Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation donates over €1 million to the University of the Arts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy – matching funds from the USA nearly double the sum

The Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation donates over a million euros to the Sibelius Academy’s international visitor programme. The matching gift made at the end of last year by the California-based real estate entrepreneur Marvin Suomi will nearly double the donated sum.

The visitor programme will be a part of the academy’s new summer academy concept, which will launch in 2019. Open to both Finnish and international students, the summer academy offers young Finnish talents a chance to work with leading international artists and students around the world a chance to get a glimpse of the Sibelius Academy’s internationally acclaimed education. The donation from the Erkko Foundation to the University of the Arts Helsinki’s (Uniarts Helsinki) Sibelius Academy totals to 1,155,000 euros for a period of three years.

‘We’re very grateful for this donation, which will accelerate Uniarts Helsinki’s successful internationalisation process even further’, commented Uniarts Helsinki’s rector Jari Perkiömäki.

In the visitor programme, world-class artists are invited to work periodically at the Sibelius Academy within a time-frame of one to two years. The programme is unique not only because of the long-term nature of the visitors’ work, but because of its non-hierarchical approach and the direct integration of educational and artistic processes. The role of the visiting artists and professors is not simply to teach students one-on-one, but to carry out larger artistic projects, working toward set goals in a collaborative environment, alongside the students.

‘This new form of collaborating and co-creating will be a fantastic opportunity not only for the young musicians, but for the entire field of Finnish music. The programme will be developed in collaboration with several partners, such as the Helsinki Festival as well as the world’s leading music universities. I am happy that both the students and our Finnish audiences will get the chance to enjoy the work of world-class artists, who we might otherwise not be able to see in Finland’, said the Sibelius Academy’s dean Kaarlo Hildén.

In December 2017, Marvin Suomi initiated a fund-raising campaign, in which he would donate a dollar for each euro raised by the Sibelius Academy – or each dollar raised by the Friends of the Sibelius Academy in the US – up to one million dollars. The support from the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation combined with the matched funds from Marvin Suomi will total the donations to Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy to about two million euros.

This sizeable donation adds to Uniarts Helsinki’s reasons to celebrate this week: Uniarts Helsinki’s first-ever conferment ceremony will be held on 8–10 June. Masters and doctors from different fields of art, along with 13 honorary doctors, will be conferred their academic titles.


Further information:

Kaarlo Hildén,
Dean, Sibelius Academy
, +358 40 7104312

Nana Salin,
Liaison Manager, Uniarts Helsinki
, +358 50 4616780

Media enquiries:

Merja Enroos
Head of Communications and Marketing, Sibelius Academy
, +358 40 7104280