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Grand Prix in the Contest for Vocal Ensembles to AORA from Sweden

The six-member ensemble AORA from Sweden was declared the winner of this year’s virtual Contest for Vocal Ensembles at the Tampere Vocal Music Festival. In addition to being awarded a cash prize of EUR 4,000, the ensemble will have their name added to the Näsinneula Trophy.

“The standard in the contest was really high, as always, and we ended up awarding five prizes. Our international jury selected AORA from Sweden as the winner because of their youthful charm and excellent ensemble singing,” says Jussi Chydenius, chairman of the jury.

Second prize also went to Sweden, to Åkervinda, whose innovative interpretations of Scandinavian folk tunes earned them second place and a cash prize of EUR 3,500. Prizes were also awarded to Total Vocal from Israel (EUR 2,000), A Capella Boğaziçi from Turkey (EUR 1,000) and Les Itinérantes from France (EUR 1,000).

The Contest for Vocal Ensembles, as indeed the entire Festival, was organised as a virtual event online for the first time ever.

“Because of coronavirus restrictions, we had to abandon the live final round in Tampere and do the entire Contest remotely. There were 24 ensembles in the qualifying round, and 13 were selected for the final round. In the end, 9 ensembles representing 7 countries delivered a video as required for the Contest. The virtual concept proved to work very well, although we did miss the thrill of live performances,” says Chydenius, discussing the video adjudication process.

This was also the first time that the audience were invited to vote for their favourite. Altogether 7517 votes were cast, and the audience prize went to the seven-member Vox Populi Project from Mexico, who got 26 % of all the votes. The prize comprises a 90-minute private training session given by a jury member of the ensemble’s choice.

The Tampere Vocal Music Festival continues on Sunday with a streamed video concert by Philomela and an introduction to the next artistic director. All the festival videos will remain available online until 12.00 (UTC +3) on Thursday 24 June at

The Tampere Vocal Music Festival is organised by Tampere Music Festivals, which forms part of the Cultural Affairs department of the City of Tampere. The headline partner of the Contest for Vocal Ensembles is the Kalle Kaihari Cultural Foundation, and the other partners in 2021 are the Finnish Amateur Musicians’ Association Sulasol, the Swedish Song and Music Association of Finland FSSMF and the Finnish Church Music Association.

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