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Founded in 1925, the Swedish Radio Choir gained its international reputation after Eric Ericson became Principal Conductor in 1952. Ericson shaped an ensemble capable of performing choral works composed in all musical eras and styles, from Pa-lestrina to Ligeti and from the a cappella literature to symphonic choral music. The artistry of these singers has even influenced contemporary composers. When Swiss composer Arthur Honegger came to Sweden in the 1950s to train the Swedish Radio Choir in his works, he declared that he was hearing his choral music sung precisely as he had originally intended. Such Scandinavian composers as Ingvar Lidholm, Sven-Eric Bäck, and Lars Edlund have written new pieces for the ensemble, as have György Ligeti and Krzysztof Penderecki. Since the 1960s, the Swedish Radio Choir has performed around the world and at leading festivals; its collaborations with Claudio Abbado and Riccardo Muti have also led to a highly acclaimed series of recordings. After Ericson stepped down from his position as Principal Conductor in 1982—now 93, he remains Honorary Conductor to this day—Anders Öhrwall, Gustaf Sjökvist, Tõnu Kaljuste, and Stefan Parkman took over leadership. Since 2007 Peter Dijkstra has served as head of the Choir. He has made a special effort to cultivate 20th-century a cappella repertoire; most recently, in the fall of 2011, the ensemble released a recording of choral music by Francis Poulenc. In addition to its LUCERNE FESTIVAL appearances under Claudio Abbado and Daniel Harding, the Swedish Radio Choir has given concerts this season in the United States, Russia, Italy, and Japan.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 1 September 1996 in the Second Symphony of Gustav Mahler, with the Berlin Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado.