Maria Goundorina, Choral Conductor of the Month, September 2020

Maria Goundorina chooses... Speeches by Anna-Karin Klockar

Maria Goundorina is a Russian who fell in love with Swedish choral music and the country's musical life, and has lived in Sweden since 2005. She sends us a musical greeting with three fascinating speeches in one piece: Speeches by Anna-Karin Klockar, which won the Allmänna Sången and Anders Wall Composition Award in 2016.


Maria Goundorina was born in Nowossokolniki, Pskov oblast in Russia. She studied at the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory, at the Vienna University and the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, for professor Anders Eby. Since 2010 she is the artistic director of the renowned mixed choir Allmänna Sången in Uppsala, Sweden. She also teaches at the Adolf Fredrik’s Music School, a highly specialized junior high school for choral singing.

Allmänna Sången has existed for 190 years, but as a mixed chamber choir, they celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2013. Maria Goundorina and the choir then initiated the Allmänna Sången and Anders Wall Composition Award. It is open to female composers of every nationality and profession.

Anna-Karin Klockar won the Allmänna Sången and Anders Wall Composition Award in 2016 with Speeches.
Anna-Karin was one of #swedishchoralmusic’s Composers of the Month in 2019

By Anna-Karin Klockar
I. The Rights of Woman. Text: speech by Olympe de Gouge, Paris, 1791. De Gouge's devotion to the cause of women's rights led to her execution by guillotine in 1793. 
II. Surrender Speech. Text: speech by Hinmuutu-Yalatlat/Chief Joseph of an indigenous tribe in Montana, USA, who surrendered to General Nelson in October 1877.
III. The Best Friend. Text: closing argument by G.G. Vest, who in a trial in 1870 represented a man who sued another for killing his dog.

Setting: SATB divisi a cappella, soloists from the choir, advanced level.



Speeches was the winner of the 2016 Allmänna Sången and Anders Wall Composition Award. The jury's motivation:

“The winner masters to combine a brilliant selection of texts and mirrors them in three distinctive parts in a clear and fascinating way to form a comprehensive and contextual whole. Throughout the piece, and its rich composition techniques, the winner consistently uses the texts in an imaginative as well as humorous way. The composer creates atmospheric expressions by using syllables, especially in the ending of words, in a musically formidable manner. The composition is beautifully crafted and is a testament of the composer’s professional appreciation of all voices and its ranges. The three very different parts are dramatic, humorous, and suspenseful in their simplicity, as well as exciting in their communication between the voices, the choir and the audience.”