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Sibelius Academy Folkies Win Global Music Prize

The Sibelius Academy's folk music department has become the second institution to receive the prestigious Womex Award. The Womex prize has been awarded annually for the past decade to 'world music' artists such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Mahotella Queens, as well as to Freemuse - The World Forum on Music and Censorship. From now on two awards will be handed out annually, one to an institution and one to an artist. This year's performer's prize will be announced next week. The Sibelius Academy was already world-renowned for turning out top-notch classical instrumentalists, singers, conductors, composers and teachers when it set up a folk music department in 1983. Since then more than 70 students have earned masters' degrees, one a licentiate and five doctoral degrees. Many of its students and staff have gone to international fame, including members of Värttinä, Gjallarhorn and JPP as well as Maria Kalaniemi, Kimmo Pohjonen and Wimme Saari. Womex is the leading organisation for 'world music'. Its annual gathering brings together some 3,000 performers and music industry figures from around the globe. The next event begins October 29 in Seville, Spain. This year the Finnish quartet Jouhiorkesteri ('Horse-Hair Orchestra') will appear at a showcase concert. Past conferences have hosted shows by Pohjonen and the harmonica quartet Sväng. YLE

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