THE RADIO CHOIR, KASPARS PUTNIŅŠ AND SCHUMANN IN ENGELBREKT CHURCH
Schumann’s romantic sounds meet Toshio Hosokawa’s minimalism when the Radio Choir, led by Chief Conductor Kaspars Putniņš, invites you to a December concert in the Engelbrektskyrkan Church. Schumann’s choral piece Die Lotosblume, with lyrics by poet Heinrich Heine, has at times been interpreted as a reflection of Schumann’s secret love for his future wife Clara. In 2006, Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa wrote a modern-day paraphrase of Schumann’s piece, in which the music is permeated by Buddhism’s idea of the lotus flower as a symbol of transcendence.
The concert will be broadcasted on the Swedish Radio P2 December, Friday 10 at 7:03 pm.
For more than 90 years, the Swedish Radio Choir has contributed to the development of the Swedish a cappella tradition. Under the leadership of legendary conductor Eric Ericson, the choir earned great international renown. It is still hailed as one of the best choirs in the world. The choir members’ ability to switch between powerful solo performances and seamlessly integrating themselves in the ensemble creates a unique and dynamic instrument praised by critics and music lovers alike, as well as by the many guest conductors who explore and challenge the choir’s possibilities.
Permanent home of the Swedish Radio Choir since 1979 is Berwaldhallen, the Swedish Radio’s concert hall. In addition to the seated audience, the choir reaches millions of listeners on the radio and the web through Klassiska konserten i P2. Several concerts are also broadcast and streamed on Berwaldhallen Play, offering the audience more opportunities to come as close as possible to one of the world’s top choirs.
With the 2020–2021 season, Kaspars Putniņš begins his tenure as the tenth Music Director of the Swedish Radio Choir. Since January 2019, Marc Korovitch is the choirmaster of the Swedish Radio Choir with responsibility for the ensemble’s continued artistic development. Two of the orchestra’s former Music Directors, Tõnu Kaljuste and Peter Dijkstra, were appointed Conductors Laureate in November 2019. Both maintain a close relationship with the choir and make regular guest appearances.
The Swedish Radio Choir was founded the same year as the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts and the choir had its first concert in May 1925. Right from the start, the choir had high ambitions with a conscious aim to perform contemporary music.
Celebrated Latvian conductor Kaspars Putniņš has been the Music Director of the Radio Choir since the 2020/2021 season. He is also Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, and has been a permanent conductor for Latvian Radio’s choir since 1994. Putniņš is an experienced interpreter of both the polyphone choral pieces of the Renaissance, and the strong emotional expressions of Romanticism, but especially promotes contemporary choral music. Through close collaborations with a number of composers from the Nordic and Baltic States, he has performed and recorded a multitude of new choral pieces.
As a guest conductor, he collaborates with choirs such as the RIAS Chamber Choir, the North German Radio Choir in Hamburg, DR Vokalensemblet, BBC Singers, Tokya Cantat, and the Netherlands Radio Choir. He has performed pieces by composers such as Maija Einfelde, Mārtiņš Viļums, Toivo Tulev, Lasse Thoresen and Gavin Bryars, and worked on scenic projects in which choirs have collaborated with actors and visual artists. With the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, he recorded a celebrated album with pieces by Schnittke and Pärt, which has been awarded both a Gramophone Award, and the Diapason d’Or prize.