Swedish Radio Choir
Swedish Radio Choir is regarded as one of the world’s most well-known and celebrated a cappella ensembles. The vision of the 32 singers is to deploy its exceptional sonic range to place its own special imprint on the A cappella and the choral symphonic repertoire. It is an ensemble in which each individual voice finds its place in a unified artistic expression.
Their Artistic Directors include Eric Ericson, Stefan Parkman, Tõnu Kaljuste and Peter Dijkstra. From this season Kaspars Putniņš holds this position.
Their repertoire is incredibly rich, with a wide variety of genres and a generous mix of early and contemporary music, and almost everything in-between. In addition to their own A cappella series in Stockholm the choir is regularly engaged with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding for concerts, tours and recording. Claudio Abbado had invited the choir many times for concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic and Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
The Swedish Radio Choir captivates the audiences regularly in Japan with standing ovations and sold-out a cappella performances of J.S. Bach motet Singet dem Herrn, Arvo Pärt Triodion, Arnold Schönberg Friede auf Erden, Johannes Brahms Fest- und Gedenksprüche, Frank Martin Mass for double choir and György Ligeti Lux aeterna among others.
Kaspars Putniņš is Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of Swedish Radio Choir since this season. He holds this position with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC) since 2014 and is permanent conductor of the Latvian Radio Choir since 1994.
The Latvian conductor regularly appears with the RIAS Kammerchor, SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, , Collegium Vocale Gent, Danish National Vocal Ensemble and Choir and Netherlands Radio Choir.
Whilst Kaspars Putniņš’ work encompasses a wide range of choral repertoire from the polyphony of the Renaissance period through to romantic music, his foremost goal has always been to promote new outstanding choral music. He has forged close relationships with many Baltic and Nordic composers including Maija Einfelde, Mārtiņš Viļums, Gundega Šmite, Toivo Tulev, Lasse Thoresen, Gavin Bryars and Andris Dzenitis and has set standards with his interpretations. Putniņš has initiated several drama projects in collaboration with visual and theatre artists.
His discography includes recordings of Peteris Vasks’ Mate Saule for BIS Records, Jonathan Harvey’s The Angels for Hyperion, works by Bryars, Vasks, Esenvalds, Maskats and Silvestrov, all with the Latvian Radio Choir as well as the CD New Latvian Harvest with contemporary Latvian music with the Latvian Radio Chamber Singers. He has also recorded Rachmaninov’s The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom with the Flemish Radio Choir for Glossa. BIS Records released Rachmaninov Vespers with the Netherlands Chamber Choir. His recording with the EPCC with works by Alfred Schnittke and Arvo Pärt for BIS Records was awarded a Gramophone Award and Diapason d’Or in 2018.
In recent years, Putniņš has worked extensively with young singers and conductors in various projects and masterclasses, such as Bachakademie Stuttgart, Vocaal Talent and Meesters & Gezellen.
Kaspars Putniņš is recipient of the Latvian Grand Prix of Music and the Latvian Council of Ministers Award for Achievements in Culture and Science.
From 2013 to 2017 he has been Artistic Director of the Tenso Europe Chamber Choir.
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Tõnu Kaljuste - Conductor Laureate
Hailed by the international press as “charismatic and energetic”, Tõnu Kaljuste is recognized both as a choir and orchestra conductor worldwide.
Founder of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Tõnu Kaljuste is a staunch ally and committed advocate for the work of Arvo Pärt, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Veljo Tormis and Heino Eller. He has collaborated closely with great composers of modernism in Northern and Eastern Europe such as Alfred Schnittke, György Kurtag, Krzysztof Penderecki and Giya Kancheli.
Many recordings of Kaljuste’s extensive discography for ECM Records, BIS, Caprice Records and Virgin Classics were nominated for the Grammy in various categories and have also other awards such as Cannes Classical Award, Diapason d’Or, Edison Prize and Classic Brit Award.
For the Arvo Pärt album Adam’s Lament the Estonian conductor was awarded the Grammy Award 2014 in the category ‘Best Choir Performance’. In 2019 Tõnu Kaljuste won the ICMA Award for the album of Arvo Pärt’s Symphonies No. 1-4 with the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tõnu Kaljuste is a frequent guest conductor of orchestras and chamber choirs worldwide and performed in the major music centres and at renowned festivals worldwide. Since 2019/20 he is again Artistic Director of the Tallinn Philharmonic Society and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. Tõnu Kaljuste has been Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Choir as well as the Swedish Radio Choir which appointed him as Conductor Laureate in 2019.
Since 2004, he has been Artistic Director of Nargen Opera in Estonia featuring the Nargen Festival with music and opera productions, concerts and exhibitions. This festival is preceded by the Cyrillus Kreek Days in June and followed by the Arvo Pärt Days in September. He collaborates closely with the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm and participates in festivals by ECM, e.g. at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg in February 2020.
Tõnu Kaljuste is a member of the Royal Music Academy of Sweden, recipient of the Japanese ABC Music Award and the Robert Edler Prize.
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