The Choir

Foun­ded in 1975, Aalto Uni­versity’s mixed choir Dom­in­ante is an act­ive and ambi­tious ensemble in the field of Finnish chor­al music.

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Artist­ic Director

Seppo Murto has been Dominante’s artist­ic dir­ect­or since 1981, allow­ing the choir’s music­al pro­file to devel­op under one dir­ect­or from prac­tic­ally the very beginning. 

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Board of directors

Dom­in­ante’s board of dir­ect­ors 2024.

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The Choir

Per­form­ing Finnish chor­al music since 1975

Dom­in­ante charms audi­ences with intens­ive inter­pret­a­tions, enthu­si­asm and its lumin­ous sound. The choir’s artist­ic dir­ect­or is dir.mus. Seppo Murto. The core of Dominante’s activ­ity is com­posed of per­form­ing ambi­tious a cap­pella works and orches­tral clas­sics, and of yearly over­seas con­cert tours, fest­ivals and competitions.

Foun­ded in 1975, Dom­in­ante star­ted as a stu­dent choir with­in the Hel­sinki Uni­ver­sity of Tech­no­logy (today Aalto Uni­ver­sity). Even at present, most of its 60 mem­bers are Aalto Uni­ver­sity stu­dents or alumni. 

Mod­ern Finnish music is one of the core com­pon­ents of Dominante’s rep­er­toire. In the past dec­ade alone, Dom­in­ante has com­mis­sioned and premiered ten new works from eight con­tem­por­ary com­posers. Out of clas­sic­al Finnish com­posers, Jean Sibeli­us and Toivo Kuula are par­tic­u­larly well-liked by the choir, and thus their chor­al works hold a prom­in­ent place in Dominante’s repertoire.

Col­lab­or­a­tions and inter­na­tion­al tours

Dom­in­ante is fre­quently invited to per­form with well-known Finnish orches­tras. In addi­tion to the Finnish Radio Sym­phony Orches­tra, the Finnish Baroque Orches­tra and the Hel­sinki Phil­har­mon­ic Orches­tra, the choir has reg­u­larly col­lab­or­ated with Lohjan kaupun­ginorkes­teri and Lahti Sym­phony Orches­tra in the recent years. The choir’s recent per­form­ances include J. S. Bach’s St Mat­thew Pas­sion, St John Pas­sion and the Christ­mas Ora­tor­io, Handel’s Mes­si­ah, and Mozart’s Requiem. The choir has also per­formed mod­ern and rarely heard orches­tral works such as Mendelssohn’s Eli­jah, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Super­star as well as Finnish con­tem­por­ary com­poser Jussi Chy­deni­us’ De Profundis.

Dom­in­ante tours abroad yearly in search of new audi­ences and music­al inspir­a­tion. In 2019 Dom­in­ante was invited to par­ti­cip­ate in the Young Artists Bayreuth ‑fest­iv­al in Ger­many, and in 2017 the choir per­formed in both the Leipzig Bach Fest­iv­al in Ger­many and the Taipei Inter­na­tion­al Chor­al Fest­iv­al in Taiwan. Oth­er recent and mem­or­able con­cert tours include the Hong Kong Arts Fest­iv­al (2012), the Tolosa Chor­al Con­test in Spain (2013) and the BBC Proms in Lon­don (2007).

Over the years, Dom­in­ante has appeared on more than twenty record­ings, which range from chor­al clas­sics to newly com­mis­sioned pieces and Christ­mas music. Dominante’s record­ings of Jean Sibeli­us’ chor­al works for mixed choir (BIS record label) have been crit­ic­ally acclaimed across Europe, and its records Lem­peä (2008) and Raudan kirous (1996) have been chosen as record of the year by The Finnish Chor­al Con­duct­ors’ Association.

A choir that reflects its mem­bers’ ambitions

Dominante’s mem­bers are young adults with an interest towards ambi­tious chor­al singing, and most have a sol­id found­a­tion in music acquired through youth choirs, solo instru­ments or orches­tras. In addi­tion to its var­ied chor­al rep­er­toire, the choir seeks to provide its mem­bers with oppor­tun­it­ies to fur­ther devel­op their vocal skills by both encour­aging singing in a cap­pella ensembles and by provid­ing indi­vidu­al train­ing led by Dom­in­ante’s pro­fes­sion­al vocal coaches.

Although the choir’s rep­er­toire and activ­it­ies have become more and more pro­fes­sion­al over the years, Dom­in­ante strives to foster a cul­ture in which joy and genu­ine enthu­si­asm are non­ethe­less nev­er for­got­ten. In addi­tion to singing and artist­ic ambi­tion, friend­ship and camarader­ie are par­tic­u­larly cher­ished among this dynam­ic and ded­ic­ated group of singers.

Artist­ic dir­ect­or Seppo Murto

Seppo Murto (b. 1955) has been Dominante’s artist­ic dir­ect­or since 1981. Thus, the choir’s music­al pro­file and rep­er­toire has developed under one dir­ect­or from prac­tic­ally the very begin­ning. Murto has devotedly steered the choir into becom­ing one of Finland’s top mixed choirs and allowed the choir to gath­er a sol­id repu­ta­tion abroad through its fre­quent con­cert tours.

Murto is also the music­al dir­ect­or of the choirs Glor­ia and Mur­tosointu. In addi­tion, he has worked with numer­ous oth­er choirs in Fin­land and con­duc­ted major works of Bach, Haydn, and Moz­art with lead­ing Finnish sym­phony orches­tras. Murto has served as chair of the Finnish Chor­al Con­duct­ors’ Asso­ci­ation and as KuoroEspoo ‑festival’s (today VocalEspoo) artist­ic director.

Murto holds degrees in organ music (1980) and in chor­al con­duct­ing (1983) from the Sibeli­us Academy, the lead­ing insti­tu­tion of music edu­ca­tion in Fin­land. Murto has also taught organ per­form­ance at the Sibeli­us Academy, and he served as the organ­ist of Hel­sinki Cathed­ral from 1985 to 2019. His awards and recog­ni­tions include dir­ect­or musices (1986) and chor­al con­duct­or of the year (Finnish Chor­al Con­duct­ors’ Asso­ci­ation, 2001), among others. 

Board of dir­ect­ors 2024

Juhana Saar­inen

Timo Takala

Aino Vil­jakain­en

Emma Ilonen

Sakari Niemelä