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Grażyna Brodzińska


Grażyna Brodzińska (Poland)
Chair of the Panel of Judges, Honorary Guest of the “Vistula Sounds” Festival.

The First Lady of the Polish Music Scene, known and admired by tens of thousands of fans across the world. With perfection in every move and gesture, Grażyna Brodzińska amazes spectators with her voice, elegance and temperament. Offering listeners the highest levels of vocal performance, Brodzińska’s repertoire covers classical pieces, musical gems, as well as world hits in a variety of musical genres. She could be seen and heard in many leading roles in operettas, musicals and musical comedies, including as Hanna Glawari in “The Merry Widow” by F. Lehar, Sylvia Varescu in “The Riviera Girl” by E. Kálmán, Countess Zedlau in the “Viennese Spirit” and Annina in “A Night in Venice”, both by J. Strauss, and La Périchole in “La Périchole” by J. Offenbach. She also played and sang the parts of Dolly Galagher Levi in “Hello Dolly” by J. Herman, Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady” by F. Loewe, and Dorothy Brock in the “42nd Street” by H. Warren. At the Kammeroper in Vienna Grażyna Brodzińska sang the part of Eurydice in “Orpheus in the Underworld” by J. Offenbach, and the part of Zerlina in Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni”. She was also guest performing the part of Adela in “The Flittermouse” by J. Strauss and the part of Kasia in M. Kamieński’s opera “Poverty Made Happy”. With her Adela pieces from “The Flittermouse” Grażyna Brodzińska completed a tour of Germany, amazing listeners across many musical scenes of the country. She was a soloist of the Szczecin Musical Theatre, the Warsaw, and the Gliwice Musical Theatre. Her performances are frequently accompanied by leading philharmonic and opera orchestras of the world. She has given multiple performances at home and abroad, including in the USA, Canada, France, Austria, England, Italy, Belgium, Israel, the Netherlands, and Australia. She is the main star of dedicated multimedia performances, including the “Musical Alley of Stars”, “The Best of Broadway”, “Do Not Forget Me”, “Magical Hollywood”, and “Sing and Dance”. She performed on multiple occasions at the Jan Kiepura European Festival in Krynica. Grażyna Brodzińska produced many television and radio recordings, and was frequently presented with prestigious awards for her stage accomplishments.


Jarosław Wasik

Jarosław Wasik (Poland)
Vice Chair of the Panel of Judges

Vocalist, cultural studies expert, lyricist, songwriter. Jarosław is a well-known performer in Poland and abroad. He is one of the winners of the “Debiuty” (“Debuts”) concert of the Polish Song Contest “Opole '94”, Student Song Contest in Krakow, Olsztyn Castle “Śpiewajmy Poezję” (“Let’s Sing Poetry”) Vocal Reunions, and many other festivals. Jarosław is a two-time recipient of the “The Lyre of Orpheus” – the grand prize of the central qualifiers for the national recitation contest in the “Sung Poetry” category. Jarosław has released 4 records: “Nastroje” (“Moods”), “Zielony z niebieskim” (“Green and Blue”), “Fabryka nastrojów” (“The Mood Factory”) and “Nie dotykaj” (“Do Not Touch”). Since 2000 Jarosław Wasik has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Student Song Contest in Krakow, and since 2017 – a member of the Board of Directors of the Polish Song Contest in Opole. He has also been the managing director of the Polish Song Museum in Opole since 2013. Jarosław Wasik has served as judge at numerous vocal contests and festivals worldwide.


ILLARIA (Ukraine)

Singer, composer, songwriter, music producer, actress, vocal coach, founder of own creative studio “Illaria's Vocal Workshop”, tutor at the Glier Kyiv Institute of Music. In the Ukraine ILLARIA is well known for her mystical image, original repertoire and a sensual, strong voice, covering a range of three octaves. In her songs and performances ILLARIA attempts to combines folk motifs with contemporary world trends. For her love of Ukrainian lyrics and folk songs, the musician is often referred to as the “soul of the country”. To date ILLARIA has released 5 studio albums, held performances in many countries around the world, including in Canada, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Poland, and the UK. She also took part in the Ukrainian TV show, “Voice”, as well as in the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. ILLARIA holds several national awards, including “Singer of the Year” as part of the National “Favourites of Success” Award, as well as an award from the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture for her personal contribution to the national culture. The singer has frequently been a judge of both the Eurovision and the Junior Eurovision Song Contests, as well as many other national and international festivals.

