"On the whole Musica nova Helsinki was remarkably successful. The festival now boasts many features that have been germinating for quite some time: club nights, a true cosmopolitan attitude and the successful integration of young Finnish composers into an international programme," writes Merja Hottinen in her review of the festival....
"On the whole Musica nova Helsinki was remarkably successful. The festival now boasts many features that have been germinating for quite some time: club nights, a true cosmopolitan attitude and the successful integration of young Finnish composers into an international programme," writes Merja Hottinen in her review of the festival.
Seamlessly, keyboardist and composer Kari Ikonen spins a distinctive sound of his own that draws on music from around the world, grounded in US jazz and fusion of the ‘60s and ‘70s. On Moog synthesizer, acoustic or electric piano, he plays with ecstasy and a fascination with rhythm.
The theory is that goal-oriented art education in Finland is provided for all residents nationwide, at school and through government-subsidised institutions. But in the Sámi homeland in the far north of Finland this is not always the case. In the field of music, this failing is being addressed through the Sámi music adult education project....
Ulla Pirttijärvi’s second album with the Ulda trio is a well-balanced whole. She stays surprisingly close to the luohti or yoik tradition, combining lyrics and wordless sequences in a very traditional way.
A few years ago two new events, the RUSK festival in Pietarsaari, founded by composer Sebastian Fagerlund and clarinettist Christoffer Sundqvist, and Pasimusic, composer Pasi Lyytikäinen’s own festival in northern Savo, appeared on the autumn festival map of Finland, brightening up the darkening months with their innovative offerings.
Is it OK for a Finn of the majority population to put on a fake Sámi costume bought in a joke shop and perform a Sámi yoik? Or to put on a feather headdress and dance a Native American dance? Where do we draw the line between cultural interaction and cultural appropriation?
Finland’s largest contemporary music event, Musica nova Helsinki, isn’t the product of one man’s vision, or even one organisation’s. It is an ecosystem that draws and depends upon most of Helsinki’s major musical institutions, which might explain why the German conductor André de Ridder was an astute choice to be the festival’s new artistic director....
It is always a remarkable experience to have the opportunity to actually listen to the achievements of a musician from the past instead of relying exclusively on verbal descriptions. Such a moment has now come in the case of Armas Järnefelt, a celebrated Finnish conductor of the early 20th century.
As of January 2017, the FMQ will be posting new items – articles, interviews, columns and reviews – on its website every week.
"Foreigners like me once had the idea that Finland was a difficult country in which to be a composer; so strong was Sibelius’s legacy and so dominant those famous names who succeeded him. But that idea now seems outdated," writes Andrew Mellor in his column on the Day of Finnish Music.
An opera inspired by the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 had to wait more than 50 years to be properly performed at an opera house. On stage in Budapest, this opera seems frighteningly topical, again.