Welcome to Sibafest!

#Äänessä [In voice]

I have always been fascinated by how every person’s voice is wholly unique, like their fingerprints. Whenever we sing or make music, we put our entire range of human emotions into it, and this is what captivates us in every style of music, with words or without.

This is the notion that I wish to explore and showcase at the 8th Sibafest.

The theme of unique voices raises another important theme: transparency.

In our time, it is more important than ever to have the ability to see individuality, diversity and plurality as a resource – to be able to accept another person’s voice as it is and to wish to understand what they are trying to communicate.

Through this festival, I hope to prompt and encourage people to find their own voices and use them but also to engage in transparent and caring interaction. This is the stated policy of the Sibelius Academy of Uniarts Helsinki. Let’s let our voices be heard, make statements and combine!

A vast array of voices

As I look at the programme of the 8th Sibafest, I see a festival with a vast array of voices. Its venues are the Music Centre, Oodi central library and the old Sibelius Academy on Pohjoinen Rautatienkatu, which has just been restored to its original use.

The festival kicks off with a family day on Saturday 25 January, filling the halls and foyers of the Music Centre with musical performances and other fun activities. The day continues with a community singing event on Kansalaistori, allowing everyone to join voices, and concludes with the opening concert featuring Rajaton, Club For Five, Aito Collective, guest soloists and of course everyone else.

Tuesday 28 January is all about families at the concert hall on Pohjoinen Rautatienkatu, a concert where the performers are married couples, brothers and parents with their children. This is a must-see!

On 31 January there is a choir evening at the aforementioned concert hall. First, we will hear Sibelius Academy Vocal Ensemble with a programme reflecting on the immigration and emigration of musicians. The second concert features the Haloa choir, made up of students and alumni of the Department of Music Education.

Many other voices will also be featured: music theatre students of Uniarts Helsinki, students in the Junior Department of the Sibelius Academy, Signe, Sandra Långbacka, top-notch producer Sean Holt and many others.

In addition to the concert series, the festival week features a string of cinema concerts and talks. The cinema concerts are screenings of silent films with the soundtrack provided by human voices. The talks and panel discussions explore vocal aesthetics and the meaning of art.

Sibafest finishes off with a concert by the Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo, Professor of Orchestral Training and Orchestra Conducting, in the Concert Hall of the Music Centre on 1 February. The programme features music by Saariaho, Shchedrin and Mahler.

Join your voice with ours! We guarantee a festival that is receptive, profound, inquisitive and experimental and that above all lets our voices be heard and join together.

Aija Puurtinen
Artistic director

Sibafest is the most significant event of Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy. The week-long festival, organised every even year, showcases the entire spectrum of the Sibelius Academy’s artistic activities through events. In 2018 Sibafest attracted about 8,000 concert-goers.

Previous artistic directors of Sibafest include Professor of Opera Markus Lehtinen (2006), composer-conductor Kirmo Lintinen (2008), Professor of Cello Martti Rousi (2010), accordion artist Maria Kalaniemi (2012), lecturer in lied and pianist Gustav Djupsjöbacka (2014), Professor of Jazz Jukkis Uotila (2016) and Professor of Conducting and Orchestral Training Atso Almila.