How it all started
Helsinki Metropolitan Orchestra was born in the summer of 2017, when pianist Alina Sorjonen and conductor Sasha Mäkilä decided to gather their musician friends together to practice and perform some concert music in the middle of the summer in Helsinki.
The debut concert in the Temppeliaukio Church was a big success. The large number of audience, about 800 listeners, of whom 100 were standing, took all musicians by surprise, and left the orchestra with a burning desire to keep playing together. After getting organized in the autumn, the next concerts were in Kauniainen and Helsinki around the New Year 2018.
During 2018 the orchestra has proved its versatility by playing at a conducting master class and in an opera, starting a summer concert tradition, and touring in China.
During 2019 operations have been organized and expanded further. The orchestra has performed at the Emma Gala Music Awards, made a recording, performed some rare Finnish opera, and the culmination of the year was the large production of Mendelssohn's Elijah, together with Suomen Laulu choir.
A unique concept
Sasha Mäkilä, the Artistic Director, characterises the orchestra:
"Helsinki Metropolitan Orchestra is a unique ensemble because it features student, professional and amateur musicians of all ages. Another thing worth mentioning is that regardless of background or age everyone is equal. Since this is a new orchestra, it has been easy for people to come to us and discover something they have not been able to experience earlier in their professional or amateur musical life."
HMO is a grassroots orchestra community that offers its members an opportunity to play symphony orchestra repertoire periodically and at high artistic level. HMO's operation is based on volunteering and equality, and you can become a member of the orchestra whether you are a high school student, a pensioner, a music student, an amateur, or a professional musician. HMO provides the audience with approachable concert experiences and brings music to locations and venues where orchestral music is not usually heard.
HMO wants to be a major player in the cultural life of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and fill the gap that exists between amateur and professional orchestras. We work with educational institutions and play an important role in giving young music students the opportunity to experience what it is like to work in a full symphony orchestra. The composition of the HMO reflects the diversity of music lovers in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and their desire to work together and create opportunities for themselves. HMO is a high-spirited orchestra whose joy and team spirit can be heard and seen.
- Sasha Mäkilä Artistic Director
- Alina Sorjonen General Manager
Board of directors 2020
- Csilla Firon Chairman
- Laura Iivonen-Mellais Vice chairman
- Jyrki Messo Secretary
- Leena Jämsén
- Sofia Kangas
- Mika Turunen
- Anni Tolvanen Deputy member
- Mika Weckström Treasurer (non-member of the Board)
- Tel. +358 45 204 1145 / General Manager