(Suomeksi) 100 kesäfillaria käyttöönne, olkaa hyvä!

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What to do and where to stay in Vantaa?

You are coming to the BRQ Vantaa Festival? Great! But what else there is to see and experience in Vantaa in the summer? Here are a couple of ideas for your visit in Finland. We also have a nice accommodation tip for you, so please keep reading!

See our festival programme here

Buy concert tickets in our online store



Fazer Experience Visitor Centre

Fazer Experience vierailukeskus

Step under the shade of cocoa trees, spot the giant bunny and sense the fragrance of grain. Enjoy the guided exhitibion tour, give an unforgettable children’s birthday party or attend an inspiring meeting, celebration or event with us. Fazer Experience Visitor Centre offers joy and experiences for all the senses and all ages!

Fazer Experience vierailukeskus

It is also possible to do shopping in the store or enjoy the sweet and savoury treats that the bakers and pastry chefs conjure up along with high-guality handmade bread, chocolate and pastries in Fazer Café.

More information on Fazer Experience Visitor Centre



Heureka plasmaputki

Science Centre Heureka offers joy of discovery and fun experiences for all ages! Heureka introduces science in an engaging and interactive way. Visitors can experience science through spectacular hands-on exhibitions, planetarium films, learning programmes and events. Heureka’s Basketball Rats are a must-see!

Heureka rottakoripallo

Heureka is one of Finland’s most popular recreational centres, attracting an average of 300,000 visitors each year. There is always exhibitions about many different themes. During summer season exhibitions extend outdoors to Science Park Galilei.


Entrance ticket includes an access to all exhibitions and planetarium shows as well as to daily programmes. You can also visit Heureka Shop and have a lunch or snacks at restaurant Café Einstein.

More information on Heureka




Kuusijärvi is a popular all-season outdoor recreational center. By summertime a large sandy beach and by wintertime the beautiful cross-country skiing landscape with the invigotaring ice swimming possibilities, are the foundations for Kuusijärvi’s popularity. Kuusijärvi has the only public smoke saunas in the city of Vantaa and is a must-do for all visitors in Finland. Saunas are open daily around the year.


More information on Kuusijärvi

Kuusijärvi in Facebook


Where to stay during visit?

If you need recommendations concerning accommodation in Vantaa, we have good news for you! Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport is a stylish but laid-back hotel located in the new district of Aviapolis, 2 km from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport terminals and just a few metres from the Aviapolis station. The hotel has been designed to provide a warm, homely and exclusive atmosphere. It is very easy to travel from Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport to Tikkurila and Helsinki Central Railway Station from where you will be able to reach the BRQ Vantaa Festival venues easily, so the hotel will be a good choice for your visit in Vantaa.

Clarion Helsinki Airport Hotel

More information on Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport



(Suomeksi) BRQ Vantaa Festivalin Kannatusyhdistys kutsuu jäseniä

Sorry, this entry is only available in Finnish.



A renown instrument builder Jukka Ollikka is working on a new instrument that combines the best features of historical geigenwerk and lautenwerk.  This brand new instrument will be premiered at BRQ Vantaa Festival on August 7th and it will be played by a harpsichord virtuoso Ilpo Laspas.

This new instrument doesn´t yet have a proper NAME and this is where we need YOUR help. We want you to suggest a name to this new instrument! The best name suggestion will WIN a Magical Keyboards -series ticket (value 75 euros) to four concerts at Chapell of St Lawrence. All participants will also enter a lottery of two tickets to the world premiere of the new instrument on August 7th at 7 pm.

SEND your name suggestions and your contact details (name, address, e-mail, phone number) to info@brq.fi by August 1st. The winners will be contacted personally. A professional panel will choose the name of the new instrument and it will be announced in the world premiere concert on August 7th.

We have followed he development of the new instrument in our festival blog with pictures and stories. We wait enthusiastically to see the instrument in action and we will follow its journey with regular blog posts.

Buy ticket to the world premiere of the new instrument here.

Buy a Magical Keyboards -series ticket here.


