TMC 2017 Mechelen selection

Mariana Delgadillo Espinoza

Mariana Delgadillo EspinozaMariana Delgadillo Espinoza (Bolivia 1981) was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where she first studied piano. She then studied in Cuba and choral conducting in France and Germany. On gaining her Conductor’s diploma in France, she founded her own ensemble ‘Alkymia’, specializing in contemporary and early music. ‘Alkymia’ is composed of professional musicians and singers and works with young composers. She also conducts the Cathedral’s choir of children and the International Willems choir. In 2015, she was awarded the 1st prize at the European Young Choral Conductor’s Competition as well as the special prize for the interpretation of early music.

Petra Grassi

Petra Grassi (1988) was born in Trieste (Italy) as a member of the Slovenian minority. After graduating in piano and music pedagogy at Conservatorio Tartini of Trieste, she received a scholarship for the Academy of Music of Ljubljana (Slovenia).

Since 2012 she has been a member of the Italian Youth Choir (Coro Giovanile Italiano). She graduating in choral conducting at the Academy of Music in Trento with Lorenzo Donati.

In February 2015 she won the first prize in the National Choral Conducting Competition “Le mani in suono” in Arezzo (IT) and received a special prize as the youngest conductor in the final round. At the national competition for choral conductors “Zvok mojih rok” in Ljubljana she won the first prize.

At the international competition for young choral conductors organized by the Europa Choral Association in Torino 2015, she won the third prize and the audience prize for best conductor. She has been invited to have an atelier at the festival Europa Cantat in Tallinn 2018.

Petra Grassi is the conductor of vocal ensemble Vikra , and she is the chief conductor of chamber choir Dekor from Ljubljana. She is also the conductor of the Regional youth choir of Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy.

Benjamin Kirk

Benjamin Kirk (UK, 1992) is a graduate of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, and the Royal Academy of Music in London. He began his studies in Choral Conducting in Tallinn with Tõnu Kaljuste in 2011, and later continued with Patrick Russill and Paul Brough in the Royal Academy in 2014.
Benjamin Kirk has worked with Estonian National Male Choir and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choirs. Benjamin recently completed his term as Chief Guest Conductor with Tartu University Female Choir, and last year was Assistant Conductor to Tõnu Kaljuste with the Estonian Academy of Music Chamber Choir.
Benjamin currently lives in Estonia, and is working as a freelance chorusmaster and conductor as he completes what will be his third Master’s degree, in Orchestral Conducting.