BRQ | Vantaa Festival

BRQ Vantaa Festival

photo: Riina Koivisto
photo: Riina Koivisto

Welcome to the BRQ Vantaa Festival!

As in previous years, the festival offers a cornucopia of diverse and intriguing programming that this year focuses on Baroque music, without forgetting new music. The theme of the festival is "The Human Voice," which can be heard throughout the festival days: women sing, and men take on speaking roles.

We are delighted to welcome back mezzo-soprano Marianne Beate Kielland, who captivated the audience at the 2012 festival. She continues the series of Bach cantatas she began a few years ago and will also interpret music by Purcell. Master of the Baroque harp, Andrew Lawrence-King will give a fascinating solo concert themed around the old music of the Baltic Sea region. Other international musicians will perform with the top old music ensemble BRQ Vantaa Ensemble in several concerts during the festival.

Newcomers to the old music scene will have their own concert evening, and the interdisciplinary Green Fairy performance promises to provoke thought. Our new head producer, Eero Saunamäki, will appear as a recorder player in several concerts. We are also participating again in the Helsinga Medieval Day, and an array of surprise programs is promised for the Night of the Arts! A new concert venue this year is Teatteri Vantaa, and our familiar venues are the Church of St. Lawrence in Vantaa and Tikkurila Church, whose acoustics are ideally suited to the festival's repertoire.

We hope you find something to your liking at this year's BRQ Vantaa Festival. Welcome and enjoy the music with us!

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola,
Artistic Director

Eero Saunamäki,
Executive Producer


BRQ Vantaa, nesting in an idyllic village overlooked by the medieval Church of St Lawrence, is a festival specialising in spellbinding period instruments and early music. Surrounded by a time-honoured cultural landscape and village milieu, the finest treasures of early music fill the church’s ancient stone vaults and modern chapel. The concerts in the historical heart of the city of Vantaa are an experience in which many wish to share time and time again in the dusky late-summer evenings.

The programme for this August festival rests on music composed before 1800. Adding spice are new contemporary works and premieres, and innovations based on earlier instrumental tradition. The core programme consists of recitals and chamber music supplemented by orchestral concerts. It thus provides options for both devoted early-music fans and first-timers.

Each year, the festival presents music and musicians not heard in Finland before. Joining the Finnish artists are numerous guests from abroad, mainly Europe, but also from China, India, Africa and elsewhere, bringing early music from their respective countries. The Artistic Director has been Markku Luolajan-Mikkola since the festival was founded in 2010.

BRQ Vantaa also arranges related events outside festival week around its culture-oriented host city. The Lepohetki (Rest-a-while) concerts at which listeners can laze on yoga mats, unwinding and letting the music hold them in its relaxing embrace, are a concept loved by many and one that has attracted completely new audiences for early music.

The festival is, together with the Vantaa Society and Tikkurila Parish, one of the chief organisers of the biggest medieval event in and around the Finnish capital, Helsinga Medieval Day. On that day, hearts beat as one in a desire to foster community, to relive history and above all to share in the experiences and cultural encounters afforded by music.

BRQ Vantaa is a member of Finland Festivals, Nordem and REMA.

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