Tritonus

An excerpt of Tritonus’ history

Tritonus is a Danish choir with proud traditions and a very diverse repertoire, ranging from big classical pieces to contemporary style music (latin, afro, jazz) and, when possible, first performances commissioned for Tritonus.

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark since 1971, Tritonus was founded by John Høybye who led the ensemble for 35 years. Lise Christensen Bjerno took over as conductor of Tritonus at the start of 2009.

The choir has collaborated with many important Danish artists and singers as well as orchestras such as the Danish Radio Big Band and members of the Royal Danish Orchestra.

Pioneering within contemporary style choir music since the 1970s Tritonus has worked with Nyt Dansk Danseteater, leading artists and authors aiming at establishing links between different art directions.

Tritonus has participated in 2 European choir competitions, both times with impressing results. In 1993 Tritonus won 2nd prize in Maasmechelen, Belgium, among 60 choirs. Two years later Tritonus won 1st prize at the distinguished 5th International Choir Competition in Budapest, Hungary, where 63 choirs had been selected out of 200.

Tritonus has often challenged the traditional choir position. Novel ideas and experimenting are important aspects of Tritonus. The choir has performed throughout Europe as well as in Israel, P.R. of China, Japan, USA and Brazil. It has been part of several projects with Scandinavian music and has visited Nordic countries many times, especially the Faroe Islands. In 2006 Tritonus was invited to Brazil by “Instituto Curitiba de Arte e Cultura” in Curitiba to make a first performance of John Høybye’s composition “The little mermaid”, a tribute to the Danish fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen.

In 1999 Tritonus was invited to participate in the Duke Ellington Centennial Festival in Washington D.C, USA in which they performed “Sacred Concert” in The Union Temple Baptist Church, Washington D.C and later in Saint Peter’s Church, Manhattan, New York, both times with Jesper Thilo as a saxophone soloist.

During the years 1998 to 2005 Tritonus’s performances of Handel’s “The Messiah” with the best soloists (Susanne Elmark, Per Høyer, Hanne Fischer/Annette Simonsen and Niels Jørgen Riis/Michael Kristen) and members of the Royal Danish Orchestra were an institution in Danish music life.

In 2008 Tritonus collaborated with the famous percussionist, ensemble leader and composer Marilyn Mazur, who had composed a piece for the opening ceremony of the Unicycle World Championship in Copenhagen.

In 2009 Tritonus made first performance of a piece by the Danish composer and organist Jette Mogensen: her mass for choir, soloists and her own, unusual instrument: a claviorganum.

At Christmas 2009 Tritonus performed Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols” in addition to a first performance of John Høybye’s revised Christmas oratorium “Gabriel and Maria” for mixed choir, soloists, recitator, jazz ensemble and organ. The year 2010 was dominated by development of new projects with the composers Jeppe Gram, Else Marie Pade, John Høybye, conductor of Tritonus Lise Christensen Bjerno as well as the poet Benny Andersen. These compositions were presented during several concerts during the spring of 2010.

In May 2012 Tritonus went on a tour to North Germany with concerts in Flensburg and Hamburg, where Tritonus had a joint concert with the local choir Hamburg Vocal.

In September 2012 Tritonus again collaborated with percussionist and composer Marilyn Mazur in 2 concerts entitled “Existence”, comprising new compositions by Mazur commissioned for the occasion and pieces by Lise Christensen Bjerno. Musicians Hans Ulrik (sax and clarinet), Makiko Hirabayashi (piano) and Klavs Hovman (bass) were part of the concerts along with Mazur and Tritonus.

Tritonus has 10 to 12 concerts per year in Denmark and abroad.