Magical Keyboards -concerts at the Chapell of St. Lawrence (Pappilankuja 3, Vantaa)

Keyboards: Mahan Esfahani
Tue Aug 5th at 7 pm The Chapel of St. Lawrence (Pappilankuja 3, Vantaa)
Mahan Esfahani, cembalo (Iran)

Keyboards: ???
Thu Aug 7th at 7 pm The Chapel of St. Lawrence
Ilpo Laspas, new instrument

Keyboards: Wien 1790
Fri Aug 8th at 7 pm The Chapel of St. Lawrence
Tuija Hakkila, fortepiano

Keyboards: Carl Philipp Emmanuel
Sun Aug 10th at 6 pm The Chapel of St. Lawrence
Aapo Häkkinen, clavichord and harpsichord


A new instrument in the making

Here is a little photo update about the making of the new instrument that will be premiered at BRQ Vantaa Festival on August 7th. The work is still is progress and we will follow the building with great enthusiasm!

kuva 2 A lot of clamps holding the structure together.

kuva 3 The instrument has a curvy outline

Here are some comments from Ilpo Laspas who will tame the new instrument-baby in the world premiere concert:
“I wait to meet the new instrument with great enthusiasm. It´s very hard to say exactly what I expect of it because the instrument will be one of a kind. This new instrument is fascinating especially because it combines two instruments that can be played at the same time.This feature will certainly give unique opportunities in the terms of sound although it´s very hard to imagine what they will exactly be. As an organ (and harpsichord) player I get to play many different instrument,  but I still think that this new instrument will be something totally different, something I´ve newer met before.”

kuva 1Keyboards maybe?

Stay tuned for more pictures and stories about this new, yet-to-be-named, instrument!


Pictures: Jukka Ollikka

Text: Helen Metsä


Instrument builders in wonderland

Last August the BRQ Vantaa audience got to know Jonte Knif and his colourful retrosynthentisator. This year another and completely new keyboard instrument will be presented that will challenge our knowledge of instrument building. We often perceive instruments as immutable, but this was not how it was before: especially in the renaissance times instrument builders were eager to invent many new and radical instruments.

Now renown harpsichord builder Jukka Ollikka and Jonte Knif will continue this spirit of creativity. Their idea is to combine two historical and experimental keyboard instruments into one totally new instrument. Ollikka and Knif will attempt to combine geigenwerk or viola organista that sounds like a combination of viola da gamba ensemble and organs with lauternwerk which could be described as a giant lute operated with keyboard.

Harpsichord builder Jukka Ollikka has been thinking about building a new experimental instrument for years. ”My friend Lauri Porra has for long asked me to built an unusual instrument. Aapo Häkkinen has also inquired about building a lauternwerk.” Ollikka says.

Suddenly something special happened: in 2012 a polish Sławomir Zubrzycki finished a viola organista a.k.a geigenwerk that actually worked very well. This instrument known with different names in history combines a string instrument with a keyboard and is based on drawings made by Leonardo Da Vinci himself. Lauri Porra got really exited about this geigenwerk as did Ollikka because a good functioning geigeinwerk has not yet been seen. A functional lauternwerk however has been made before.

Ollikka´s brain started working furiously: suddenly he realised that it would be possible to combine geigen- and lauternwerk. He asked Jonte Knif to help him and Knif was immediately exited about the project. ”Both lauten- and geigenwerk have gut strings and same tuning so by emerging them we get two in the price of one” Ollikka says. The working title for the new instrument was decided to be lautengeigenwerk a.k.a ”luteviolininstrument”.

This completely new idea of instrument building has required tremendous amount of testing of both materials and technical solutions. During the spring of 2014 for example different lengths of string and pluck points were tested on a trial soundboard. A soundsamplebank was collected and also a basic structure of the instrument was modelled on a computer. Ollikka tells that he has severely studied metalcasting and even established a small foundry so that he and his team could make all the parts that they need themselves. ”We were lucky to get help from a friend of mine, engineer Peter Jokinen, whose knowledge and contacts about industrial materials were crucial to this project” Ollikka says.


