The department educates conductors for choirs, orchestras and wind instrument orchestras, and other music professionals for Finnish and international employment needs. The department also coordinates Sibelius Academy’s orchestra and chamber music education, bringing together students of music conducting and different instruments.
As a conducting student you can major in either choral, orchestral or wind orchestral conducting. You will closely collaborate with teachers, fellow department students and different student and professional groups.
The practice orchestras and choirs involved in the programme are made up of students from other departments while they are completing their instrument studies. Orchestra and wind instrument orchestra conductor students will rehearse by conducting a practice orchestra. Choir conductors will rehearse by conducting a vocal ensemble.
Most students are highly skilled with musical instruments, having gained extensive experience in their working lives or having earned bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Conducting studies add to the knowledge and skills of these professionals.
After graduation, you will possess extensive musical knowledge and professionalism that will provide the opportunity to work with several demanding musical assignments; but first and foremost, as a choir, orchestra or wind instrument orchestra conductor. The Master of Music degree also makes you eligible for doctoral study. Doctoral degrees available at Sibelius Academy include Licentiate of Music (LMus) and Doctor of Music (DMus).
At Sibelius Academy, approximately 130 chamber music groups work together each year. The groups are comprised of students from different Sibelius Academy departments. The operative coordinator is the orchestra, chamber music and conductor education department.Acting professor of chamber music is Marko Ylönen. Other chamber music coordinating teacthers are Teemu Kupiainen, Ilmo Ranta, Martti Rautio, Asko Heiskanen and Tero Toivonen. As a chamber music student, you will have the opportunity to participate in monthly matinees at Helsinki Music Centre’s Camerata Hall and other Sibelius Academy premises in addition to weekly teaching. You will also have the chance to participate in the chamber music weekend at course centre Kallio-Kuninkala in Järvenpää scheduled for four times a year. The academic year culminates in the chamber music week that will include several student concerts.
Learning and performing repertoire under the lead of a chamber pianist, the accompanist is an essential part of all instrument studies. The orchestra, chamber music and conductor education department coordinates Sibelius Academy’s accompaniment services. There are 6 permanent chamber pianists and 15 part-time chamber pianists at Sibelius Academy. With them, you will study the structures and harmonies of the compositions’ music scores and receive support for matinees and performance examination concerts.
Orchestras and ensembles
- Sibelius Academy Choir
- Global Choir
- Church Music Department's Choir
- Freshman choir
- Vocal ensemble
- Upcoming choir events and news
Orchestras and ensembles
How to apply
The application procedures differ slightly depending on whether you are applying for the orchestra, wind orchestra or choral conducting major. Applicants to the orchestral or wind orchestra conducting major are required to have versatile soloist skills and theoretical knowledge, as well as experience in ensemble playing. Applicants to the choral conducting major are required to have versatile soloist skills and theoretical knowledge, as well as experience in ensemble singing.
Teachers and contact information
The Professor of Orchestra Conducting is Atso Almila. Previous professors include e.g. Jorma Panula, Arvid Jansons, Alois Klima, Leif Segerstam, Eri Klas and Hannu Lintu. We annually also welcome prolific visiting teachers, many of whom are themselves alumni of the Sibelius Academy.
Professor Nils Schweckendiek is responsible for the choir conducting programme at the Sibelius Academy and lecturer Petri Komulainen for the wind orchestra conducting programme.
All University of the Arts Helsinki e-mail addresses are in the form firstname.lastname (at) uniarts.fi
Head of Department Matti Perttula
Professor, choir conducting Nils Schweckendiek
Professor, conductor and orchestra education Atso Almila
Professor, chamber music Marko Ylönen
Wind instrument conductor class lecturer Petri Komulainen
Accompaniment lecturer-in-charge Timo Koskinen
Symphony orchestra manager Anna Rombach
Conductor programme manager Arturo Alvarado
Orchestra coordinator Susanna Laine
Stage manager David Claudio
Stage manager Jani Roppola