Helsinki Festival

Helsinki Festival

Late August to early September
The largest cultural event in the Nordic countries is the Helsinki Festival. It grew out of Sibelius Weeks, established in 1951 to honor Finland's most famous composer, Jean Sibelius ( see also Sibelius Festival). But when the first official Helsinki Festival was held in 1967, it expanded its programming to include music from all periods—rock, jazz, opera, symphonic music, and chamber works—as well as theater, ballet, circus, and art and photo exhibitions.
Among the many musical events is what is known as the Festival Informal, a series where artists and visitors meet informally for "relaxed performances." Events are held in the city's parks and arcades as well as in the modern Finlandia Hall and and the Finnish National Theatre and Opera.
Ensembles that have performed at the 18-day festival include the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the Moscow Chamber Opera, the Beaux Arts Trio, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Groteska Puppet Theatre of Kracow, the Tientsin Acrobat Company of China, and the Ballet Nacional de Cuba.
CONTACTS:
Helsinki Festival
Lasipalatsi, Mannerheimintie 22-24
Helsinki, 00100 Finland
358-9-6126-5100; fax: 358-9-6126-5161
www.helsinginjuhlaviikot.fi/index.php?&lang=en_GB
SOURCES:
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 75
IntlThFolk-1979, p. 94
MusFestEurBrit-1980, p. 66
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References in periodicals archive ?
Still, at the time of the Helsinki festival in 1962, even the non-communist Finns poured into the capital, precisely because they wished to catch a glimpse of exotic foreigners.
Petersburg, Russia (July 19), and at the Helsinki Festival in Finland (July 23 and 25), in Brahms' Requiem and Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate.
Radio listeners might have heard slightly exaggerated balances in transmission; in reality this was a tremendously cohesive account built on mutual trust and respect - the same forces, after all, gave the work to immense acclaim at the Helsinki Festival of 1999.
The Finns' addiction to music has resulted in a range of music festivals year-round, including the Helsinki Festival (late August to mid-September) and the Savonlinna Opera Festival, in the summer.
Next year's Helsinki Festival will be curated by Erik Soderblom, late of the Helsinki Theatre Academy, while Nieminen decamps for Lisbon to head the Gulbenkian Foundation's music department.
The same piece also rounded off the CBSO's very successful second concert at the Helsinki Festival on Tuesday, where the Brahms was partnered byDu Cristal by contemporary Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and Mozart's Clarinet Concerto.
Meanwhile, the world's first chance to see Smeds's Seagull outside Estonia is at the Helsinki Festival, a heady 17 days of contemporary European theatre, new circus and concerts.
Georgian violinist Elisabeth Batiashvili was soloist for this year's performance of the Sibelius Concerto, an annual tradition in the prestigious Helsinki Festival.
The short tour in the last week of August includes two concerts at the Helsinki Festival and two more in neighbouring Estonia.
Helsinki Festival, Lasipalatsi, Mannerheimintie 22-24, FIN-00100 Helsinki; (358) 9-61-26-5100; www.

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