The CD "Beat Furrer: Works for Choir and Ensemble" has now been featured on lists of the best recordings of 2016 in three countries: Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (Germany), the Sunday Times (UK), Hufvudstadsbladet (Finland), YLE (Finland).
08. January 2017
16. November 2016
The recent CD of music by Beat Furrer in which Nils Schweckendiek conducts the Helsinki Chamber Choir and Uusinta Ensemble has been chosen as the best choral recording of the final quarter of 2016 by Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik:
06. November 2016
Here's an enthusiastic review for the new Beat Furrer release conducted by Nils Schweckendiek, from the WDR radio station in Germany:
20. October 2016
Embarking on a short Scandinavian tour with the Helsinki Chamber Choir to give concerts in Stockholm and Copenhagen.
01. October 2016
Live webcast of Eugene Birman's State of the Union from the Interlochen Center for the Arts begins at 7.30pm EDT.
23. September 2016
Taking the Helsinki Chamber Choir on its first ever tour of the United States between 26th September and 7th October, with five concerts at various locations around Michigan and a final performance in New York. The programme includes classics of the Finnish repertoire and the world premiere of Eugene Birman's State of the Union.
11. September 2016
In tribute to the late Einojuhani Rautavaara, the Helsinki Chamber Choir's performance of his magnificent Vigilia is still available on ARTE until 13 September: http://concert.arte.tv/de/hommage-einojuhani-rautavaara-vigilia-teil-1-v...
22. August 2016
Recording Matthew Whittall's horn concerto "Northlands" with Tommi Hyytinen and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
01. August 2016
"A hugely attractive collection... this immaculate disc": The Guardian has publised an enthusiastic review of an album of works by Beat Furrer, performed by the Uusinta Ensemble and Helsinki Chamber Choir under Nils Schweckendiek's direction: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jul/28/furrer-enigmas-voices-stil...
The disc can be purchased from Toccata Classics here: https://toccataclassics.com/product/beat-furrer-choir-ensemble/
30. July 2016
In memory of Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016), the Helsinki Chamber Choir's 2013 performance of his masterpiece Vigilia will be screened on Yle Teema tonight at 18.45 Finnish time and will be available to view on the internet for 30 days: http://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2016/07/28/rautavaaran-vigilia
07. July 2016
The 2nd International Einojuhani Rautavaara Chamber Choir Composition Competition was won by Patiparn Jaikampan (Thailand). The Audience Prize went to Raphaël Languillat (France). The final concert is available to listen again here: http://areena.yle.fi/1-3461216
28. June 2016
The final concert of the 2nd International Einojuhani Rautavaara Composition Competition will be held on 6th July in Viitasaari, Finland, and broadcast live on YLE.
27. April 2016
The Helsinki Chamber Choir's concert to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare is available to listen again here: http://areena.yle.fi/1-3303217?autoplay=true The programme includes the world premiere of Alex Freeman's A Wilderness of Sea.
05. March 2016
Working on some of Lully's grands motets with the Helsinki Chamber Choir and Finnish Baroque Orchestra, for what may be the Finnish premiere.
11. February 2016
First concert of the year for the Helsinki Chamber Choir on 12 February, followed by a recording session with works by Perttu Haapanen and Matthew Whittall: http://helsinkichamberchoir.fi/concerts/spring-2016/chamber-concert-voic...
28. January 2016
Nils Schweckendiek's concert with the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra on 29 January 2016 at 7pm Finnish time will be broadcast live on Yle radio and will be available to listen again after the broadcast: http://areena.yle.fi/1-3191179
23. January 2016
The Helsinki Chamber Choir's spring season programme has been published and can be viewed here:
19. December 2015
Today, the Netherlands Radio Choir sings in Nielsen's Maskarade at the Concertgebouw, and tomorrow is the final performance of Henze's The Bassarids in Mannheim. Two of this autumn's chorus preparation projects come to an end.
