Kaoru Tani was born in Fukuoka, Japan. After graduating from Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, she moved to Austria to study choral and orchestral conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. She then continued her studies in choral conducting under Johannes Prinz, at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz. Kaoru currently serves as conductor of three choral groups based in Japan, vocalconsort initium, Projektchor Philharmonia, and the Hugo Distler Vokalensemble. Additionally, she has received financial support for her studies thru the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the government of Japan. In 2016, Kaoru was honoured at the 5th Competition for Young Choral Conductors in Tokyo Cantat and received honourable mentions and Best Performance of Renaissance Music at the 7th International Conducting Choir Competition Towards Polyphony in Wroclaw, as a result she has the honour of conducting the NFM Choir this evening.
Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny graduated from the University of Wrocław in 2000 with a degree in biology. That year, she founded the Kameralny Chór Akademii Medycznej (Medici Cantantes Choir at the Medical University of Wrocław). In 2004, she received a diploma from the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław, where she studied Music Education and was awarded a diploma in 2005 from the Vocal Department. During this time, she was honoured with the first prize in the National Contest for Choir Conductors. In 2006, she completed the Postgraduate Voice Production and Training Programme at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. Since June 2006, Franków-Żelazny has been the artistic director of the National Forum of Music Choir. In 2008, she was awarded a special prize for conductors from the 39th Legnica Cantat National Choir Contest. Franków-Żelazny became the head of Polish National Youth Choir, which she also founded, in 2013. She completed course work at the Academy of Culture Leaders at the Economic University of Kraków, in 2014 and was distinguished with the Gloria Artis Bronze Medal for Merit to Culture. The following January, she was named the programme director of the Choral Academy of the National Forum of Music. In 2016, Franków-Żelazny was a music curator for the year that Wrocław served as the European Capital of Culture. The album DE PROFUNDIS – Polish Psalms of the 20th and 21st Century with the NMF Choir under her direction was awarded the Fryderyk prize for the best choral, oratorio and orchestra music, 2017. She currently works as an Associate Professor at the Academy of Music in Wrocław.