Yearly archive 1999

New underground – The rebirth of the Helsinki—St. Petersburg connection

BY Sami Hyrskylahti Before the great October Revolution in 1917, the cultural contacts between Helsinki and St. Petersburg were amazingly strong and lively. St. Petersburg was the political and, above all, cultural capital of the Russian Empire, to which Finland also belonged. Even in Europe as a whole St. Petersburg was one of the most...

The road to St. Petersburg

The founding of the city of St. Petersburg in 1703 meant the birth of a new orientation, a source of innovative ideas and of growth potential for the Finns. Building materials and labour were imported for the new metropolis from neighbouring Finland right from the early stages, and many of the city's bridges and palaces...

Ernest Pingoud shapes the future

The Russian-born composer Ernest Pingoud (b. St. Petersburg 14.10.1887 – d. Helsinki 1.6.1942) emigrated to Finland to escape the revolution in 1918 and spent most of his working life there. He became one of the champions of musical modernism in Finland at its height in the 1920s, together with Väinö Raitio and Aarre Merikanto.

Musical Progress

The following article was published in an anthology of Ernest Pingoud's writings collectively entitled ‘The Progress of Art' (Taiteen edistys), edited by Kalevi Aho in 1995. The articles had been translated from German, Russian and Swedish manuscripts by Seppo Heikinheimo. The essay Musical Progress appeared in the Montagsblatt der St. Petersburger Zeitung (Monday supplement of...

Music invades the silver screen

Finnish cinema is enjoying a major boom: the higher degree of professionalism and the growing rate of new releases are paying dividends in bigger box-office figures. In the process, music is regaining its status as part of the total experience, and the severed link between directors and composers is being restored again.

Facts about Finnish music life

Finnish arts policy attracts attention and interest internationally because of its remarkable results. Per capita, Finland has produced an astounding number of world-class conductors, composers and instrumentalists. Why is this? What is the secret behind this success?

Good music education produces lifelong music-lovers

Finland prides itself on being an exemplary country as regards its music education. Foreigners sigh with envy on hearing about our unique music institute system covering all levels from babies right up to PhD students and beyond. And although the music institutes nowadays receive considerable public funding, not one of them was founded by an...
Anssi Karttunen: Discovering the music around myself

Anssi Karttunen: Discovering the music around myself

"For many years I have been described as a cellist who specialises in contemporary music. This may be true, but I have yet to fully understand what is meant by 'specialising' and what is meant by 'contemporary'..."

Composers and kids

In a book entitled Mielen maisemat ja musiikki (Landscapes of the Mind and Music) Kari Kurkela addresses the problems encountered by the child in learning to play a musical instrument in the light of psychoanalysis and mythology. Lively interaction between training in sensitivity and the constructive channelling of aggression is, he claims, important: so important...

Aulis Sallinen, strong and simple

"You are born with a dramatic pulse, with dramatic thinking, and that's that. I've written now about two-thirds, so I call it a marathon," says composer Aulis Sallinen, whose new opera King Lear will be premiered at the Finnish National Opera on 15 September, 2000.
Musical Progress

Musical Progress

"At present we cannot really yet say whether what we are being offered in the name of modern music is genuine gold or just brightly polished gold leaf illuminated by a trichromatic electric light, which hypnotically shines in our eyes", wrote Ernest Pingoud about Scriabin's music in 1911.

Sibelius – the View from the Podium

Paavo Berglund, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Osmo Vänskä, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, and Neeme Järvi are today's great Sibelius conductors, carrying on a tradition that began with Robert Kajanus and Sir Thomas Beecham. What are their thoughts on the Finnish composer?