Joanna Zagdańska

Joanna Zagdańska (Poland)

Vocalist, musician, educator, PhD, college tutor. Joanna has been performing extensively at home and abroad, accompanied by, among others, the Poznan Radio Orchestra conducted by Z. Górny, Alex Band conducted by A. Maliszewski, Big Warsaw Band conducted by S. Fiałkowski, Kukla Band conducted by Z. Kukla, singing jazz, musical, and original repertoire written specifically for her by outstanding Polish writers (including A. Żółkoś, J. Wołek, J. Holm, M. Skolarski, J. Bukowski, A. Mogielnicki, and others). Ms Zagdańska has won a variety of prestigious awards at international signing competitions (including in Slovakia, Turkey, and Bulgaria), where she represented Poland. She also won numerous awards at many Polish festivals and competitions, including the Sopot International Song Festival and the Polish Song Contest in Opole. Since 2003 Ms Zagdańska has been teaching at the F. Nowowiejski Music Academy in Bydgoszcz, and in 2006 she started collaborating with the Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz. She is actively performing, provides vocal coaching at courses, workshops, serves as a judge, and actively participates in various vocal projects, including her solo record “Joanna Zagdańska. Wybrane utwory (Selected Songs) – Adam Żółkoś, Dave Brubeck”, released in 2018. Her students and alumnae of the jazz singing class have won awards at international and national vocal competitions, are winners and runners-up in TV shows such as “The Voice of Poland” on TVP, “The Four” on TV Polsat, and grantees of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Veronika Yanovskaya

Veronika Yanovskaya (Belarus)

Jazz singer, vocal coach, founder and artistic director of the “Contemporary School of Vocal Art” in Minsk. Thanks to higher musical education and many years of experience in the delivery of pop and jazz vocal techniques, as well as experience in conducting, Miss Yanovskaya has developed her own vocal coaching methods, and since 2015 she has been managing her own school of vocal art. She authored the “Children Sing Jazz” project in Minsk, and is the vocalist of the “Port Monait” jazz quartet. As a soloist, she has worked on multiple occasions with the renowned conductor, Alexander Humala, including as part of the joint project with the “Sonorus” State Band. Miss Yanovskaya continues to hone her skills, attending a variety of masterclasses with world-class coaches and artists from the USA, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Russia, and Lithuania. Miss Yanovskaya has been frequently asked to deliver vocal masterclasses at various international competitions, including in Byelorussia, Lithuania, and Finland. She is the standing judge at “Baltic Voice” (Lithuania) and the “Musical Talent League” (Lithuania) contests. In addition, Miss Yanovskaya was a judge at the following competitions: “Vive la France” (France), “Premier” (Ukraine), “Magnolia” (Poland), “Bravo, Turku” (Finland), as well as the “Golden Voice” (Armenia). Students of Miss Yanovskaya’s classes have won numerous prizes and awards at international and domestic competitions and musical TV projects, including the “New Wave Junior”, the “Eurovision Song Contest", the “X-Factor”, and the “X Jazz Festival”. Many of her students are pursuing further education at universities and conservatories in Byelorussia, Russia, Austria, Germany, and the United States, and giving concerts as part of significant jazz projects, such as the “X Jazz For Kids”, accompanied by the Polish master drummer, Bodek Janke.

