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The Swedish Radio Choir

The Swedish Radio Choir is a mountaineer of the music world. The choir’s Music Director, Peter Dijkstra, has described the ensemble as ‘the group that leaves base camp first, and decides the direction for others to follow.’

Radiokören. Foto: Kristian Pohl.

Radiokören. Foto: Kristian Pohl

Three hundred years of Swedish a cappella tradition in combination with a forward-looking and culturally diverse repertoire, and some of the best conductors in the world have established the Swedish Radio Choir as one of the best ensembles of its kind. The 32 professional singers feel just as home with brand new music by the most exciting composers of today as with beloved works from the rich, international treasure chest of music. Through Swedish Radio P2, the choir reaches a vast amount of on-air and online listeners, as well as the concert audience.

’’Few have put Swedish choral music on the map for more than half a century like the Swedish Radio Choir’’

- Music Export Prize 2010

n 2015, the Swedish Radio Choir celebrated its 90th birthday. How can this nonagenarian stay energetic? By being proud of its achievements, while simultaneously keeping its gaze firmly looking forward. When the Swedish Radio Choir was formed, one of the ensemble’s tasks was to ‘work at a high idealistic, cultural and artistic level’. Considering the choir’s curiosity, creative zest and high musical ambition, those words will continue to carry the ensemble for at least another 90 years. To quote the choir’s Music Director, Peter Dijkstra: ‘Feeling “it’s all done now” is dangerous. We must always carry on developing. The only thing setting any limits is one’s imagination!’

How It All Began

In May, 1925, the Swedish Radio Choir had its very first concert. Right from the start, the bar was set high by the choir’s first Music Directors, Axel Nylander and Einar Ralf. Early on, there was also an explicit ambition to perform new, Swedish choral music. When Eric Ericson took over leadership in 1952, the choir’s international reputation evolved. He wanted both singers and listeners to experience the best and most important choral music from across the world, and with progressive repertoire choices and high ambitions, he made the Swedish Radio Choir known as a fantastic vocal instrument.

Read more about the Swedish Radio Choir’s History