New commissions for period instruments, fresh interpretations of old repertoire, courageous and innovative working methods, unique concepts that engage a diverse audience – FiBO offers all this while being an influential force in the Nordic cultural scene.
The Finnish Baroque Orchestra (FiBO) has been both an innovator and leader in the early music scene since its inception in 1989. FiBO’s wide-ranging repertoire and collaborative spirit have elevated the orchestra beyond standard repertoire and organisational models, taking advantage of the tight-knit network of musicians worldwide to position itself as both a world-class ensemble as well as a bridge-builder among festivals, concert organisers, and other ensembles. As FiBO’s name suggests, the ensemble’s repertoire is grounded in Baroque music, but ongoing revelations in historical performance research encourage the orchestra to broaden its horizons to both much earlier and much later music. This includes everything from Medieval music to performing Jean Sibelius on period instruments, as well as a wide variety of newly commissioned works for period instruments from composers such as Jukka Tiensuu, Perttu Haapanen, Sarah Nemtsov and Ville Raasakka. FiBO is the orchestra in residence at the historic House of Nobility in Helsinki, Finland and tours widely across Finland and abroad. The orchestra’s work has not gone unnoticed; in addition to press notoriety, FiBO has received awards such as the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s Finnish Musical Act of the Year and Disc of the Year.
FiBO’s innovation also extends beyond the stage to its ever-developing structure. Founded initially as the Sixth Floor Orchestra, it has played an essential role in the emergence of the early music movement in Northern Europe. From its humble beginnings, it has become a versatile ensemble of freelance musicians, presenting an extraordinarily diverse range of performances every season. FiBO is an orchestra for musicians run by musicians. At the head is the artistic board, composed of the executive manager and two artistic planners chosen from among the FiBO members. The orchestra specialises in unique and innovative collaboration and cooperation. From its work as an artistic partner in the Helsinki Model to building a unique network of Nordic Baroque ensembles called the Nordic Baroque Scene, as well as partnerships with festivals and ensembles in countries such as Poland, Germany and Canada, FiBO is changing the international landscape for period ensembles.
FiBO’s discography reflects the orchestra’s versatility and, true to form, many are published on the orchestra’s own label, FiBO Records. Two of the most recent recordings are “Moramoramor” (2017), which contains some of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Brandenburg concertos”, Antonio Vivaldi’s concertos and Jukka Tiensuu’s “Mora”, and “Helsinki Window” (2019), which features newly composed works for period instruments by Jukka Tiensuu, Perttu Haapanen and Sarah Nemtsov. In 2023, FiBO Records will release a recording of the “The World is Born” programme, combining early Baroque and Finnish folk music. FiBO also records for other labels, including Alpha, Ondine, Alba and BIS. The most recent release (from early 2021) with soloist Ilya Gringolts, entitled “Il labirinto armonico”, features three violin concertos by Pietro Antonio Locatelli and has received rave reviews as well as international recognition, including Gramophone Editor’s Choice (March 2021) and Diapason d’Or (May 2021).
from the performance of Händel’s Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno