Swedish Radio Choir Sings Brahms & Nørgård
Julia Selina Blank and the Swedish Radio Choir highlight the choral works by Per Nørgård in this programme, particularly Singe die Gärten, mein Herz for choir, harp and cello. Also featured is Iranian composer Aftab Darvishi’s And the world stopped, lacking you… based on a text by English nurse Vera Brittain, who became an outspoken poet and pacifist after the first world war. The concert will be presented in Swedish by Janna Vettergren.
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.
Julia Selina Blank is frequently engaged as guest conductor and chorus master throughout Europe by ensembles like the Bavarian radio chorus, the MDR radio chorus, the NDR Vocal Ensemble, Rias Chamber Choir, Swedish Radio Choir, Slovenian Philharmonic Choir, Chorwerk Ruhr and the Norwegian Soloist´s Choir.
As co-founder and conductor of the JSB-Ensemble Oslo, she has created and lead projects combining early and baroque music with contemporary pieces. The ensemble consists of some of Norway´s leading ensemble singers and baroque instrumentalists and focuses on performing especially J.S. Bach’s vocal works in a small vocal group.
Blank has been conducting amateur choirs for more than 15 years. Currently, she directs the award-winning chamber choir Kammerkoret NOVA in Oslo.
In 2021, Blank was awarded the second prize at the Eric Ericson Award and first prize both at the World Choral Conducting Competition in Hong Kong 2019 and the London International Choral Conducting Competition 2018. She was also one of the finalist at the competition German Choral Conductors Prize 2021 with Rias Chamber Choir Berlin.
Blank has studied choral conducting with Michael Gläser in Munich, Fredrik Malmberg in Stockholm and Grete Pedersen in Oslo. She supplemented her studies with several master classes led by conductors like Anders Eby, Stefan Parkman, Justin Doyle and Daniel Reuss.
Several years as a singer in ambitious youth choirs like the World Youth Choir and the Bavarian State Youth Choir in Germany and professional ensembles like the Munich Philharmonic Choir contribute to Julia´s work as a choral conductor.
She currently lives in Oslo, Norway, with her family.
Johanna Sjunnesson har sedan 1999 sin hemvist som cellist i Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester och rör sig även vant bortom orkestermusikens gränser. Som solist har hon framträtt i Berwaldhallen, på Konserthuset, Cirkus och i Blå hallen, på Grammisgalan och Polarprisbanketten, där hon framträtt med egenkomponerad musik.
I sina egna kompositioner inspireras Johanna av olika genrer, från från barock och klassisk musik till ambient och electronica. Hennes musik har spelats i både radio och tv, och hösten 2023 släpps en skiva med musik för solocello och en i ambient-stil inspelad med Islandsbaserade Mikael Lind. Lind medverkar även på EP:n Celistial släppt 2021, där Johanna tolkar musik av bland andra Marin Marais, Henry Purcell och Johann Sebastian Bach.
Johanna Sjunnesson studerade vid Kungliga Musikhögskolan för Elemér Lavotha, samt utomlands genom flera stora stipendier.
Approximate duration: 1 hr 20 mins
Rachmaninov 150 years: All-Night Vigil
Music director Kaspars Putniņš conducts the Swedish Radio Choir in Sergei Rachmaninoff’s magnificent All-Night Vigil in the recently reopened Högalidskyrkan.
Nordic Weeks: Song Without Words
Patrik Ringborg conducts the world premiere of Emmy Lindström’s Song Without Words, as well as Rolf Martinsson’s song cycle Ich denke Dein… and Wilhelm Stenhammar’s symphonic cantata The Song.
The Swedish Radio Choir sings Bach
Sacred music by Johann Sebastian Bach with the Swedish Radio Choir and conductor Fredrik Malmberg in Oscarskyrkan.