Creative Dialogue

Acequia Madre House, Santa Fe, NM

Kallio-Kuninkala, Finland


26th June to 7th August 2024 in Wanantaka Manor near Helsinki. Faculty: Julian Anderson, composer, Chen Halevi, clarinet and Anssi Karttunen, strings.

Now also: Creative Dialogue France

Anssi Karttunen, Kaija Saariaho and Magnus Lindberg conceived Creative Dialogue together with Sibelius-Academy in 2007. The ambition of the Creative Dialogue is to inspire young performers and composers to engage in a dialogue that benefits not only the two parties but the music life in general.  The workshop brings young performers and composers as close as possible to the moment of creation. In the Conservatories and Music Schools musicians learn most of the important aspects of their profession from their teachers, but the area of learning from each other during the process of creation is often not addressed enough. This is why Creative Dialogue seems so necessary to us. 

The composer participants bring scetches which are revised, finished and performed together during the workshop. The performers also work on pieces by the faculty composers together with the composers and the faculty members. Everyone, including the composers take part in the improvisation workshops. All the technical, artistic and emotional challenges are solved together under the supervision of the more experienced colleagues and all pieces that are worked on will be performed at the final concert.

Our participants come from around the world recommended by their teachers, we don't hold auditions. We look for musicians who are talented but who don't necessarily yet know themselves that their lives might be changed by new music.

The workshop is very intense and gives the participants an immersion into the creative process. The role of the faculty is not to be teachers, they are available to share their experience with the young musicians in a practical situation. Learning to understand the minds of the composers helps to imagine how the minds of historical composers worked. The composers learn what is important in communicating their ideas to performers. Creastive Dialogue has always been an eye-opening experience for all participants, most of them find their musical lives forever widened, many new collaborations and ensembles have been created thanks to Creative Dialogue.

Creative Dialogue XIV in Kallio Kuninkala, Järvenpää, Finland 29.6. - 9.7. 4 composers, 4 Kantele players and 6 string players from around the world will come together with the British composer Julian Anderson, Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen and Finnish Kantele player Eija Kankaanranta. Composers wrote pieces for strings and kantele, kokle and kankles, instrumentalists played repertoire pieces by Julian Anderson and Kaija Saariaho. An extraodinary improvisation group of all the participants performed. For the first time all the Baltic countries were represented in instruments and musicians. All the pieces worked during the workshop were at the final concert at the Musiikkitalo, Helsinki on the 8th of July. The workshop and concert were dedicated to Kaija Saariaho.

Creative Dialogue XIII took place 5-14 July 2022 at Acequia Madre House, Santa Fe, NM. 4 composers, 4 pianists and 5 string players worked together with Magnus Lindberg, Anssi Karttunen and Joonas Ahonen. Composers wrote piano trios which were finished and rehearsed during the workshop, instrumentalists played pieces for piano and strings by Magnus Lindberg. Improvisation and visits to the numerous cultural landmarks were as usual an important part of the workshop. The final concert took place on the 14th of July at the St. Francis Auditorium, Santa Fe.

Creative Dialogue XII Online The workshop couldn't take place in Santa Fe as announced because of the Coronavirus restrictions. Instead, we took the opportunity to organize an online workshop where, apart from this year's participants we invited all those who had been to the Creative Dialogue in the past. Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg and Anssi Karttunen worked on new pieces and shared experiences.

Creative Dialogue XI again took place at Kallio-Kuninkala in Finland. 4 composers, 4 singers and 6 string players worked together with Kaija Saariaho, Anssi Karttunen and Daniel Belcher. The composers wrote pieces for voice and strings and the performers played pieces for voices and strings by Kaija Saariaho. As usual, an improvisation workshop and performance was also an important part of the workshop as was the visit to the cultural landmarks aroung Kallio-Kuninkala. The final concert took place in the Camerata Hall at the Music Centre, Helsinki on the 25th of August.

Creative Dialogue X took place July 17-26 2018 in Santa Fe, NM. The faculty was Anssi Karttunen, cello, Magnus Lindberg, composition and David Poissonnier, sound design. The focus of the workshop was on compositions for strings and live electronics. The final concert of this 10th anniversary Creative Dialogue was part of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and took place at the St. Francis Auditorium on July 26th at 6pm.

