Leading Voices - new major event in Utrecht 2022 under the label of the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat

The European Choral Association – Europa Cantat (ECA-EC) is proud to officially announce the planning of a new European choral event designated to vocal leaders and choral conductors. The event will take place in Utrecht, the Netherlands from Wednesday 27th – Sunday 31st of July 2022. It will be organised in close cooperation with ZIMIHC. 

ECA-EC is looking forward to joining forces with Utrecht again. The city is well equipped for choral events and easy to reach from different parts of the city. ZIMIHC, based in Utrecht, has proven to be a reliable partner for ECA-EC with strong organisational power. Utrecht already housed the Europa Cantat festival (2009), the GA and conference Cross the Line (2016) and EuroChoir (2017). Utrecht has a vibrant musical and choral life and is also the hometown of the famous Dutch choirs Netherlands Chamber Choir and Dekoor. 
 
Leading Voices - European Days for Vocal and Choral Leaders 
Leading Voices is a five-day event that presents a programme about all the skills a conductor or vocal leader needs today. The event is attractive for all generations and levels and surrounded by a dynamic marketplace for conductors, vocal leaders, choirs, managers, artistic leaders and composers all over Europe. The programme will be composed by an international Music Commission with renowned musicians, appointed by ECA-EC.
Leading Voices supports choral conductors and vocal leaders, creators and composers to actively explore, experience, and discuss the expansion and future of choral music. Leading Voices strives to inspire its participants to explore new ways to enrich and strengthen the possibilities of choral music and to make sure choral music stays relevant from both an artistic, social and gettable point of view.
Labs, lectures, workshops and lessons, as well as live concerts with inspiring choirs from all over the world form the basis of the programme.
The event will be connected with other choral music events in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and Europe more widely. 
 
Utrecht and ZIMIHC 
Leading Voices will be connected to the programme Utrecht Sings, a programme by ZIMIHC to support and promote choral and vocal life in the city of Utrecht and its region. In 2022 Utrecht Sings presents a nine-day fringe programme around Leading Voices, highlighting the connection of choral music with Utrecht. In the years prior to the festival, different smaller events will be organized as well in the frame of this programme.
The City of Utrecht is positive about the proposal of Leading Voices in Utrecht and sees good possibilities to support the event. In 2022 Utrecht celebrates 900 years of city rights.
Therefore 2022 is especially meaningful for the city. 
The City of Utrecht will support ZIMIHC and the Netherlands Chamber Choir in the regular activities in the coming years to make sure ECA-EC has two reliable partners in Utrecht. 
 
Planning and programme
Leading Voices will be developed by a Music Commission of ECA-EC, chaired by Burak Onur Erdem. He is a member of the board of ECA-EC and also a member of the artistic committee on the board of ECA-EC. The programme of the event will be announced at the next EUROPA CANTAT Festival in 2021 in Ljubljana. In due time, members of ECA-EC will be asked to present their proposals for the content of Leading Voices.