EMO Ensemble was founded within the Espoo Music Institute in autumn 2000. The singers mainly consist of current and future music professionals aged from 18 to 35. The ensemble combines professional singing and enthusiasm for making high-quality music, and they are specialized in all-round contemporary music. Ever since winning the International Harald Andersén chamber choir competition (2003), EMO Ensemble has offered composers an instrument capable of handling even their wildest experiments and given their audiences surprising and renewable experiences to high-quality choral music. Due to their exceptional operational model, which combines both professionals and amateurs, and their high artistic level, the choir was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize in 2007.
EMO Ensemble combines high-class art music, romantic choral classics and sometimes even light rhythm music in their concerts. They have been invited to perform at several international festivals: VocalEspoo (2002*, 2010* and 2014*), Polyfollia (Normandy 2003 and 2006), Helsinki Festival (2003 and 2013), Vaasa Choir Festival (2004 and 2008), Naantali Music Festival (2007 and 2008), World Symposium on Choral Music (Copenhagen 2008), International Sacred Music Festival (Latvia 2010), Korsholm Music Festival (2012), and LuostoClassic (2014). EMO Ensemble can also be heard on four highly rated albums: Maasta – of the Earth 2005 (which hit the ‘Best albums of the year’ list in Helsingin Sanomat and Hufvudstadsbladet, and was chosen as the Choral recording of the year by the Finnish Choral Directors’ Association), Hereillä – Awake 2008 (nominated for the Classical music Emma Award), Taivaaseen – To Heaven 2010 and Tähti – Star – Christmas album 2010.
Since spring 2013 EMO Ensemble has started something unique in the choral world: regular concert series performed as three to four freshly new, high-class concert programs per spring and autumn term. All responsibility for artistic planning is held by EMO Ensemble’s Artistic Committee, founded in early autumn 2014. This way the knowing and the ideas of the accomplished musicians who are active in the ensemble are brought before the audience in the versatile concert selection. Every concert of EMO Ensemble is conducted by a visitor invited by the Artistic Committee: the main visitor of the choir is Pasi Hyökki, while the other conductors are chosen from Finland’s frontline choral conductors. The all-round training brought by the different top experts of choral conducting not only continuously develops the skills of the singers, but also makes the concert series truly multi-faceted.
The central goal of EMO Ensemble is to offer their listeners rousing and surprising concert experiences. The audience has given such comments as “having fun with music”, “amazingly skillful, different and unexpected”, and “makes one tear up of joy”. By offering fresh and surprising concert experiences through the year, EMO Ensemble aims at developing the Finnish choral culture as well as shaking up and freshening conventional ideas of choral concerts.
* by the name KuoroEspoo