Orchestra Academy of the Music Centre

The Orchestra Academy of the Music Centre is a collaboration scheme.

Introduction

The Orchestra Academy of the Music Centre is a collaboration scheme launched by the principal residents of the Music Centre in Helsinki – the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (FRSO) and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO). Its purpose is to create a unique learning environment in orchestral music for future professionals. The Orchestra Academy was introduced in autumn 2015 and is administered by the General Managers of the two orchestras and by the Dean of the Faculty of Classical Music and the Professor of Conducting and Orchestral Training from the Sibelius Academy.

The operations of the Orchestra Academy of the Music Centre are planned jointly by the two professional orchestras and the university. The principal residents of the Music Centre have potential for educational collaboration that is excellent even by international standards, because they occupy the same building and work together every day. With future musicians being educated under the same roof with the highest orchestral expertise available, establishing a specialist training programme is a no-brainer. This unique scheme is geared towards boosting Finnish music through professional training and audience outreach.

The Orchestra Academy is planning joint productions of works that require massive forces, and also cooperation to broaden audience outreach work at the Music Centre. The Sibelius Academy is committed to providing continuing education as may be required by the professional orchestras.

Operations of the Orchestra Academy

Chamber music
Musicians of the HPO and orchestral instrument students at the Sibelius Academy initiated a new kind of chamber music cooperation in autumn 2016. At four recitals in the 2016–2017 season titled Yhdessä! [Together!], students and professionals perform chamber music before concerts of the HPO in the evening. This cooperation allows the orchestra to familiarise itself with potential future members.

Conductors and composers
In alternating years, the HPO and the FRSO are offering the use of the orchestra to students of conducting and composition. Conducting students will have a chance to rehearse a professional orchestra, and composition students can receive feedback on their works and tips about how to write for particular instruments. Also, one of the conducting students at the Sibelius Academy each year will be appointed assistant to Hannu Lintu, who is the Chief Conductor of the FRSO and also Visiting Professor of Conducting and Orchestral Training at the Sibelius Academy.

Masters and apprentices
Both the HPO and the FRSO select orchestral instrument students at the Sibelius Academy as apprentices who participate in the work of the orchestras under the supervision of professional musicians. This provides students with valuable work experience.

Helsinki Music Centre Choir
Choir conducting students at the Sibelius Academy have the opportunity to rehearse the Helsinki Music Centre Choir.

Participatory arts activities and audience outreach
The Orchestra Academy also offers the general public interesting aspects and in-depth perspectives on what composers, musicians and conductors actually do to bring together a concert. These activities include the lecture series Tunne orkesterisi [Know your orchestra] and the Atso’s Corner matinee concerts. The principal residents of the Music Centre are also involved in the Kuule, minä sävellän! project [Look, ma, I’m a composer!], where selected Finnish children and adolescents compose their own music under the tuition of professional composers which is then performed by an ensemble of professional musicians.

Continuing education, health and wellbeing of orchestra members
The Sibelius Academy is developing the offering of continuing education and of the Open Campus of the University of the Arts Helsinki to cater to the orchestras’ training needs. One of the aims of the Orchestra Academy is to establish training and support measures to prevent occupational health problems typical for orchestra musicians in areas such as ergonomics, efficient and safe practice methods and performance coaching. Cooperation with the Finnish Society for Musicians’ Medicine will be further pursued, with support provided for the musicians’ clinic providing medical services at the Music Centre.

Additional information

You can find additional information on the Orchestra Academy here.