The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir's Concert Tour in the Netherlands Begins

18 Mar 2024

EFK Hollandituur

During five days, concerts will be held in the Netherlands at Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht (19.03), Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam (20.03), Schouwburg Concert Hall in Tilburg (21.03), Amare in The Hague (23.03), and also in Belgium at De Singel in Antwerp (22.03). The tour puts an end to the busy period of international concerts throughout February and March, during which the choir performed in six countries.

For the program, Tõnu Kaljuste has selected compositions by Cyrillus Kreek (1889–1962), most of which draw upon secular folk melodies and were composed during Kreek's nomadic years (1908–1921). This expansive presentation of Kreek's work will be introduced to a Dutch audience for the first time. Additionally, the repertoire includes pieces by Veljo Tormis (1930–2017), notably the extensive mixed choir cycle "Estonian Calendar Songs" composed in 1967. This cycle, based on melodies from various regions and linked to national calendar dates, comprises five sub-cycles: "Martinmas Songs," "St. Catherine’s Day Songs," "Shrovetide Songs," "Swing Songs," and "St. John’s Day Songs."

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC) has longstanding relationships with Dutch music scene organizers, cultivated over many years of collaboration. This tour is made possible by the choir's successful previous extensive concert tours in 2016, 2018, and 2020, along with performances in the Netherlands alongside various orchestras and conductors. The primary organizer of the tour is Amsterdam's Muziekgebouw, which has previously hosted the chamber choir.

According to Boudewijn Berentsen, the general director of Muziekgebouw, EPCC epitomizes Estonia's exceptional choral tradition at its zenith, and the Amsterdam audience is captivated by the choir's crystalline and warm vocal quality. Berentsen remarked, "The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir has established a stellar reputation in our country in recent years, prompting other organizers to showcase the choir alongside our concert hall."

The Dutch tour marks the culmination of the chamber choir's busy season of international concerts. Throughout February and March, the choir's schedule encompassed 19 performances across 6 different countries, including the USA, Canada, Germany, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands.

Photo: Kaupo Kikkas

Anneli Ivaste
Communications manager-editor
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir