International Youth Choir Festival


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Contact info
Mednarodni mladinski pevski festival
Krekov trg 3, SI-3000 Celje
Phone386 (0) 3 42 87 930
Fax386 (0) 3 42 87 931
Organised byCeleia Celje Institute
Festival dates15.4.2015 - 19.4.2015
10.5.2017 – 14.5.2017
Nenad Firšt, Co-ordinator

Established in 1946, the biennial International Youth Choir Festival in Celje is the oldest festival in Slovenia. Beginning in 1963 it became a competition festival, open to children's, youth and girls' choirs, with each competing choir being expected to perform four works: an obligatory Renaissance or early Baroque composition, a Romantic composition, a composition written after 1985, and one free choice composition.


The first idea of uniting youth choirs dates back to the year 1935, by the initiative of The Youth Choirs Choirmasters’ Association from Slovenske Konjice. In 1946 it was followed by the first open-air singing concert of young singers called Praznik mladinske pomladi (The holiday of youth spring) which was organised and also conducted by Jurče Vreže with 3000 young singers from all over Slovenia participating in the event. Thus the first Youth Choir Festival was created. In 1963 the event became competitive and organised every two years attracting young singers from the former Yugoslav republics and abroad. In 1992 it has officially become the International Youth Choir Festival and since then ten festivals were organised.

Choirs from all over Europe come to Celje to participate in the festival, including ones from Italy, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Portugal, Russia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Ireland, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Estonia, Sweden, Great Britain and Israel.


Participating choirs have to have at least 20 and no more than 50 singers and a maximum of 5 accompanists including the director. The number of performers and their age are verified immediately by a special commission. Choirs originally perform a-cappella, one of their songs can be instrumentally accompanied. The music part of each choir's programme is limited to 15 minutes.

The international five-member jury awards gold, silver, and bronze medals and special prizes for the best performance of a certain composition. The festival's music committee selects a maximum of 18 choirs for entry in the competition. Since 1997 the choirs and conductors have been accompanied by distinguished jury members: Damijan Močnik, Edvard Goršič, Tomaž Faganel, Jernej Habjanič, Damijan Močnik, Dragica Žvar, Johannes Rahe, Malcolm Goldring, Johan van Bouwelen, and others.

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