participate in the future, please visit the festival website.