Negotiations begin over changing the name of the Philharmonic Orchestra to the Helsinki City Orchestra


On 1.4.1913, the City Music Committee and the committee of the Philharmonic Association began negotiations with the Philharmonic Association’s orchestra and Schnéevoigt’s Helsinki Symphony Orchestra with a view to establishing one single orchestra in the city. The talks nevertheless proved abortive, giving the impression of being more in the nature of a war of attrition; each orchestra in turn proposed that the other be disbanded.

The Music Committee wanted to put an end to the argument and as an interim measure proposed to the City Council that the City adopt an orchestra of its own conducted by both Kajanus and Schnéevoigt. By some miracle, the proposal was approved in 1914 and the Helsinki City Orchestra (known nowadays in English as the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/HPO) was born. The orchestra school closed and its pupils transferred to the Helsinki Music Institute.

The more concrete adversaries, Kajanus and Schnéevoigt, did not, however, reach agreement. The temporary arrangement stretched to five years and the final decision to municipalise was made in 1919.

Source: Einari Marvia & Matti Vainio – Helsingin kaupunginorkesteri 1882–1982