09. December 2015
Two radio appearances today: an interview with concert excerpts on NDR in Germany (http://www.ndr.de/ndrkultur/epg/Feuer-unterm-Eis-Nils-Schweckendiek,send...) and discussing arts funding on YLE in Finland.
30. November 2015
Working with the Netherlands Radio Choir on Nielsen's Maskarade.
25. November 2015
Five talented young composers from all around the world are working with the Helsinki Chamber Choir, Ondrej Adamek and Jukka Tiensuu at the second International Einojuhani Rautavaara Workshop in Helsinki from 25-28 November 2015 in preparation for next year's Rautavaara Competition. The sessions on 27th and 28th November are open to the public.
01. November 2015
Very positive reviews coming in for Matthew Whittall's The Return of Light and the rest of last Friday's concert with Tapiola Sinfonietta and the Helsinki Chamber Choir. Listen again here: http://areena.yle.fi/1-3009354
29. October 2015
Premiering Matthew Whittall's quietly epic The Return of Light with the Helsinki Chamber Choir and Tapiola Sinfonietta in a concert that also includes the Finnish premiere of Cherubini's Coronation Mass in G of 1819. The concert will be broadcast and streamed live here: http://areena.yle.fi/1-3009354
29. September 2015
Five finalists have been chosen to take part in the 2nd International Einojuhani Rautavaara Composition Workshop and Competition:
21. September 2015
Preparing Henze's The Bassarids with the choir of Nationaltheater Mannheim for a new production that has its premiere in October.
17. September 2015
Performing music by Jean Sibelius and Aulis Sallinen with the Seinäjoki Orchestra in honour of the two composers' anniversaries.
09. September 2015
The Rautavaara Workshop and Competition 2016 has attracted 72 entries. Five young composers will be chosen to take part in the event, which is organised jointly by the Helsinki Chamber Choir and Time of Music festival with support from Tenso Network Europe.
29. August 2015
Antti Auvinen's amazing music theatre work Autuus is still available to listen again online for a couple of days: http://areena.yle.fi/1-2869844
26. August 2015
Working on Brahms' Requiem with the wonderful Danish National Concert Choir at Danish Radio in Copenhagen.
19. August 2015
Delighted that the reviews for Antti Auvinen's Autuus at the Helsinki Festival have recognised the composer's extraordinary achievement! Now looking forward to an autumn season that includes working with the Danish National Concert Choir, Mannheim Opera Choir and Netherlands Radio Choir as well as Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Seinäjoki Orchestra and the Helsinki Chamber Choir.
12. August 2015
Antti Auvinen's impressive new multimedia music theatre work Autuus (Bliss) will be premiered at the Helsinki Festival on 16 August 2015. Nils Schweckendiek conducts the Helsinki Chamber Choir and defunensemble.
05. July 2015
The Helsinki Chamber Choir's concert from the Musiikin aika festival in Viitasaari on 3 July is available to listen again here:
03. July 2015
Live broadcast from the Viitasaari Time of Music festival tonight at 19.03 Finnish time, 18.03 Central European time:
Premieres by George Lewis and Heinz-Juhani Hofmann and works by Birtwistle, Ferneyhough and Wennäkoski.
26. June 2015
It's a summer of contemporary music, with two world premieres (by George Lewis and Heinz-Juhani Hoffman) and works by Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Brian Ferneyhough at the Viitasaari Time of Music festival in the presence of the composers, and the world premiere of Antti Auvinen's music theatre work Autuus for video, electronics, soloists and ensemble at the Helsinki Festival.
20. May 2015
The legendary Paul Hillier will be teaching a masterclass for my students at the Sibelius Academy on 20 and 21 May.
15. May 2015
Heading to Belgium to perform with the Helsinki Chamber Choir at the Tenso Days festival in the beautiful town of Mechelen near Brussels.
13. May 2015
Concerts with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, the Helsinki Chamber Choir and the wonderful violist Lilli Maijala in Rovaniemi and Ivalo.
25. April 2015
Performing with the Helsinki Chamber Choir at the International Artist Managers' Association's conference at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki.
