Creative Dialogue

Acequia Madre House, Santa Fe, NM

Kallio-Kuninkala, Finland


The Creative Dialogue workshop was created in 2008 to inspire young performers and composers to engage in a dialogue that benefits not only the two parties but also music life in general. Performers and composers often study in the same institutions, but seldom are they encouraged to find out how much they have to learn from each other. Apart from the immediate personal relations that result from such a dialogue, it will lead to a deeper understanding of how composer-performer friendships have affected the history of music. Anssi Karttunen, Kaija Saariaho and Magnus Lindberg conceived this workshop together with Sibelius-Academy to open new horizons and break barriers.

The Sibelius Academy, the music university of Finland invites some of the most prestigious Universities and Conservatories in the USA and Europe to send students to the Creative Dialogue. The first 6 Creative Dialogues were held at Acequia Madre House, the former Santa Fe, NM home of the Curtin-Paloheimo family. The family founded the living history museum, El Rancho de las Golondrinas and is related to the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. In 2015 the workshop was held in FInland, at the Paloheimo family's residence in Kallio-Kuninkala, Järvenpää, Finland, which is a campus of the Sibelius Academy. Creative Dialogue returned to the Acequia Madre House in 2016 and will now be held on alternate years in the two countries.

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. Listen to the concert

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. 

Improvisation workshops was also an important part of Creative Dialogue this time, instrumentalists and composers improvised together.

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 the Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan, Magnus Lindberg and Anssi Karttunen. 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 cellist 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 2008-2016:

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, composer, University of Minnesota School of Music

7.Bryan Jacobs, composer, Columbia University

8.Yoshiaki Onishi, composer, Columbia University

9.Yuan Peiying, composer, 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, Conservatoire de Geneve

16.Nina Young, composer, Sibelius Academy

17.Walter Sallinen, composer, Sibelius Academy

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

19.Gonzalo Bustos, composer, Geneva Conservatory

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

21.Mioko Yokoyama, composer, Sibelius-Academy, Helsinki

  1. 22.Ashkan Behzadi, composer, Columbia University

23.Meeri Pulakka. soprano, Sibelius Academy

24.Sinead White, soprano, McGill University

25.Will Bryan, baritone, Florida State University

26.Eirik Fosstveit, piano, Norges Musikhøgskola 

27.Auroora Lahti-Hintsala, piano, Sibelius Academy

28.Antoine Ouvrard, piano, CNSM de Paris

29.Tiffany Valvo Lopez, clarinet

30.Carlos Cordeiro, clarinet

31.Shi-Wen Fan, clarinet

32.Veera Myllyniemi, clarinet, Sibelius Academy

33.Rolf Haas, violin, University of Minnesota School of Music

34.Tuuli Talvitie, violin, Sibelius Academy

35.Lisa Romain, violin, Mannes College of Music

36.Grace Youn, violin, Butler School of Music 

37.Miguel Colom, violin, University of the Arts, Berlin

38.Yoonhee Lee, violin, Amsterdam Conservatory

39.Ester Forsberg, viola, Copenhagen Conservatory

40.Tim Hansson, viola, Sibelius Academy

41.Molly Goldman, viola, Eastman School of Music

42.David Medine, viola, University of California San Diego

43.Olga Reskalenko, viola, Sibelius Academy 

44.Hannah Collins, cello, Yale School of Music

45.Jacqueline Ludwig, cello, New England Conservatory

46.Ashley Walters cello, University of California San Diego

47.Ramiro Alvarez, cello,  University of Michigan

48.Yotam Baruch, cello,  Indiana University

49.Kacy Clopton, cello,  New England Conservatory

50.Anton Kukkonen, cello,  Sibelius Academy

51.Mariel Roberts, cello, Eastman School of Music

52.Caroline Stinson, cello, Juilliard School of Music and Drama

53.Laura Usiskin, cello, Yale School of Music

54.Hye-Yoon Choi, cello, New England Conservatory

55.Shannon Hayden, cello, Yale School of Music 

56.Francesco Mastromatteo, cello, The Butler School of Music, Univ. of Texas

57.Aleisha Verner, cello, Juilliard School of Music and Drama

58.Joel Salvo, cello, Minnesota School of Music

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

60.Nathan Harrenstein, cello, The Butler School of Music of the Univ. of Texas

61.Jaani Helander, cello, Sibelius Academy

62.Jonathan Lo, cello, Eastman School of Music

63.Mo Mo, cello, Yale School of Music

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

65.Patrick McGuire, cello, Juilliard School of Music and Drama

66.Markus Hallikainen, cello, Sibelius Academy

67.Joann Whang, cello, Yale University

68.Khari Joyner, cello, Juilliard School of Music

69.Henry Meyer, cello, Northwestern University

70.Cameron Crozman, cello, Paris Conservatory

71.Oskari Holopainen, cello, Sibelius Academy

72.Anna Litvinenko, cello, Juilliard School of Music and Drama

73.Benjamin Baker, cello, Eastman School of Music

74.Berber Heerema, cello, Royal Conservatory, The Hague

75.Sebastian Baverstam, cello, New England Conservatory

76.Frederik Blikeng, Double Bass, Norges Musikhøgskola

77.Fredrick Speer, Double Bass, McGill University, Montreal

78.Mark Appling, guitar, Eastman School of Music

79.Jakob Van Cauwenberghe, guitar, Manhattan School of Music

80.Aleksi Rajala, guitar, Sibelius Academy

81.Logan Kane, Electric Bass, UC Thornton, Los Angeles

82.Janne  Tuovinen, Electric Bass, Sibelius-Academy

Participating Universities


Guildhall School of Music

Conservatoire de Paris CNSM

Conservatoire de Geneve

Amsterdam Conservatory

Oslo Conservatory

Copenhagen Conservatory

Columbia University

Cornell University

Butler School of Music, Univ. of Texas

Eastman School of Music

Indiana University

Juilliard School of Music and Drama

McGill University

Mannes College of Music

Manhattan School of Music

New England Conservatory

Northwestern University

Yale School of Music

University of California San Diego

University of Minnesota School of Music

John Paul Jones, Magnus Lindberg and  Anssi Karttunen

FACULTY 2008-2016:

     Anssi Karttunen, 2008 - 2012, 2014 - 2016

     Kaija Saariaho, 2008, 2015

     Magnus Lindberg, 2012, 2014, 2016

     Timo Korhonen, 2011

     Chen Halevi, 2012

     Barbara Hannigan, 2014

     Tuija Hakkila, 2015

     John Paul Jones, 2016