Kosovan conductor and choir bring two awards home

Kori Siparantum, directed by Memli Kelmendi, were prizewinners at the 70th edition of the European Music Festival for Young People in Neerpelt, Belgium

The Siparantum Choir and their conductor Memli Kelmendi travelled to Neerpelt in Belgium in April to take part in the EMJ Festival, where they were awarded First Prizes in the Mixed Voice Youth Choir category and the Free category for their performances.

The choir presented a world premiere of a set work for the competition, Laudes Paschales, by the composer Christin Van Ingelgem, who complimented the singers on their performance.

During the festival, Kelmendi also led a workshop on Kosovan Choral Music, which was attended by 170 members of choirs from Romania, Switzerland and Belgium as well as the Siparantum Choir.

Writing for the Albanian language website KultPlus, Kelmendi said, ‘I am very happy that we brought the first two awards to my country Kosovo. The work we are doing as a society is being appreciated everywhere. This shows that we are equal to other countries that have centuries-old tradition of choral music. 

‘I met many friends with whom we have met before in many different European festivals, I met many new friends, conductors and many choirs that participated in this festival. Major festivals provide such opportunities!’

Memli Kelmendi and the Siparantum Choir will host the second edition of CHORALSPACE’s Quo Vadis Choral Music? conference in Peja, Kosovo in May 2023.