26. January 2015
Proud to announce the 2nd International Einojuhani Rautavaara Workshop and Competition, to be held in 2015-2016. Details here: http://helsinkichamberchoir.fi/rautavaara/
01. December 2014
Premiering Katukaupunki, an hour-long collaborative composition by three Sibelius Academy students, with the indefatigable Helsinki Chamber Choir.
23. November 2014
Guy Reibel is working with my students at the Sibelius Academy this week, introducing his Jeu Vocal method and some of his compositions.
05. November 2014
Rehearsing with Kymi Sinfonietta for the Uuno Klami Composition Competition finals.
04. November 2014
Appearing on YLE Radio 1's Kultakuume programme on 5 November with a live interview (in Finnish) about all things choral in Finland. Tune in at 3.05pm Finnish time!
02. November 2014
Encountering Mark Andre's fascinating extended playing techniques ahead of his portrait concert at Musiikkitalo on 3 November.
30. October 2014
All Saints' Day concerts with the Mikkeli Oratorio Choir and the St Michel Strings in Mikkeli and Mäntyharju.
25. October 2014
Maurice Duruflé's complete output for mixed choir with the Helsinki Chamber Choir, Ville Urponen and Klaus Mäkelä in Helsinki on Sunday 26th October.
21. October 2014
Working on chamber arrangements of Mahler with Seinäjoen kaupunginorkesteri and soprano Terttu Iso-Oja.
17. October 2014
Spending the weekend at the Tenso Days festival in Riga with some of Europe's finest choirs.
12. September 2014
Performing 60th birthday concerts for Beat Furrer in St Petersburg, Espoo and Tallinn.
06. September 2014
Recording works by Beat Furrer with the Helsinki Chamber Choir and the Uusinta Ensemble, in the presence of the composer.
30. August 2014
The Helsinki Chamber Choir and Nils Schweckendiek will be performing at the charity concert for peace "We Agree to Disagree" at Helsinki's Musiikkitalo on 31 August 2014. http://www.weagreetodisagree.net
16. August 2014
Joining forces with the wonderful Ensemble Sarband for their fascinating Sacred Bridges programme at the Helsinki Festival on 18 August. Exploring the common roots of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions in music, the theme of this concert is more relevant than ever.
13. June 2014
I am deeply honoured to have been appointed Professor of Choral Conducting at the Sibelius Academy, starting on 1 August 2014 for a period of five years.
11. June 2014
My short opinion piece on the need for secure centralised funding for a professional choir in Finland has been published in the leading daily, Helsingin Sanomat:
"Risto Nieminen on aivan oikeassa sanoessaan, että kuorokulttuurissa on Suomessa kehittämisen varaa (HS 7.6.). Kehitystä ei kuitenkaan synny ilman panostusta.
Ammattikamarikuoron täytyy pystyä kiinnittämään pysyvä kokoonpano täysipäiväisesti, jotta ammattilaulajat voivat hioa yhdessä laulamista korkeimmalla mahdollisella tasolla ja kaikilla ohjelmistoalueilla. Apurahat ovat tärkeä kulttuurin tukimuoto, mutta ne eivät tarjoa tarpeeksi vakaata pohjaa kokopäiväisen toiminnan pyörittämiseen, eikä se ole niiden tarkoituskaan.
Suomella on kaikki taiteelliset edellytykset korkeatasoiseen ammattikuorotoimintaan. Niin pitkään kun kuorolaulu mielletään pelkästään harrastajien lajiksi, emme kuitenkaan yllä Niemisen esittämään tavoitteeseen."
26. May 2014
Conducting the first reading sessions of the works selected for the final round of the Uuno Klami Composition Competition, with the Kymi Sinfonietta in Kotka, Finland on 26 and 27 May.
24. April 2014
Delighted to be appearing again at this year's Helsinki Festival, together with the fascinating Ensemble Sarband and my own Helsinki Chamber Choir! The programme, created by Vladimir Ivanoff and entitled Sacred Bridges, explores connections between music from Protestant, Jewish and Muslim cultures in the 17th century.
