The career of singer-professor Mirjam Helin (1911-2006) began at the Viipuri Conservatory of Music and, following her debut performance in 1938, went on to encompass countless international aria and oratorio concerts and a long tenure at the Sibelius Academy in Finland. Teaching was to be her chief artistic passion. Indeed, she counts as one of the foremost Finnish vocal pedagogues and made a significant contribution to the development of teaching methodology in her field.
It was Mirjam Helin’s long-held dream to establish an internationally renowned singing competition in Finland. She finally made her dream into a reality in 1981, with the creation of the Mirjam and Hans Helin fund. Profits from the fund are used to organise the International Mirjam Helin Singing Competition every five years. At the time of making her donation, Mirjam Helin expressed her wish to experience the first competition, organised in 1984. All in all, she came to see a total of five Mirjam Helin International Singing Competitions.
Always keen to support the talented young artists who participated in the competition, Mirjam Helin would travel the world to hear their performances and engaging in active correspondence.