Seminars preceding the introduction of the Helsinki Music Centre’s new Rieger Organ

Musiikkitalo’s Play the Organ association (Urut Soimaan ry) organizes in cooperation with the Sibelius Academy and Musica Nova two seminars on the new concert organ of Musiikkitalo (the Helsinki Music Centre).

The organ will be introduced to the public on the 1st of January 2023. The focus of the first year lays on the performances of 12 new compositions composed for the International Kaija Saariaho Organ Composition Competition. The deadline of the competition is in October 2021. Now is the best moment to write a composition and at the same time get to know the new organ.

November’s seminar (19.11.2020) is divided in two parts. In cooperation with the Department of Composition and Music Theory the public will learn about the building history of the new Rieger Organ and will be introduced to the sister instrument of the new organ that is located in St Martin’s Church in Kassel. After a break the seminar will continue as a composer seminar. The purpose is to demonstrate the use of the organ and how to compose for it. At the same time the modern techniques of the organ will be demonstrated with music samples. The speakers of the seminar are D.Mus Susanne Kujala and D.Mus Jan Lehtola, who are specialists in the field of contemporary music. Susanne Kujala has performed in St Martin’s Church in Kassel and has a great deal of experience in using microtonal pipes. Jan Lehtola is a member of the team responsible for planning the building of the concert organ as well as the chairman of Musiikkitalo’s Play the Organ association (Urut Soimaan ry) which is the organization that takes care of the use of the organ.

The symposium of February (08.02.2021) is organized in cooperation with Musica Nova. The purpose of this seminar is to proceed from practical themes to aesthetic questions. The seminar is aimed at participants who want to know more about organ as an instrument as well as at those interested in contemporary music. Besides Susanne Kujala and Jan Lehtola, the speakers of this event are Kaija Saariaho, Lisa Streich, James McVinnie and Juhani Nuorvala. The seminar will take a closer look at the questions related to the sound of the organ and microtonality. At the same time the focus will lay upon the theme composer of Musica Nova, Iánnis Xenákis. It is possible to follow both of the seminars as a live stream online. All the seminars, except Our time music (Aikamme musiikki lecture series), are open for the public if the regulations and the epidemic allow.

For further information, please contact the following individuals:
  • Jan Lehtola (Musiikkitalon Urut Soimaan ry) by phone at +35850 378 0878 or by email at jan.lehtola@uniarts.fi
  • Kaisa Näreranta (Helsinki Music Centre Foundation) by phone at +358 50 584 4876 or by email at kaisa.nareranta@musiikkitalo.fi