Aurore 2020 Explores the English Renaissance

The theme of Aurore – Helsinki Renaissance Music Festival 2020 is English music. In England, the 16th century was a period of relative domestic peace after decades of civil war. As a result thereof, but also of the emerging colonialism, the nation grew steadily more affluent. A fair amount of internal strife was nevertheless present in the form of religious conflict, and war was waged against foreign powers on land and at sea. Musically, the period was fuelled by a magnificent and uniquely flavoured tradition of sacred and secular music in cathedrals and at court.

This rich tradition is presented at the festival by prominent Finnish artists and ensembles, as well as by the visiting Estonian vocal ensemble Heinavanker – which, in addition to English music, also highlights the popular traditions of sacred song in Estonia.

The four concerts at the Aurore Festival illuminate different aspects of English renaissance music. The opening concert on Thursday, Plots and Intrigues, takes us to the era of the Tudors and Elizabeth I, a period which, despite political unrest, was a golden age for arts and music. On Friday, we move backwards in history, to the late 15th century, hearing music from the celebrated Eton Choir Book. In their concert Line of Beauty, the I Dodici vocal ensemble presents music which constitutes a culmination of the art in catholic England.

On Saturday, the Estonian ensemble Heinavanker visit the festival with their concert Cathedrals and Cottages, presenting liturgical music by Taverner, Frye and Tallis, alternated with spiritual folk hymns from Estonia.

The final concert on Sunday, Shakespeare’s Playlist, brings the English journey to a conclusion with a repertoire of madrigals from the brief, but intense flourishing of this genre in England in the decades around 1600.

All concerts in the Festival take place in the architecturally and acoustically magnificent church of St. Paul in Vallila, Helsinki. 45 minutes before each concert, audiences have an opportunity to meet the artists, hear a short presentation of the evening’s repertoire and instruments, and enjoy a cup of coffee.


St. Paul’s Church


St. Paul’s Church (Paavalinkirkko), Sammatintie 5, Helsinki, is easily accessible by trams number 6 and 8 as well as a number of busses. See Reittiopas for connections.


Tickets are available in Aurore’s online box office and an hour in advance at the door (payment by card preferred).

  • single concert €25/20
  • festival pass €60/45

You can also purchase tickets at Lippupiste, who charge an additional service fee.

Aurore – Helsinki Renaissance Music Fair is organised by
Renessanssimusiikkia Paavalinkirkossa ry.

VAT ID FI25853317
Co. Sanna-Maarit Hakkarainen
Fredrikinkatu 31 A 1 • 00120 Helsinki • Finland