Estonia is near Finland, but Estonian and Finnish contemporary music differ considerably from one another. Composer Kalevi Aho has acquainted himself with Estonian music for instance at Estonian contemporary music seminars in 1995 and 1997 and observed that Estonian composers cannot be bracketed into the same categories as their Finnish colleagues.
Flying home from Vienna in June 1997, Antti Siirala had more than the usual collection of souvenirs in his hand luggage: the promise of a Bösendorfer grand piano! This was one of the rewards for winning the tenth International Beethoven Piano Competition, in addition to a money prize and a string of concert fixtures.
"It may sound a bit crazy, but I actually think of myself more as a composer than a conductor. It just so happens that the conducting side has outweighed the composing," says Esa-Pekka Salonen in 1998.
The title would appear to be hooked up to the concept of "music and language", or even "music as language". As it happens, this summer I have got into several lengthy debates on this particular issue, so let's continue in the same vein.
Brass music has its own centres in finland, though they manage to be about as far from each other in east-west terms as the country s geography will allow. The small northern Karelian town of Lieksa has for the past 18 summers hosted an annual music festival where the brasses are in the spotlight, while...