Harpsichordist, Doctor of Music and Early Music Lecturer Annamari Pölhö is starting as the new Head of the Early Music Department in August 2019. She teaches basso continuo and harpsichord playing, chamber music and also on Baroque vocal music and Introduction to Baroque Instrument Performance courses.
Annamari Pölhö was awarded Solo Diplomas by Utrecht Conservatory and Sibelius Academy in 1989 and she then graduated from the Sibelius Academy as Master of Music. She completed her Doctorate at the Sibelius Academy in 1994, researching 18th-century Thorough Bass styles in Italy & France: her Doctoral Thesis French & Italian continuo-styles 1677-1775 from the point of view of the thorough-bass player was published by the Sibelius Academy in 1993. She has done the pedagogical studies required of teachers in 2004. In 2014 she compleated the Elementary studies of Music Therapy and in 2016 Older Adults Music Education in the Sibelius Academy Open University.
Annamari made her formal debut as a harpsichordist in Helsinki in 1991, and performs actively as both soloist & chamber-musician with ensembles & orchestras from the Helsinki area to the Arctic Circle. She established a duo with Petra Aminoff (traverso) already in 1980, and she plays keyboards for baroque ensemble Battalia and The Finnish Baroque Orchestra and has been performing with them throughout Finland, in Åland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Holland, England and Egypt. During 2000–2008 she was the keyboard player of The Harp Consort performing throughout Europe and touring in Italy, Canada and the USA.
Many of Annamari’s performances as soloist and ensemble-player have been broadcast, including live broadcasts for the Finnish National Radio & TV, for Finland’s Swedish-language Radio & TV, for the European Broadcasting Union and for US National Public Radio. She has made 11 CDs on the Alba label, many of which have been awarded prizes: Battalia’s Italian Early Baroque (ABCD112) won ”CD of the Year” and the Janne Award; Trang (ABCD107) with Markku Luolajan-Mikkola won the Janne Award; and Una Sera Siciliana (ABCD150, harpsichord music of Bernardo Storace) was listed by Helsingin Sanomat as one of Best CDs of the Year. She has also made 9 more CD’s, 3 of which for the Ondine label; the Graupner Orchestral Suites (ODE12202) won ”CD of the Year” and H.I.F.Biber: Rosenkranz-Sonaten (ODE1243-2D) was an Emma – and ICMA – nominee.
From 1987 to 1999 Annamari taught harpsichord and continuo-playing for many musical institutions in the Helsinki area, and in 1990-2003 & 2006 onwards she has been teaching at the Sibelius Academy harpsichord and continuo-playing as well as working as an accompanist; 1.8.2018- 31.7.2019 she was working as the Vice Head of the Early Music Department.
She was the Head of Early Music at the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in 2001-2015, substituted the Baroque Music Lecturer in Novia University of Applied Sciences in 2016-2017 and worked there as a harpsichord and continuo-playing teacher and accompanist until summer 2019.
Annamari has been frequently invited to all parts of Finland as a lecturer and Early Music coach. Since 2009 she has been a member (2015-2018 the Head) of FiBO Collegium, the Audience Development and Educational Team of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra taking part in organizing and coaching in the numerous music school projects and the 5 Concerto Grossos, Great Spectacles; the latest of which in 2018-2019 was a Nordic cooperation with Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic musicians and children and the performances taking place in Oslo Concert Hall, Music Centre Helsinki, Berwald Hall Stockholm and Langholtskírkja, Reykjavík. Since spring 2019 the team continues independently as Collegium ry, an Early Music Education & Audience Development Association.
After her Music Therapy studies since 2015 she has been leading, coaching and writing materials for her own creation Baroque Workshop for Senior Citizens, which is part of the Collegium programme in cooperation with Special Music Centre Resonaari.
In 2004, Annamari won the Vantaa Baroque Festival’s Baroque Energy Award for her contributions to Early Music in Finland. In 1999–2001 and again 2010-2012 she was supported by the Finnish government’s 3-year grant, and 1.8.2007–31.7.2008 she was supported by the grant of the Finnish Cultural Foundation. She was co-awarded as the Sibis of the year 2013 together with the harpsichordist & conductor Aapo Häkkinen by Sibelius-lukio (Sibelius Upper Secondary School).