Annika Lyytikäinen (b. 1995) is a Finland-Swedish clarinetist, composer and folk musician who’s artistic work is based on Nordic and Jewish traditional music. Mastering several European clarinet styles, she is not only an expert in folk clarinet playing, but also a versatile ensemble member, composer and educator.
In 2014 Annika co-founded the duo Aléa together with kantele player Aurora Visa. Besides Aléa Annika also regularly performs with the projects Kymen Biisiuittamo, Helsinki Klezmer Kapelye and Helsinki Middle Eastern Orchestra. Previously she has played in a number of other ensembles, such as the Finnish folk clarinet trio FOLKLARA?! and the SibA Folk Big Band.
Annika teaches students of all abilities in Helsinki. She also gives workshops in folk clarinet playing, Finnish folk music and klezmer at festivals, schools and other institutions.
Annika graduated from the Sibelius Academy (University of the Arts Helsinki) as a Master of Music in 2021, majoring in Folk Music. For her Master’s Recital, she composed the work Höra for clarinet and string quartet, which brings to life the organic synthesis of clarinet traditions from near and far.
Ensembles & projects
Aléa is a duo founded by kantele player Aurora Visa and Annika Lyytikäinen in 2014. Aléa plays traditional Nordic dance music arranged in their own style as well as original compositions that will get your feet tapping.
Aléa has performed at many of the major Finnish folk festivals as well as in a number of European venues. Besides traditional concerts Aléa also reaches out to new audiences by giving workshops and doing school concert tours.
Helsinki Middle Eastern Orchestra
The Helsinki Middle Eastern Orchestra is a 25-piece orchestra founded in early 2019 by its creative leader Ali Haithem.
The Middle Eastern Orchestra plays new arrangements of a broad variety of Middle Eastern music and is the first of its kind in Finland. An unique aspect of the orchestra is its multiculturality, consisting of professional musicians from 10-15 different cultural backgrounds.
Kymen Biisiuittamo is a project that through music explores the meaning and importance of home and locality in a modern world. The trio consists of three young, professional folk musicians from the Kymenlaakso area in South-Eastern Finland, who together aim to reinvent the local music of their home region through varying musical experiments.
Apart from Annika, the musicians of Kymen Biisiuittamo are Viola Uotila (kantele) and Saija Penttilä (double bass).
I perform in a number of ensembles at concerts, festivals and private events around Finland and Europe. Besides mastering several traditional European clarinet styles I also play the piano and ethnic clarinet instruments. I am also currently working on a solo project as a solo clarinet player.
Teaching and giving workshops has always been a natural part of my musicianship. Currently I teach private students in clarinet and piano playing in the Helsinki area. I also give workshops, sometimes with my duo partner Aurora Visa, about Nordic folk music and dance, Finland-Swedish folk repertoire and klezmer.
I also am an active composer and my compositions and arrangements can be heard in most of the projects I play in. Besides my own projects I also compose for other instruments and ensembles. Stylistically my work as a composer naturally draws from my musical background in the Northern and Eastern European folk music traditions as well as from Western classical music.
Do you want to start playing the clarinet? Do you already know the basics about your instrument but would love to learn folk music repertoire? Or do you need help before applying to further studies?
I teach students of all abilities in the Helsinki area and around the globe via Zoom. During the lessons, we can for instance focus on:
- Folk clarinet styles
- Classical clarinet technique
- Piano playing
- Nordic folk music
- Writing own tunes
Get in touch
Want to hear some folky clarinet playing at your venue or festival? In need of a performer to your family or business event? Interested in clarinet or piano lessons? Get in touch!
anlyytik @ gmail.com