Sofia Vokalensemble was formed in 1995 by Bengt Ollén, who still is the choir’s committed conductor. The choir’s performances are characterized by a warm, lyrical Swedish choral sound and a stage presence that has taken the ensemble far in international competitions.
In 2012 Sofia Vokalensemble won the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. The competition, this year held in Maribor, Slovenia, is one of the most prestigious in the world and the participating choirs are the winners of six reputed choral competitions in Europe. Sofia Vokalensemble qualified for the competition after winning the Grand Prix at the International Choral Competition, Maribor, Slovenia, in 2011.
In the autumn of 2009, Sofia Vokalensemble won the Grand Prix at the Grieg International Choir Festival in Bergen, Norway. In the summer of 2008 the choir took two first places in the Grand Prix in Italian Gorizia and in 2006 the ensemble tied for first place in the prestigious Harald Andersén Chamber Choir Competition in Helsinki, Finland. Sofia Vokalensemble has also toured in South Africa, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Hong Kong, Ireland, Greece, Venezuela and Russia. At home in Stockholm, the choir gives regular concerts in the Sofia church. The ensemble also regularly performs at events at, for instance, Skansen and in the Stockholm City Hall.
Music by Bach, Poulenc, Pärt and Schnittke recurs frequently in the repertoire. The choir has also premiered pieces by, among others Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Fredrik Sixten and Karin Rehnqvist. Sofia Vokalensemble is a choir with great love for music and the work is characterized not only by high musical ambition and close interaction with the conductor: the heart is always there; on Wednesday rehearsals and weekend training camps as well as at airports, parties, and behind the scenes before a competition.
“Memories bind us together and our broad experience gives us a solid foundation to stand on. It is something we believe gives us a sense of security and an advantage in our music making together. Tours, competitions and parties are just examples of all that we have shared over the years. With an artistic director who gives us all the positive energy he can muster and a musical drive that gave the choir the opportunity to grow into what it is today, it’s difficult not to be swept away.”
Welcome to listen to Sofia Vokalensemble at the next concert!