Allmänna Sången is a mixed choir from Uppsala, Sweden. Founded in 1830, the choir is Scandinavia’s oldest academic choir, and represents a rare combination of well–established traditions and innovative musicianship. By honoring the rich Swedish choral tradition as well as highlighting music by contemporary composers, the choir wishes to inspire the listeners to not only enjoy the treasured music gifts of the past, but also to discover new music. Alongside its several annually recurring, traditional appearances in Swedish concert halls and in radio, and its many novel artistic collaborations, Allmänna Sången notably arranges, since 2013, the international biannual competition Allmänna Sången & Anders Wall Composition Award, for female composers of new choral music. Through the years Allmänna Sången has released several celebrated recordings, and was, in 2009, awarded the prestigious Swedish Grammis award for best classical album. Its latest album, Femina Moderna, was released in 2016 and consists of music by female contemporary composers. The choir has appeared in several large-scale stage productions—such as at the 2005 Nobel banquet in Stockholm—and regularly tours and performs in Sweden and across the globe. Most recently the choir visited Maribor, Slovenia, where they won the first prize in the International Choral Competition Gallus 2017.
Maria Goundorina, conductor
Maria Goundorina was born in Novosokolniki in Russia and grew up near Moscow, where she started singing in choirs at the age of seven, taking up conducting when she was fifteen. She studied at the Ippolitov-Ivanov Music College and the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory (with Boris Tevlin) and later at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm with Anders Eby, also following courses in musicology at the University of Vienna. Her ideals in terms of choral sound have been influenced by these cities and her studies, but also by her own experiences as a singer and conductor. She has been a member of the Chamber Choir of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Arnold Schoenberg Chor and Mikaeli Chamber Choir, and has conducted numerous Swedish choirs, including the Swedish Radio Choir, Eric Ericson Chamber Choir and the choir of the Royal Swedish Opera. Since 2010 Maria Goundorina has been artistic director of Allmänna Sången. She also teaches choral direction and singing and Russian music at courses in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.