Annika Lyytikäinen

About Me

Annika Lyytikäinen (b. 1995) is a Finland-Swedish clarinetist and composer 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 Helsinki Middle Eastern Orchestra, Ivor Makes Tea Quartet, FOLKLARA?! and 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 Bachelor of Music in 2018.

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.


FOLKLARA?! started as a clarinet trio in 2016 and has since then evolved into a Finnish folk clarinet phenomenon that comes together around folk music events in Finland. The original trio consists of Sanna Salonen, Heli Hartikainen and Annika Lyytikäinen.

FOLKLARA?! promotes the rich Finnish traditional (“pelimanni”) clarinet playing by gathering to concerts and workshops open to anyone interested in traditional folk clarinet playing.

My Work


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.


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!

annikalyytikainen @

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