Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in Liepāja with a programme by Pärt and Tormis

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in Liepāja with a programme by Pärt and Tormis

British BBC Music Magazine has ranked the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir among the world’s ten greatest choirs. And this outstanding group of singers, led by the choir’s founder Tõnu Kaljuste, will take the audience through the sacred and folkloric worlds of Estonian music greats Arvo Pärt and Veljo Tormis on Saturday, 13 January, at 18.00 in Liepāja’s Great Amber Concert Hall.

Both of these great moguls of Estonian music are at the core of the chamber choir’s repertoire and owe a great deal to the choir and the maestro for reviving and promoting their work. Tõnu Kaljuste is the multi-award-winning Estonian composer for his readings of Tormis’ music, while performances of Pärt’s opuses earned the conductor a Grammy and an International Classical Music Award (ICMA).

Arvo Pärt is one of the world’s most performed classical composers. His music, composed in the tintinnabuli or bell technique, invented in the 1970s, is simple-sounding, easy on the ear and, upon closer scrutiny, mathematically balanced and highly sophisticated.

The concert will include the chrestomatic motet “Magnificat”, written in the late 1980s, the luminous and soulful motet “Nunc dimittis”, “The Deer’s Cry” inspired by Irish Christian psalms, the Orthodox thanksgiving “After Victory” and two movements from the monumental “Kanon Pokajanen” (Canon of Repentance).

Veljo Tormis is one of the greatest Estonian scholars of musical folklore. His oeuvre evokes earthly power and shamanism. His contribution is primarily concerned with the study of Estonian and other Finno-Ugric folklore, with shining a light on small nations, and with his interest in the musical past of Latvians and Livs. Among his compositions, Tormis is best known for his choral music, though there are many other works in his oeuvre, and he remains as warmly celebrated in Estonia as he was during his lifetime.

For the second part of the concert, Tõnu Kaljuste selected excerpts from Tormis’ compositions for women, men and mixed choir taken from the cycles “The Swinging Songs”, “The Shrovetide Songs”, “St John’s Days Songs”, and all culminating in the shamanic sounds of the impressive “Curse Upon Iron”, which takes us into a parallel world to primordial springs.

VIDEO: Orests Silabriedis introduces the concert programme of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir:

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is one of the best-known professional Estonian music choirs in the world. The chamber choir was founded in 1981 by the renowned and popular conductor Tõnu Kaljuste, who led the choir for 20 years. Later on, the baton was passed to the Englishman Paul Hillier, followed by the Dutchman Daniel Reuss and the Latvian Kaspars Putniņš. The Chamber Choir has also collaborated with many great conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Helmuth Rilling, Eric Ericson, and others. It has taken part in many world-famous classical music festivals and has performed with some of the world's greatest orchestras.

In addition to its performing activities, the Chamber Choir regularly records albums and has received several prestigious awards, including two Grammy Awards for the recording “Arvo Pärt. Da Pacem” and “Arvo Pärt. Adam’s Lament”. The Choir holds a total of 14 Grammy Award nominations to date.

The concert is organised by SIA “Lielais Dzintars” Ltd. with the support of the Liepāja Municipality and the European Regional Development Fund. For more information, please visit Tickets are available at the “Biļešu paradise” box offices throughout Latvia, on the website  and at the concert hall’s information centre.

For further information please contact the concert hall information centre. Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 11.00-17.00, Saturday-Sunday: 10.00-15.00. Phone: +371 634 24 555, e-mail: