In the Spotlight

  • 3.1.2017

    Sebastian Hilli and Sauli Zinovjev: emotions in two different aesthetics

    Award-winning young composers Sebastian Hilli and Sauli Zinovjev unveil new works at the opening of Helsinki’s Musica nova Helsinki festival in February. While their musical styles are starkly different, the two are close friends who share a similar creative vision.

  • 11.3.2016

    defunensemble: Uneasy listening

    defunensemble was founded in 2009, with a name plucked from the history of electronic music. Defun (or define function) a macro in LISP, one of the first computer languages, used in music since the late ‘50s. Define function is also the name of the group’s debut CD, released in autumn 2015.

  • 10.11.2015

    Balancing tradition and cutting-edge

    Susanna Mälkki strides onto the Helsinki Music Centre stage in a slim-cut black suit. She’s a petite figure, earrings sparkling, blonde ponytail swaying – but immediately, decisively takes command of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s 100-plus musicians. With energetic, fluid motions, she leads her force through a shattering Russian programme of Liadov, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky.

  • 26.5.2014

    Art music and digital media: a love-hate relationship

    Art music has significantly influenced the formats in which music is recorded. The LP record, for example, was developed in the 1940s largely to accommodate classical works more than a few minutes long. And one version of the story says that the maximum length of a CD, 74 minutes, was fixed according to the performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony conducted by Furtwängler in 1951.

  • 9.12.2013

    Avanti! at 30 – still forging ahead

    Avanti! was formed – with an exclamation mark – in April 1983. At that time, Finland was ruled by Urho Kekkonen and Finnish music by Joonas Kokkonen. Consensus was the name of the game, and any deviation was regarded as childish provocation.

  • 5.12.2013

    Finding a unique voice through tradition

    Violinist Pekka Kuusisto has received two awards this fall. In both cases the reasons included a nod to Kuusisto’s versatility and the ability to work in different contexts to produce surprising results.

  • 9.9.2013

    Reality opera for Generation Y

    Young adults + mobile phones = constant readiness for picture updates, anytime and anywhere. Conductor Ville Matvejeff spotted an opportunity in today’s world of relentless image overload and set up the New Generation Opera for photogenic young singers and, of course, for young audiences.

  • 10.4.2013

    Touching the untouchable

    The age structure of concert audiences is the cause of some concern. The middle-aged and well-to-do conscientiously take their seats, but the young and casual listeners plump for a more familiar form of entertainment. What do classical musicians have to say about this?

  • 20.2.2013

    Creative collaboration

    Composers began collaborating with orchestras in a big way in the late 1990s, and their partnerships are still bearing fruit. One of the most prominent has been that of Harri Vuori and the Hyvinkää Orchestra.

  • 14.12.2012

    Alba Records celebrates 20th anniversary: The art of the possible

    November 2012 marked the 20th anniversary of the first CD release by Alba Records. The existence of a tiny Finnish label specialising in classical music is something of a rarity in this day and age. Carefully considered risk-taking and the Finnish arts subsidy system have helped the label to survive in an incredibly challenging market.

  • 10.9.2012

    Monday night fever (on contemporary music series)

    Two new concert series have added a welcome, broader dimension to the Helsinki contemporary- music scene. Ensembles, musicians and composers are performing new music from Finland and elsewhere.