Photo: Veikko Kähkönen

Aija Puurtinen announced as artistic director for Sibafest 2020

The artistic director of Sibafest 2020 will be Aija Puurtinen, Head of the Music Education Department and lecturer in pop/jazz singing at the University of the Arts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy. The eighth Sibafest will take place at the Helsinki Music Centre and other venues near Töölönlahti from 25 January to 1 February 2020.

This time, the theme for the biennial festival will be Out Loud, with focus on voice and singing. In Finnish, the theme is named Äänessä.

– I have always been fascinated by the fact that every human’s voice is completely unique, just like our fingerprints. With our singing, voice and music we can capture the whole spectrum of human emotions, which moves us both through and without words in all musical styles. Sibafest 2020 will be an attentive, deep, curious and experimental festival where our voices will be heard and united, Aija Puurtinen describes.

Aija Puurtinen works as a lecturer and the Head of the Music Education Department at the Sibelius Academy and is well-known as a musician, including as the lead of the band Honey B and the T-Bones. Puurtinen graduated as Master of Music in 1991 and completed a doctoral degree in 2010 at the Sibelius Academy. Her artistic doctoral research, Circulus Cantoris - Circuitio Musicae, reflected on singing, vocal phrasing and voice control from various perspectives. Thanks to her large networks, Puurtinen has an extensive career as a guest soloist and as a diverse composer, often switching between different music genres.

Sibafest is organised every even-numbered year, with 2020 marking the eighth edition. The festival showcases the entire range of the Sibelius Academy’s artistic activities through concerts at the Helsinki Music Centre and is considered the academy’s most significant event. Former 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 (2018), and Professor of Conducting and Orchestral Training Atso Almila (2018).

The previous Sibafest was organised in the beginning of 2018, featuring 35 events and attracting about 8 000 concert-goers to the Helsinki Music Centre and nearby churches. The programme for Sibafest 2020 will be announced in autumn 2019.

Further information and interview requests

Producer Janne Ikäheimo
Tel. 040 710 4344