Biography of the choir
Carmen manet is a female chamber choir founded in 2011 and is made up of the best singers of past and present generations of the Gimnazija Kranj Girls Choir. Carmen manet has been conducted by Primož Kerštanj since the beggining. The members of Carmen manet have achieved outstanding results at several choral competitions.
Selected alumna of Gimnazija Kranj—many of whom trained as solo singers in music schools—assembled for the 200th anniversary celebration of their alma mater. Their first performance was so successful that these young women decided to continue singing together afterward. Carmen manet was thus born. The name, which means “the song remains” in Latin, signifies the singers staying together even after their high school years.
Despite its young age, the choir has already achieved excellent results at several international competitions, including:
- In Canto sul Garda (Riva del Garda, Italy, October 2011)
- Sacred music for female choirs: golden diploma level 5, category winner
- Folk music for female choirs: golden diploma level 1
- Lipanjski zvuci (Petrinja, Croatia, June 2012)
- Classical music category: golden diploma level 3 (third place)
- Guangzhou International Open Competition (Guangzhou, China, November 2012)
- Category Pop, Jazz, Gospel: golden diploma level 5, category winner
- 1st Xinghai Prize International Choral Competition (Guangzhou, China, November 2012)
- Female Choirs: platinum nomination
- Pop, Jazz, Gospel: platinum nomination
- 50th Montreaux International Choral Competition (Montreux, Switzerland, April 2014)
- Female choirs: first place and excellent level with distinction
- Grand prix winner
- Rimini International Choral Competition (Rimini, Italy, September 2015)
- Sacred music: bronze medal for the third place, silver diploma
- Equal voices: silver diploma
- Tuhelj Golden Lime Competition (Tuhelj, Croatia, June 2016)
- Golden diploma and Grand Prix Winner
Primož Kerštanj was born in Jesenice, Slovenia, where he started his musical education at the Jesenice elementary music school (piano). He graduated from the Conservatory of Music in Ljubljana and then studied at the University of Ljubljana, Academy of Music. He regularly takes part in EUROPA CANTAT young conductors workshops (lead by Heltay, Erdei, Dan Olaf Stenlund). Primož Kerštanj also attended European and world choral symposiums in Ljubljana, Australia and the USA. His current professional position is teaching piano and solfeggio at Willems Music Center DoReMi Bled, where he also conducts a succesful children’s choir.
He has conducted several choirs in his career: Milko Škoberne female choir Jesenice, Vox Carniolus and from 2000 to 2010 Akademski pevski zbor France Prešeren Kranj. Under his direction the latter achieved several awards at international competitions (Veszprem, Bremen, Olomouc, St. Petersburg).
His most successful choir is Dekliški pevski zbor Gimnazije Kranj, which he has been directing from 2006 to 2014 and has brought to a high quality level. The choir was awarded two silver and twelve golden diplomas at Slovenian and international competitions. He now successfully conducts a senior version of the choir – choir Carmen manet.
Primož Kerštanj has also recently become known as a composer and musical arranger and took part as a juror at international competitions in Linz in 2015 and Calella in 2016.