Tapiola Sound Entrances Listeners around the World
Tapiola Choir is a world-renowned and award-winning children’s choir from Finland. During its history, Tapiola Choir has evolved from a school choir into one of the world’s best-known children’s and youth choirs. The choir is famous for its distinctive Tapiola Sound, appraised by many critics internationally.
Tapiola Choir was founded by Erkki Pohjola in 1963. His work was continued by Kari Ala-Pöllänen between 1994 and 2008. From 2008, the artistic director is Mr. Pasi Hyökki, also an alumnus of the choir.
Around 65 young musicians between the ages of 9 to 18 sing in the choir. They all play an instrument, too, in addition to singing. The choir is known for its rich combination of singing, playing instruments and choreography.
The repertoire of Tapiola choir is extremely diverse: the choir is at home in jazz concerts as well as in festivals of contemporary or classical music – or performing traditional folk songs with applicable style and sound. Co-operation with contemporary composers is an important part of the choir’s artistic work, and several Finnish and foreign composers have written new music and dedicated their works to these young singers. In addition to the premiere, the co-operation often includes taking part early in the composition process.
Tapiola Choir performs actively in Finland and abroad. The annual Christmas concerts have been a tradition since the 1960s. The choir has made dozens of recordings and won several distinguished choral competitions, such as the Silver Rose Bowl, main prize of the BBC Let the Peoples Sing choir competition (1971), and the UNESCO Prize for the Promotion of the Arts (1996). Over the years, Tapiola choir has made over 60 international concert tours everywhere around the world.
One of the key principles of Tapiola choir has always been to allow the young people to make music like adult musicians. The singers are actively encouraged to be active and take responsibility of the artistic work. At the same time, it’s important to let the children be who they are. The joy of making music is highly valued.