The semi-professional chamber choir Voces Tallinn (until 2019: Voces Musicales), founded in 1999 by Risto Joost, has become a high-level choir with an established and unique place in the Estonian musical life, introducing pieces that arenâ€™t performed by many other Estonian choirs due to their difficulty.
The choir was successful already in its first seasons and received recognition from several domestic competitions. In autumn 2009 Voces won the 2nd Prize at the Harald AndersĂ©n Chamber Choir Competition. In April 2014, the choir participated in the 1st London International A Cappella Choir Competition and was selected as a finalist.
The choirâ€™s album â€śPilgrimâ€™s Songâ€ť, with the music of Arvo PĂ¤rt, received a positive review in the choral and vocal music section of the BBC Music Magazine, where Barry Witherden gave it the highest rating (5 stars) for musical performance and sound. Another high recognition came for the â€śPilgrimâ€™s Songâ€ť CD in Gramophone, where Pwyll ap SiĂ´n wrote that â€śEstonian musicians offer an ideal introduction to PĂ¤rtâ€™s choral musicâ€ť.
The repertoire of Voces includes works in diverse genres from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary music and also many important classical repertoire pieces. The most recent major performances of the choir include Erkki-Sven TĂĽĂĽrâ€™s Requiem, Arvo PĂ¤rtâ€™s Stabat Mater and Kanon Pokajanen, HĂ¤ndelâ€™s oratorios Solomon, Alexanderâ€™s Feast, Messiah and Dixit Dominus, Orffâ€™s Carmina Burana, Haydnâ€™s The Creation, Monteverdiâ€™s Vespro della Beata Vergine and Bachâ€™s Mass in B Minor.
The choir has participated in various thematic concert series and festivals, and has had concerts in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.
During the first ten seasons the choirâ€™s chief conductor was Risto Joost, with whom the choir continues to cooperate even today. From 2011 to 2014 the chief conductor of Voces was Kaspar MĂ¤nd. The choir has also worked with several other outstanding conductors (e.g. Neeme JĂ¤rvi, Eri Klas, Olari Elts, Arvo Volmer, Andres Mustonen, Stephen Layton, Peter Phillips) and performed with many renowned Estonian orchestras and ensembles, also with Sinfonietta RÄ«ga (Latvia), baroque ensemble Barrocade (Israel) and Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa (Japan).
In 2015 Voces received the annual music award of the Estonian Culture Endowment.
Risto Joost is a renowned conductor both on opera and concert stages. His repertoire ranges from the classics of opera and oratorio and from renaissance polyphony to modern choral and orchestral works. Risto Joost is a conductor of the Estonian National Opera since 2009, the chief conductor of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra from autumn 2013 and the artistic director and conductor of the MDR Radio Choir beginning from the season 2015/16. He has cooperated with many European orchestras and choirs, participated in numerous festivals and has regularly premiered new works by Estonian composers. In 1999 Risto Joost founded the chamber choir Voces and he was the chief conductor of the choir during the first 10 seasons. Since 2014 he acts as an artistic consultant at the choir.
In 2011, Risto Joost was awarded the Young Cultural Figure Award of the Estonian Republic and in 2012 the 2nd Prize at the 5th International Jorma Panula Conducting Competition, Vaasa, Finland and in 2015 the 4th Prize at the Malko Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Risto Joost has studied orchestral and choral conducting and singing at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, received further training at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and graduated with M.A. from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm in the class of Prof. Jorma Panula.
For additional information, visit www.ristojoost.com.