HELSINKI CHAMBER CHOIR
The Helsinki Chamber Choir (Helsingin kamarikuoro) is a professional chamber choir founded in 1962 as the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir. It assumed its current name in 2005.
The Helsinki Chamber Choir’s wide-ranging repertoire includes music from medieval times to the present day and it is particularly highly regarded for its work with new music. The choir regularly commissions new works and has given over 80 world premieres since 2005, as well as more than 30 Finnish first performances. It performs in formations ranging from 1 to 32 singers.
In addition to its regular collaborator BIS Records, the choir has recorded for Alba Records, Toccata Classics and ICSM Records. Together with its Artistic Director Nils Schweckendiek, it won a Grammy Award 2024 in the Best Choral Performance category for the disc Kaija Saariaho: Reconnaissance. The choir also featured on the Grammy-nominated recording of Magnus Lindberg's Graffiti (with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo) in 2010. Other awards include three German Record Critics’ Awards (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik) in 2016, 2021 and 2023, the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s Record of the Year award in 2017 and Choral Recording of the Year awards in 2019 and 2021, three Emma nominations, an ICMA nomination and appearances as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and Limelight magazines. 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.
The choir appears frequently at festivals in Finland and internationally and collaborates with orchestras, period-instrument ensembles and contemporary music groups. Its concerts are regularly broadcast on radio and television and it has appeared in productions for the ARTE channel, including Einojuhani Rautavaara's Vigilia.
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.
Professor Nils Schweckendiek has served as Artistic Director of the Helsinki Chamber Choir since 2007. 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 from 2005-2007 was the composer Kimmo Hakola.