The choir

The Chamber Hymnia was founded in 1983 and consists of 28 singers, all of which deal with music at a high artistic level, both through their work and leisure. The members range widely in age; we have room for both quite young singers and those who have been there from the beginning.

Under the leadership of Flemming Windekilde ensemble has established itself as an important and recognized part of the Danish choir elite giving many concerts and participating in festivals and competitions abroad, where the choir has won numerous prizes.

The choir has released several CDs with Danish and foreign choral music. Within double CD Sing Noel! (2013) with Danish and international Christmas music. See our full discography here.

Hymnia specializes in performances of newer and often very complicated music. The choir's repertoire includes in particular choral works from this century and rarely performed a cappella works. The choir is committed to cooperation with Danish composers and has over the years presented new Danish music, including by many world premieres.

Hymnia is an active choir. The choir has two or three annual rehearsal weekends in addition to the weekly rehearsal night, where the repertoire of the upcoming season is learned. Each summer the choir travels to participate in competitions and festivals around Europe. Usually Hymnia gives 12-15 concerts a year besides the summer tour, and these concerts have such a varied repertoire that the choir is able to present several different themes.

Tours and prizes

Hymnia has also made a name for itself abroad. Since 1987 the choir has actively participated in International choir festivals and competitions throughout Europe. Here the choir has won a number of first prizes, among others in Arnhem (The Netherlands), Debrecen (Hungary), Arezzo and Gorizia (both Italy), Spittal (Austria), Llangollen (Wales) and Pardubice (The Czech Republic). In 2005 the choir won two 1st prizes at the 4th International Johannes Brahms Choral Festival in the German town of Wernigerode - one was the category Chamber Choirs and the other was the Grand Prize of the competition.

Hymnia has performed in the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and has represented Denmark at the European Broadcasting Union's choir competition "Let the Peoples Sing", just as the choir participated in the major stage performance "Margrethe I" at Christiansborg Ridebane.

In 1998 Hymnia was appointed Artist of the Year in Copenhagen County, and in recognition of that honour the choir recorded a CD with Danish and French choir music. The CD was given the title "Kammerkoret HYMNIA". The appointment likewise made it possible to record the CD Figure Humaine with music by Francis Poulenc (Figure Humaine and Mass in G) and Frank Martin (Mass).

In addition to these two recordings, Hymnia has signed a contract with Olufsen Records/Classico with regards to publishing a number of CDs. The first of these was released in 2000 and contains music by Adolf Schnittke (Requiem and Concerto for Mixed Chorus). For further information, please visit the discography of the choir.

Background

The word "hymnos" is Greek for praise, and Polyhymnia is one of the nine muses of Greek mythology. As daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (the goddess of memory) the muses were goddesses of inspiration and lived on the mountain of Helikon i Pieria near mount Olympos and also at the Parnassos at Delphi. In literature they act as the protectors of poets, musicians and artists. Muses are all-knowing, and through them various artist gain prophetic glimpses into past and future. Polyhymnia is the muse of song, dance, pantomime and geometry.

In the Danish movie "Meet me on Cassiopeia" Zeus sent his daughter Polyhymnia (played by Bodil Kjer) to earth in order to inspire a poor artist (Hans Kurt). As so often before, the muse and the artist fall in love and meet in a passionate kiss, whereupon Zeus in a thunderous voice exclaims: "Hymnia!"