The Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir closes out its 89th season with a Scandinavian program capturing many facets of the Scandinavian character: heroic, patriotic and magical.
Favourite composers include Edvard Grieg of Norway and Jean Sibelius of Finland. Music from the Baltic region will also be included.
Tenor PJ Buchan will be guest soloist. In addition, two Duluth-based Finnish musicians will perform some Finnish traditional music on the kantele (a zither-like plucked instrument) and jouhikko (a lyre played with a bow). The Scandinavian Canadian Choir will also join The Phil in some Norwegian folksongs.
To whet your appetite, here are some quick facts about Scandinavian choral music:
Yuri Klaz, conductor of The Phil (Andrew Sikorsky)
- Scandinavia is a historic/cultural/linguistic region that includes Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
- Scandinavia has a higher average participation rate for choral groups than any other region on earth.
- In Sweden alone, 10 per cent of the population sings in a choir.
- Norway, a nation of fewer than 4 million, has more than 125,000 choral singers.
- Singing is embedded in the national identity of the small Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Their independence movement against Soviet Russia is often called the Singing Revolution as demonstrations took place in the form of huge song festivals with choirs of 20,000 people or more.
- The Phil's conductor, Yuri Klaz, comes from the area of Russia adjacent to Finland that shares the Karelian culture. He has performed at festivals in Finland and Scandinavia and has written articles on the Finnish romantic choral tradition.
The Phil perform at Westworth United Church Sunday, April 22 at 3 p.m.