The main users of the Music Centre are the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Sibelius Academy.
The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the first professional symphony orchestra to be founded in the Nordic countries, has been operating without a break for almost 130 years. The Chief Conductor of the HPO for the first 50 years was its founder, Robert Kajanus.
Between 1892 and 1923, the Philharmonic gave the first performances of almost all the symphonic works by Jean Sibelius with the composer himself conducting. John Storgårds became Chief Conductor of the Orchestra in autumn 2008. In addition to the 70-80 concerts it gives each year in Helsinki, the HPO regularly tours abroad. Besides playing in nearby regions, the Orchestra has been on tours to both Northern and South America, Japan, and China.
Works by Sibelius and Rautavaara have been featured on the highly-acclaimed discs made by the HPO in association with the Finnish Ondine record company. These projects have been granted international awards: for example, the MIDEM Classical Award, the BBC Music Magazine’s Disc of the Year Award, and the Diapason d'Or Award. www.hel.fi/filharmonia
The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (FRSO), founded in 1927, is the orchestra of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE). Its Chief Conductor is Sakari Oramo, who assumed the post in 2003. Besides the great classical romantic masterpieces, contemporary music is a major item in the repertoire of the FRSO, which each year premieres a number of YLE commissions.
The FRSO tours regularly all over the world and has given over 300 concerts abroad. The FRSO recordings have been granted major international awards: for example, the Gramophone and Midem Classical Awards. The FRSO concerts are broadcast on YLE Radio 1 and can also be heard on the FRSO web site. www.yle.fi/rso
The Sibelius Academy, the one and only music university in Finland, is one of the most renowned and respected music universities in Europe. It was established in 1882 and provides the highest music education in Finland. Approximately 1,500 students attend the Sibelius Academy in ten different degree programmes, including music performance, folk music, and several other options.
The Sibelius Academy focuses on education, research, artistic activity, and active interaction with society. A series of public concerts ranging from solo recitals to concerts given by a symphony orchestra, featuring all music genres, has traditionally demonstrated the artistic work done at the Sibelius Academy. In the new Helsinki Music Centre premises, the Sibelius Academy will offer around 600 concerts annually.
The Sibelius Academy Library, open to both experts and enthusiasts, will also be housed by the Helsinki Music Centre. As for music studies, continuing education for music professionals and courses for all music students via Open University will be available as before.www.siba.fi