Creative Dialogue IX took place in Kallio-Kuninkala, Finland from 28th of August to 5th of September 2017. This time the faculty was Kaija Saariaho, Anssi Karttunen and the French sound engineer David Poissonnier. The focus of this years workshop was music for string instruments and electronics. The 5 participating composers wrote pieces for various string ensembles and electronics for the 3 violinists, 2 viola players and 3 cellists attending. The String players each prepared a work by Kaija Saariaho with electronics. The final concert took place at the Black Box of the Music Centre in Helsinki on the 5th of September at 3pm.

Creative Dialogue VIII took place 19th-28th June 2016 in Santa Fe, NM. Magnus Lindberg and Anssi Karttunen were joined on the faculty by the Led Zeppelin legend, multi-instrumentalist and composer John Paul Jones. The final concert was held at the St. Francis Auditorium, Santa Fe on the 28th of June. The composer participants wrote pieces for different combinations of low string instruments (3 cellos, 2 double bass and 2 electric bass). The cellists and double bass players shared Magnus's Partia for solo cello, The double bass players transcribed together with Magnus Coranto and Boria. Magnus's Etude I was also be played in a new version by Anssi Karttunen for 5 cellos and 2 double basses. Listen to the concert Improvisation workshops were also an important part of Creative Dialogue this time, instrumentalists and composers improvised together during the week and in the concert.

Creative Dialogue VII was held January 31st to February 7th, 2015 in Kallio-Kuninkala, Tuusula, Finland. Kaija Saariaho was again on the faculty together with Anssi Karttunen and the Finnish pianist Tuija Hakkila. The participants were invited from many of the top European and US conservatories. The young composers wrote pieces for piano and strings. The final concert was at the Music Centre in Helsinki on the 7th of February as part of the festival Musica nova Helsinki and included the student compositions as well as some of Kaija Saariaho's most recent works for strings and piano. 

Creative Dialogue VI in 2014 was led by Magnus Lindberg and Anssi Karttunen with the Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan. The workshop took place 3rd-11th July, with a concert at the St. Francis Auditorium on July 11th. The participating composers wrote pieces for voices and string instruments and the performers worked on Magnus Lindberg's pieces and pieces for voice and strings by Kaija Saariaho, Peter Lieberson and Harrison Birtwistle.

Creative Dialogue V took place 17-24th July 2012, it was led jointly by Anssi Karttunen, Magnus Lindberg and the Israeli clarinetist Chen Halevi. The instrumentalists played solo and chamber pieces by Magnus Lindberg (with the composer on the piano) and the composers were invited to write pieces for cellos and clarinets, which were all prepared for a concert at the St. Francis Auditorium, this time once again part of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Creative Dialogue IV was a workshop for cellists. This time Anssi Karttunen worked with six cellists on a special project, the Mystery Variations, a series of pieces by 31 composer-friends of Karttunen, written for his 50th birthday. Each participant played 3-6 of the pieces among which were 21 US premieres. The very well attended and enthusiastically received concert took place again at the St. Francis Auditorium.

In the 2010 Creative Dialogue III, Anssi Karttunen and the Finnish Guitarist Timo Korhonen led a group of 5 cellists and 3 guitar players in a workshop of new solo and chamber pieces and improvisation. The repertoire was centered on composers Karttunen and Korhonen have personally worked with, one of the highlights of the final concert was a group improvisation of all the students.

Creative Dialogue II, in 2009, was led by Anssi Karttunen and the participants were 7 cellists who worked on a repertoire of new solo cello pieces and pieces for cello ensembles. Parts of the repertoire were worked with composers, the late Peter Lieberson was present; Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg and Pablo Ortiz worked with the players via the internet.

Creative Dialogue I in 2008 was a workshop for composers and string players. The Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and cellist Anssi Karttunen led the workshop. The string players - 2 violinists, 2 violists and 3 cellists - also worked on solo pieces by Kaija Saariaho. The composers wrote pieces specially for the ensembles of string players available, pieces were rehearsed and revised every afternoon and performed in the final concert, which was organised in collaboration with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.




