HELSINKI CHAMBER CHOIR
The Helsinki Chamber Choir (Helsingin kamarikuoro) is a professional chamber choir founded in 1962 as the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir and assumed its current name in 2005.
While its wide-ranging repertoire includes music from the Renaissance to the present day, the Helsinki Chamber Choir is particularly highly regarded for its work with new music. The choir regularly commissions new works and has given over 80 world premieres in the seasons since 2005, as well as more than 30 Finnish first performances.
The choir appears frequently at festivals in Finland and abroad and collaborates with symphony orchestras, period-instrument ensembles and contemporary music groups. Its concerts are regularly broadcast on national radio and television, and it has also appeared in productions for the Arte channel and the European Broadcasting Union, among others with Einojuhani Rautavaara's Vigilia in 2013.
The Helsinki Chamber Choir is a member of Tenso, the European network of professional chamber choirs. Recent touring has taken the choir to the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, Poland and around Scandinavia.
The choir records regularly among others for BIS Records. Its recording of Magnus Lindberg's Graffiti (with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo) was nominated for a Grammy in the contemporary music category in 2010. Northlands with music by Matthew Whittall was the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s Record of the Year 2017. The recording of Arvo Pärt’s Passio was selected on the German Record Critics’ Award’s list in 2021. During its days as the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir, the group recorded a number of CDs for the Ondine label, including Rautavaara's complete works for mixed a cappella choir.
Since 2007 Professor Nils Schweckendiek has been Artistic Director of the Helsinki Chamber Choir. In recent years the choir has also worked with guest conductors including Rinaldo Alessandrini, Anne Azéma, Tim Brown, Aapo Häkkinen, Pasi Hyökki, Hannu Norjanen, Fredrik Malmberg, Andrew Parrott, Kaspars Putniņš, Rachid Safir, Ralf Sochaczewsky, Eric-Olof Söderström, James Wood, Elisa Huovinen, Jutta Seppinen, George Parris and Taavi Oramo. The choir has also worked with conductors like Olari Elts, Oliver Knussen, Hannu Lintu, Jan Söderblom, Andres Mustonen, Sakari Oramo, Susanna Mälkki, André de Ridder, Fabio Biondi ja John Storgårds.
The Finnish Radio Chamber Choir’s principal conductors were Harald Andersén, Kaj-Erik Gustafsson, Ilmo Riihimäki, Eric-Olof Söderström and Timo Nuoranne. The first artistic director of the Helsinki Chamber Choir was composer Kimmo Hakola.