From 5 to 10 June, the Brass @ Sibelius Academy event offers international master classes and concerts, where the past and present of brass music come together in a fresh, bold way. The festival features concerts by UMO Jazz Orchestra, Helsinki Sinfonietta, Stockholm Chamber Brass, as well as Kaartin vanhan ajan torvisoittokunta (the old-time Guards Brass Band), which will perform long-forgotten brass music from a time before Finland gained its independence.
The theme for the second edition of the event is Nordic identity and diversity. The artistic director of the Brass @ Sibelius Academy event and Professor of Brass Instruments Pasi Pirinen points out that brass instruments and the music composed for them defies all genre boundaries.
– Brass music and musicians have always been grounded on a strong sense of community. In fact, the very instruments themselves were born out of the need to communicate and send a message, Pirinen notes.
In the 1880s, the brass bands consisting of 15 musicians usually had members from military brass bands and played songs such as marches, overtures, ceremonial music, and dance music pieces in Helsinki. Finnish-American professor and researcher Paul Niemistö (PhD) has studied the manuscripts of these old music pieces already for over 15 years and has been preparing to have them concert-ready as part of the Fulbright Scholar Program in spring 2017. Niemistö and Jyrki Koskinen, Lieutenant Colonel (Mus.) and Chief Conductor of the Finnish Defence Forces, will conduct Kaartin vanhan ajan torvisoittokunta (the old-time Guards Brass Band) on Wednesday, 6 June. The concert highlights music that was popular in the late 19th century and takes place in the Camerata Hall of the Helsinki Music Centre. The programme is inspired by the centenary of Finnish independence, and the music featured in the concert is played for the first time in about a hundred years.
The week-long brass music festival also brings many other interesting acts to the stage: KOLIZIO, Helsinki-based Syskofrenia with its jazz and pop fusion, Helsinki Sinfonietta with soloists Jasper de Waal and Massimo La Rosa, and UMO Jazz Orchestra with trombonist Marshall Gilkes as the soloist.
An essential part of the Brass @ Sibelius Academy event is the master classes, which are also open to the public. In addition to the brass instrument teachers at Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy, the festival has also invited internationally acclaimed master teachers on the classes, including Julius Pranevicius, Frits Damrow, John Miller, Massimo La Rosa, Marshall Gilkes and Stockholm Chamber Brass. About 90 students from around the world will come to Helsinki to attend the classes. Everyone is welcome to come and listen to the students’ fruits of labour in three student matinees during the festival. The public can also attend lectures on brass music.
The Brass @ Sibelius Academy event is organised by Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy with significant financial support from Svenska Kulturfonden.
Tickets: EUR 14.50/7.50 (Ticketmaster), EUR 12/6 (Helsinki Music Centre ticket sales)
Event programme and further information: sites.uniarts.fi/brass-siba