Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki

Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki provides the highest level of music education in Finland. The academy has about 1,500 students.

Sibelius Academy

Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki is responsible for the highest level of music education in Finland. Founded in 1882, the Academy trains artists skilled in independent artistic work, teachers and other music professionals.

Sibelius Academy’s primary function is to renew and foster Finnish music culture. It is one of Europe's largest music academies, internationally known and recognized.

Teaching is divided into two faculties: the faculty of classical music and the faculty of music education, jazz, and folk music. In addition to bachelors and master’s degrees, Sibelius Academy also offers the option of earning a music licentiate and a doctoral degree.

Sibelius Academy’s traditional youth academy aims to gather musically gifted children and youth for high-level music education. Sibelius Academy’s Continuing Education unit and Open University provide music and cultural adult education. The Sibelius Academy Library is situated in the Helsinki Music Centre, and its collections and services are open to all.

In addition to Helsinki, Sibelius Academy also operates in Kuopio and Seinäjoki.


Sibelius Academy offers eight different degree programmes and four separate master’s programmes. Individual instruction is a significant method of learning in many of the subjects.

Approximately 1,500 students study at Sibelius Academy. 160-180 new students are admitted each year. Over the last few years approximately a thousand students have applied annually.


  • jazz
  • folk music
  • church music
  • classical musical performance
  • conducting
  • music education
  • music technology
  • composition and music theory


Separate master’s programmes:

  • Arts Management
  • Nordic Master In Folk Music (NoFo)
  • Nordic Master in Jazz (NOMAZZ)
  • Nordic Master of Global Music (GLOMAS)


Artistic activity is a part of the academy's core functions and its nurturing of artists. Training at Sibelius Academy offers versatile situations, giving students artistic and practical experience in concert planning. The students will also gain experience in arranging a concert and interacting with different kinds of audiences.

Artistic activity also benefits teacher development in artistry and professionalism.

Public concerts serve as the public display for the academy’s artistic activity. Approximately 400 concerts are arranged annually. The academy offers a significant portion of the Metropolitan region's concerts.


Sibelius Academy was founded as Helsingin Musiikkiopisto (Helsinki Music Institute) in 1882 as a private enterprise. The first rector was Martin Wegelius, who remained in his position until his death in 1906.

According to Wegelius, musicians should educate themselves diversely. He paid attention to composition education in particular and succeeded in producing a new generation of composers. One of these students was Jean Sibelius, who later became the institute’s figurehead both in name and symbolically.

In addition to composition, Sibelius studied the violin at the institute from 1885 to 1889. He later taught music theory and composition during the 1890's.

As operations expanded, the institute was renamed Helsingin konservatorio (Helsinki Conservatory) in 1924. The conservatory was renamed Sibelius Academy in 1939. Sibelius Academy gained academy status in 1980 and university status in 1998.

Since 2013, Sibelius Academy, along with the Academy of Fine Arts and Theatre Academy, has been a part of the University of the Arts Helsinki. The university's academies are equal in educational content and cultural significance.

More on the history of Sibelius Academy