Presenting the Winners of European Award for Composers 2020

Jan Van der Roost (BE), Maarten Van Ingelgem (BE), Hans Helsen (BE), Jeroen Beckers (BE), Vigdis Hansa Elst (BE)

Category: Round table

The jury of the European Award for Choral Composers 2020/21 selected the winning pieces and also awarded special mentions, after pieces had been submitted from all over Europe. In category A (works a cappella), the prize was awarded to “Amor, io fallo” by Belgian composer Jan Van der Roost, while Hans Helsen received a special mention for his piece “Sanctus Amor”. In category B (works with accompaniment), Maarten Van Ingelgem from Belgium won the prize for “Autumn Soils”, while Vigdis Hansa Elst received a special mention for her piece “How sweet the Moonlight”. Mr. Jeroen Beckers will talk to the winners of the international composition competition.

JAN VAN DER ROOST (BE) (1956) studied at the Lemmensinstituut (Leuven) and the Royal Conservatoires of Gent and Antwerpen where he graduated for composition and conducting. His international activities as a composer, conductor, guest professor or adjudicator brought him to over 50 countries all over the world. His compositions are widely performed and/or recorded in numerous countries by professional and amateur ensembles (instrumental and vocal). He exclusively composes commissioned works, so far coming from 22 countries. His music is recorded by numerous labels, such as EMI Classics, NAXOS, Toshiba, Navona Records, Aeolus, Fontec, etc.

Jan Van der Roost (BE)

While studying piano and composition at the conservatory, MAARTEN VAN IGELGEM (BE) (1976) caught the choir bug. In 2001, he started conducting the Ghent-based chamber choir for contemporary music De 2de Adem (The Second Wind). So far, he has performed 40 premieres with them. As a bass singer he was involved in choirs, such as Aquarius and the Flemish Radio Choir. He works as a pianist-accompanist and shares his passion for creativity in his role as Professor of Composition at LUCA School of Arts, Leuven. He is the Artistic Director of the World Choir Games 2021 in Flanders.

Maarten Van Ingelgem (BE)

HANS HELSEN (BE) (1989) is a Belgian composer, conductor, singer and music pedagogue. Connecting people of all ages through singing drives him, and it is the common thread throughout his work. Professionally, Hans seeks to balance teaching, composing, and performing, based on the conviction that these different skills complement each other. He has already written compositions for many different and diverse line-ups but focuses on vocal music. Hans won the Koor&Stem Composition Competition in 2011 with the work Parafrasie Paranoica. He is a double laureate in the European award for Choral Composers (2014 with Missa Brevis and 2020 with Sanctus Amor).

Hans Helsen (BE)

VIGDIS HANSA ELST (BE) (1991) graduated with a Masters of Composition in June 2018, having studied with Wim Henderickx and Luc Van Hove. For her final exam, she wrote both text and music for the music theatre performance Bloot (Naked), which was created in cooperation with Muziektheater Transparant/TRANSLAB. This performance marked the direction of Vigdis’ work, focusing on music theatre and vocal music. As a performer, she is regularly seen onstage, mainly with her own projects in music theatre, jazz performance, poetry, and performing her own texts.

Vigdis Hansa Elst (BE)


JEROEN BECKERS (BE) studied at the Conservatory of Maastricht, the Lemmensinstitute Leuven and the Conservatory of Utrecht and graduated in Theory of Music, Violin, Viola and Choral Conducting. He is currently the director of all Cantitare choirs (children’s choir, youth choir and adult choir) and youth choir “De Piccolo’s Neerpelt”. With these choirs he attended several international festivals like Europa Cantat Junior Festivals in Nevers and Pärnu, Worcester International Festival for Young Singers, Europa Cantat Festival in Tallinn and the European Festival for Young Singers in Neerpelt. He holds teaching positions at the Academy of Arts in Maaseik, is vice-president of the Flemish Federation forJEROEN BECKERS (BE) Young Choirs (VFJK) and board member of the International Choral Festival Flanders-Genk.

Jeroen Beckers (BE)
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