Marcin Wortmann

Marcin Wortmann (Poland)

Musical actor, vocal coach, opera singer, jazz vocalist, violinist. Doctor of Musical Arts, lecturer at the Frederic Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań – musical theatre department. On the professional musical stage since 2000, and has made appearances in over 4800 musicals, including Miss Saigon, Peter Pan, Grease, Cats, Dance of the Vampires (Alfred), Mr. Kleks's Academy, The Phantom of the Opera, Aladdin Jr., Singin' in the Rain, Mamma Mia! (Pepper), Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar (Simon Zealotes), Fame (Schlomo Metzenbaum), A Chorus Line (Mike), Doctor Zhivago (Pasha Antipov/Strelnikov), Robinson Crusoe's Adventures (Friday), Pilots (Stefan), Next to Normal (Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden), Hello Fred the Beard (Borys), Rock of Ages (Stacee Jaxx), Les Misérables (Marius), Madagascar (Marthy), Game of Thrones (Augustus II the Strong), My Fair Lady (Freddy Eynsford-Hill), Irena (Adam), Kajko and Kokosz (Mirmił), West Side Story (A-Rab). 
In 2012, Marcin made his debut as an opera singer on the small stage of the Grand Theatre – National Opera in Warsaw, playing the role of Bottom in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and in 2013 he played the role of Junius in Benjamin Britten's The Rape of Lucretia.
Currently Marcin is the vocal director for Matilda the Musical at the Kameralny Theatre in Bydgoszcz and the Syrena Theatre in Warsaw, and for Catch Me If You Can at the Musical Theatre in Łódź. He is also the music director for the Workshop Musical Academy in Warsaw. Currently he works with the Roma Musical Theatre, Syrena Theatre, Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic in Białystok, Castle Opera in Szczecin, Krakow Opera, Musical Theatre in Poznań, Musical Theatre in Łódź, and the Mazovian Musical Theatre in Warsaw.
In 2022 he was awarded the Jan Kiepura Musical Award for Best Musical Vocalist in 2022.
Anna Poghosyan

Anna Poghosyan (Armenia)

Soprano, classical vocal tutor, vocalist. Over 2001-2005 Ms Poghosyan served as a teaching assistant at the Vocal Department of the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan, Armenia, and since 2005 she has been working as a singing tutor at the same department. In 2017 Ms Poghosyan was nominated associate professor of the Komitas Conservatory. She is also a soloist of the Armenian National Philharmonic, as well as a member of the Armenian Social Council for Culture. Ms Poghosyan has won several international festivals and vocal competitions, including 1st prize and gold medal at the International Competition in Italy, as well as a Grand Prix at the Competition in Spain. She has worked as a soloist with various Armenian orchestras and choirs, led by outstanding conductors (e.g. S. Yerkanyan, H. Cheqijyan, Z. Vardanyan, and others). In addition to her work as a vocal tutor, she has been developing her singing career at home and abroad though live performances and concerts in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia, Italy, Spain, Poland, Germany, Belgium, Russia, Bulgaria, Iran, China, and others. Students taught by Ms Poghosyan have won international singing competitions, and the artist sits on judging panels of many international vocal contests.

Sławomir Małecki

Sławomir Małecki (Poland)

Musician, composer, educator, founder and lead guitarist of the “Zdrowa Woda” (Healthy Water) band. Graduated from the Institute of Musical Education in Bydgoszcz. Artistic director of the “Blues bez barier” (Blues without Barriers) International Festival (Ciechocinek). Organizer and artistic coordinator of the “Cztery pory roku” (Four Seasons) series of concerts (Ciechocinek). Works with young talents at the local Cultural Centre in Ciechocinek. Founder and lead musician of the “Hippo”, “Hitto” and “Przyjaciółki” (Friends) bands, supporting also a large group of soloists. All of his charges take active part in concerts and are successful festival participants regionally, at home and abroad, having produced a total of 9 records. For many years, Mr. Małecki has worked with international and national festival organizers, supporting these events as a judge and musical workshop lead. Together with the “Zdrowa Woda” band, Jerzy Owsiak and Walter Chełstowski, Mr. Małecki was one of the founders of the Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy charity, with the first concert held at the “Sala Malinowa” of a local high school.
Mr. Małecki produced 11 solo records and played at the majority of festivals at home and abroad. He is a member of the ZAiKS Society of Authors, the STOART Union of Performing Artists’ Associations, and the “Fryderyk” Phonographic Academy. Received multiple awards and distinctions for his musical achievements, social engagement, as well as his work for the city of Ciechocinek, including: the Voivode’s Award for artistic achievement, nomination for the “Fryderyk” phonographic award, the Staszic Medal for the contributions to the city of Ciechocinek, the Elder’s Distinction for artistic achievement, the “Złota Muza” (Golden Muse) Elder’s Distinction for artistic achievement, the “Volunteer of the Year 2007” award, Prof. Lorentowicz Medal for outstanding contribution for the Ciechocinek Resort, Mayor of Ciechocinek’s Distinction for the support and promotion of cultural performances by persons with disabilities, the Elder’s Distinction for lifetime achievement, a star monument in the Ciechocinek Walk of Fame, the Marshal’s award for artistic achievement, the “Zasłużony dla kultury” (Meritorious for Polish Culture) Decoration of Honour awarded by the Minister of Culture, as well as the WOŚP Medal commemorating the charity’s 25th and 30th anniversary.