ALUMNI 2008-2022:

1.Matthew Barnson, composer, Juilliard School of Music and Drama

2.Ben Hackbarth, composer, University of California San Diego

3.Jouni Hirvelä, composer, Sibelius Academy

4.Pasi Lyytikäinen, composer, Sibelius Academy

5.Schuyler Tsuda, composer, University of Minnesota School of Music

6.Andrew Bergmann, composition, University of Minnesota School of Music

7.Bryan Jacobs, composition. Columbia University

8.Yoshiaki Onishi, composition, Columbia University

9.Yuan Peiying, composition, Cornell University

10. Zosha Di Castri, composer, Columbia University

11. Loren Loiacano, composer, Cornell University

12.Taylor Brook, composer, Columbia University

13. Juhani Vesikkala, composer, Sibelius Academy

14.Cecile Marti. composer, Guildhall School of Music 

15. Artur Akshelyan, composer, HEM Genève

16.Nina Young, composer, Columbia University

17.Walter Sallinen, composer, Sibelius Academy

18.Jacob Landau, composer, Juilliard School of Music and Drama

19.Gonzalo Bustos, composer, HEM Genève

20.Joseph Howard, composer, Royal Academy of Music, London

21. Mioko Yokoyama, composer Sibeius-Academy, Helsinki

22.Ashkan Behzadi, composer, Columbia University

23.Nuño Fernández, composer, Sibelius Academy

24.David Bird, composer, Columbia University, New Tork

25.Sophya Polevaya, composer, Royal Academy of Music, London

  1. 26.Jonas Skaarud, composer, Norwegian Music University, Oslo

  2. 27.Kaspar Querfurth, composer, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London

