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According to Matti Vainio, the Helsinki City (Philharmonic) Orchestra (HPO) gave its first concert for schoolchildren on 11th February 1933. Conducted by Georg Schnéevoigt, it was a tremendous success and the tickets sold like hot cakes. It consisted of a brief introduction to the orchestra followed by such shortish concert pieces as Grieg’s Anitra’s Dance. The soloist was Väinö Hannikainen, who played the harp. A number of concerts for schoolchildren were held in 1933, and the press went into ecstasies. Their objective was seen as educating a new generation of concert-goers. Unfortunately, the concerts stopped short in 1934.

Not until Similä’s term as conductor in 1949 were the concerts resumed. The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra would later serve as a pioneer of orchestral music education and outreach in Finland, in the form of such initiatives as junior concerts and a godchild scheme.

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