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About the choir

Cantinovum, established in 1989, is a chamber choir from Jyväskylä, Finland. It is the choir in residence of JAMK (Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences). There are approximately 30 singers in the ensemble, for whom music is both an interest and a passion – for many it is also a future profession! Most of the singers are students at either JAMK or the University of Jyväskylä.

Cantinovum is a versatile and ambitious choir. It aims for the highest level of artistry and continuously develops its repertoire and rich tone. In addition to a cappella singing, Cantinovum has worked with Jyväskylä Sinfonia and other orchestras. Cantinovum’s repertoire is colorful and diverse, stretching from folk music to sacred music, from Renaissance to modern compositions.

The name of the choir originates from Latin and means “new song.” Cantinovum frequently performs works they have commissioned and has premiered several new choral compositions. Included in these premieres are the works of: Jussi Chydenius, Jan Hellberg, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Juha Holma, Ilkka Kuusisto, Pascal Martiné, Sandra Milliken and Robert A. M. Ross. Works commissioned by Cantinovum include El Hambo by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Stabat Mater by Hreidar Ingi Thorsteisson and Kaivonkatsoja and Fear no more by Jussi Chydenius.

Cantinovum has released three albums: Commissioned by Cantinovum (2000), Lauloa minä lupasin (I Promised to Sing) (2006), Suven Henki (The Spirit of Summer) (2012) and Joutuos jouluyö (O Christmas Night) (2014). The first album contains new choral music commissioned by Cantinovum. The second album contains commissioned works, as well as older choral music that has been a part of the ensemble’s repertoire for many years. The Finnish national epic, Kalevala, is the source of many of the lyrics on the second album. Two compositions on the second album, Älä lapsi paljon laula and Lauloa minä lupasin, were originally commissioned for the choir’s US tour in 2005. The third album contains new music and three commissioned works, Kaivonkatsoja by Jussi Chydenius, Winds by Mia Makaroff and Kuin musta ja valkea by Heikki Korhonen, in addition to four other previously unrecorded works. The fourth album will feature Christmas music and Canadian-born soprano soloist, Emili Losier. As on earlier albums, this recording contains newly recorded music, and will feature the works of Jussi Chydenius, Liisa Matveinen and Mikko Sidoroff.

Cantinovum frequently performs abroad, most recently Poland in 2015. The choir’s reputation for excellence has been recognized at international choir competitions, including the Banska Bystrica Academy Choir Competition in Slovakia (2009) - absolute winner of the competition. Their participation in the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition in Cork in 2014 marks Cantinovum’s first trip to Ireland.