Aldegunda (Lithuania)

Multi-talented vocalist, artist, creative visionary, composer, arranger, producer, elegant and sophisticated. A native and citizen of Lithuania, with a wide international cultural perspective. As a vocalist and song writer, Aldegunda has developed her own bold, unique, interpretive and original singing style that fully and expressively incorporates her influences ranging from Lithuanian folk, jazz, pop, blues, Latin and R&B, Euro and rock traditions. Aldegunda has performed and recorded with some of the finest and well known musicians in the United States and Europe, including Arina, Kęstutis Stančiauskas, Virgilijus Noreika, Gediminas Zujus, Robert Irving III (formally with Miles Davis), Charles Heath IV (currently with Ramsey Lewis), Brienne Perry (formally with the Woody Herman Big Band), William McClellan (currently with Cassandra Wilson), the Daniel Wearring Gospel Group, and other musicians in Chicago and New York. Aldegunda has performed at prestigious concert venues and private events throughout the United States, including the Athenaeum Theatre, Chopin Theater, University of Chicago’s International House, Shapeshifter's Lab in Brooklyn NY, and the Lithuanian Embassy in Washington DC. She also participated in the “Eurovision” Song Contest in 2019, 2021 and 2022. Aldegunda and her son Ąžuolas competed in the 2022 edition of the reality singing competition “The Voice of Lithuania. Generations”. Impressive creative, producing, management and organizational abilities are the skills that move Aldegunda beyond being a vocalist. She has successfully produced and co-produced major concerts and private events, and she has received praise from prestigious, internationally respected newspapers, including the New York Times, as well as every major Lithuanian and Lithuanian American news outlet.

Rossi Yordanova

Rossi Yordanova (Bulgaria)

Conductor, composer, vocal teacher, producer, CEO of the “Art Voices” Music Agency, director of international music festivals: the “Abanico” and the “Sofia Grand Prix” under the auspices of the Mayor of Sofia and the Bulgarian national television, as well as the “Ulpia Serdica” choir festival. Ms Yordanova is a judge in multiple prestigious international competitions and festivals in many countries, including Armenia, Italy, Spain, Macedonia, Malta, and Moldova. Rossi Yordanova is the conductor and artistic director of the “Shtastlivetsa” choir which delivered multiple successful performances in many countries, captivating audiences with varied repertoires, unique arrangements and innovative interpretations. Ms Yordanova is the chief vocal coach and director of the “ArtschoolStudio Music Sofia”, one of the best vocal and music studios in Bulgaria. Her students frequently participate in international festivals, winning numerous awards and prizes, give concerts in Sofia and other cities of Bulgaria, and take part in various television and radio shows, including the Eurovision Song Contest, The Voice of Bulgaria, Staracademy, The X Factor, Music Idol, The Big Hopes, and many others. Ms Yordanova is an associate professor and provides instruction at The National Academy of Music “Prof. Pantcho Vladigerov” in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Claire McCartin

Claire McCartin (Malta)

Vocalist, Vocal Instructor/Consultant, Producer, Composer, Manual Laryngeal Therapist.

