Oh yes! One of the best releases this year is the gilt-edged calling card of accordionist-composer Veli Kujala that simultaneously slakes a thirst for something new and strikes a nostalgic chord.
Susanna Mälkki began her three-year term as Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra this autumn. We asked her about the themes of her first HPO year and whether she sees any links between music and the cultural environment.
Kaija Saariaho's music has been widely performed in various concert series and at festivals in the USA recently. The premiere of a new production of her first opera, L’amour de loin, at the Metropolitan Opera in December 2016 will be an operatic event such as has not been seen for decades, and it will be...
In 2016 women are still under-represented in classical concert repertoire, never mind the canon. At contemporary music concerts, however, women appear as composers with increasing frequency. How should we address the issue of a composer’s (female) gender in this day and age? Are we really still talking about this, in Finland?
Composing always has a social dimension, because composers engage in it in the context created by society. Yet composers’ views on the relationship between music and society have varied a great deal over the centuries. What do today’s composers think about their work in relation to current social and political issues?
Edited by Vesa Kurkela and Marko Tikka and released in late 2014, a new book about the Finnish accordion covers, among other things, the early stages of the instrument and the most significant players, as well as going through the Finnish accordion repertoire.
"These days Esa-Pekka Salonen is a superstar who spends seven months of each year composing and the rest conducting some of the world’s finest orchestras. He has seen the music scene in Finland change fundamentally since the founding of the FMQ."
"Olli Mustonen made his mark as both pianist and composer in his early teens, showing astonishing maturity in both capacities. But recordings have not kept up with his output promptly enough to allow the outside world to form a clear image of his development as composer: it has been 13 years since a CD of...
"The arts and music are privileged in that they are able to comment on society. (-) By nature, they nevertheless differ from, say, journalism, science or religion. The arts are a domain in themselves, examining life today, in the here and now. They ask what sort of society we are living in."
Pekka Kuusisto is an explorer on whose world map music has no borders. He is equally at home in concert halls and cosy clubs. The joy of music is in interaction. For the rapidly ageing world of classical music, personalities like Kuusisto are oases in a desert.
The Tampere Biennale, this year being held on 9–13 April, is the festival that shows where Finnish contemporary classical music is at. This is the second festival for composer Olli Virtaperko as Artistic Director.