The Swedish Radio Choir’s principal conductor Kaspar Putniņš will conduct the choir in an exciting programme ranging from Stockhausen’s ground‑breaking Stimmung to beautiful, atmospheric, contemporary Christmas carols by Jan Sandström and Jonathan Harvey. There will also be a world premiere for newly written atmospheric music by Örjan Matre and Albert Schnelzer.

The concert will be given in Sankt Matteus kyrka.


dot 2022/2023





32 professional choristers make up the Swedish Radio Choir: a unique, dynamic instrument hailed by music-lovers and critics all over the world. The Swedish Radio Choir performs at Berwaldhallen, concert hall of the Swedish Radio, as well as on tours all over the country and the world. Also, they are heard regularly by millions of listeners on Swedish Radio P2, Berwaldhallen Play and globally through the EBU.

The award-winning Latvian conductor Kaspars Putniņš was appointed Chief Conductor of the Swedish Radio Choir in 2020. Since January 2019, its choirmaster is French orchestral and choral conductor Marc Korovitch, with responsibility for the choir’s vocal development.

The Swedish Radio Choir was founded in 1925, the same year as Sweden’s inaugural radio broadcasts, and gave its first concert in May that year. Multiple acclaimed and award-winning albums can be found in the choir’s record catalogue. Late 2023 saw the release of Kaspars Putniņš first album with the choir: Robert Schumann’s Missa sacra, recorded with organist Johan Hammarström.


Kaspars Putniņš is Chief Conductor of the Swedish Radio Choir since 2020, and newly appointed Chief Conductor of the Latvian Radio Choir with whom he has worked closely for more than 30 years. He was formerly Chief Conductor of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in 2014–2021. He regularly appears with the RIAS Kammerchor, SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, Collegium Vocale Gent, Danish National Vocal Ensemble & Choir, Netherlands Radio Choir, NDR Vokalensemble Hamburg, Chorwerk Ruhr, among others.

While Putniņš is a skilled interpreter of a wide choral repertoire, from Renaissance polyphony through to romantic music, his foremost goal has always been promoting new and outstanding choral music. He has forged close relationships with Baltic and Nordic composers including Maija Einfelde, Mārtiņš Viļums, Gundega Šmite, Toivo Tulev, Lasse Thoresen, Gavin Bryars and Andris Dzenitis. He has also initiated several drama projects in collaboration with visual and theatre artists, and has worked extensively with young singers and conductors, including as Artistic Director of the Tenso Europe Chamber Choir in 2013–2017.

Autumn 2023 saw the release of Putniņš’ first album recording with the Swedish Radio Choir: Robert Schumann’s Missa sacra and Vier doppelchörige Gesänge, recorded with Swedish organist Johan Hammarström. His wide-ranging discography also includes recordings of Pēteris Vasks’ Māte saule, Jonathan Harvey’s The Angels, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil and Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto for Choir. His recording with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir of Schnittke’s Psalms of Repentance and Arvo Pärt’s Magnificat and Nunc dimittis was awarded both the Gramophone Award and Diapason d’Or in 2018.

Kaspars Putniņš has been awarded two of Latvia’s foremost awards for his musicianship: the Grand Music Prize Lielā mūzikas balva and the Council of Ministers Award for Achievements in Culture and Science. For his contributions to Estonian music life as Chief Conductor of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, he was awarded the Cultural Endowment of Estonia’s Annual Award in 2019. Putniņš grew up in Riga, Latvia, and was only 26 years old when he was first hired as conductor of the Latvian Radio Choir.


Approximate timings

In the music of Ørjan Matre, traditional influences meets unexpected sounds and techniques. This is evident in his newly composed Christmas carols for the Swedish Radio Choir. For Gläns över sjö och strand (eng. Shine over lakes and shores) Matre used Iwar Widén’s composition for Viktor Rydberg’s poem and written an arrangement where the melody is surrounded by solo lines, a textual canon, and a kind of lullaby that floats between major and minor keys.

– I do not think the listener necessarily will recognize the Christmas hymn, there are just a few direct quotes, but the harmonies and some parts of the melody shines through, says Matre.

The idea to combine different pieces he’s worked with for a long time, both as a composer and arranger, a.o. in collaboration with Oslo Chamber Choir.

Text: Anna Hedelius

Till den Den signade dag: The Swedish folksong, Den signade dag (eng. The holy day) exists in many different variations. For his version, Matre used the melody by Ingrid Isaksson from the second part of the 19th century, that was written down in 1935. A soloist or a group of soloists sings the melody but with the latin lyrics O Magnum Mysterium, together with a choir movement based on Gustaf Nordqvist’s Jul, jul strålande jul (eng. Wonderful peace) in an extremely elongated version.

– In several of my pieces I have experimented with combinations of different musical materials without coordination and mostly let the coincidence led the way. The result is often exciting and surprising, says Matre.

Text: Anna Hedelius

Approximate concert length: 1 h 15 min (no intermission)