The International a cappella Competition is open to all ambitious vocal ensembles of various styles. We see ourselves as a platform where aspiring ensembles are specifically supported. Therefore, in addition to the competition’s performance evaluations, we offer participating groups an extensive program, including an in-depth exploration of their own singing and stage presence in a masterclass led by Stephen Connolly (former King’s Singer), participation in the a cappella showcase, the imparting of solid vocal fundamentals and care by Phoniater Prof. Dr. Michael Fuchs, and the opportunity to attend concerts of established a cappella groups and make connections at the International a cappella Festival Leipzig. Additionally, each competition ensemble receives specific feedback on their competition performance from each individual jury member.
All competition ensembles, regardless of style and whether amplified or unamplified, compete in one category.
Robert Pohlers, tenor of amarcord since 2013, was a member of the Leipzig St Thomas Choir, where he appeared as a soloist at an early age and was honoured several times for his services to the choir. After graduating he studied singing at the Leipzig University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” under Prof. Roland Schubert until 2020. In the course of his concert career, which has already taken him to over 30 countries, Pohlers has worked with renowned ensembles and conductors, including the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Friuli Giulia Venezia Orchestra, Georg Christoph Biller, Gotthold Schwarz, HK Gruber, Steven Sloan, as well as at important venues such as the Gewandhaus Leipzig, Konzerthaus Berlin, Teatro Colòn Buenos Aires, Royal Academy of Music London, Vienna Musikverein, Prinzregententheater Munich and others. In addition to appearances on the opera stage, the tenor is increasingly developing a broad song repertoire. Various CD, radio, TV and DVD productions document his musical activities both as part of an ensemble and as a soloist. His first solo CD with songs by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was released in 2021. Since 2023, Pohlers has been the artistic director and conductor of the Leipzig chamber choir “Ensemble TonArt” and, together with amarcord, a lecturer in ensemble singing at the Leipzig University of Music.
Simon Carrington, founding member of The King´s Singers and Yale University professor emeritus, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in music, performing as singer, double bass player and conductor. During his Yale tenure he led the introduction of a new graduate voice degree for singers specializing in oratorio, early music and chamber ensemble. He now keeps up an active schedule as a freelance conductor and choral clinician, leading workshops and master classes around the world. For the 2016-17 academic year he accepted the position of Visiting Professor of Choral Conducting to work alongside Simon Halsey and his students at the University of Birmingham, UK.
The former autodidact Juan M. V. Garcia is a qualified jazz singer and music teacher who has won all internationally renowned prizes with the pop-jazz vocal quartet Klangbezirk. As an arranger, Garcia works for Echo award winners such as the ensemble amarcord, Calmus, but also the BundesJugendJazzOrchester. His diverse experience as a vocal coach, musical director at various theatres, workshop leader, moderator, author, singer/instrumentalist and music producer has been followed since 2017 by a professorship in choral and ensemble conducting at the Hochschule für Musik »Franz Liszt« in Weimar.
Winnie Brückner is singer and arranger as well as lecturer in jazz/pop choral conduction and jazz singing at the Hochschule für Musik »Franz Liszt« in Weimar. She is founding member and artistic director of the vocal quartet »niniwe« that has won numerous prizes at international a-cappella competitions in Graz, Tampere, Taipei und Aarhus. As singer she acts in different bands und projects which are leading her to concert tours through Europe, Asia and USA.
Robert Pohlers, seit 2013 Tenor bei amarcord, begann seine Ausbildung als Sänger als Mitglied des Leipziger Thomanerchores, wo er bereits früh als Solist in Erscheinung trat und für seine Verdienste um den Chor mehrfach ausgezeichnet wurde. Nach seinem Abitur studierte er bis 2020 an der Leipziger Hochschule für Musik und Theater „Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy“ in der Klasse von Roland Schubert Gesang. Im Zuge seiner Konzerttätigkeit, die ihn bereits in über 30 Länder führte, arbeitete Pohlers mit namhaften Ensembles und Dirigenten, darunter dem Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, dem Münchener Kammerorchester, dem Friuli Giulia Venezia Orchestra, Georg Christoph Biller, Gotthold Schwarz, HK Gruber, Steven Sloan, sowie an bedeutenden Orten wie dem Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Konzerthaus Berlin, Teatro Colòn Buenos Aires, Royal Academy of Music London, Wiener Musikverein, Prinzregententheater München und weiteren. Neben Auftritten auf der Opernbühne erarbeitet sich der Tenor zunehmend ein breites Lied- Repertoire. Diverse CD-, Rundfunk-, TV- und DVD-Produktionen dokumentieren seine musikalische Tätigkeit sowohl im Ensemble als auch solistisch. Im Jahr 2021 erschien seine erste Solo-CD mit Liedern von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Seit 2023 ist Pohlers künstlerischer Leiter und Dirigent des Leipziger Kammerchores „Ensemble TonArt“ sowie gemeinsam mit amarcord Lehrbeauftragter an der Leipziger Musikhochschule im Fach Ensemblesingen.