Nine choirs from nine different European countries will compete this Saturday (22 July) in Riga, Latvia to be crowned the very first “Eurovision Choir of the Year”.
This brand new competition from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is the latest addition to the Eurovision Family of Events which includes the Eurovision Song Contest, Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Eurovision Young Dancers and Eurovision Young Musicians. The EBU is the world’s leading alliance of public service media which co-creates great content with its Members to unite audiences.
Eurovision Choir of the Year brings together the best choirs from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Slovenia and Wales.
EBU Members ORF (Austria), RTBF (Belgium), DR (Denmark), EER (Estonia), WDR (Germany), MTVA (Hungary), RTVSLO (Slovenia), S4C (Wales) and host broadcaster LTV (Latvia) are taking part with most airing the competition live at 20.00 CEST to millions of viewers. (All broadcast times here) The show will also be broadcast online at eurovisionchoir.tv.
Each choir will perform a six minute piece that, in part, reflects their national character. Then a jury, composed of British choral composer John Rutter, internationally renowned Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča and Swiss choral conductor Nicolas Fink, will decide which one will become the first Eurovision Choir of the Year.
The winning choir will also receive a cash prize from the City of Riga of 10,000 euros.
The show will be hosted by Latvian TV presenter Eva Johansone and Grammy-winning US composer and conductor Eric Whitacre whose music has been performed throughout the world by millions of amateur and professional musicians alike. His ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from over 110 different countries. Whitacre has also conducted choral and instrumental concerts around the globe, including sold-out concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra.
As part of the event, host Whitacre will also perform his work ‘Fly to Paradise’ and lead a performance of Ēriks Ešenvalds’ ‘My Song’, uniting over 500 performers on stage, the full audience at Arena Riga and TV viewers at home.
Eurovision Head of Live Events Jon Ola Sand said: “Eurovision Choir of the Year is the newest addition to the Eurovision Family of Events, which of course includes the ever popular Eurovision Song Contest. With more and more people joining choirs and finding that singing together is an enriching, life affirming experience, Eurovision Choir of the Year will showcase the power of hundreds of voices combining in an exciting competition that will unite audiences across Europe.”
Eurovision Choir of The Year will take place within the popular international competition European Choir Games, organized by German-based INTERKULTUR, the world’s leading organizer of international choir competitions and festivals in collaboration with LIVE RIGA.
The competition is a co-production between the EBU and Latvian Television.