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Tampere Vocal Music Festival Programme Announced

The Tampere Vocal Music Festival, a celebration of music for choirs and vocal ensembles, will be held on 14–18 June 2023. A wholly virtual event in its previous edition in 2021, the Festival now returns to live audiences at Tampere Hall, Tampere Cathedral and other venues in the city centre. The Artistic Director of the Festival is choir conductor Kari Turunen.

The concert programme at this year’s Tampere Vocal Music Festival features Amór Ceu with Medieval love poetry, Ilona Korhonen Ensemble with music drawing on the traditional poetry of Baltic-Finnic peoples and two choirs performing music by Finnish and North American composers. Somnium Ensemble presents a programme on the theme of longing to be part of something greater, seeking a haven where one can feel at one with the universe. Conducted by Elisa Huovinen, this concert concludes with a joint performance with the Vancouver Chamber Choir of the majestic Meren virsi [Hymn of the sea] by Toivo Kuula to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

In its own concert, the Vancouver Chamber Choir explores the wishes, dreams, fears and feelings that all human beings share, in a programme of Canadian and Finnish music. The Canadian half reflects the diversity of the country’s musical culture, and at the nexus of the two halves of the concert is a new piece commissioned by the Vancouver Chamber Choir by composer Matthew Whittall, born in Canada and resident in Finland. The Finnish half of the concert includes another Finnish work premiered by the choir, Les rêveries by Mikko Nisula.

The late-night lineup includes the winners of the Contest for Vocal Ensembles at the previous, online Festival, AORA from Sweden, along with the Musta lammas [Black sheep] choir specialising in popular music and the all-new formation of the Swedish a cappella legend, The Real Group.

The cornerstones of the Festival, the Chorus Review and the Contest for Vocal Ensembles, again bring dozens of choirs and ensembles from Finland and abroad to Tampere. Both culminate in a Concluding Concert where awards are presented to participants selected by the international juries. The application period for the qualifying round in the Contest for Vocal Ensembles has ended, and the finalists will be announced about one week from now. The registration period for the Chorus Review will end on 28 February 2023.

The principal venue of the Festival is Tampere Hall. Concerts are also held at Tampere Cathedral, Finlayson Church, G Livelab and the Old Customs House. Complementing the programme, there are various courses for choir conductors and singers, and a series of free concerts titled Feel the Festival! occupies various venues around the city. The Chorus Review and Contest for Vocal Ensembles likewise have free admission, except for their Concluding Concerts. Admission is also free to the panel discussions held in the foyer of Tampere Hall on gender diversity and multiculturalism in choirs.

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