Combining two existing but also rare and unusual instruments is not easy and requires a totally new way of thinking. The result of this project will be harpsichord-like instrument that ”will have two manuals; the geigenwerk will be operated on the upper and the lauternwerk from the lower manual”, Ollikka describes. In practice this means that two different keyboard instruments can be played at the same time but there will be only one choir of strings for the both instruments.

Lauternwerk could basically be described as a gut-strung harpsichord whereas in geigenwerk the strings are rubbed by bow when a key is pressed. Ollikka says that he will not be using a hurdy-gurdy like rotating wheel as usually seen in geigenwerk but a band to operate the strings. The real great idea of Ollikka and Knif is however the way the key and string work together. By using magnetically joined levers and eccentric elements  they have created the touch of the instrument just as they want it to be. ”You have got to have a nutty professor -attitude in this kind of project!” Ollikka laughs. ”We have experienced many ’eureka-moments’ and in that way this project has been very different from the tradional instrument building where  almost all of the technical problems have already been solved”, Ollikka adds.

”We have a tendency to do unusual things just because they can be done. The world of early music just isn´t enough for a playful human kinds like us. It´s simply wonderful to develop something new that will be even greater than the old one and even better if someone else will also like it”, Jonte Knif comments. Knif believes that you can find people from the early music field that are willing to jump to the unknown and are not distracted by an unusual – or one might even say unhistorical – instrument. The lautengeigenwerk-projeckt is not about researching history but remodelling it, Knif says. He also hopes that musicians could do something totally different with this new instrument: ”The instrument could work well in theatrical projects and I also very much hope that someone would actually compose something new just for this instrument”, Knif comments.

Initially Ollikka and Knif were supposed to built an instrument just for Lauri Porra´s use. However they soon came up with the idea that this new instrument should also be premiered in an actual concert. BRQ Vantaa Festival was happy to take this concert and after this it didn´t take long for the builder pair to think of an musician to figure out the new lautengeigenwerk: Ilpo Laspas. ”Ilpo is amazing!” He can take over strange instruments  stunningly fast”, Knif says. ”Ilpo has to show us how this instrument is actually played!” Ollikka adds.

A curious detail is also that only two days after the world premiere of the lautengeigenwerk in BRQ Vantaa Sławomir Zubrzycki will play his viola organista at the Mänttä Music Festival.

We will be following closely the finishing of lautengeigenwerk in our festival blog so stay tuned for more!

Text: Auli Särkiö
Translation: Helen Metsä
Photos: Jukka Ollikka

The world premiere of lautengeigenwerk built by Jukka Ollikka and Jonte Knif will take place on August the 7th at 7 pm in the Chappell of Saint Lawrence. Don´t miss this unique concert, buy your tickets now!


(Suomeksi) Mikä ihmeen BRQ? Yleisökommentteja festarilta

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White Sparrow and a packed house explored the depths of the night

A voice of rare beauty fills the chapel with its lyrical lament:

Thus, wedded to my woes,

and bedded in my tomb,

O let me dying live,

till death doth come, till death doth come.


It is mezzo-soprano Debi Wong performing with lute and theorbo player Solmund Nystabakk at BRQ Vantaa Festival 2013.

I think to myself that I’d never write like that. I’d simply never feel like that – it’s the 21st century, and I’m way too rational to be wedded to my woes. And yet I’m captivated by these lines and the exquisite performance of this duo called White Sparrow.

Debi Wong Katri 6

White Sparrow at the BRQ Vantaa Festival 2013. Photo: Katri Somerjoki

In a concert entitled Mister Dowland’s Midnight, we’ve been traveling from sunset to this point, the darkest hour of the night. In addition to music by John Dowland, the program has included pieces by his contemporaries such as Anthony Holborne and Philip Rosseter, whose No Grave for Woe we heard just a moment ago. I’ve enjoyed it all, including the flirtatious moments experienced at sunset, but I do feel the program has been getting better and better. Yes, the darker the better! A curious enchantment indeed.