28. March 2014
Looking forward to a busy Easter time with five concerts in five cities, including Robert D Levin's completion of Mozart's Requiem and two premieres by Lotta Wennäkoski.
04. March 2014
I am honoured and grateful to be the recipient of a stipend for my work from the Finnish Cultural Foundation in 2014!
11. February 2014
Looking forward to the Helsinki Chamber Choir's concert on 3 March, with a new work by Zesses Seglias (winner of the inaugural Rautavaara Competition) and a performance of Cornelius Cardew's The Great Learning, Paragraph 7 in which the audience is invited to participate, hopefully reviving some of the atmosphere of the legendary Scratch Orchestra!
03. February 2014
The Helsinki Chamber Choir is taking part in the recording of Veli-Matti Puumala's opera Anna Liisa this week, with the Tapiola Sinfonietta and a fine cast conducted by Jan Söderblom.
12. January 2014
After two intense days recording music by Paola Livorsi and Einojuhani Rautavaara with the Helsinki Chamber Choir, the same team will start working on Veli-Matti Puumala's opera, Anna Liisa, for a recording in early February.
06. January 2014
The new year begins with a recording for the Finnish Broadcasting Company. Paola Livorsi's Lamenti, Einojuhani Rautavaara's Missa a cappella and Rautavaara's Our Joyful'st Feast are the repertoire for our sessions in Olari Church with the Helsinki Chamber Choir.
14. December 2013
Looking forward to the last concert of 2013, with Bach motets and, to round off his 85th birthday year, Einojuhani Rautavaara's Mass, which I will also be recording with the Helsinki Chamber Choir early in 2014.
24. November 2013
The Helsinki Chamber Choir has completed its three-year project recording a large selection of works by Erik Bergman in collaboration with the Finnish Broadcasting Company. Almost all the works included in the project were recorded for the first time. A CD release is planned - we hope to have news soon!
18. November 2013
Looking forward to rehearsing with the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart midweek and recording works by Erik Bergman with the Helsinki Chamber Choir and Herman Wallén on Friday and Saturday.
13. November 2013
The Helsinki Chamber Choir's performance of Rautavaara's Vigilia will be televised on ARTE on 17 and 18 November. More information and an interview with Nils Schweckendiek here (in German):
and here (in French):
21. October 2013
The Nordic Music Days have been very favourably received in the press, with Nils Schweckendiek receiving plaudits both for his conducting and his programming. Hufvudstadsbladet wrote that "It could already be observed at the opening concert at Musiikkitalo on Tuesday and is worth stating again: the range of the Nordic Music Days, which ended in Helsinki on Saturday, was commendably broad and of a high standard this year. This is anything but obvious when it comes to a festival of contemporary music. Five works per concert has not necessarily meant a piece by a composer from each Nordic country, rather, the festival directors Sami Klemola, Petri Kumela and Nils Schweckendiek have always taken artistic merit as their starting point, just as it should be. Quality has been the watchword here, both in terms of compositions and interpretations!" Of Nils' own concert, Wilhelm Kvist observed that "The whole was commendably diverse and Nils Schweckendiek conducted all the performances with finesse. The musicians of the Tapiola Sinfonietta were well prepared and wonderfully attentive." And Helsingin Sanomat said that "The orchestra, conducted by Nils Schweckendiek, would have deserved more audience. The festival ends on Saturday. Don't miss out!"
16. October 2013
The opening concert of the Nordic Music Days is available for viewing here:
14. October 2013
The opening concert of the Nordic Music Days on 15 October is available as a live video stream at 7pm Finnish time (6pm Central European time) here:
13. October 2013
The Nordic Music Days take place in Helsinki from 15-19 October. Nils Schweckendiek has curated the orchestral and choral programmes and will conduct the opening concert in Helsinki's Musiikkitalo. He will also be a guest on YLE's Kultakuume programme on 15 October.
