TAIKA (meaning ‘magic’ in Finnish) is a The Hague-based all-Finnish female choir. It was founded in 2012 by Master of Music Karla-Maria Toiviainen. Over the years, the choir has seen its numbers ebb and flow, with around 12 dedicated singers at its core. This fluidity is due to the Finnish expatriate community in the Netherlands, where members come and go, but TAIKA’s enduring spirit remains a constant cultural connection. Beyond its musical achievements, TAIKA holds a special place within the Finnish community of The Netherlands, serving as a cultural cornerstone.
TAIKA’s mission extends beyond music. It is a platform for the promotion of Finnish culture and the celebration of female choral music traditions in The Netherlands. Additionally, TAIKA provides a supportive network for Finnish female vocalists.
As of January 2022, TAIKA’s conductor is Kerttu Keinänen, bringing a fresh perspective to their performances. The choir commits to weekly rehearsals in The Hague, ensuring the refinement of their musical prowess.
TAIKA’s repertoire spans genres from folk to pop, with a focus on Finnish female choral music. However, TAIKA singers are equally passionate about interpreting songs from various corners of the world.
TAIKA is a sought-after presence at events hosted by businesses and organizations. The choir’s journey extends beyond the Netherlands; in 2015, they made their international debut – in Finland. Subsequently, they performed in Verona in 2017 and London in 2018. In April 2018, TAIKA participated in a choir competition in The Netherlands, lauded for their good discipline and excellent presentation.
Finse Vrouwenkoor TAIKA
-Het meest magische koor van Nederland-
TAIKA (wat ‘magie’ betekent in het Fins) is een geheel Fins vrouwenkoor gevestigd in Den Haag. Het werd in 2012 opgericht door Master of Music Karla-Maria Toiviainen. In de loop der jaren heeft het koor een wisselend aantal zangeressen gekend, met een kern van ongeveer 12 toegewijde zangeressen. Deze fluïditeit is te wijten aan de Finse expatgemeenschap in Nederland, waar leden komen en gaan, maar de blijvende geest van TAIKA blijft een constante culturele verbinding. Naast de muzikale prestaties heeft TAIKA een speciale plaats binnen de Finse gemeenschap in Nederland, en het fungeert als een culturele hoeksteen.
Suomalainen naiskuoro TAIKA
-Hollannin maagisin kuoro-
TAIKA on Haagissa toimiva suomalainen naiskuoro. Sen perusti vuonna 2012 musiikin maisteri Karla-Maria Toiviainen. Vuosien varrella kuoron jäsenmäärä on vaihdellut, mutta kuoron ytimessä on kuitenkin noin 12 omistautunutta laulajaa. Tämä liikkuvuus johtuu Alankomaiden ulkosuomalaisyhteisön vaihtuvuudesta, minkä vuoksi jäseniä tulee ja menee. TAIKAn pysyvä henki on kuitenkin edelleen kiinteä yhteys kulttuuriin. Musiikillisten saavutustensa lisäksi TAIKAlla on erityinen asema Alankomaiden suomalaisyhteisössä, sillä se toimii tärkeänä kulttuurillisena kulmakivenä.
Katja Maria Slotte
Katja Maria Slotte is a Finnish-born singer, musician, choir leader, singing teacher and voice technician, who has built an eclectic, international career as a music professional.
Her path in music education started at the early age of sixteen, when she was hired for her first music teaching job. Today, Katja is a sought-after guest teacher in performing arts institutes, and has collaborated with music universities including Butler University in Indianapolis (USA), and the Codarts University of the Arts music theater department. Since 2011, she has provided professional development in music education for teachers in Luxembourg, through IFEN National Education Training Institute, a service of the Ministry of National Education, Childhood and Youth. As a vocal and performance coach she has been collaborating with choirs in The Netherlands, Brazil, and USA.
A pioneer in online teaching, online education has been at the core of her teaching activities since 2014, and Katja’s passion to helping other artists build sustainable and flexible careers with the help of online teaching has led her to be a guest speaker on this topic on events for artists, for example via the Arts Promotion Centre (TAIKE) in Finland.
In the cultural melting pot of Rotterdam, Katja’s Fenno-Swedish musical roots have become influenced with music styles from all over the world. Performing a variety of music styles including Jazz, Brazilian popular music, and Nordic folk music, she has worked as a singer and musician in projects ranging from bands and a cappella groups to contemporary dance and theater productions. Performing highlights include touring Dutch theaters with the self-produced concert ‘Tom Waits in a New Coat of Paint’ 2015-2017. Recently, Katja has ventured into creating and directing stage performances where young vocal talents share the stage with professional musicians. These performances are produced by Buitenkunst, one of the largest organizations for arts education in The Netherlands, where Katja has taught since 2008 and also contributed to developing a vocal talent development program for their TheaterTalentLab.
Since fall 2020, Katja has been the artistic director of TAIKA.
Finnish musician, choir conductor and soprano Karla-Maria Toiviainen graduated from the Sibelius Academy (Music University, Helsinki) with a Master of Music in 2004.
Karla-Maria was born in Helsinki to a family of musicians, and first performed as a singer when she was two years old. That time she also found her love to choirs and choir music.
Aged four she started studying the piano and aged seven also the violin. Aged sixteen she started studying classical singing.
Karla-Maria studied choir and orchestral conducting as a part of her Master degree and graduated with excellent marks. Her teachers were Professor Timo Nuoranne, Professor Matti Hyökki and Hannu Norjanen.
While still studying at Sibelius Academy Karla-Maria started to conduct a female choir, a mixed voice choir and a children’s choir at the Malmi parish, in Helsinki.
After graduation she has worked with several choirs as a conductor and voice coach. Karla-Maria founded her company KARLANDO and TAIKA (then Finnish Female Choir) in autumn 2012. In autumn 2013 she founded the Children’s Choir of The European School of The Hague and conducted it until summer 2016.
Karla-Maria has given concerts as a singer with several pianists and small orchestras in Finland and in The Netherlands, and has also performed on Finnish television and radio. Karla-Maria was a member of Savonlinna Opera Festival Choir (1st soprano) in 2008-2010.
Karla-Maria was the artistic director of TAIKA until fall 2020.