Rajaton © Ville Juurikkala

Fri 3 Feb 2017

Tampere Vocal Music Festival celebrates the boundless power of singing

The Tampere Vocal Music Festival, the largest of its kind in Finland, is being held again on 6–11 June 2017. This year, the Festival focuses on children and adolescents and on the community spirit. The Artistic Director of the Tampere Vocal Music Festival is choir conductor Sanna Valvanne.

Young People´s Chorus of New York City © Stephanie BergerAs a prelude to the Festival proper, the excellent children’s and youth choirs from Jakarta, New York and Jyväskylä invited to participate in the Songbridge project will be giving concerts at Kangasala, Ylöjärvi and Nokia. The Songbridge concept, created by the late Professor Erkki Pohjola, is intended to promote friendship and understanding between nations through choral collaboration. The fruits of this year’s collaboration project will be presented at the Songbridge Gala, with world premieres of works commissioned for this event from Michael Gordon, Budi Susanto Yohanes and Pekka Kostiainen. The concert forms part of the ‘Story of the Freedom of Speech’ project of the Pirkanmaa Festivals and the official programme for the centenary of Finland’s independence (Suomi100).

The all-Finnish programme of the Tampere Philharmonic conducted by Anna-Maria Helsing will feature Keihäitä [Spears] by Paavo Korpijaakko, setting a text by poet Ville Hytönen. The work includes a large children’s choir formed by Tampere-based choirs Pirkanpojat and Sympaatti, and also baritone soloist Tommi Hakala.

The boundless potential of the human voice is showcased in many ways in the Festival programme. Topi Lehtipuu will be giving a one-man show exploring the entire spectrum of vocal music and human self-expression in song from Gregorian chant to gospel. Iva Bittová (CZ) and Maarja Nuut (EE) combine violin and voice with folk songs and tales in innovative ways.

As always, the core of the Festival is formed by the Chorus Review and by the internationally highly distinguished Contest for Vocal Ensembles. The Rajaton vocal ensemble, whose career was launched by their winning the Contest, will return once again to Tampere, now celebrating their 20th anniversary.

The advance event of the Festival, The Power of Song, will be held on 22–24 May. This will involve pop-up performances by choirs at libraries, cafés and restaurants. All choirs in the Tampere region have been invited to participate in the 100 Choirs event on Keskustori square in Tampere. Readers of the Moro supplement of the Aamulehti newspaper will be invited to vote for two favourite songs to be included in the programme of the joint concert at the event. The advance event is organised jointly with the Tampere City Library and the Pirkanmaa Choral Centre

Nordic Voices
Nordic Voices can produce a wide range of techniques, from ordinary classical sounds to Mongolian overtone singing. Photo © Fredrik Arff