Hungary has become the eighth country to confirm their participation in the first Eurovision Choir of the Year in Riga, Latvia.

Hungary has today been announced as the eighth country participating in Eurovision Choir of the Year 2017. Hungary are to be represented by Bela Bartok Male Choir, the choir was first formed in 1945 in the city of Pécs and was led by Józsefné Sólyom until 1957. The Choir in its early years was formed entirely of local Trade Union members, including tram drivers, guides and taxi drivers. They have performed across the globe in Brazil, Canada and Uruguay.

Hungary is likely to be the last country to be announced as participating in this years competition, as Eurovision Choir of The Year is only open to between seven and eight competing countries. Also confirmed as competing are:

Competing in the contest are:

  • Austria (ORF) – Hardchor Linz
  • Belgium (RTBF) – Les Pastoreaux
  • Denmark (DR) – Academic Choir of Aarhus
  • Estonia (ERR) – Estonian TV Girls’ Choir
  • Germany (WDR) – Jazzchor Freiburg
  • Latvia (LTV) – National selection be held
  • Slovenia (RTVSLO) – Carmen Manet

Eurovision Choir of the Year will be held for the first time on July 22 in Riga, Latvia as part of the European Choir Games. The European Broadcasting Union has partnered with Interkultur to create this latest Eurovision family event, and both hope to see the format develop into a yearly event.

The hosts of the show will be Eric Whitacre and Eva Ikstena. Eric is a Grammy award-winning composer and conductor, while Eva Ikstena is a Latvian television host.

The first contest will run for a total of 120 minutes and is to be held at the Arena Riga which has a capacity of 8,000. The budget for the contest has been set at €150,000. The staging of the performances will not allow the use of bands or an orchestra. Choirs may use instruments only if played by singers. Soloists are allowed however they are not allowed to dominate the performance. Backing tracks will be used for the performances but are not allowed to contain any prerecorded vocals.

The Choirs competing in the contest will perform once for up to 6 minutes. The performance can include one or several works, of any genre ,and “should in part reflect national or regional character in some way”. A jury will be made up of prominent international musicians who will decide the winner of the contest.

Source: EBU