Agents and Actors: Networks in Music History

Sixth Sibelius Academy Symposium on Music History

Wednesday 3 June—Friday 5 June, 2020
Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland
Deadline for submissions: September 30, 2019

The Fifth Symposium (in June 2018) took institutionalisation as its theme in order to contribute to and clarify the ways in which they exert power, the relationships between then, and the hierarchies they establish. In the final plenary session, delegates debated a range of topics that might be given further consideration in the next symposium. The discussion largely focussed on two areas of interest – heritage and networks – and both were considered important current areas of work with which the next symposium could engage. It has been decided that the sixth symposium should concentrate on networks and music, while the seventh would focus on questions of heritage.

The Sixth Symposium on Music History will therefore focus on issues relating to agents, actors and networks and the ways in which they relate to music in order to discuss changes in focus towards more collective and complex objects of study.

Proposals for papers and group sessions are invited on any of the following topics:

  • The construction and formation of networks in music history
  • The history of networks in music from antiquity to the present
  • The power exerted by networks in music history
  • The institutionalization of networks in music
  • The theoretical underpinnings of working with networks (actor-network theory; art worlds, cultural fields, assemblages, mediation theory)
  • Close reading of musical scores against understandings of networks
  • The place of networks in diachronic and synchronic histories of music
  • The inner workings and dynamics of networks of music

The keynote speakers of the symposium are

Annegret Fauser (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, US)
Antoine Hennion (Mines ParisTech, FR)
Benjamin Piekut (Cornell University, US)

Proposal submission:
please use the link and submit your proposal for an individual presentation or a panel by September 30, 2019.
The organizing committee will be in touch no later than November 4, 2019 with the information about acceptances.

Proposal length:

  • individual presentation proposals: max 2200 characters, incl. spaces;
  • panel session proposals: max 2500 characters, incl. spaces + each panelist’s proposal 2000 characters, incl. spaces.

Contact for inquiries (no proposal submissions): networks2020(at) Symposium web page:

Liturgical Organ Music and Liturgical Organ Playing in the Long 19th Century

January 20–22, 2016

Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland


The Department of Church Music and the DocMus Doctoral School at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, invite organists, researchers, and students to take part in the conference ”Liturgical Organ Music and Liturgical Organ Playing in the Long 19th Century”, a period extending approximately from the French Revolution to the First World War.

The long 19th century was an era of transition, paradoxes, and conflict in the area of church music. While suffering from the continuing decline in the position of the church and the organ in musical life – a process well under way already in the latter half of the previous century – it also saw the birth of several reform movements relating to liturgy, organ and church music, movements that not only shaped much of the developments in the following century but also have had significant repercussions on present-day practices.

Since the long 19th century has been, until recently, largely neglected in liturgical-musical studies, probably because of its lingering association with “decadence” -inherited from 20th century reformists – we feel that it is now time for a thorough reassessment. It is our hope that the conference ”Liturgical Organ Music and Liturgical Organ Playing in the Long 19th Century” will significantly contribute to this purpose.

The conference offers a varied programme, with presentations in words and music in different formats, in addition to, among other things, reconstructed historical services and a concert with Scandinavian congregational hymns.

Invited keynote speakers include:

Prof. Dr. Michael Heinemann, Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden

Dr. Kurt Lueders, Paris


The conference language is English.

Organizing Committee:

Professor Peter Peitsalo (Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki)

Professor Sverker Jullander (Luleå University of Technology)

Professor Karin Nelson (Norwegian Academy of Music)

Lecturer Pekka Suikkanen (Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki)

Dr Per Högberg (University of Gothenburg)

Coordinator of Doctoral Studies Markus Kuikka (Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki)

MA, MMus Martti Laitinen (Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki)



Proposals are invited for papers (20 minutes presentation + 10 minutes discussion), lecture-recitals (40 minutes + 15 minutes discussion) and panel sessions (50 minutes). Topics as they relate to the main themes of the conference include, but will not be limited to:

  • purposes of organ playing in liturgy
  • dissemination of repertoire and stylistic ideals through printed collections of liturgical organ music
  • transnational and interdenominational influences
  • liturgical organ music as expression of national identity
  • folk music influences
  • liturgical organ playing as expression of power
  • performance practice issues: hymn playing, plainchant accompaniment, the impact of different organ types
  • forms, functions and models of liturgical organ improvisation
  • church music reform movements, the Bach revival, historical models, changes in liturgical ideals
  • echoes of liturgical organ practice in non-liturgical music
  • comments on liturgical organ playing in the writings of philosophers, theologians, and ecclesiastical authorities as well as in fiction
  • musical representations of aesthetic concepts such as transcendence and the sublime
  • implications of 19th century practices for today’s liturgy and liturgical organ playing.

Proposal writers are encouraged to focus on continuities, transitional phases, and processes of change in Protestant and Roman Catholic church music, as well as Nordic aspects.

Presentations will be held in the Organo Hall of the Helsinki Music Centre (, which has three organs ( one by Forster & Andrews from 1892 (III+P/29); one by Verschueren from 1994, built along the lines of North German and Dutch baroque tradition (II+P/26); and one by an unknown Italian builder from the 18th century (I/9). In addition, historical organs in nearby churches will be used during the conference, e.g., the main organ of the St. John’s Church (Johanneksenkirkko, Johanneskyrkan), built by E. F. Walcker & Co in 1891 and restored by Christian Scheffler in 2005 (III+P/66).

