Renowned Norwegian Choirs to Canadian festival

Two of Norway’s most central choirs, the Norwegian Soloists' Choir and Nordic Voices head to Toronto in June to perform at the Northern Voices Festival.

Nordic Voices, 2003

The Norwegian Soloists' Choir, conducted by Grete Pedersen, and Nordic Voices, a six-voice a cappella ensemble, will be visiting Canada in May/June. Both choirs will participate in the Northern Voices Festival in Toronto 3-12 June. The Norwegian Soloists' Choir sings with Pro Coro at the Winspear Centre for Music in Edmonton, Tuesday, 31 May.

The Norwegian Soloists' Choir has been an important part of Norwegian cultural life for more than fifty years. The fundamental repertoire of the choir consists of masterpieces from the rich tradition of Nordic and international choral music, but the choir has also demonstrated an excellent ability to pit the past and present against each other and include modern music in its repertoire. The choir consists of a pool of between 60 and 70 professional singers, out of which an ensemble is selected for each project. 21 singers will participate on the tour to Canada.

Grete Pedersen, conductor and artistic director of the Norwegian Soloists' Choir, has gained the reputation as one of Norway`s leading and most versatile conductors. Trained as a church musician and choral conductor at the Norwegian State Academy of Music, she has been the conductor of the Soloist Choir since 1990. She is also conductor of the Oslo Chamber Choir, which she founded in 1984. She has been in charge of productions and performances of contemporary music as well as folk music, has co-operated with jazz musicians and actors and conducted several major works for choir and orchestra.

Included in their repertoire for their Canada-tour, is music by Norwegian composers Edvard Grieg, Fartein Valen, Arne Nordheim, Knut Nystedt and Edvin Ostergaard.

Nordic Voices is a six-voice a cappella ensemble whose singing is a blend of the solo and the unified, the analytical and the affectionate. The vocal ensemble was founded in May 1996. The six persons who constitute Nordic Voices are all young musicians who have graduated from the Norwegian State Academy of Music in the past few years. Their musical background includes church music, composition, choral conducting, singing and teacher training.

Their vast repertoire ranges from medieval to modernist music, featuring works of composers from Monteverdi and di Lasso to Ligeti and Berio. They are dedicated to different and exiting programming, and their programs always follow a specific concept. Their performance is smart and stylish, employing a playful yet sophisticated approach that enhances their already remarkable singing.

The Norwegian Soloist Choir will perform together with Pro Coro Canada, the Elora Festival Singers and the Latvian Radio Choir at the Opening Gala on 4 June. The concert takes place in Metropolitan United Church (56 Queen Street East, Toronto) at 8 p.m. under the direction of Estonian conductor Tonu Kaljuste. The concert will be recorded live by CBC radio. The Norwegian Soloist Choir will also perform with Pro Coro Canada at a Live Showcase on 3 June, 4.15 p.m. and at the Metropolitan United Church on 5 June, at 3 p.m.

Nordic Voices will perform at Metropolitan on 8 June at 8 p.m.

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