Händel Choir

Händel Choir performing at the International Choir Festival in Vaasa with Vaasa Municipal Orchestra in spring 2015. Photo: Johan Hagström.

History and background

Händel Choir was founded in Tampere in 1969 by Matti Vihtonen as the city’s first oratory choir. The choir has performed numerous large works composed for mixed choirs, orchestras and soloists but also smaller ones from a wide range of musical eras. Requiem music, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem, which was performed several times in 2007–2008, has formed the core of the choir’s repertoire.

Over the last decade, the choir has often introduced new works as Finnish premieres to be enjoyed by the local audience, e.g. Requiem and a thanksgiving song, Cantus, by John Rutter and the Mass in G Minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Between 2012 and 2015, the repertoire of the choir consisted of church music from baroque masters Heinrich Schütz, Alessandro Scarlatti, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Georg Friedrich Händel and Henry Purcell.

Debra Gomez-Tapio MFA, has been the artistic director of the choir since the beginning of 2007. She has been living and working in Finland since 1992. Her Master of Fine Arts education in music is in choral directing, music pedagogy and in early music performance. She originally came to Europe on a Fulbright scholarship for postgraduate studies in early music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland. Since then she has lived in Europe and performed widely with various early music ensembles such as Sequentia, Ricercar, and Ferrara. Throughout her entire career, Debra Gomez-Tapio has been actively conducting choirs and various ensembles. In Finland, she has done special early music choral projects for the Music Before the Romantic Era event in the radio. She has led choirs and given workshops in early music and singing technique throughout Finland. Presently, she also is the artistic director for the early music ensembles Lumous and Fioretto.

Contact Information

Please send your inquiries to toimisto(at)handel-kuoro.fi