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Conducted by Dima Slobodeniouk, this concert features French elegance, the mystery of a fleeting moment, and a heart-rending Soviet Russian cello concerto, the soloist is Tchaikovsky Competition finalist Senja Rummukainen.

Fri 07/05/2021 - 19:00

The dazzling violinist Joshua Bell brings to Henryk Wieniawski’s 2nd violin concerto a balanced combination of brilliant sparkle, fieryness and singing backwaters.

Thu 27/05/2021 - 19:00


You can now watch and listen to HPO concerts in the comfort of your very own armchair, streamed online.
The pre-concert talk (in Finnish) will help to put you in the mood. During the interval you can also meet more interesting people and hear what goes on behind the scenes.


Conductor Emilia Hoving makes her debut in front of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in the oldest and most popular of our concert traditions, the May Day Matinees. The Uusi Kipparikvartetti quartet offers nostalgic hits and springtime joy, honouring Finland’s most successful male quartet of all time. 

Sat 01/05/2021 - 14:00

This concert programme prepared by conductor Tomas Djupsjöbacka shines the limelight on the orchestra’s various instrument sections one at a time.

Fri 23/04/2021 - 19:00


American art patrons Robert and Mildred Bliss began decorating their Music Room at their home, Dumbarton Oaks, by ordering a pair of 16th-century marble arches from Italy and a chimneypiece from a French Renaissance castle. The legendary Music Room was the stage for concerts, science lectures and intellectual debates. The couple then commissioned music from Igor Stravinsky to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Stravinsky described the piece known as Dumbarton Oaks as “a small concert in the style of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerts.”


Fri 09/04/2021 - 19:00

In the middle of March 2020, concert halls around the world closed their doors due to restrictions imposed to counter the coronavirus pandemic. Like thousands of colleagues, the musicians of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra decided to keep the music playing by organising a series of live-streamed chamber music concerts. What is the situation for Helsinki, Finns and humanity a year later? 

Wed 17/03/2021 - 21:00

“Siri Brander's Elegie for string orchestra was newsworthy and – it has to be said at once – good news indeed.” The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s popular concert in April 1894 featured a set of symphonic masterpieces, yet the newspaper Uusi Suometar highlighted the opening number of the concert by a 28-year-old local composer and animal welfare activist whose sad melodies enchanted the audience.

Wed 03/03/2021 - 19:00

Viktoria Mullova invites audiences in with true gems of concert repertoire; Arvo Pärt’s three pieces, which exude quiet, simple beauty. Jean Sibelius's diary entries about his Fifth Symphony reveal the ecstasy of composing: “I have a lovely theme. An adagio for the symphony – earth, worms and misery, fortissimo and sordinos [mutes], lots of sordinos. And the melodies are divine!!”

Wed 17/02/2021 - 19:00

The spotlight shines brightly on the clarinet when classical music and jazz wink at each other. Leonard Bernstein added jazzriffs to his baroque constellations, Billy Strayhorns Chelsea Bridge sounds of memories of Ravel and Igor Stravinsky wrote his Ebony concerto for Woody Herman’s jazz ensemble. This elegant evening is hosted by the newly apointed artistic director of the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra, Ed Partyka, who is proud to say he leads a “worldclass Big Band” in Helsinki. 


Fri 12/02/2021 - 19:00

Conductor André de Ridder is the founder of the s t a r g a z e musical collective and a curious and innovative concert curator. The artistic director of the Musica nova Helsinki-festival brings works that require electricity and video screens. Anna Meredith's piece sheds light on the moments between yesterday and tomorrow. Composer Simon-Steen Andersen dropped a grand piano from an eight metres height onto a concrete floor, recorded and filmed this, and used it as the big bang and material for his piano concerto. 

Thu 04/02/2021 - 19:00

Born in Tehran, composer Behzad Ranjbaran lives in New York and teaches music theory at the Juilliard School of Music. He is inspired by the rich layers of Persian music, literature and history. His Songs of Eternity are embellished with vocal ornaments and spirals. 

Fri 29/01/2021 - 19:00

“Oh turn, turn your course, In the valley spring is coming to bloom!” Robert Schumann begins his symphony with the trumpets blowing away the clouds to make room for spring, borrowing the rythm of the opening stanza of the german poet Adolph Böttger’s poem. Clara Schumann heard in the symphony “the little buds, the scent of the violets, the fresh green leaves, the birds in the air”.

Wed 20/01/2021 - 19:00

The phenomenal trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger brings us Betsy Jolas’ new work. The evening’s programme also features Steve Reich’s latest orchestral work, which Susanna Mälkki premiered in Los Angeles. 

