The 10th Annual Sibelius Festival

HANCOCK - Finlandia University presented the 10th Annual Sibelius Academy Music Festival last week which took place in two venues, first in Hancock and then concluding in Eagle Harbor.

The series of three concerts showcases the professional-level talent of musicians from the Sibelius Academy of Helsinki, Finland.

The Sibelius Acadamy Music Festival is an annual celebration of the Copper Country's Finnish heritage and the furtherance of our contemporary connections with Finland."

"Since 1999, Finlandia University and the Sibelius Music Academy have collaborated to bring a taste of Finland's musical excellence to Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the Midwest" stated Finlandia President Phillip Johnson. "The annual international event promotes the enjoyment and appreciation of contemporary and traditional Finnish classical music, and strengthens Finnish-American ties with modern Finland. More than 50 Sibelius Academy students have performed as part of this festival" Johnson said.

The first concert in the classical music festival took place Wednesday, July 30th, with a concert by mezzosporano Melis Jaatinen and her piano accompanist. Maija Vtiistinen, at the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock. The concert  was preceded by a free performance of the local Kivajat Dancers, a children's traditional dance troupe directed by Kay Seppala. The feature performance begins at 7:30 p.m.

The second concert took place on Thursday, July 31st . Pianist Joonas Ahonen  performed at the Finnish American Heritage Center,   That concert was preceded  by the Noteworthy Chorus, a local women's a cappella vocal ensemble directed by Theresa Goodell.  

The third and final Sibelius Festival concert took place Friday, August 1st, at  St. Peter's by the Sea Church in Eagle Harbor, Mich., The concert featured Kaisa Koivula, playing clarinet, and Jukka Ojala, playing accordion.

Read More