All proposals must include the following:

  1. an abstract of maximum 500 words, including information on the type of presentation proposed
  2. a short CV with contact information (for panel sessions, CVs for all panel members, and for lecture-recitals, CVs for all participating musicians, are required
  3. In addition, proposals for lecture-recitals must include: a detailed programme for the music to be performed (composers, work titles, composition years, opus numbers or equivalent)

Please, fill in the online submission form at the conference website and submit it as instructed. The submission time is April 10 – June 5, 2015.

All who submit proposals will be notified of the committee’s decision on acceptance by July 1, 2015.

For further information, please contact:

Peter Peitsalo, DMus, Professor, peter.peitsalo(at)

Markus Kuikka, DMus, Coordinator, markus.kuikka(at)


Doctors in Performance

The first festival conference of music performance and artistic research
University of the Arts Helsinki–Sibelius Academy
Helsinki Music Centre, Sept. 4–5, 2014
Organizer: DocMus Doctoral School

The DocMus Doctoral School at the Sibelius Academy Helsinki invites artistic research performers at doctoral and post-doctoral levels to take part in the first
festival conference of music performance and artistic research.
Keynote performers:

Laurence Dreyfus, PhD (Columbia), Diplôme Supérieur (Brussels), Hon RAM, FBA, D.Litt (Oxon)

Matti Raekallio, DMus (Sibelius Academy), Pianist, Professor at Juilliard School (NY)

Since 1988, Sibelius Academy has offered a doctoral degree through its Arts Study Program, where the main focus of study is on independent artistic work. This means that after their master’s degrees, musicians can still continue to develop the very essence of their skills—their artistic work. Through their studies, artistic doctoral students also develop their skills in the field of artistic research, but this never suppresses the artistic focus, the actual music making. The organizer of the festival conference, the DocMus Doctoral School, has for more than two decades acted as a pioneer agent in developing the artistic Doctor of Music degree in Europe.

In September 2014, doctoral students working in the fields of musical performance and practice-based or artistic research (in music; Western art music, jazz, folk music) are invited to participate in a new festival conference, Doctors in Performance. In general, conferences with an actual performance focus are rare if not non-existent. Instead of exclusively introducing paper presentations or having live performances as a curiosity or mere decoration, Doctors in Performance highlights the music itself. Therefore, each of the presentations will consist of a musical performance (solo or chamber music) of 40 minutes maximum. The performance can take the form of a recital or a concert lecture. The music performed is expected to include or relate closely to the contents of the doctoral degree the student is pursuing. Those who have already achieved their doctoral degrees can focus on their postdoctoral topics. A paper presentation on artistic research (20 minutes maximum) is also possible in the auditorium sessions (only an upright piano will be available).

Forms for presentations:

a) recital, 40’ (+ 10’ discussion)
b) concert lecture, 40’ (+ 10’ discussion)
c) paper presentation, 20’(+ 5’ discussion)

Doctors in Performance will offer three halls for recitals and an auditorium for paper presentations. See links about the available halls:

The Camerata Hall of Helsinki Music Centre
The Organo Hall of Helsinki Music Centre (organ, harpsichord available)
The Black Box of Helsinki Music Centre
The Auditorium of Helsinki Music Centre

A grand piano, three organs and a harpsichord are available for performers. Also a limited set of percussion instruments will be available. The festival prefers programmes with small percussion sets.

Conference proceedings for Doctors in Performance will be published in advance on the conference website and in print. This will serve as a concert programme as well as provide background information about the participants and their research topics. The applicants are therefore encouraged to include written comments discussing how their artistic and other research work support each other and towards which common goal they are directed.
The proposal must be accompanied by

– a detailed program of the recital (not more than 40 minutes): composers, work titles, composition years, opus numbers)
– a written summary of the student’s doctoral degree studies and research topics (500 words maximum)
– curriculum vitae and contact information
– equipment needed for performances and presentations (all instruments, data projectors, etc.)

Please, fill in the on-line submission form and submit it as instructed in the conference site. The submission time is 15th January – 1st March 2014. The link to the site is here.

The proposals will be peer-reviewed anonymously. Successful contributors will be notified via email by 1st May 2014.

Organising Committee

Kari Kurkela, Vice Dean of Sibelius Academy
Tuire Kuusi, Director of the DocMus Doctoral School, Sibelius Academy
Annikka Konttori-Gustafsson, Assistant Director of the DocMus Doctoral School, Sibelius Academy
Anne Sivuoja-Kauppala, Professor of of Performance Research, DocMus Doctoral School, Sibelius Academy
Kati Hämäläinen, Assistant Professor, DocMus Doctoral School, Sibelius Academy
Margit Rahkonen, Lecturer in Piano Music, DocMus Doctoral, School Sibelius Academy
Anu Vehviläinen, Assistant Professor, DocMus Doctoral School, Sibelius Academy
Markus Kuikka, Coordinator of Advanced Study, DocMus Doctoral School, Sibelius Academy

For further information, please contact:

Anu Vehviläinen, DMus, Pianist, Assistant Professor, anu(at)
Markus Kuikka, DMus, Doctoral Study Coordinator, markus.kuikka(at)