Completed a year before his First Symphony, Sibelius’s Suite from King Christian II made Sibelius internationally known as an orchestral composer and paved the way for his symphonic career.

Fri 15/01/2021 - 19:00

Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen opens an old French book of fairy tales and conjures up characters woven into music by Maurice Ravel. So welcome Sleeping Beauty, Little Tom Thumb, the Empress of the Pagodas, and the Beauty and the Beast!
Having grown up surrounded by the sounds of water in a rural Chinese village, composer Tan Dun weaves his memories into his music: water is a source of joy, cleanliness, play and nourishment. The phenomenal Colin Currie joins the orchestra to interpret his percussion concerto.


October is wrapped up with the sounds of big symphonic composers. The HPO Sinfonietta takes on the rich Adagio-part of Mahler’s unfinished tenth symphony, pays tribute to Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with the composer’s first symphony, and interprets Sibelius the Lover-suite with its rich sounding string section. Iannis Xenakis’ hypnotic solopiece for percussion transforms two art forms into a duet, when HPO percussion section leader Xavi Castelló Aràndiga takes the stage with Tero Saarinen Company dancer Oskari Kymäläinen. 

” When I woke up I heard a sound, it grew ever louder, I could no longer imagine myself in a dream, music was sounding, and what music! reads the diary entry of Richard Wagner’s wife Cosima, on Christmas Day 1870, after the premiere of her symphonic birthday present. Conductor Risto Joost guides listeners straight into the core of the central European musical tradition. HPO violist Atte Kilpeläinen and dancer Auri Ahola interpret American composer Nico Muhly’s piece Etude 3.

This concert, led by Pekka Kuusisto, sets off with New York composer Missy Mazzoli’s Vespers. Islandic Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s dark shimmering soundscapes, Mozart’s fast-paced Divertimento, Sándor Veress’ Transylvanian dances and Magnus Lindberg’s first violin concerto all wrap up in a concert that speaks to the current times.

The programme for this Friday’s chamber music concert presents music by Johannes Brahms, Luciano Berio, Robert Schumann and Aulis Sallinen, who is also celebrating his 85th birthday at the beginning of April.

Fri 03/04/2020 - 19:00

Falling in love can cause sleeplessness and weight loss – or the Symphonie fantastique. Tormented by the waves of passion, the Artist comes to life as Lélio in a piece that Berlioz composed as a sequel to his Symphonie fantastique. This is the first time that the two pieces, which the composer intended as a pair, will be performed together in Finland.

Thu 27/02/2020 - 19:00

The Beethoven concerts recorded by conductor Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic attracted a record 1.4 million downloads in the space of just one week back in 2005. Noseda has a reputation as a conductor whose radical interpretations force listeners to reassess familiar classics both spiritually and emotionally. The programme for his concert in Helsinki is certainly enticing, as he will be making his Bruckner debut. The concert begins with Luigi Dallapiccola’s breakthrough Partita, the setting for which is a medieval Latin lullaby.

Tchaikovsky travelled with his brother Modest to Rome in 1880 and was inspired by the city’s soundscape: the carnivals, the animated locals, even the fanfare of the cavalry that could be heard through his hotel window in the morning. It is very possible that the composer admired the same fountains that inspired Ottorino Respighi to compose his tone poem a few decades later.

The cornerstone of Gemma New's debut with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra is Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, a bright song of praise to a free and happy person.

What connects the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and local music students? Junior Concert, of course! This year there is even more cause for celebration, as it marks the 10th time this fun concert takes place.

No grand gestures or competitive glory, just quiet power, dignity and clean piano playing. Nelson Freire made his debut in 1944 at the age of just four and is one of the greatest pianists of his generation. The premiere of a new piece by Lotta Wennäkoski will also have audience members listening intently. The work is the first in a series of Helsinki Variations commissioned for the Finland 100 centenary year, in which six composers were invited to choose a Finnish composition from before 1945 as a source of inspiration.

The newest piece by Czech composer Ondřej Adámek is a timely tale of the rise – and fall – of mass movement. The motto of a lonely violin attracts almost unnoticedly a roar whose power is soon revealed to be a double-edged sword. 

Your ears will be in for a surprise as the Musica nova Helsinki festival once again presents the latest in contemporary music alongside established classics. Bryce Dessner, guitarist of The National, composed his piano concerto for the evening’s two sibling soloists. Also being performed in Finland for the first time will be Metacosmos, which was commissioned for the New York Philharmonic, and the rhythmic De Snelheid. The opening concert of the festival culminates with Delta, a composition by Jay Schwartz that explores the dimensions of sounds.

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From the Archives

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Behind the scenes

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Chief Conductor Susanna Mälkki

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