Sibelius Summer Academy course introduces the connection between the organ and silent films

What kind of link can be found between the organ and silent movies? What are the special features of the Finnish organ music culture and the Finnish organ repertoire? In the Organ Academy in August, about twenty domestic and foreign organ students learn about these topics with reknowed international experts and organ faculty of the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki. The week-long course is part of the new Sibelius Summer Academy, launched by the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki in 2019.

The Organ Academy course on August 1st to 7th will focus for example on how an organist can improvise music on silent films. Peter Krasinski from the United States, who arrives to Finland, specializes in the topic. In addition to his teaching, on August 6, he will be performing a concert, where he improvises to the film Hunchback of Notre Dame, directed by Wallace Worsley (1923). Hungarian organist Balázs Szabó will also come to teach during the Organ Academy. He is one of the few graduates of OrganExpert degree, the European comission funded, world’s only degree course for those who will consult church or national institutions as well as private people with organ projects (designing new organs and copies of historical instruments, supervising the maintenance, conservation and restoration of existing instruments).  To this date, less than ten people in the World have completed this degree. During his visit, Szabó will give a concert at the Janakkala church on August 8th.

During the Organ Academy in August, the students will learn about organ music from a wide perspective – as well as each organ as an individual instrument with its own features, organ repertoire and Finnish organ music and culture. During the week, the course participants will also attend a visit to Porthan's organ building factory in Janakkala. For the audience, the Organ Academy offers seven concerts at the Helsinki Music Centre and in various churches in Helsinki. The audience is also welcome to follow some of the lessons in the Music Center and Churches in Helsinki. The schedule will be detailed on the Sibelius Summer Academy website and on the Uniarts web calendar.  

At the same time with Sibelius Summer Academy's Organ Academy, about a dozen young people from 13 to 18 years old who are interested in organ music from all over the world arrive to Finland to attend the Pipe Organ Encounter event.