Evidently, I’m not alone with these thoughts, because the concert, held in The Chapel of St. Lawrence, was absolutely packed.

Debi Wong Katri 8

White Sparrow. Photo: Katri Somerjoki

“I think this was our first packed concert!” the young mezzo-soprano rejoices. This is if you don’t count a house concert White Sparrow once did in Vancouver.

“A big thank you to our audience – they were so supportive of us!”

Two things worked together to bring Debi Wong to Finland. She got interested in Sibelius Academy’s Doctor of Music programme, which she sees as a unique opportunity for a musician to combine artistic and academic pursuits. Another major factor was that, after a long search for a lute player, she finally found Solmund Nystabakk, a Norwegian who now makes his home in Finland.

The artists haven’t toured much with tonight’s programme yet, but they believe that Mister Dowland’s Midnight offers something very interesting to the modern person:

“It’s an opportunity to explore a very different mindset. Elizabethans were so sincere. People wouldn’t say these things today without being slightly ironic,” Solmund Nystabakk says about Dowland and his contemporaries.

Debi Wong Katri 7

Debi Wong from White Sparrow at the BRQ Vantaa Festival 2013. Photo: Katri Somerjoki

The first audience members to be interviewed hailed from Switzerland. They had searched for interesting concerts to attend on their holiday, and had found the BRQ Vantaa Festival online. The musical family had enjoyed the concert very much.


Debi Wong katsojat Katri

Monica Corrodi and Sandra Mazzoni at the BRQ Vantaa Festival with their husbands, brothers Peter and Andreas Corrodi (not pictured). Photo: Katri Somerjoki

Andreas Corrodi was especially taken with Debi Wong’s genuine interpretation and the good balance between the vocal and instrumental parts. Sandra Mazzoni, herself an amateur lutenist, confessed having liked the larger lute better than the small one.

“The melancholy was sweet, not heavy, and Debi Wong has such an expressive voice filled with emotion,” Monica Corrodi thought.

Lutenist Mikko Ikäheimo had come to listen to what for him was mostly familiar repertoire. He said he had very much enjoyed both the performance as well as David Hackston’s skillful translations of the lyrics.

Debi Wong Katri 10

Lauri Kokkonen. Photo: Katri Somerjoki

Lauri Kokkonen, too, said he takes a special interest in Dowland’s music and the Elizabethan era, which he became better acquainted with at the time of writing his master’s thesis.

“In this music you can find many themes that carried on to later centuries, even though the culture of that time was so different from today,” he reflected.

All in all, it was a very special and memorable night at BRQ Vantaa. Luckily, friends of the Elizabethan era can also get acquainted with this exciting new duo online, as White Sparrow has a fair number of samples of their work available on YouTube.

Text: Suvikki Honkkila

Photos: Katri Somerjoki


Patrizia Bovi and the art of storytelling

Singer and instrumentalist Patrizia Bovi from Ensemble Micrologus met the BRQ Media Team to talk about her musical path.

Artists we have interviewed in the past few years have told us very different stories of their discovery of early music. Patrizia Bovi had an early start, as she began to sing at the annual medieval festival of her hometown when she was just 9 years old. In spite of this, becoming an expert of medieval music was not that easy for her, because the conservatory she attended didn’t teach early music, forcing her to forge her own career path. When Micrologus was founded, it served its members as a kind of laboratory of music.

”Wherever we’ve performed, we’ve had a very strong reaction from the audience. I try to tell a story with music, so I like the concert to have a dramaturgical plan as well. The concert institution of today was only invented in the 19th century. If you can take the audience back in time, medieval music can be better understood,” Patrizia Bovi explains.

The artist’s first visit to Finland was very brief, but she’s full of new projects for the future, and hopes to make it here again.

“There is incredible music in Scandinavia, and a strong choral tradition, which is an important part of one’s education,” Patrizia Bovi told the BRQ Media Team just before being rushed off to catch her ride. It’s worth knowing that, next year, Micrologus will be on its 30-year tour, so all fans who await their return should keep their fingers crossed.

Text by Suvikki Honkkila

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