Breaking: #Metoo hits Sibelius

Breaking: #Metoo hits Sibelius


norman lebrecht

February 18, 2020

This week’s edition of the Finnish magazine Image carries a major investigation into sexual harrassment at the prestigious Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

The author, Sonja Saarikoski, herself a former Sibelius student, has collected 20 testimonies of teacher-student harrassment.

None of them is named. Some are alleged to have been underage.

Sonja Saarikoski argues that sexual exploitation is part of the culture at the academy, which is probably the world’s #1 destination for conducting students and among the top for strings.

The Academy, part of Helsinki’s University of the Arts, says it will investigate.

A little bit more here (in Finnish).


  • Charles says:

    I am bemused when you hear an institution says they will investigate these matters. Surely the response should be, we have contacted the Police to raise these issues? If there is a sexual component to any these stories, it should not be the institution’s decision when they will involve the authorities. It should be immediate.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    Another misleading SD title. Should be “….Sibelius Academy”. So we don’t think of anything posthumous

    • Gustavo says:

      This is how Aino put it:

      “I am happy that I have been able to live by his side. I feel that I have not lived for nothing. I do not say that it has always been easy – one has had to repress and control one’s own wishes – but I am very happy. I bless my destiny and see it as a gift from heaven. To me my husband’s music is the word of God – its source is noble, and it is wonderful to live close to such a source.”

    • Bruce says:

      But if it didn’t sound titillating and/or potentially shocking, it wouldn’t get as many clicks — which is the truly important thing.

      That said, I’ve gotten so accustomed to the SD style that I barely even notice it anymore. The habit of dismissing the headline, and — possibly — clicking on the story to see what it’s actually about, has become just that, a habit.

      In a way, it’s like doing a crossword puzzle (the American kind), where the clue “made the bed” may lead you to think of housework or carpentry, and then the answer turns out to be “gardened.”

  • Mike Schachter says:

    It is clear that institutions like this are endemically abusive. We may yet hear of one that isn’t

  • Gustavo says:

    Remember? Maestra lack balls.

    Urgent need for a closer look.