Tõnu Kaljuste founded the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in 1981 as a professional successor to his father Heino Kaljuste's amateur chamber choir Ellerhein.
The younger Kaljuste nurtured the ensemble as its principal conductor and artistic director for 20 years, focusing the group's programs and recordings on music by Estonian composers, primarily Arvo Pärt and Veljo Tormis, although its full repertoire ranges from Gregorian chant and gems of the Baroque and Classical periods to contemporary compositions. The EPCC won the top prize at the 1991 Takarazuka Chamber Choir Competition in Japan and received its first Grammy nomination two years later for Te Deum. Under Paul Hillier (2001-2007), the ensemble's reputation grew more widely, even as he expanded its repertoire. Under his direction, it produced a highly praised series of recordings entitled Baltic Voices and won a Grammy in 2006 for Da Pacem. It performs and records with the world's leading conductors and orchestras and has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial collaboration with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. In 2008, Daniel Reuss became the EPCC's chief conductor and artistic director. Their first recording together was of Frank Martin's oratorio Golgotha, released in 2010.