On 3 September 2017, the Helsinki Music Centre Foundation received a one-million- euro donation from composer Kaija Saariaho for a new organ to be built in the Music Centre Concert Hall. A concert organ for the Concert Hall was included in the original plans for the Helsinki Music Centre, but, for budgetary reasons, it was not acquired for the centre’s opening.
“I didn’t need to think long about my decision to launch this project when the opportunity arose. We obviously have more than enough of urgent issues in need of funding, but for me as a professional musician and composer, this is a genuine opportunity to make a far-reaching impact on Finland’s music life—an organ will outlive us all. The new Helsinki Music Centre organ will guarantee continuity for the music tradition represented by orchestral organ music: it will allow the composers of both today and the coming generations to be inspired by the instrument. But, above all, the instrument will provide the Finnish audiences with an opportunity to experience orchestral organ works in their authentic and powerful form,” Saariaho said about her donation.