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Tuomo Rannankari. Photo: Jiri Halttunen.

Article categories: Archive News

A variety of top Finnish choirs, children's concert and a large number of free concerts - Vaasa Choir Festival 18-21 May

Published: 15.5.2023

The Vaasa Choir Festival, which brings together more than 80 choirs, ensembles and orchestras, will take place for the 29th time from 18-21 May, 2023. The main concerts feature a variety of top Finnish choirs as well as the premiere of an internationally commissioned work. The non-stop performances of the free concerts are returning to the Rewell Shopping Center after a few years’ break.

The main performers of the choir festival, among others, will be the Kampin Laulu Chamber Choir from Helsinki and Liiton Miehet, the representative choir of the Finnish Male Choir Association. The festival will also feature the world premiere of an internationally commissioned piece by Swedish composer Jacob Mühlrad, which will also be performed for the first time in Canada, Singapore and South Africa this spring.

– The children’s repertoire will concentrate on a big joint concert with Tuomo Rannankari and the Vaasa City Orchestra. It’s worth noting that the main performers broadly represent the most interesting current phenomena of the Finnish choral field, says the artistic director of the festival, Kristian Heberg.

Main concerts for many tastes

Liiton Miehet, the representative choir of the Finnish Male Choir Association, releases its first album in connection with the choir festival. The Rajalla album release concert is on Friday 19 May at 18:00 at Vaasa City Hall. The versatile repertoire includes works by, among others, Lauri Mäntysaari, Juhani Komulainen and Lauri Kilpiö. The choir’s artistic director is Paavo Hyökki, one of the leading conductors in the country.

The Kampin Laulu Chamber Choir brings to Vaasa the European premiere of Ay Li Lu (somewhere in infinity) by the rising Swedish composer Jacob Mühlrad. In the piece, Mühlrad weaves together a Yiddish lullaby and the infinite number π, Pi. The rest of the concert programme follows the lullaby theme, and during the evening, music will be heard from classics such as Kuula’s venelaulu (Boat Song), Maasalo’s Tuutulaulu (Lullaby) and Rautavaara’s Halava himmä alla  (In the Shade of the Willow) will be heard until the music of our time. The concert at Vaasa City Hall at 19:00 on Saturday 20 May will be conducted by the artistic director of Kamppi Laulu, Saara Aittakumpu.

At the children’s concert at 11:00 and 13:00 on Saturday 20 May, a performance will be given by award-winning children’s music creator Tuomo Rannankari, the Vaasa City Orchestra and a children’s choir consisting of music classes in Vaasa. In the Sininen pallo (blue ball) concert for the whole family, the blue ball will reflect on how to take care of the common playground, the earth.

The Peltomiehen rukous concert in Vaasa Church at 17:00 on Saturday 20 May will be conducted by Jorma Panula. The concert features the string quartet of the Seinäjoki City Orchestra and the women’s choir Tuulivoima, whose soloist is baritone Elja Puukko.

The TAMK Choral Company will perform in the main library’s Drama hall at 19:00 on Friday 19 May. They are a sparkling show choir whose work emphasises joint creation through the power of song, movement and strong storytelling. The choir’s singers are Tampere University of Applied Sciences students, mainly in the fields of musical theatre and music pedagogy. The performance will include musical pieces, e.g. From Sondheim, Konnu and Kähärä, Juice and J. Karjalainen.

One hundred singers perform German mass as a free concert

A large number of free concerts can be heard at the Vaasa Choir Festival. Almost 60 choirs perform for the public free of charge.

A choir of 100 singers and a string orchestra of 40 musicians will perform Franz Schubert’s German Mass in Vaasa Church at 12:00 on Saturday 20 May. The joint project has six choirs and three orchestras, as well as individual singers and musicians from the coastal area stretching from Kokkola to Sulva. The project is led by Kronoby Sångkör and the conductor is Tobias Elfving.

This spring, the popular NON-STOP performances return to the Rewell Shopping Center. The choirs’ performances will be heard continuously from 15:30 to 19:00 on Friday 19 May and from 11:00. to 18:40 on Saturday 20 May.

The happening opens with an opening concert at the City Hall on 18 May, and during the festival vocal and choral music will be heard in churches, concert halls, schools and restaurants. The closing concert of the festival is on Sunday 21 May.

This major international choral music festival is open to all choirs and singing groups.

See the entire programme: