The Swedish Radio Choir under principal conductor Kaspars Putniņš invites you to a spring program where the Swedish composers Anders Hillborg, Gösta Nystroem, and Ingvar Lidholm meets Johannes Brahms. Nystroem’ s Havet and Lidholms …la rivedere le stelle are envelopted by Hillborg’s wordless  wordless mumuo:aa:yiy::oum  and The breathing of the world for choir, soprano saxophone. Tickets to the concert are sold by Storkyrkan.

Tickets to the concert are sold by Storkyrkan.


dot 2022/2023





32 professional choristers make up the Swedish Radio Choir: a unique, dynamic instrument hailed by music-lovers and critics all over the world. The Swedish Radio Choir performs at Berwaldhallen, concert hall of the Swedish Radio, as well as on tours all over the country and the world. Also, they are heard regularly by millions of listeners on Swedish Radio P2, Berwaldhallen Play and globally through the EBU.

The award-winning Latvian conductor Kaspars Putniņš was appointed Chief Conductor of the Swedish Radio Choir in 2020. Since January 2019, its choirmaster is French orchestral and choral conductor Marc Korovitch, with responsibility for the choir’s vocal development.

The Swedish Radio Choir was founded in 1925, the same year as Sweden’s inaugural radio broadcasts, and gave its first concert in May that year. Multiple acclaimed and award-winning albums can be found in the choir’s record catalogue. Late 2023 saw the release of Kaspars Putniņš first album with the choir: Robert Schumann’s Missa sacra, recorded with organist Johan Hammarström.


Kaspars Putniņš is Chief Conductor of the Swedish Radio Choir since 2020, and newly appointed Chief Conductor of the Latvian Radio Choir with whom he has worked closely for more than 30 years. He was formerly Chief Conductor of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in 2014–2021. He regularly appears with the RIAS Kammerchor, SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, Collegium Vocale Gent, Danish National Vocal Ensemble & Choir, Netherlands Radio Choir, NDR Vokalensemble Hamburg, Chorwerk Ruhr, among others.

While Putniņš is a skilled interpreter of a wide choral repertoire, from Renaissance polyphony through to romantic music, his foremost goal has always been promoting new and outstanding choral music. He has forged close relationships with Baltic and Nordic composers including Maija Einfelde, Mārtiņš Viļums, Gundega Šmite, Toivo Tulev, Lasse Thoresen, Gavin Bryars and Andris Dzenitis. He has also initiated several drama projects in collaboration with visual and theatre artists, and has worked extensively with young singers and conductors, including as Artistic Director of the Tenso Europe Chamber Choir in 2013–2017.

Autumn 2023 saw the release of Putniņš’ first album recording with the Swedish Radio Choir: Robert Schumann’s Missa sacra and Vier doppelchörige Gesänge, recorded with Swedish organist Johan Hammarström. His wide-ranging discography also includes recordings of Pēteris Vasks’ Māte saule, Jonathan Harvey’s The Angels, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil and Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto for Choir. His recording with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir of Schnittke’s Psalms of Repentance and Arvo Pärt’s Magnificat and Nunc dimittis was awarded both the Gramophone Award and Diapason d’Or in 2018.

Kaspars Putniņš has been awarded two of Latvia’s foremost awards for his musicianship: the Grand Music Prize Lielā mūzikas balva and the Council of Ministers Award for Achievements in Culture and Science. For his contributions to Estonian music life as Chief Conductor of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, he was awarded the Cultural Endowment of Estonia’s Annual Award in 2019. Putniņš grew up in Riga, Latvia, and was only 26 years old when he was first hired as conductor of the Latvian Radio Choir.

Saxophonist Theo Hillborg is a member of Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, one of Europe’s foremost ensembles for contemporary music, since 2020 and performs regularly as a soloist. He is also a seasoned orchestral musician who has worked with conductors such as Sakari Oramo, Edward Gardner and Oliver Knussen, and orchestras including the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta and Manchester Camerata.

As a soloist, he has won national and international prizes in competitions including the Stockholm International Music Competition and Polstjärnepriset. In April 2021, Hillborg and his duet partner pianist Julia Isaksson won Swedish competition Ung & Lovande. He grew up in Stockholm, completed his First Class Honours bachelor’s degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London studying under Simon Haram, and then completed a master’s degree at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm studying under Christer Johnsson.


Approximate timings

Ingvar Lidholm’s music presents us with stirring harmonies and the eternal questions. This may be especially true for his choral compositions, which he developed from the age of twenty in collaboration with Eric Ericson and his chamber choir.

Lidholm borrowed a passage from the end of “Inferno”, the first part of Dante Alighieri’s major epic poem La Divina Commedia/The Divine Comedy, where Dante has followed his guide Virgil through the circles of hell before emerging via a hidden path … a rivider le stelle/to see the stars again and is moved by the promise of Heaven. These words, and the stanzas leading up to them, are the subject of Lidholm’s fourteen-minute-long choral piece.

The work was first performed by the Swedish Radio Choir and Eric Ericson’s Chamber Choir in 1974 with the solo parts sung by Marianne Mellnäs. It is a seminal contribution to the Swedish choral canon.

This is a tour de force in terms of drama and tonality, and although the melodic and harmonious elements are more prominent here than in Lidholm’s earlier work, it is full of tricky intervals, tonal clashes and major rhythmical and dynamic contrasts.

The altos and sopranos begin fortissimo and with frequent glissandi on the vowel “A”. The text is introduced by the basses on ma la notte resurge (but night is rising once more), after which the sopranos and altos join in. On this resounding start follows a milder, more sonorous polytonal section as Dante and Virgil are moving closer to the light.

After a general pause halfway through the piece, the wanderers are approaching the gates of Heaven. The light they encounter is reflected in shimmering chords consisting of up to 32 voices, then suddenly, like a strange homecoming, the choir strikes an unexpected, harmonious C-sharp chord on a rivider le stelle.

The soprano solo does not appear until the end. Accompanied by long, drawn out chords, a wordless, poetic melody rises towards the bright, open sky.

Anna Hedelius

Saturday April 29 at 3 pm. Approximate concert length: 1 h