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Greetings from the professor: Nils Schweckendiek
The Grammy awarded vocal ensemble Theatre of Voices will come to Helsinki to teach at the Sibelius Summer Academy in August 2019. Sibelius Academy, Uniarts Helsinki's choir conducting professor Nils Schweckendiek is exited about the new aspects the course can bring to the participants.
"I’m very excited that Theatre of Voices have agreed to teach a series of masterclasses at the Sibelius Academy, starting this summer. They are one of the world’s foremost vocal groups and have collaborated with many of the leading composers of our time, so they are at the cutting edge of new developments in the field. At the same time, Paul Hillier is peerless in the field of early music, so the classes present a wonderful opportunity for the students to work on a wide range of repertoire.
Singing education tends to focus almost entirely on solo singing, yet much of the Western vocal repertoire (and indeed most of the art music repertoire before 1600) is for ensembles, and in practice many singers will go on to work in professional choirs and other vocal ensembles. I am pleased that this course will provide an opportunity for the students to realise their individual skills in a chamber music context, with all the additional challenges and artistic responsibilities that it brings. The experience is sure to stand them in good stead later on! In addition to the work on ensemble singing, Paul Hillier and Theatre of Voices have kindly agreed to share their views on peripheral issues related to the work of a professional ensemble singer with the students, such as programme planning and how to prepare for an audition.
I am very much looking forward to the concluding concert of the course on Saturday 24th August. We will hear several ensembles that applied to the course as established groups, but also a number of formations that have been put together on the basis of applications from individual singers, and who will have worked together for the first time during the week of the course. It promises to be a most interesting afternoon!"