Presentation Choirs of the Nordic - Baltic Choral Festival.
Aarhus Chamber Choir, Musical director Erik Bjørn Lund
The choir was founded in 1980 by Erik Bjørn Lund, who is still their musical director.
Aarhus Chamber Choir sings a broad repertoire of liturgical and secular works -both modern and
historical- including recent pieces by Vagn Holmboe, Palle Mikkelborg, Niels la Cour, Per Skriver, Erik Haumann and Erik Bjørn Lund among others.
The choir has a busy concert calendar. We aim to sing not only a capella concerts but also large-scale works regularly – usually in collaboration with others, such as The Jutland Ensemble and the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. Our previous repertoire includes such works as Faure's Requiem, Händel's Messiah, Bach's Christmas Oratorio and St Matthew Passion, Verdi's Requiem, Britten's War Requiem and Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem.
The choir has also been on tour to Germany, Czechoslovakia, France, Scandinavia and Canada.
Aarhus Chamber Choir has released a number of CD recordings, the latest of which is a Christmas anthology called ”Julens Toner” (The sounds of Christmas) from 2012. In 2005, they recorded ”Byens Lys” (City Lights), a number of much-loved Danish evergreen numbers from such composers as Kai Norman Andersen, Aage Stentoft and others. In addition to these, there are two CDs with choral works of Frederic Delius (performed with Aarhus Symphony Orchestra), CDs with works by Erik Haumann and Per Skriver and a CD of Danish songs entitled ”Lad os ud over engen gå” (Let's walk over the meadow).
The Chamber Choir of the University of Tartu, Conductor Triin Koch
The Chamber Choir of the University of Tartu was founded in 1971 and since that time more than half a thousand of singers, mostly students and alumni of the University of Tartu, have sung in the choir. Our choir has been a unique and bright-spirited choir for many decades now - we have initiated numerous fascinating choir concerts, have been active co-thinkers and co-speakers in the field of Estonian choral music, and have always joyfully participated in the Estonian song celebrations.
The Chamber Choir of the University of Tartu is an energetic student choir and a concert choir, performing frequently in festive occasions of the University of Tartu and the city of Tartu. In our repertoire there is a special place for classic Estonian choral composers (especially Mart Saar, Cyrillus Kreek, Veljo Tormis and Arvo Pärt). In 2013 and in 2015 our choir was rewarded with the 2nd prize in the A-level category during a prestigious local choral competition for mixed choirs, "Tuljak". In 2015 the Chamber Choir of the University of Tartu is one of the representative choirs of the city of Tartu.
State Chamber Choir Polifonija, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Tomas Ambrozaitis
The Polifonija State Chamber Choir is one of the longest-lived professional choirs in Lithuania. The date of establishment of the collective was the 31st of December 1974. This was the first concert of the ancient music ensemble which turned into a beautiful tradition – annually organised New Year’s concerts.
The conductor Sigitas Vaičiulionis established the Vocal Ensemble of Ancient Music, the only one in Lithuania performing pieces by composers of the Renaissance and Baroque epochs. At the beginning, the ensemble was fostered by Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute, and later – by Šiauliai Music High School. In 1979, the ensemble was awarded the title of the national ensemble and the choir was called Polifonija. In 1986, Polifonija was awarded the status of professionals and the ensemble became Šiauliai State Chamber Mixed Choir.
When long-term leaders of the ensemble Danutė and Sigitas Vaičiulioniai left it, Gediminas Ramanauskas was the leader of Polifonija for a period of 2006 - 2010. Tomas Ambrozaitis has taken over management of Šiauliai Polifonija State Chamber Choir since 2011.
The choir’s repertoire is especially wide: from the Renaissance and Baroque to contemporary music, from choral miniatures to big-volume pieces.
During the period of forty years of choir’s existence, some 2,000 concerts were held, tours in Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, the Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Sweden, Germany, Italy, France, Argentina, Brazil were arranged. Laureate awards were won at international contests in Poland (1989), Brazil (1990), Italy (1992, 1998, 1999).
On the initiative of Polifonija, the annual Resurrexit Festival is being held in Šiauliai.
The Chamber Choir Collegium Vocale, Conductor Ketil Jule Bjørnstad Belsaas
The chamber choir Collegium Vocale is one of the leading mixed voice amateur choirs in Norway.
The choir was founded in 1971 by singers associated with the teacher training college in Hamar in eastern Norway. While the choir still has its rehearsals in Hamar, the 30 members are now drawn from all over the region. The choir’s repertoire ranges from church music – most recently Bach’s St. John Passion and Haydn’s Creation – to contemporary, folk and popular music.
In recent years the choir has achieved brilliant results in national and international competitions, including gold medals at Musica Mundi in Helsingborg (2004), Malta (2009) and Riva del Garda in Italy (2013), and at the International Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf in Germany (2007). In the Norwegian National Competition of Choir Music in 2012 the choir received two gold diplomas, being placed first in the profane music class, and third in the sacred music class.
Collegium Vocale performs with professional Norwegian and international soloists. The choir is also engaged as a festival choir, and as a seminar choir for students of choir music.
Chamber Choir Ahjo Ensemble, conductor Paavo Hyökki
Ahjo Ensemble is a young and ambitious chamber choir from Helsinki, Finland. The choir was founded in January 2013 and is led by choir director Paavo Hyökki.
In its first two years Ahjo Ensemble have performed modern choir music mainly by Finnish composers. The choir's focus has lately been on the reformist but partially neglegted composer Bengt Johansson, who was also a pioneer in the early Finnish electronic music. In the spring 2015 the Choir performed Johansson's Triptych with composer Anton Valle, who was commissioned to produce a special electronic music accompaniment to the choral piece.
Ahjo Ensemble was one of the organizers of the international choir compositions competition of the Vocal Espoo Festival and performed at the opening concert in June 2014. The choir is set to perform at the Kamarikesä Music & Art Festival in 2015 with conductor Dalia Stasevska.
Helsingborg Chamber Choir, Artistic director Ilze Stala Stegö
Helsingborg Chamber Choir was founded in 1984 under the leadership of Sverker Zadig. Since August 2014, its artistic director is Ilze Stala Stegö. The choir currently consists of 22 singers from the Swedish province of Skåne and Denmark. The choir mostly performs in churches singing both sacred and profane music. Its repertoire includes early Renaissance, the Baroque and Romantic era music as well as contemporary music.
The choir has made approximately 400 concerts in smaller and larger events. The major choir- orchestral projects include Lars-Erik Larsson's lyrical suite ‘God in Disguise’ (1989), Handel's ‘Messiah’ (1990 and 2010), Mozart's ‘Mass in C Minor’ (1991 and 2007), Mozart's ‘Requiem’ (2003), Bach's ‘Messe in h-moll’ (2005) and Lindberg's ‘Requiem’ (2008).
In 1995 the regional radio station and Music in Skåne arranged a choir competition. Helsingborg Chamber Choir won the first prize in the mixed choir class. On several occasions, the choir produced concerts with invited guest artists, including Erland Hagegård, Olle Adolphson, Sven-Bertil Taube and Lena Willemark.
The choir has performed both in Sweden and abroad (Czech Republic, Jordan, the USA) and has recorded several CDs, e.g. ‘Uti vår Hage’ ( Naxos), which made gold before it even was released!