The Helsinki Music Centre Choir – Finland’s premier large-scale chorus – is set to visit Cambridge for a joint concert with the Cambridge University Symphony Chorus (CUSC) at Great St Mary’s Church on 15 June.

The visit is the second leg of a choral exchange project which saw the University Symphony Chorus and alumni of the choir of Clare College travelling to Finland in April to give a triumphant performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Helsinki Music Centre Choir, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and esteemed conductor Nicholas Collon, which was broadcast live on national TV and radio.

Cambridge University Symphony Chorus and Helsinki Music Centre Choir during a rehearsal of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius in Helsinki

Commenting on the programme to be performed at Great St Mary’s, Musical Director of CUSC David Young said the concert would also feature works from one of Finland’s most celebrated composers.

“Familiar motets from one of the University of Cambridge’s most illustrious musical alumni, Charles Villiers Stanford, sit alongside intimate partsongs by the godfather of Finnish music, Jean Sibelius,” he said.

“The programme will be completed by songs of home and its loss, dwelling and belonging, by Caroline Shaw, Michael Tippett, Brahms and Verdi, and Leonard Bernstein’s riotous and heartfelt Chichester Psalms, composed in Hebrew for the choir of Chichester Cathedral in 1965.”

In addition to performing the concert in Cambridge, the Helsinki Music Centre Choir will be travelling to London for a special performance at the Finnish Embassy.

Simon Fairclough, director of the CMP, said: “We are beyond thrilled to host the Helsinki Music Centre Choir in Cambridge for this joint concert. It completes what has been an inspiring musical and cultural exchange, during which both sets of singers have shared their homes with one another, forging lasting bonds of friendship and artistic collaboration.”

He added: “Our singers were blown away by the experience of performing in the fantastic Helsinki Music Centre, and we look forward to sharing some of Cambridge’s historical and musical traditions with our Finnish counterparts when they are here.”

The concert will be performed at 8pm on Saturday 15 June at Great St Mary’s, the University Church, a venue which has played a central role in Cambridge’s life since the 11th century.

For more information on the programme, please see our event listing here, and use this link to book tickets.