Founded in 2011, Helsinki Music Centre Chorus was started by a proposal from Hannu Lintu, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and John Storgårds. The new centre required a chorus of high standard with a fluent connection to the building’s main orchestras and their respective conductors. Today, the centre’s symphonic chorus consists of roughly 80 vocalists and can perform as a male or female choir.
The centre’s chorus collaborates with all the main users of the Helsinki Music Centre including the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Radio Symphonic Orchestra and Sibelius Academy. The chorus’s artistic leader is Nils Schweckendiek.
The chorus debuted in 2012 by performing Johannes Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem together with the RSO. The performance was conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste. The first year of activity was highlighted by Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Ode to Joy, performed together with the HPO. The performance was conducted by Leif Segerstam.
The chorus’s repertoire consists mainly of large symphonic pieces for choirs and orchestras. The repertoire is planned thoroughly with the Centre’s orchestras and respective chief conductors. Sibelius Academy’s vocal and opera coaching and collaborative piano students have the opportunity to practise with the chorus.
The chorus's a cappella repertoire consists of grand choir compositions from the 11th century to contemporary chorus works. The Centre chorus’s own a cappella concert "Hymnien yö" (Night of the Hymns) is held annually on All Saints’ day in Helsinki Music Centre’s concert hall.
The chorus performs roughly 10 times a year, mainly in the Helsinki Music Centre. Last year the chorus also performed at the Espoon Urkuyö ja Aaria Festival and Turku Music Festival. The members are passionate singers who devote their free time to the chorus.