Milan Kolena
Milan Kolena
Choir conductor / artist director
Conductor of choir Apollo and Schola Gregoriana Bratislavensis
Art director of music festivals in Bratislava
Chairman / member of jury in international choir competitions
Pedagogue of University of Performing Arts – international choir lectures and workshops

Curriculum vitae

assoc. prof . Milan Kolena  ArtD.

Milan Kolena – 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.

Basic information

Date and place of birth: 23.5. 1965 in Námestovo

Nationality: Slovak                                                                            

Marital status: maried, 3 children 



Oct. 1998- present

University of Performanig Arts, Bratislava,

Department of composition and conducting, Section of Church music

Assistant lecturer,

  • Choir conducting
  • Gregorian chant
  • exercise in Gregorian chant
  • conducting in Gregorian chant

Sept. 1996- 2006

Church conservatory, Bratislava,


  • Choir conducting
  • Gregorian chant
  • exercise in Gregorian chant
  • conducting in Gregorian chant 

1993- present

Mixed choir Apollo, Bratislava,

Schola Gregoriana Bratislavensis

Conductor and art director

  • Gregorian chant
  • Sacred choir music, spirituals

1995- present

International sacred music choir festival, Námestovo,

Art director

March and October 2002

Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria

Institut für Kirchenmusik und Orgel, Prof. F.K. Prassl

Science cooperation in Gregorian chant withn the program AKTION ÖSTERREICH – SLOWAKEI

2006 – present

International choir festival „Musica Sacra“ in Bratislava.

International choir festival „ Slovakia Cantat“ in Bratislava

International festival of Advent and Christmas music in Bratislava

International festival of Gregorian chant in Bratislava

International youth music festival in Bratislava

Art director

Member of international jury in choir festivals home and abroad (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Italy, Lithuania, Belgium, Russia). 


Workshops on interpretation of Gregorian chant and vocal polyphony  choir festivals and universities home and abrad. (Jihlava, Olomouc, Pecka – Czech Republic, Bratislava, Námestovo, Banská Bystrica - Slovakia, Katowice – Poland, Kaunas- Lithuania, Moscow, St.Petersburg - Russia)


12. December 2001- graduation with doctor´s degree from the University of Performing Arts, Bratislava, Slovakia – specialisation: Choir conducting and Gregorian chant, - artist doctor /ArtD./


1995-2000 University of Performing Arts, Bratislava, post-graduate study in Choir conducting and Gregorian chant

1996-2000 Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Wien, Austria

Gregorian chant study within the  post-graduate study in Bratislava


1990-1994 University of Performing Arts, Bratislava, undergraduate study in Choir conducting


1983-1989 Conservatory in Žilina

piano, singing, conducting