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For Release: September 25, 2012

Contact: Jen Rogers, Director of Marketing & Communications
480-204-0101 /


Concerts feature music of Finland, Iceland, Norway & Sweden

(Phoenix, AZ) – The Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale’s 2012/13 Season opens with music representing the Nordic countries of Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden on October 20 and 21. Titled “Nordic Voices,” the concerts were inspired by Artistic Director Charles Bruffy’s travels to Finland and feature several Finnish composers including Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, and Einojuhani Rautavaara to name a few. The concerts also feature music by the Swedish ensemble The Real Group, Norway’s greatest composer Edvard Grieg, and new music by Phoenix Chorale favorite, Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo.

Concert selections include: the haunting Die Erste Elegie by modern composer Rautavaara; Heyr, Himna Smiður by Tomason; Sigurjónsson’s traditional Icelandic lullaby Sofðu Unga Ástin Mín; Bumblebee, a jazz vocal arrangement from Anders Edenroth of The Real Group and more.

HOW TO BUY TICKETS Subscriptions and all tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through the Phoenix Chorale’s website: or by calling 602-253-2224.

25 & UNDER Rush Tickets Starting 15 minutes before concert time, anyone 25 years old and younger (with ID) can purchase Rush Tickets for just $5. Rush Tickets are subject to availability, cannot be reserved in advance, and are not guaranteed.


Die Erste Elegie (The First Elegy) by Einojuhani Rautavaara – One of the most notable Finnish composers after Sibelius is Einojuhani Rautavaara. Born in 1928, Rautavaara studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. A prolific composer of contemporary classical music, Rautavaara has written in a variety of forms and styles with compositions including eight symphonies, twelve concertos, choral works, sonatas for various instruments, string quartets, and a number of biographical operas.

El Hambo by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi – offers text that, as noted by the composer, “does not and is not intended to mean anything, with the sole exception of the single word ‘hambo,’ which is a Swedish folk dance.” Characteristic of Mäntyjärvi’s eclectic traditionalist style, El Hambo should be “pronounced as Finnish, flavored with amusing imitations of the vowel colors of any Scandinavian language except Danish.” Pseudo-Yoik, also by Mäntyjärvi, takes a humorous look at the stereotype of the Lapland folk music and will also be performed by the Chorale.


Heyr, Himna Smiður (Hear, Heavenly Creator) by Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson – with text by Kolbeinn Tumason, one of the most powerful Icelandic chieftains during the turn of the 12th century, this hymn was composed over 700 years after the text. As an internationally known as a pianist and composer, Sigurbjörnsson’s works span diverse styles and genres, tending to integrate seemingly unrelated elements.

Sofðu Unga Ástin Mín (Sleep My Little Loved One), also by Sigurbjörnsson – is a traditional Icelandic lullaby. With text by Jóhann Sigurjónsson, the dark and haunting lullaby was originally heard in the 1912 play about the Icelandic outlaw Fjalla-Eyvindur (“Eyvindur of the Mountains”). The song is sung from the perspective of Eyvindur’s wife, Halla, who is slowed down by her baby as she and her husband try to flee their town. Halla used the song to sing her baby to sleep, before throwing the infant into a waterfall make easier her escape.


Ave Maris Stella (Hail Star of the Sea) by Edvard Hagerup Grieg – a Romantic setting of a  plainsong Vespers hymn to Mary. It was especially popular in the Middle Ages. Grieg, referred to as as Norway’s greatest composer, is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor. He is renowned as a nationalist composer, drawing inspiration from Norwegian folk music.

New selections by Ola Gjeilo – the choral works of Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo are featured on Phoenix Chorale’s best-selling album, Northern Lights (Chandos, 2012). Gjeilo was the Phoenix Chorale’s 2009-10 Composer in Residence and his concert works are performed by university choruses and professional choral ensembles worldwide. The Chorale will perform a number of Gjeilo’s new music including a new version of Ubi Caritas. Gjeilo made his debut recording as a pianist-composer with the lyrical crossover album Stone Rose (2L, 2007), which was followed by its 2012 sequel, Piano Improvisations.


Bumblebee by Anders Edenroth – is a modern piece showcasing a flowing melody and text about nature’s everyday wonders. Edenroth is a member of the award-winning a cappella ensemble Swedish ensemble, The Real Group (TRG). Formed in 1984, TRG is one of the leading forces in the world of vocal music today. Chili Con Carne, also by Edenroth, is an a cappella vocal jazz piece with clever lyrics and delightful syncopations.

Interviews and press tickets can be arranged by contacting Jen Rogers, at 480-204-0101 or


“Nordic Voices”
Charles Bruffy, conductor

October 20, 2012 – Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm
American Lutheran Church (17200 Del Webb Blvd., Sun City)

October 20, 2012 – Saturday evening at 7:30 pm
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (100 W. Roosevelt St., Phoenix)

October 21, 2012 – Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm
Christ Church of the Ascension (4015 E. Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley)

$28 General Admission
$12 Students
Seniors & Military receive $5 off General Admission

All tickets are an additional $5 at the door

The Phoenix Chorale is regarded as one of the finest professional choral ensembles in North America. What began in 1958 as a small study group of singers became a fully professional choir in 1992 made up of Arizona residents: highly educated and trained singers, teachers and professionals. In 2004, the Phoenix Chorale became the first North American choir to record for the U.K.’s prestigious Chandos Records and since then, the Chorale’s recordings have earned a total of eight GRAMMY nominations and two GRAMMY wins. The Phoenix Chorale aims to be the preeminent model for American choral music by redefining standards of excellence and its mission is to enrich life through excellence and distinction in choral artistry. The Phoenix Chorale, ensemble-in-residence at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Phoenix, is sponsored in part through grants and funding from Music at Trinity, Sundome Performing Arts Association, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Quail Distributing. More information is available at

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