Musiikkitalo - a short history

The story of Musiikkitalo - the Helsinki Music Centre - began in the early 1990´s. Inaugural concert was held 31st of August 2011.


The Sibelius Academy signalled the need for new premises in the city centre of Helsinki, closer to the other Sibelius Academy buildings.

The Sibelius Academy, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Finnish Radio Symphony orchestra began to work on plans for a new music centre. The city centre lacked a concert hall with world-class acoustica for them to play in.

The Finnish Ministry of Education set up a commission to plan the music centre in the Töölönlahti area.

The commission handed a memorandum concerning the music centre initiative to the Ministry of Education. Next, a suitable site was needed in the Töölönlahti area.

The Helsinki City Planning Committee decided to build the music centre on Mannerheimintie Street.

The first phase of the international architectural design competition was launched.

21st century

The second phase of the architectural design competition was launched and the results published. The competition was won by Arkkitehtitoimisto LPR-Arkkitehdit with their work "a mezza voce". Yasuhisa Toyota was chosen to design the acoustics. Work began on the building contract.

After a lively debate for several years, the Helsinki City Council approved the new town plan for the Töölönlahti area in vote with 49 in favour and 36 against the plan.

Helsinki City Council approved the project plan. Finnish Broadcasting company Yle decided to take part in the construction of the Helsinki Music Centre.

The property holding company Kiinteistöosakeyhtiö Helsingin Musiikkitalo was established.

The old storehouses on the Music Centre site were burned to the ground and demolished. Work on the maintenance tunnel began.

The City of Helsinki, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, and the Finnish government decided to commit to the project.

The service company Helsingin Musiikkitalo Oy was established to accompany the property holding company Kiinteistöosakeyhtiö Helsingin Mannerheimintie 13a (the former Kiinteistöosakeyhtiö Helsingin Musiikkitalo)

Musiikkitalo - The Helsinki Music Centre was assigned to the owners on 30 April 2011.

31 August 2011 Inaugural concert of the Helsinki Music Centre
The opening ceremony started with Finlandia by Jean Sibelius. The orchestra comprised wind instrumentalists and percussionists from the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and string instrumentalists from the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. The choir included Sibelius Academy students and perssonnel and choral singers from the metropolitan region. The orchestra was conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste.

Opening season 2011-2012
In the opening season between September 1, 2011 and May 2012, the Helsinki Music Centre saw approximately 70 to 100 events per month for more than 400 000 visitors, of which approximately 330 000 attented a concert.