THE SWEDISH RADIO CHOIR: LIGETI 100 YEARS
Principal conductor Kaspars Putniņš leads the Radio Choir in a tribute concert dedicated to György Ligeti who would have been 100 this year. We will listen to the evocative Lux Aeterna, used by Stanley Kubrick in the film 2001: A Space Odessey. Ligeti’s Drei Hölderlin Phantasien was first performed by the Radio Choir under Eric Ericson in Berwaldhallen forty years ago, in 1982. Also music by Lars Johan Werle and Lars Edlund, who both worked closely with Eric Ericson and the Radio Choir.
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.
Acclaimed Latvian conductor Kaspars Putniņš is the Swedish Radio Choir’s new Chief Conductor from the 2020–2021 season. He is also Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and has been permanent conductor of the Latvian Radio Choir since 1994. Putniņš is an experienced interpreter of polyphonic Renaissance works as well as the swelling emotions of the Romantic era, but his foremost goal has always been to promote new and outstanding choral music. Through close relationships with a number of Nordic and Baltic composers, he has contributed to raising the bar for performances and recordings of new choral works.
As a guest conductor, he appears with ensembles such as the RIAS Kammerchor, NDR Radio Choir Hamburg, Danish National Vocal Ensemble, BBC Singers, Tokyo Cantat and the Netherlands Radio Choir. He has collaborated with composers such as Maija Einfelde, Mārtiņš Viļums, Toivo Tulev, Lasse Thoresen and Gavin Bryars as well as initiated several drama projects in collaboration with visual and theatre artists. He has made acclaimed album recordings, such as works by Schnittke and Pärt with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir on an album that was awarded both a Gramophone Award and Diapason d’Or.
Etienne Glaser is an actor, director and scriptwriter born in Copenhagen. During World War II, when Etienne was six years old, his family was forced to flee to Sweden. After graduating at the Royal Dramatic Training Academy, Glaser worked as a theatre and opera director in Sweden and abroad. He has worked as an actor, and later director, at the film and stage director Suzanne Osten’s theatre Unga Klara in Stockholm, which stages productions for children and young adults. Glaser participated in her films Mamma, Bröderna Mozart, Livsfarlig film, Skyddsängel, Tala! Det är så mörkt and Besvärliga människor. He also wrote the script for Bröderna Mozart, Livsfarlig film and Skyddsängeln. Today, Glaser is a popular reciter and public speaker.