The chamber choir Key Ensemble from Turku has claimed a position as one of the most interesting top choirs in Finland. It has been noted for its pure, balanced and distinctive sound, and for its innovative programme planning.
The debut album Missa Baltica (2011) by Key Ensemble and its artistic director Teemu Honkanen won the Choral Recording of the Year 2011 award in Finland and the award for Best Classical Album 2012 in the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards by CASA (The Contemporary A Cappella Society) in the U.S. The latter award was also given to the choir’s second album, Ave Maria – Aurora Borealis (2013) in 2014. The recording of Rachmaninov’s All Night-Vigil (2014) has gained international recognition and was given the Choral Recording of the Year 2014 a decision which was announced in June 2015. The international career of the choir has been boosted also by winning the Let the Peoples Sing Choir Competition 2013 in Luxembourg.
As a semi-professional choir, Key Ensemble works in project periods and is currently made up of a “singer bank” of about 50 singers, out of which various setups are created according to the demands of the repertoire.
The versatile repertoire of Key Ensemble stretches from the renaissance to the newest contemporary music, and the choir has commissioned and premiered several new works. In addition to self-arranged concerts, Key Ensemble has been featured in many music festivals such as Savonlinna Opera Festival, Turku Music Festival, Naantali Chamber Music Festival, Kauniainen Music Festival, Korsholm Music Festival, Tampereen Sävel International Choir festival, VocalEspoo festival and the Organ Night and Aria concert series. The Finnish national broadcasting company Yle has been one of the closest partners of Key Ensemble for several years, and the choir has also performed with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Helsinki Music Centre.
In February 2014, the Finnish Cultural Foundation awarded Key Ensemble with a Catapult Award in order to establish its professional choral activities. With the help of this award, Key Ensemble has been able to acquire a rehearsal hall of its own and also hire a full-time general manager. In december 2015 the choir was presented with a major grant by Kone Foundation to start up ‘a core quartet’ which means that in start of 2016 Key Ensemble is able to hire full-time section leaders.