Maija Karhinen-Ilo graduated as a Doctor of Music from the Sibelius Academy in 2016, on the subject of ballads and multidisciplinary musicianship. She has studied Finnish ballads tradition extensively, and approached it from the perspective of a performer, experimenting with different forms of performance. She’s been inspired by the versatile medieval leikari-musicians, scandinavian ballad dancing and modern international ballad music. Karhinen-Ilo has a strong pedagogic working history, and she’s working as an assistant principal to Käpylä School of Music’s folk music department. She performs with the band Freija, and solo with her own ballad-programme.