  3. 28.Conor Brown, composer, University of Colorado/Boulder

  4. 29.Heidi Hassinen, composer, Sibelius Academy

  5. 30.Grant Luhmann, composer, Yale School of Music     

  6. 31.Onur Yildirim, composer, Columbia University

  7. 32.Keting Sun, composer, Royal Academy, London

  8. 33.William Dougherty, composer, Columbia University

  9. 34.Matteo Gualandi, composer, HEM Genève

  10. 35.Sampo Kasurinen, composer, composer Sibelius Academy

  11. 36.Michael Kropf, composer, University of Michigan

  12. 37.Benjamin Morris, composer, University of Boulder, Colorado

  13. 38.Edo Frenkel, composer, Eastman School of Music

  14. 39.Aslıhan Keçebaşoğlu, composer, Sibelius Academy

  15. 40.Parker Callister, composer, Eastman School of Music

  16. 41.Alfredo Cabrera, composer, Unversity of Michigan

  17. 42.Tara Valkonen, composer, Sibelius Academy

  18. 43.Uri Kochavi, composer, Columbia University

  19. 44.Jorge Care, composer, HEM Geneva

  20. 45.Fjola Evans, composer Columbia University

  21. 46.Toby Anderson, composer, Royal Academy of Music

  22. 47.Otto Nuoranne, composer Sibelius Academy

  23. 48.Meeri Pulakka. soprano, Sibelius Academy

  24. 49.Sinead White, soprano, McGill University

  25. 50.Will Bryan, baritone, Florida State University

  26. 51.Erin Hogson, soprano

  27. 52.Ema Nikolovska, mezzo-soprano, Guildhall School

  28. 53.Thomas Zimmermann, tenor

  29. 54.Eriv Viñas, baritone

  30. 55.Eirik Fosstveit, piano, Norges Musikhøgskola 

  31. 56.Auroora Lahti-Hintsala, piano, Sibelius Academy

  32. 57.Antoine Ouvrard, piano, Conservatoire de Paris

  33. 58.Lambis Pavlou, piano, Sibelius Academy

  34. 59.Jixue Yang, piano, Manhattan School of Music

  35. 60.Katelyn Vahala, piano, USC Thornton School of Music

  36. 61.Iivari Aalto, piano, Sibelius Academy

  37. 62.Kiia Nordlund, piano, Sibelius Academy

  38. 63.Paul Williamson, piano, Colburn School

  39. 64.Ignacio Ojeda Romero, piano, Manhattan School of Music

  40. 65.Tiffany Valvo Lopez, clarinet

  41. 66.Carlos Cordeiro, clarinet

  42. 67.Shi-Wen Fan, clarinet

  43. 68.Veera Myllyniemi, clarinet, Sibelius Academy

  44. 69.Rolf Haas, violin, University of Minnesota School of Music

  45. 70.Tuuli Talvitie, violin, Sibelius Academy

  46. 71.Lisa Romain, violin, Mannes College of Music

  47. 72.Grace Youn, violin, Butler School of Music

  48. 73.Miguel Colom, violin, University of the Arts, Berlin

  49. 74.Yoonhee Lee, violin, Amsterdam Conservatory

  50. 75.Wendy Toh, violin, Eastman School of Music, Rochester

  51. 76.Danielle Daoukayeva, violin, Royal Conservatory, Hague

  52. 77.Onni Toikka, violin, Taideyliopiston Sibelius Akatemia

  53. 78.Holly Workman, violin,  Eastman School of Music

  54. 79.Chandler Yu, violin, Colburn School of Music

  55. 80.Karolina Walarowska, violin

  56. 81.Raina Arnett, violin,  Eastman School of Music

  57. 82.Tiffany Kang, violin, Colburn School

  58. 83.Barak Schossberger, violin, Eastman School of music

  59. 84.Sirkku Helin, violin, Sibelius Academy

  60. 85.Asher Wulfman, violin, UCSC Thornton

  61. 86.Reina Yoshioka, violin, University of Arts, Vienna

  62. 87.Jennifer Gersten, violin, Oslo Conservatory

  63. 88.Ester Forsberg, viola, Copenhagen Conservatory

  64. 89.Tim Hansson, viola, Sibelius Academy

  65. 90.Molly Goldman, viola, Eastman School of Music

  66. 91.David Medine, viola, University of California San Diego

  67. 92.Olga Reskalenko, viola, Sibelius Academy 

  68. 93.Danika Paskvan, viola, Juilliard School of Music and Drama

  69. 94.Zane Sturme, viola, Det Konglige Danske Musikkonservatorium

  70. 95.Julien Altmann, viola, McGill University

  71. 96.Katie McKay, viola, Manhattan School of Music

  72. 97.Jordan Bak, viola, Juilliard School

  73. 98.Laura Paakkari, viola, Sibelius Academy

  74. 99.Steven Tse, viola, New England Conservatory

  75. 100. Elijah Spies, viola, Basel Academy of Music

  76. 101. Kristjan Kannukene, viola, Estonian Music Academy

  77. 102. Hannah Collins, cello, Yale School of Music

  78. 103.Jacqueline Ludwig, cello, New England Conservatory

  79. 104. Ashley Walters cello, University of California San Diego

  80. 105. Ramiro Alvarez, cello, University of Michigan

  81. 106. Yotam Baruch, cello, Indiana University

  82. 107. Kacy Clopton, cello, New England Conservatory

  83. 108. Anton Kukkonen, cello, Sibelius Academy

  84. 109. Mariel Roberts, cello, Eastman School of Music

  85. 110. Caroline Stinson, cello, Juilliard School of Music and Drama

  86. 111. Laura Usiskin, cello, Yale School of Music

  87. 112. Hye-Yoon Choi, cello, New England Conservatory

  88. 113. Shannon Hayden, cello, Yale School of Music 

  89. 114. Francesco Mastromatteo, cello, The Butler School of Music

  90. 115. Aleisha Verner, cello, Juilliard School of Music and Drama

  91. 116. Joel Salvo, cello, Minnesota School of Music

  92. 117. Hannah Addario-Berry, cello, Friends of Sibelius Academy grant 

  93. 118. Nathan Harrenstein, cello, The Butler School of Music (Univ. of Texas)

