Foto: Anneli Ivaste

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC) begins a tour in the Netherlands lasting from March 19th to 23rd. Under the direction of Tõnu Kaljuste, the concerts with a cappella repertoire including the works of Veljo Tormis and Cyrillus Kreek, which will take place in outstanding concert halls across the Netherlands.

During five days, concerts will be held at Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrench (March 19th), Muziekgebouw Amsterdam (March 20th), Schouwburg Concertzaal Tilburg (March 21st), Antwerp De Singel (March 22nd), and Den Hague Amare (March 23rd).

Tõnu Kaljuste has selected works by Cyrillus Kreek (1889–1962), most of which are based on secular folk tunes and were composed during Kreek’s so-called “wandering years” period (1908–1921). Kreek’s works will be presented in from of Dutch audience on such a scale for the first time. From Veljo Tormis (1930–2017), the programme includes the extensive choral cycle “Estonian Calendar Songs,” completed in 1967, which is based on tunes connected to folk calendar holidays, comprising five cycles: “Martinmas Songs,” “St. Catherine’s Day Songs,” “Shrovetide Songs,” “Swing Songs,” and “St John’s Day Songs”.

The EPCC has a long-term cooperation with music life organisers in the Netherlands. The choir has had successfull tours in 2016, 2018, and 2020, as well as individual concerts in the Netherlands in cooperation with different orchestras. The main organizer of the concert tour this time is the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, which has invited the EPCC also before.

According to Boudewijn Berentsen, the general manager of Muziekgebouw, the EPCC represents the Estonian choral culture at the highest level, and the Amsterdam audience is delighted by the choir’s crystalline and warm sound. He has said, “The EPCC has built an excellent reputation in our country in recent years, which is why other organizers besides our concert hall want to present the choir as well.”

During the busy concert-filled period of February and March, the EPCC has performed with 19 concerts in 6 countries – the USA, Canada, Germany, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands.