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PREVIOUS WINNERS OF THE ERIC ERICSON AWARD

Peter Dijkstra – winner 2003

Peter Dijkstra. Foto: Astrid Ackermann.

Peter Dijkstra. Photo: Astrid Ackermann.

Peter Dijkstra is the chief conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Choir and first guest conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir. He was previously artistic director of the Bavarian Radio Chorus in Munich and between 2007 and 2018 he was the chief conductor of the Swedish Radio Choir and is therefore second only to Eric Ericson in holding this position for the longest time. In 2019 he was appointed honorary conductor of the Swedish Radio Choir.

He is also much sought-after as a guest conductor, regularly engaged by leading European choirs such as the RIAS Chamber Choir, the Danish National Concert Choir, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, and the BBC Singers. He has guest-conducted orchestras such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, as well as early music ensembles such as Concerto Köln and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.

He is Professor in Choir Conducting at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.  In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious Golden Violin, an award for internationally successful musicians in the Netherlands, and the Eugen Jochum Prize in 2014 He studied solo singing and conducting at the conservatory in the Hague, where he graduated summa cum laude, and at the academies of music in Cologne and Stockholm.

Martina Batič – winner 2006

Martina Batic. Foto: Janez Kotar.

Martina Batic. Photo: Janez Kotar.

Martina Batič has been the chief conductor of the Choir of Radio France since autumn 2018. She was formerly chief conductor and artistic director of the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir and prior to that she was the choirmaster at the Ljubljana Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet.

She is regularly invited to conduct choirs such as the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, the Netherlands Radio Choir and the RIAS Chamber Choir and has been engaged as a guest conductor of the radio choirs in Leipzig and Stuttgart, the Danish National Vocal Ensemble and ChorWerk Ruhr. Some highlights from her career include a tribute concert to Ingvar Lidholm with the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, a concert with the Leipzig Radio Choir during the ACHAVA Festspiele Thüringen, and a concert with the Choir of Radio France during Festival Présences.

In 2019, she was awarded the Prešeren Award for her artistic achievements and her “outstanding ability to mould the choral sound”. Through this Award, the Prešeren Fund annually recognises prominent Slovenes active in the arts and culture. She studied first at the Academy of Music of the University of Ljubljana and then under Michael Gläser at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich. In the years following, she participated in numerous master classes with famous choir conductors, including Eric Ericson.

Kjetil Almenning – winner 2009

Kjetil Almenning. Foto: Tuva Aeserud

Kjetil Almenning. Photo: Tuva Aeserud

Kjetil Almenning is the choirmaster at Bergen Cathedral and chief conductor of the Bergen Cathedral Choir, with which he recorded the CD Credo – a portrait of his compatriot Trond Kverno – and, together with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, a Grammy-nominated CD with works by Leoš Janáček. He is also the artistic director of the vocal ensemble Vocal Art i Bodø.

As a singer and choirmaster, he has worked with ensembles such as the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir, Barents Kammerkor, the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, and the Swedish Radio Choir. He has previously been conductor and artistic director of the vocal ensemble Ginnungagap, Vestoppland kammerkor, and the Norwegian National Youth Choir. During his time as conductor of the chamber choir Ensemble 96, they recorded the CD Kind which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance.

He has a Bachelor’s degree in church music from the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo and a diploma in choir conducting from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.