07. October 2013
The Helsinki Chamber Choir's performance of Rautavaara's Vigilia has been turned into a beautiful film with stunning images from Helsinki's Uspensky Cathedral. Watch here: http://areena.yle.fi/tv/2017462
29. September 2013
The Helsinki Chamber Choir's concert of Rautavaara's Vigilia will be televised on 5 October 2013 in Finland (YLE Teema) and on Arte on 17 and 18 November.
22. September 2013
After a week in Marseille at the Tenso Days, preparing for the Nordic Music Days in mid-October: http://nordicmusicdays.org/2013/en/
05. September 2013
On tour in Finland with Rautavaara's Vigilia. The performances on 9 and 10 September at Uspenski Cathedral will be filmed for YLE and Arte television.
28. August 2013
Einojuhani Rautavaara's monumental Vigilia on tour in Finland in September 2013: http://youtu.be/yyzhfE6w_is
16. August 2013
Working on Einojuhani Rautavaara's choral masterpiece Vigilia, which we will take on tour in Finland in September and which will be televised by YLE (the Finnish Broadcasting Company) and Arte later in the autumn.
09. July 2013
Preparing for my farewell appearances in Ulm: a final performance of Der Ring an einem Abend and two outdoor concerts. Here's hoping the weather holds!
04. July 2013
Happy to read the positive reviews for collegium musicum ulm and Anna Kuvaja! http://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/neu-ulm/Doppeltes-Wunder-im-Stadthau... and http://www.swp.de/ulm/lokales/ulm_neu_ulm/Nils-Schweckendieks-Abschiedsk...
03. July 2013
Final day of recording for Henrik Albrecht's new work in Stuttgart. A great joy to work with the SWR Vokalensemble, and Stéphane Denève's music-making with the SWR Sinfonieorchester is inspirational!
26. June 2013
Excited to be working with the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart for the first time!
16. June 2013
The Südwestpresse review of Der Ring an einem Abend: 'Was die Philharmoniker unter Leitung des auf einem Walkürenfelsen akkurat dirigierenden und auch mit teils langsamen Tempi den musikalischen Rausch befördernden Nils Schweckendiek leisten, ist phänomenal. Herausragend die Blechbläser, auch die Klarinetten-Soli, und ungemein expressiv, wie sich Konzertmeister Tamás Füzesi und die Streicher ins Zeug legten. Selbst weit gereiste Wagnerianer staunten über die dargebotenen sinfonischen Passagen: Feuerzauber, Vorspiel zur "Götterdämmerung", "Siegfrieds Tod" oder das Motivgeflecht im Schlussgesang der Brünnhilde. [...] Premierenjubel - am stärksten für die Philharmoniker. Diese kräftige Dosis Wagner sollte man sich geben.' (Jürgen Kanold)
14. June 2013
The first review for Der Ring an einem Abend has arrived, from Jürgen Kanold in the Südwestpresse: "Die Philharmoniker spielten unter souveräner Leitung von Nils Schweckendiek bewundernswert. Die sinfonische Wagner-Romantik: ganz groß. Heftiger Premierenjubel."
08. June 2013
We're entering the final stage of rehearsals for the premiere of Wagner's Der Ring an einem Abend on 13 June. See you on Thursday night at the Theater Ulm!
31. May 2013
The programme for the Nordic Music Days 2013 has been released:
Looking forward to an exciting week of concerts in October!
24. May 2013
Tickets for the Helsinki Chamber Choir's Vigilia tour in southern Finland in September 2013 are now on sale. The choir's full programme for the 2013/14 season will be published on 31 May.
17. May 2013
The 18th and final performance of the run of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring at the Theater Ulm takes place on Sunday 19 May 2013. Also on the programme: Matthew Whittall's Solen and two concertos from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.
16. May 2013
The first night of our new production of Donizetti's Don Pasquale is tonight! Join us at the Theater Ulm at 8pm.
11. May 2013
We're entering the final stage of rehearsals for the new production of Donizetti's Don Pasquale, which will have its premiere at the Theater Ulm on 16 May 2013.
15. April 2013
Welcome to my new-look website! I hope you find it informative. Warm thanks to its designer Julian Graw!