Chamber Choir cc FREIA was founded in the Helsinki area in Finland by translator, composer and choir conductor Jaakko Mäntyjärvi in 2015 as an ensemble of highly experienced choral singers who had sung together in various formations for years, even decades. The founding members had begun their choral careers at roughly the same time, in the chamber choir boom of the 1980s, and thus have a shared approach to choral music.
One of the major factors driving the founding of cc FREIA was to create an ensemble that was small enough to function like a vocal ensemble, without a separate conductor, but also large enough to produce a choral sound. This might be described as the vision statement of cc FREIA, although it would be equally valid to formulate its vision as “good music in good company”.
The core ideas of the artistic profile of cc FREIA are interpretation of text, communication of emotional content in music and thematic concert programmes.
So why call it FREIA? Freia is the goddess of love and fertility in Scandinavian mythology and also a great lover of music; but the name of the choir is in all capitals because it can also be parsed as an acronym for the Latin phrase Flamina Resurgentes Exspirant Iterum Antiqua = “old winds blow again”. Or, somewhat more prosaically, the Latin phrase Flatus Resurgentes Equitant Iterum Antiqui = “old farts ride again”.
Apart from performances at home, in autumn 2018 cc FREIA was invited to perform at the Congrès international des chefs de choeur in Paris and was one of the choirs in residence at the London International Choral Conducting Competition.