Matts Lillhannus


Tenor Mats Lillhannus focuses primarily on early music, both as a soloist, and in ensemble work. His first experiences as a professional musician were as a jazz trumpeter, but simultaneously, starting in upper secondary school, he became interested in baroque, renaissance, and mediaeval music. This interest grew during his university studies in musicology. After graduating as MA in musicology he has emerged as a professional singer. To this end, Lillhannus has studied singing with Veikko Kiiver, Stockholm, as well as with Evelyn Tubb in Basel, and he has participated in several master classes, eg. with Damien Poisblaud, Kevin Smith, and Päivi Kantola.

Ensemble work has always been a central part of Lillhannus' work. During his university years he founded the vocal ensemble Camerata Aboensis, which he continues to direct. During 2009-2010 Lillhannus participated in the AVES (Advanced Vocal Ensemble Studies) masters program at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, under the direction of Anthony Rooley and Evelyn Tubb. Lillhannus is a member of the international vocal ensemble Apollo's Noyse (Basel), as well as Ensemble Petraloysio (Helsinki). He is also a founding member of the chamber choir Key Ensemble (Turku).As a soloist, Mats Lillhannus regularly appears in oratorios and cantatas, having received much praise both for his aria renditions and for his evangelist recitatives. Lillhannus' solo repertory includes the major sacred works of J.S. Bach, Handel's The Messiah, Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri, along with smaller scale cantatas, solo motets and monodies. He also frequently works with instrumentalists performing mediaeval music, eg. Italian trecento and French ars nova repertoires.