The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC) is one of the best-known Estonian music ensembles in the world. The choir was founded in 1981 by Tõnu Kaljuste, who was its artistic director and chief conductor for twenty years. From 2001–2007, the English musician Paul Hillier took over. Daniel Reuss collaborated with the choir as its chief conductor from 2008–2013 and Kaspars Putniņš from 2014–2021. Since the 2021/2022 season the artistic director and chief conductor is Tõnu Kaljuste.

The repertoire of the choir extends from Gregorian chant and baroque to the music of the 21st century, with a special focus on the work of Estonian composers, such as Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Galina Grigorjeva, Tõnu Kõrvits, introducing their works to the world. Each season the choir gives about 60–70 concerts both in Estonia and abroad.

The EPCC has collaborated with a number of outstanding conductors including Claudio Abbado, Helmuth Rilling, Eric Ericson, Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Roland Böer, Frieder Bernius, Stephen Layton, Peter Phillips, Marc Minkowski, Sir Colin Davis, Louis Langree, Paul McCreesh, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Gustavo Dudamel, Richard Tognetti, and Kristiina Poska, among others.

The EPCC has also worked with the world-class orchestras including the Norwegian, Australian, Prague and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestras, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Berlin Rundfunk Orchestra, Concerto Copenhagen, the Salzburg Camerata, Les Musiciens du Louvre, the Philip Glass Ensemble, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Basel Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Flanders Symphony Orchestra, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.

The EPCC has been a welcome guest at numerous music festivals and outstanding venues all over the world, such as the BBC Proms, the Mozartwoche, the Abu Gosh Music Festival, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Salzburg Festspiele, the Festival Aix-en-Provence, the International Cervantino Festival, the Vale of Glamorgan Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Sydney Opera House, Wiener Konzerthaus, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Barbican Centre in London, the Flagey Concert Hall in Brussels, the Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore, the Soul Arts Center, Hong Kong City Hall, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Philharmonie de Paris, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum and the Lincoln Center in New York, and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

The choir has made recordings for ECM, Virgin Classics, Carus, Harmonia Mundi, Ondine, and BIS Records. Their recordings have won two GRAMMY-Awards for Best Choral Performance, for the album Arvo Pärt. Da Pacem with conductor Paul Hillier (Harmonia Mundi, 2007) and Arvo Pärt. Adam’s Lament with conductor Tõnu Kaljuste (ECM, 2014). The EPCC has 16 GRAMMY nominations for recordings of works by Arvo Pärt, Erkki-Sven Tüür and the music of Nordic countries. The EPCC recordings have also won a Gramophone Award, Diapason d’Or, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and a Prix Caecilia.

In 2020 BBC Music Magazine has named the EPCC one of the 10 best choirs in the world.

APRIL 2024