Photo: Petri Summanen
Sibelius-Akatemia ja maineikas yhdysvaltalainen Juilliard toteuttivat yhteistyössä kansainvälisen konserttikiertueen 2017.

Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation grants funding for international orchestral and collaborative productions

The Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation has granted 690,000 euros to the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki) to support five major orchestral and collaborative productions in 2019–2023. In this large-scale cooperation between the world’s leading music institutions, students and teams of esteemed professionals from various fields will engage in close cooperation with each other, beginning from concept creation and a rehearsal period and culminating in the execution of the projects. The collaborative productions will prepare students for an increasingly international and demanding professional life that awaits them after graduation. 

- The opportunity to realise this many major international productions is exceptional in the history of Uniarts Helsinki. The projects will give students unique hands-on understanding on the professional profiles of musicians, conductors and composers in different kinds of international contexts, says Dean of the Sibelius Academy Kaarlo Hildén

The international interest in engaging in cooperation with the Sibelius Academy has increased significantly over the last few years. One of the main reasons for this is the Academy’s consistent investment in developing the quality of education and building international networks. 

- The Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, for example, has already previously funded our collaboration projects, which has made it possible for us to raise the awareness of our international partners about the high quality of our degrees, Hildén adds. 

Collaborative productions prepare students for an international career 

- When our current students graduate, they will enter a demanding job market that is becoming increasingly international. That’s why it’s invaluable for them to gain experience in working in different cultures and cooperating with world-class artists, conductors, teachers and students already before graduation, says Hildén. 

In the upcoming productions, students will get to work in institutions in different parts of the world under the supervision of orchestral composers, conductors, musicians and agents, for example. Students will be mentored by professionals representing the world’s top in their respective fields, which will give them diverse insights and experiences that support their artistic identity and career. This will encourage students to take on leadership roles that may open up when working in different orchestral contexts. 

- The public will be treated to performances of orchestral and opera pieces by internationally recognised composers as well as premiers of works composed by students. After the rehearsal periods, students will take over different kinds of performance environments, ranging from jazz clubs in New York to the most internationally acclaimed music festivals, says Hildén.  

The projects are a valuable complement to Uniarts Helsinki’s existing international collaboration network: collaborations may last up to three years, making it possible to deepen the international contacts between the Academy and the institutions and to lay the foundation for a more permanent strategic partnership.  

In practice, this will lead to an increasing number of international opportunities for students and help the teaching staff acquire more diverse skills and pedagogical methods.  

- Thanks to the support from the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, we can offer our students versatile learning experiences on international platforms, strengthen our operations as one of the global leaders in the sector of higher education in music, and enhance the reputation of the arts education and strong music culture in Finland during the next couple of years, Hildén summarises. 

Further information 

Dean Kaarlo Hildén