  94. 119. Jaani Helander, cello, Sibelius Academy

  95. 120. Jonathan Lo, cello, Eastman School of Music

  96. 121. Mo Mo, cello, Yale School of Music

  97. 122. Oleksa Mucyk, cello, Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University

  98. 123. Patrick McGuire, cello, Juilliard School of Music and Drama

  99. 124. Markus Hallikainen, cello, Sibelius Academy

  100. 125. Joann Whang, cello, Yale University

  101. 126. Khari Joyner, cello, Juilliard School of Music

  102. 127. Henry Meyer, cello, Northwestern University

  103. 128. Cameron Crozman, cello, Paris Conservatory

  104. 129. Oskari Holopainen, cello, Sibelius Academy

  105. 130. Anna Litvinenko, cello, Juilliard School of Music and Drama

  106. 131. Benjamin Baker, cello, Eastman School of Music

  107. 132. Berber Heerema, cello, Royal Conservatory, The Hague

  108. 133. Sebastian Baverstam, cello, New England Conservatory

  109. 134. Juan Sebastian Delgado, cello, McGill University, Montreal

  110. 135. Ayano Kanimura, cello, Hochschule für Musik, Basel

  111. 136. Laura Martin, cello, Sibelius Academy

  112. 137. Aaron Wolff, cello, Juilliard School of Music and Drama

  113. 138. Sirja Nironen, cello, The Sibelius Academy

  114. 139. Karine Helene Slåtterbekk, cello , Norwegian Academy of Music

  115. 140. Adele Xiang, cello ,Sibelius Academy

  116. 141. Coleman Itzkoff,cello, Juilliard School of Music

  117. 142. Shulamit Sarid, cello, McGill University

  118. 143. Joshua Morris, cello MsGill University

  119. 144. Derek Louie, cello, Julilliard School of music

  120. 145. Emilija Rozensteina, cello, Sibelius Academy

  121. 146. Connor Kim, cello, Juilliard School of Music

  122. 147. Frederik Blikeng, Double Bass, Royal Conservatory, Oslo

  123. 148. Fredrick Speer, Double Bass, McGill University, Montreal

  124. 149. Brett Armstrong, Double Bass, University of Colorado/Boulder

  125. 150. Mark Appling, guitar, Eastman School of Music

  126. 151. Jakob Van Cauwenberghe, guitar, Manhattan School of Music

  127. 152. Aleksi Rajala, guitar, Sibelius Academy

  128. 153. Logan Kane, Electric Bass, UC Thornton, Los Angeles

  129. 154. Janne  Tuovinen, Electric Bass, Sibelius-Academy

  130. 155. Makiko Oba, kantele, Sibelius Academy

  131. 156. Nea Wunsch, kantele, Sibelius Academy

  132. 157. Kristine Tukre, kokle, Riga Conservatory

  133. 158. Gabija Tatlauskaite, kankles, Vilnius Conservatory

Participating Universities


Amsterdam Conservatory

CNSM, Conservatoire de Paris

Copenhagen Conservatory

Guildhall School of Music

HEM de Genève

Colburn School of Music

Columbia University

Cornell University

Eastman School of Music

Indiana University

Juilliard School of Music and Drama

McGill University

Mannes School of Music

Manhattan School of Music

New England Conservatory

Norwegian Academy of Music

Northwestern University

Riga Conservatory

Royal Academy of Music (London)

Royal Conservatory, The Hague

Tallinn Conservatory

University of California San Diego

USC Thornton School of Music

University of Minnesota School of Music

University of Michigan

Univ. of Texas, Butler School of Music

Vilnius Conservatory

Yale School of Music

FACULTY 2008-2017:

     Anssi Karttunen, 2008 - 2012, 2014 - 2024

     Kaija Saariaho, 2008, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020

     Magnus Lindberg, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2022

     Julian Anderson, 2023, 2024

     Timo Korhonen, 2011

     Chen Halevi, 2012, 2024

     Barbara Hannigan, 2014

     Tuija Hakkila, 2015

     John Paul Jones, 2016

     David Poissonnier, 2017, 2018

     Daniel Belcher, 2019

     Joonas Ahonen, 2022

     Eija Kankaanranta, 2023