Milan Kolena Slovakia
Conductor and Art Director of choir Apollo, conductor of Schola Gregoriana Bratislavensis. At the Zilina Conservatory he studied piano, singing and choir conducting. After graduating with a degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Musical Arts (VSMU) in Bratislava under the tutelage of Prof. Peter Hradil, he continued his studies in sacred music at VSMU. .He also continued his studies of Gregorian Chant with Prof. J. Kohlhaufl at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna where he is the author of the first Slovak professional publication on Gregorian chant: «Súčasné smery v interpretácii gregorianskeho choralu» (Current Directions in Interpretation of Gregorian Chant). He actively cooperates in the interpretation of Gregorian chant with Prof. Dr. F.K. Prassl from Graz and Prof. Dr. J.B. Goschl from Munich
Milan Kolena was an assistant with the Chlapčenský zbor choir (boys choir) in Bratislava and was conductor of the Spevácky zbor bratislavských učitelov (Bratislava Teachers Choir). He teaches choir conducting and Gregorian chant at VŠMU. Since 1998 Milan Kolena has been the Art Director of the International Sacred Music Choir Festival in Námestovo. Since 2006 he is the art director of several annual choir music festivals in Bratislava:
International choir festival «Musica sacra»;
International choir festival «Slovakia Cantat»;
International festival of Advent and Christmas music;
International festival of Gregorian chant;
International youth music festival.
He has toured many European countries with choir Apollo and has won several prizes in international competitions:
1998: The first place and a special award for style performance of the competition program at the International choir festival «Pražské dny sborového spěvu» in Prague, Czech Republic.
2002: Special award for excellent performance of Czech sacred music at the international choir competition «Jaro se Otvira» in Český Krumlov, Czech Republic.
2005: Gold Medal, International choir competition “Svátky Písne Olomouc”, Czech Republic.
He is active as jury member at national and international choral competitions in Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Italy, Lithuania, Belgium, Russia. He performs workshops and seminars on vocal polyphony and Gregorian chant in foreign universities and festivals (Jihlava, Olomouc, Pecka, Bratislava, Námestovo, Banská Bystrica, Katowice, Kaunas, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Yekaterinburg).
In 2005 – 2007 the he was engaged with his Gregorian schola in recording of three Bratislava antiphonaries from the end of 15th century. The recordings have been released in CD in cooperation with Slovak national library in Martin and with University library in Bratislava. The recording was conducted as a part of UNESCO world project «World´s Memory» in Slovakia.