Batavia Madrigal Singers (BMS)
Batavia Madrigal Singers (BMS) is one of the leading vocal ensembles in Indonesia . In 2001 BMS won three awards from the distinctive international choir competition. FLORILEGE VOCAL DE TOURS , France : the champion of “Free Program” category, the third prize in “Vocal Ensemble,” and a special award from Minister of Culture of France for the “Best Interpretation of French Composition.”
Founded by the alumni of Paduan Suara Universitas Katolik Parahyangan (Unpar Choir), BMS is now open for singers who share the passion in performing choral music literature. Currently BMS has about 40 singers, professionals and skilled amateurs, who were selected by a competitive audition. With its wide range of repertoires, from Renaissance to Contemporary, BMS was given opportunity to perform the newest compositions of Slamet Abdul Sjukur and Tony Prabowo, Indonesia eminent composers.
Avip Priatna has been the conductor and music director since BMS was formed. BMS’ initial performance was in February 1997 concert, held by Yayasan Musik Internasional, commemorating the bicentenary of Schubert’s birth and the centenary of Brahms’ demise. Performing French compositions, BMS had its debut at Yamaha Music Center , Jakarta , two years after the first performance. Ever since the debut, BMS has continuously illustrated its competence and reputation as one of the best choirs in Jakarta , as was confirmed by the positive responses from classical music enthusiasts, critics, and mass media. In the same year, BMS was invited to perform in the opening concert of Asian Composers’ League at Kesultanan, Yogyakarta .
I n 2004, BMS was invited to take a part in the 6th International Choirs festival in Taipei, Taiwan. On that occasion, BMS was specially requested to sing in the opening ceremony. Since establishment, BSM always regularly perform one or more Concert in a year. In the year of 2005 BMS was trusted to perform in Concert of Doa Persembunyian, performing Toni Prabowo’s masterpiece, including the Opera Kali, which is the 1st performance in Indonesia.
In 2004 BMS was invited to take part in the 6th International Choir Festival in Taipei, Taiwan. In that particular occasion, BMS was requested especially to sing in the opening ceremony. A year after (2005), BMS was trusted to collaborate and perform “Doa Persembunyian” (Prayer in Hiding), a masterpiece of Tony Prabowo, as well as to premiere his “Opera Kali” (River Opera) in Indonesia. Following the positive responses, in 2006 BMS staged the opera “Samson et Delila” by Saint-Saens, at the newly built Nusa Indah Auditorium in Jakarta.
In October 2006, BMS was invited to do series of performance which started in Singapore, performing at the University Cultural Centre of the National University of Singapore with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, a multicultural orchestra from the Kanawaza Prefecture, Japan. This was followed by another performance with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa at the Macau International Music Festival then followed. In that Festival, BMS also did a concert with the highlight of various Indonesian Folksongs.
The journey in the second half of the year continued with BMS direct departure to Polyfollia, a worldwide festival and arts mart for choral singing in Normandy, in which BMS was requested to take part in the Polyfollia Opening Concert. Having performed with numerous choirs there, BMS embarked France to take part at the Tolosa European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in Spain and took part in 2 categories.
In June 2007 BMS will once again collaborate with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in their hometown, performing Weber’s Missa Sancta no. 2 as the guests for the 223rd Subscription Concert of the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa.
In December 2007, BMS will be conducting its first collaboration with the Macau Symphony Orchestra in doing a series of performance in Jakarta, Macau, and Guang Zhou to celebrate the festive Christmas season.
Avip Priatna is acclaimed to be one of the most accomplished Indonesian young conductor now. He started his music education by taking piano lessons from some of Indonesia ‘s most respected musical figures: Rosaline Tambunan, Oerip Santoso and Trisutji Kamal.
After completing his studies in architecture at Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung , he continued his education in Austria where he was accepted at the Hochschule fur Musik and Darstellende Kunst Wien ( Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna ) under scholarships from Austrian Government and the Rotary Club. He studied choir conducting with the renowned conductor Gunther Theuring and orchestral conducting with Leopold Hager.
Upon completion with distinction ( Ausgezeichtung) in 1995, Avip was appointed assistant of the Wiener Jeunesse Chor and became the member of the Wiener Singverein and the Wiener Hochschule Kammerchor . In 1998 he completed his Magister Artium in choir conducting under the guidance of Gunter Theuring with a scholarship from the Parahyangan Catholic University
Currently, Avip is the music director – as well as conductor – of the Parahyangan Catholic University Choir, Batavia Madrigal Singers (BMS) and Jakarta Chamber Orchestra (JCO).
Avip lead the Parahyangan Catholic University Choir to win at some of the most prestigious international choir competition in Arnhem, the Netherlands (1995), Arrezzo, Italy (1997), Choir Olympic in Linz, Austria (2000) and recently achieved the “1 st Prize of Achievement Level 1” and Gustave Chalier Preis for “The Best Interpretation of Sacred Choral Works” for the song “Gloria” (composed by a Korean composer, Woo Hyo Wan) at the “8 th International Chamber Choir Competition” in Marktoberdorf, Germany in July 2003.
He also brought Batavia Madrigal Singers to victory at the international choir competition 3eme Florilege Vocal de Tours in France (2001) by winning 3 prestigious award, including “Special Prize for the Best Interpretation on French Musics” from the French Ministry of Culture.
Under his baton, both choirs perform their regular annual concerts, performing various repertoires from renaissance era to the 20 th century music. The repertoires performed in their concerts in Bandung , Jakarta and also in some cities in France , Germany , Austria and Italy include various a cappella compositions and vocal symphony such as Handel’s Messiah , Faure’s Requiem , Mass in C minor by Mozart and Stravinsky’s Mass.
In 1999 Avip founded Parahyangan Chamber Orchestra, which later in 2002 transformed into Jakarta Chamber Orchestra (JCO). With JCO, Avip aims to bring the symphony music – both orchestral symphony and vocal symphony-closer to the public.