From 14 to 17 March 2018, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki celebrated its 40 years of accordion teaching.

From the beginning the course was directed by the Maestro Matti Rantanen, renowned Finnish accordionist internationally recognized.

The opening concert of the Harmonikka NYT Festival “The Accordion Today” saw the contemporary composition with works by Einojuhani Rautavaara, Heikki Valpola, Harri Vuori and Jukka Tiensuu performed by Matti Rantanen and some of his musician friends. In the second part there were performance by ex-students of the course including Ari Lehtonen and Marko Valtonen in Bach’s works for the solo accordion, Janne Valkeajoki in the creation of a new masterpiece by Magnus Lindberg.

The students of Matti Rantanen, Veli Kujala, Mika Väyrynen and the “Junior Academy” class of Heidi Velamo presented a wide range of repertoire currently taught in Finland.

For the occasion, the French accordionist Vincent Lhermet, professor at the Conservatory of Lille (ESMD) and Boulogne-Billancourt (PSPBB), ex-student of the Sibelius Academy, was invited to hold a three-day master class, a conference of French music accordion, as well as the premiere of his project “Cantares Mexicanos”, which combines Aztec poetry and contemporary Mexican music, including five Finnish creations, closing this week of concerts at the Musiikkitalo “The Helsinki Music Center”.

From left to right:

Helka Kymäläinen (head of the accordion pedagogy at the Sibelius Academy)

Ari Lehtonen (alumn of the Sibelius academy, teacher at the Turku Conservatoire)

Matti Rantanen

Heidi Velamo (teacher at Sibelius Academy)

Vincent Lhermet