Helsinki-based female choir Philomela was started in 1984. The idea came from the Helsinki Chapter of The Finnish Amateur Musicians' Association (SULASOL) and Helsinki City Culture Board. Sibelius High School's music lecturer Marjukka Riihimäki was invited to be Philomela's conductor and she still holds the position. Philomela consists of approximately 40 singers. The name Philomela originates in Greek mythology and it means nightingale.

Philomela aspires to perform music as extensively and ambitiously as possible. The choir aims at mastering both traditional and modern pieces, light music and works by contemporary composers. Several composers have dedicated their works to Philomela. During the recent years Philomela's music has emphasized singing styles originating from the national epic Kalevala. For example Tellu Virkkala's The Age of Wolf has been performed in many countries and has taken a position as the trademark of Philomela. The choir is known for its experimental choreographies and its chameleon-like ability to transform its style and appearance according to each occasion and surroundings.


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