Claire is a well-known vocalist with a distinctive blues voice and over the years, has held performances in various countries, namely the USA, Russia and Austria. From 2000-2016, Claire was a member and soloist of the famous 200-strong Maltese choir Voices and was also a 2010 Malta Eurovision finalist. She is currently the resident vocal coach of the production company Arthaus MT, the Maltese agent of the UK examination board Rockschool and most recently, was also part of the vocal coaching team on The Voice Kids Malta.

In 2007, Claire joined the critically acclaimed Speech Level Singing (SLS) organisation and worked as a certified SLS instructor for five years. She completed a two-year course with the renowned Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA and currently forms part of the Institute for Vocal Advancement (IVA), Modern Vocal Training (MVT), and also Profty, the creator of the world’s best artist development programs. She is also certified as a Manual Laryngeal Therapist.

She works from her personal vocal studio mentoring several established and upcoming artists. Her students include the winners of the Maltese Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza festival in 2018 and 2021, the winner of the Maltese Ghanja tal-Poplu festival in 2019, the San Marino representative at the Eurovision Song Contest in Portugal 2018, and the Maltese representative at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Poland 2020.

Slawek Wierzchowski

Sławomir Wierzcholski (Poland)

Composer, songwriter, singer, harmonica virtuoso, radio and newspaper journalist. Vice-president of the SAWP Association protecting the rights of Polish performers, secretary of the ZAIKS Artists and Composers Association, board member of the ZAKR Association of Polish Authors and Composers, and member of the audit committee of the Polish Musicians’ Union.
Formed the “Nocna Zmiana Bluesa” band in 1982, and gave concerts in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA, the USSR, and Zimbabwe. Mr. Wierzcholski's career and the band have been the subject of 3 television documentaries, 2 scientific papers, and 2 books. Composed music and lyrics for 5 children CDs, and authored the music for “Tom Sawyer’s Secret” musical (libretto by J. A. Masłowski). In 1997, as the first Polish blues musician, performed among the outstanding harmonica players at the World Harmonica Festival in Trossingen, Germany. Authored two harmonica playing textbooks and has been the artistic director of the Harmonica Bridge Festival for the last 19 years.
Mr. Wierzcholski has worked with the Polish Radio for 30 years, and is the author of some 1,500 original broadcasts. Mr. Wierzcholski's music or lyrics have been used by numerous stars of the Polish music stage. For his outstanding artistic achievements, received numerous awards and decorations, including the Silver Cross of Merit and the Gloria Artis Silver Medal for Merit to Culture.

Irina Parakhnevich

Irina Parakhnevich (Latvia)

Conductor, vocal teacher, producer, vocal instructor/consultant, and personal vocal coach. Irina graduated from St. Petersburg’s State Institute of Culture, with a degree in academic chorus conducting. Over the course of her professional career Irina attended multiple workshops by leading world masters. In 2001 she received the MSc in education. Irina Parakhnevich is highly regarded in Latvia for her expertise as a vocal coach; she has worked with many state-run music and general education schools in Riga as a singing teacher and ensemble and choir mistress. Since 2004 she has worked with the "Kantilena" vocal studio of the RBJP National School of Music as a vocal instructor.
Irina’s students have participated in many international competitions and projects, such as “Golos”, “Slavjansy bazar”, “X-factor”, “Rigas Symphony”, and “Golden Voice”. Performing in a variety of musical styles, such as folk songs, jazz, pop songs, with Latvian lyrics, many of these contestants made it to the finals, and some became winners.
In addition to her work as an educator, Irina has also served as judge in international musical projects held in Lithuania, Portugal, Malta, Italy, and Bulgaria. In 2016 she received “The best coach of the year” award for her commitment to promoting Latvian culture and coaching young talent. In the same year the Kantilena vocal studio received the “The best collective of the year” award, and one of the best of Kantilena’s students, Eduard Redico, was awarded “The best student” prize in 2018 for his performance in international and Latvian competitions. All prizes were awarded by the Latvian Ministry of Culture and Education.