Helsinki Klezmer Festival

The Helsinki Klezmer Festival takes place every three years.


The Helsinki Klezmer Festival concerts will take place in Helsinki Synagogue 10.11.-13.11.2019.

The performers come from Germany, Latvia, Denmark, England, and the USA. Expect traditional Klezmer music but with a modern touch. The Festival opens on Sunday 10.11.2019 with a film, Veden peili, by Rax Rinnekangas at Kino Engel.

The Festival program includes the film, concerts, and a master course. It will help spread knowledge of the Yiddish language in Finland and familiarity with a minority culture through dance and music.

The Finnish Klezmer Association and Helsinki Klezmer Festival have been pioneers in making klezmer-music known in Finland.

Festival events

Sunday 10.11.2019 at 16.00, film Veden peili at Kino Engel

Hannu-Pekka Björkman portrays a photographer who is released from psychiatric care. He arrives to wintry Venice and begins to recount his life to the spirit of poet Joseph Brodsky. For the Nobel laureate Brodsky, Venice was “the second Leningrad,” to which he returned again and again from his exile in the United States. Kalle Holmberg plays the photographer’s father, a researcher in Helsinki University who during the World War II had reported Jews from his neighborhood to the Nazis.

Before the film, there is a panel discussion at 15.00 with the director of the film, Rax Rinnekangas and producer, director Taru Mäkelä.

The concerts

10.11.2019 at 19.00, Helsinki synagogue, Mames Babegenush
11.11.2019 at 19.00, Helsinki synagogue, Alan Bern, Sveta Kundish and Mark Kovnatski
12.11.2019 at 19.00, Helsinki synagogue, Voices of Ashkenaz
13.11.2019 at 19.00, Helsinki synagogue, Semer Ensemble

10.11.-13.11. a Klezmer jam session will always follow the concerts at Papa Albert ristorante.

The courses

During the Festival, a dance course will be held at the Sibelius Academy, taught by Andreas Schmitges, as well as a singing course, taught by Michael Albert and violin course by Deborah Straus.

Tuesday 12.11.
9.30-11.30 dance
9.30-11.30 violin
Wednesday 13.11.
13-15 dance
12-14 violin
klo 14-16 singing
Thursday 14.11.
12.-14.00 singing
Price per course per day 20€. Registration by email

Changes in the program are possible.

Eva Jacob
Artistic Director
Helsinki Klezmer Festival