Guide to the BRQ Vantaa Festival

Here's where you find out all about the BRQ Vantaa, read our interview with the Artistic Director and see details of all their events.
Interview

Travels: the 2017 BRQ Vantaa Festival

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola, Artistic Director of BRQ Vantaa Festival, gives us a taste of the 2017 Festival; David gives you a taste of travelling to Vantaa and Helsinki.
bachtrack trip report

Vantaa: street art

Pictures of how people in Vantaa have transformed grey concrete spaces in their city into vibrant works of art.
Biography
BRQ Vantaa Festival © Helen Metsa
BRQ Vantaa Festival
© Helen Metsa

August 5th - 12th, 2018

BRQ Vantaa is the most exciting early music festival in the Nordic and Baltic region focusing on period instruments. We love to surprise our audience and challenge them with new perspectives for Baroque music. These can include a new composition for waste treatment plant and baroque ensemble or a new instrument such as the knifonium or comments on early music from the 18th century Mandarin Imperial court or Indian classical music performed by Ms Bombay Jayashri. We encourage our audience to explore music they are unfamiliar with.

“We have a great diversity of performances for everyone from advanced listeners to children. We avoid using the same compositions over and over again to show that there still are unexplored unique experiences. The audience can associate BRQ with anything freely. We give the artists the freedom to perform how they wish and the listener the chance to enjoy music without constraints.”– says artistic director Markku Luolajan-Mikkola. The festival program ranges from medieval to contemporary music performed on period instrument.

BRQ Vantaa Festival was established in 2010 and it is cultural partner of city of Vantaa. During its short history quite many internationally-acclaimed ensembles, such as Phantasm, the Retrospect Ensemble, Micrologus, La Risonanza just a few to mention, and soloists such as Rolf Lislevand, Erich Hoeprich, Bombay Jayashri, Julia Doyle, Marianne Beate Kielland, Jan van Elsacker, Fabio Bonizzoni, Mara Galassi, Ketil Haugsand and Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch have performed and many of them returned with new programs because of our audience.

Our main venue, the neo gothic St Lawrence Church, is a magnificent meeting place for international early music. Our other venue is the modern St Lawrence Chapel with 100 seats. Its glass wall is covered with a transparent steel curtain, which offers a peaceful sight and privacy for people inside.

During the festival week we offer usually two concerts per night. Tickets can be purchased on our website in advance or at the entrance. There is a discount when attending both concerts in a night, or you can take a festival pass.

In addition to festival concerts it is possible to take a guided tour in the luxuriously spacious surroundings of our venues and enjoy the light and relaxed Finnish summer night. Casual clothing is a must during a proper Finnish summer festival and we are no exception to this rule. How to find us and where to stay?

If you are coming from abroad and land at Helsinki-Vantaa airport, we are less than 10 minutes from the airport. The most convenient is to book Sokos Hotel Vantaa and you will have a great chance to meet our festival artists, since also they stay at the very same place. From this hotel you can take buses 55 or 57, and the stop is right in front of the church. After late night concerts we organize taxis to Tikkurila railway station (practically speaking to the hotel) and the Helsinki main railway station. If you stay in Helsinki, take the regional train from the main railway station to Tikkurila and from it either bus 55 or 57.

What else to do in Vantaa? We recommend Heureka, a Finnish Science Centre with extremely interesting exhibitions and a planetarium. If you would like to spend a day outdoors, the perfect location is Kuusijärvi, a lake with saunas in the middle of a pine forest. Helsinki is only 15 km from Vantaa, and you can take the regional train from Tikkurila to visit our capital.

For full information, visit the BRQ Vantaa Festival website.

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A Finnish festival of Baroque

Besides a gateway to Helsinki, Vantaa is an important destination in itself, particularly during August where the BRQ Vantaa Festival, founded by Luolajan-Mikkola in 2010, takes place.
looking back at the 2015 festival season

Bach and beyond: BRQ Vantaa Festival

For those visiting southern Finland, the most they will see of Vantaa is the airport. And yet, Helsinki’s smaller neighbour has a lot to offer, especially for classical music lovers.