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3 Music Genres, 3 Nations Represented at Sibelius Festival September 21 to 25

Sibelius Academy LogoHANCOCK, MI - Three music genres and three nations are represented at this year's Finlandia University Sibelius Academy Music Festival! The genres are folk, classical, and contemporary. The nations are Finland, Estonia, and Spain.

The 12th annual Sibelius Festival takes place next week, Tuesday, September 21, to Saturday, September 25. Student-musicians from the Sibelius Music Academy of Helsinki, Finland, will present five concerts at four locations in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Here's a look at the musicians.

From Finland, the folk duo PAJU is Pauliina Pajala, who plays fiddle, viola, and nyckelharpa (a traditional Swedish string instrument), and Juulia Salonen, who sings and plays accordion and puhaltimet (a Finnish wind instrument). The repertoire of these playful and spontaneous musicians includes modern and traditional Finnish and Finnish-Swedish folk tunes and their own compositions.

From Spain, Duo Aguirre & León will perform popular traditional Spanish folk songs and selections from contemporary Spanish, Argentinean, Finnish, and Norwegian composers. Accordionist Arantza Aguirre and clarinetist Ana León have performed numerous concerts and music festivals in Barcelona and other cities in Spain.

From Estonia, pianist Maria Aru will perform classical piano pieces by Beethoven and Schumann, as well as compositions by 20th century Estonian and American composers.

Two of this year's Sibelius Festival events are daytime concerts in Calumet and Ishpeming, which are free for middle and high school music students and their teachers. The concerts-at Ishpeming's W.C. Peterson Auditorium and the Calumet Theatre-are intended to connect youth with other cultures and inspire the  in their music-making. The informal 90-minute concerts will include comments from the musicians about themselves, their instruments, and their lives as musicians, followed by short performances. Community members are invited to attend for just $5.00 per person, general admission.

Here is the concert line-up:

Tuesday, September 21, 7:00 p.m., folk duo PAJU, appears at the Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy St., Hancock. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students.

Wednesday, September 22, 1:00 p.m., the five musicians present a free concert for middle and high school music students at W.C. Peterson Auditorium, 319 E. Division St., Ishpeming. The informal concert is open to the public; tickets are $5 for community members.

Thursday, September 23, 7:00 p.m., classical pianist Maria Aru performs at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 1000 Quincy St., Hancock, MI. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students.

Friday, September 24, 9:00 a.m., the five musicians present a free concert for middle and high school music students at the Calumet Theatre, 340 6th St., Calumet, MI. The informal concert is open to the public; tickets are $5 for community members.

Saturday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., the five musicians will present a full length concert at the Calumet Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students.

Concert tickets may be purchased at North Wind Books, Hancock, on-line at, or at the door prior to each performance. Calumet Theatre performance tickets are also available at the theatre ( Finlandia University students may attend the concerts free.

For additional information about the 12th annual Sibelius Academy Music Festival, please visit, or contact festival coordinator Karen Johnson (, 906-487-7348).


For the most accomplished student-musicians in Finland (and for musicians around the world) the Sibelius Academy is the destination for the best and brightest. The prestigious Sibelius Academy, founded in 1882 and named for Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, is one of the largest and best regarded music academies in Europe.

Finlandia University, founded in 1896 as Suomi College, is the only private, not-for-profit institution of higher education in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It is one of 21 colleges affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Finlandia offers bachelor and associate degrees in the disciplines of liberal studies, health sciences, business, and fine art and design. Finlandia is a member of NCAA Division III. Visit the university's website at