Programme for Autumn Season 2016 released!

These are exciting times for the Helsinki Chamber Choir! The autumn sees the group undertake major Nordic and North American tours, as well as hosting an international festival of professional choirs in Helsinki in late August. An album of music by Beat Furrer has just been released to critical acclaim, and a collection of works by Erik Bergman will follow later in the autumn. Recording sessions continue apace throughout the autumn and more releases are in the pipeline. But live performance is central to our music-making and we thrive on the special atmosphere created by our audiences, so we look forward to seeing many of you at our concerts throughout the autumn. Our diverse offerings, from contemporary music and song recitals to a traditional Christmas concert, contain something for everyone. Welcome to the Helsinki Chamber Choir’s autumn season!

The Nordic Choir Expedition 2016 brings Europe's leading chamber choirs to Helsinki

Eric Ericsons Kammarkör, Det Norske Solistkor, Ars Nova Copenhagen and Tenso Europe Chamber Choir travel to Helsinki at 26–28 August 2016. Read more.

Programme for Spring 2016 announced

Concerts: Spring Season 2016

From Jean-Baptiste Lully’s impressive and rarely-performed grands motets to a world premiere by the young American composer Alex Freeman, and from a cappella concerts to large-scale works with orchestra, the Helsinki Chamber Choir’s spring season features a broad and varied repertoire. Finnish music comes to the fore in February’s chamber concert at St Thomas’ Church, while we mark the death of William Shakespeare 400 years ago to the day on April 23rd with a celebratory concert at Temppeliaukio Church.

Programme for Autumn Season 2015 announced

Concerts: Autumn Season 2015

After a busy spring of touring, our autumn concerts will see us remaining closer to our home audience in the Helsinki region. The undoubted highlight is the choir’s 10th anniversary concert at the end of October, which will be generously hosted by the wonderful Tapiola Sinfonietta.

Another event that we are greatly looking forward to is the world premiere of Antti Auvinen’s hard-hitting and technically virtuosic new music theatre work Autuus at the Helsinki Festival, which will be an unforgettable experience for all who have a chance to see it. Our chamber series in St Thomas’ Church also continues to grow: these lovely intimate evenings are a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the artistry of individual members of the choir.

2nd International Rautavaara Competition published

The International Einojuhani Rautavaara Chamber Choir Composition Workshop and Competition is an opportunity for young composers to work intensively with a professional chamber choir.

Participants will work with the Helsinki Chamber Choir and renowned composers Beat Furrer and Jukka Tiensuu in a workshop in November 2015 before completing their final composition for the competition. The competition will take place at the Viitasaari Time of Music Festival on 4–6 July 2016.

At the conclusion of the final concert, an international jury, headed by composer Georg Friedrich Haas, will award the Einojuhani Rautavaara Prize, which consists of a cash prize of 7000 euros, a performance of the winning Competition entry during the Helsinki Chamber Choir’s 2016/17 season and a commission to write a 12-minute work for the Helsinki Chamber Choir for its 2017/18 season. The value of the commission is 4000 euros.

For more information see:

Programme for Autumn Season 2014 announced

Concerts: Autumn Season 2014

Our concerts include an exceptionally wide range of repertoire, from Turkish religious music at the Helsinki Festival to Beat Furrer’s intense creations full of light and shadow, and from established classics including Duruflé’s masterful Requiem to a new collaborative composition by three students from the Sibelius Academy.

It is a pleasure to host the new, young and dynamic Tenso Europe Chamber Choir on its first European tour, and we also invite you warmly to a Lied concert in the intimate setting of our new home, St Thomas’ Church in Meilahti.

Helsingin kamarikuoro and Ensemble Sarband at the Helsingin Festival

Helsingin kamarikuoro and Ensemble Sarband will perform 16th and 17th century European and Middle Eastern music on Monday 18 Aug 2014 at the Helsinki Festival.

Christmas concert 21 December in Kallio Church

Read more here.

Season 2013/2014 is here

Read more about the concerts here.

It is a great joy to present an expanded programme in the 2013/14 season. Alongside our concerts in Helsinki we will be taking two programmes on tour in southern Finland. I am happy that our achievements of the last few years have been noted and that we now have the opportunity to build on our success. Joining the European professional chamber choirs’ network, Tenso, has brought with it a number of exciting new opportunities, too.

2013 sees the 85th birthday of Einojuhani Rautavaara, one of the leading composers of choral music in our time. To mark the occasion, we will be performing two of his major religious works in the course of the autumn: the Orthodox Vigilia (five concerts in four cities in September) and, just before Christmas, the new Catholic Missa a cappella. The performance of the Vigilia is a co-production with the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) and Arte and will be shown on television in several countries.

In November, we return to the output of Erik Bergman, a pioneering figure in Finnish choral music.  Over the past three seasons, we have explored his output stretching across seven decades in a series of recordings for YLE, from the early folksong arrangements via his ground-breaking experimental pieces to the highly demanding late works.  I hope that our performances will help the best of his music establish an enduring place in the repertoire.

Spring 2014 brings with it two world premieres: Lotta Wennäkoski’s Ommel will be performed in three cathedrals, while Greek composer Zesses Seglias’ work forms the final part of his prize in the inaugural Rautavaara Competition, held in 2012.

Amongst our guests, it is a particular pleasure that the Latvian conductor Kaspars Putniņš, much in demand around Europe, has agreed to make his debut with the choir at the Nordic Music Days 2013 in October.

Our regular concertgoers will notice some structural changes this season.  In the past, owing to the project-oriented nature of the choir’s work, singers were drawn from our pool of experienced performers according to availability and the demands of the music at hand.  Greater financial security has now made it possible to recruit a core group of singers for the whole season, to be supplemented as necessary from the pool.  I hope that this development will allow the choir to grow together as a unit in a way that was not possible before. For now, the core group is still small, but I hope that we will be able to expand it in coming seasons, as this would open up new and exciting possibilities. In its time, the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir employed 24 singers, and central European professional chamber choirs would expect to have 30 to 40 musicians.

Please join us on our varied path in the 2013/14 season!  In particular, don’t miss the chance to perform together with the choir in the workshop performance of Cornelius Cardew’s The Great Learning, Paragraph 7 following our March concert. And, as always, do consider becoming a Supporter: this way you can do your bit to ensure the future of professional choral singing in Finland!

Nils Schweckendiek
Artistic Director

The Helsinki Chamber Choir on YouTube!

On The Helsinki Chamber Choir's YouTube-channel you can view full-length works from The English Tradition concert in March 2011.

I can safely now agree with many of my international colleagues that they are probably the best choir anywhere in the world, particularly for contemporary music. I have worked with many choirs round the globe and have never had such good performances.
Jonathan Harvey, composer