Misc News

Obie Trice gig cancelled

Obie Trice
– Official website
Obie Trice
– MySpace

RL Entertainment

Misc News

Turku officially European Capital of Culture 2011

Finnish Minister of Culture Stefan Wallin finds the decision a great honour for the City of Turku, for Finland and for Europe. “Turku is Finland’s oldest city, and a place from which culture originated and remains to this day. This is a great day for us all. It feels wonderful to be from Finland and, even more specifically, from Turku”, Wallin commented in Brussels.

Every year cities in two EU countries get the honour to carry the title of European Capital of Culture for one year, based on a system of rotation. This year’s European Capitals are the cities of Luxembourg and Sibiu (Romania).

Cultural capitals have been chosen since 1980. The cities are given the chance to showcase their cultural diversity and development and promote their cultural activities internationally.

The cities of Turku and Tallinn are planning close co-operation.

On Tuesday (20.11) the City of Turku is organizing a big Turku On Fire celebration on the Aura River banks to thank the thousands of people who took part in the bidding process. From 6 p.m. there will be a big fire show with dozens of performers at the Theatre Bridge next to the Turku City Theatre.

The organizers are kindly asking the audience to gather on the western side of the river close to Pharmacy Museum and the Student Theatre.

Turku 2011

Tallinn 2011

Misc News

Shortlist for this year’s Finlandia Prize announced

Nominated for the Finlandia prize 2007 are:

Kohti [‘Towards’] by Juha Itkonen

Det har varit kallt i Madrid [‘It’s been cold in Madrid’] by Agneta Ara

Romeo ja Julia
[‘Romeo and Juliet‘] by Jari Järvelä

Lakanasiivet [‘(The) Bed sheet wings’] by Sirpa Kähkönen

Sakset [‘(The) Scissors’] by Laura Lindstedt

Toiset Kengät [‘The other shoes’] by Hannu Väisänen

Literature researcher Laura Lindstedt is the debutant on the short list. Hannu Väisänen is a well-known Finnish artist. Swedish-speaking Agneta Ara is a Finnish novelist and poet who earlier won the Runeberg Prize for literature. Sirpa Kähkönen is a novelist and translator who has written both books for children and young adults and historical novels.

Well-known Finnish writers Jari Järvela and Juha Itkonen have both been nominated for the Finlandia Prize before. Itkonen is also on the short list for the 2007 Finlandia Junior award (literature for children and young adults) for his book
Taikuri Into Kiemura.

The 3-person selection committee read a total of 94 works. The final receiver of the Finlandia Prize for fiction is this year chosen by cultural editor Kaisu Mikkola. The winner, who will also get a 26,000-euro award sum, will be announced on the 4th of  December.

Nominations for Finlandia Junior award announced

Finlandia Prize – Wikipedia

Misc News

Danish dancer next Artistic Director at National Ballet

The Board of Directors of the Finnish National Opera Foundation decided on the appointment on Wednesday (14.11), after it had proposed him for the job two weeks earlier. Also the personnel groups of the Finnish National Opera agreed unanimously with the nomination.

As Artistic Director, Greve will be responsible for the artistic planning and development of the classical ballet and modern dance programme of the FNB. He will also be in charge of the content and artistic policy of the Ballet.

The term of the current Artistic Director, Dinna Bjørn, ends at the end of July, 2008.

Danish dancer nominated for director post at National Ballet

Kenneth Greve in Etudes (Royal Danish Ballet)
– DR1/YouTube

Interview with Kenneth Greve – Ballet-Dance Magazine (May, 2006)

Finnish National Ballet (at the Finnish National Opera)
Press release about the nomination of Greve – Finnish National Opera (31.10.2007)

Danish Royal Ballet

Misc News

Second stadium concert Iron Maiden

Misc News

Bon Jovi tickets on sale next Thursday

The last time Jon Bon Jovi and the rest of the group played in Finland was in 2000, in Turku and Helsinki.

The band’s greatest hits album Cross Road from 1994 is the third best selling foreign album in Finland, with over 125,000 copies sold.

Bon Jovi – official website
Bon Jovi – MySpace

Misc News

Nominations for Finlandia Junior award announced

Nominated for the 2007 Finlandia Junior prize are:

> Tatun ja Patun Suomi (‘Tatu and Patu’s Finland‘) by Aino Havukainen & Sami Toivonen

> Taikuri Into Kiemura by Jukka Itkonen

> Filmi poikki (‘Film broken‘) by Hanna Marjut Marttila

> Herttuan hovissa – Elämää 1550-luvun Turussa (‘In the Duke’s Court – Life in the Turku of the 1550s‘) by Paula Moilanen & Kirsi Haapamäki

> Emilian päiväkirja – Supermarsu lentää Intiaan (‘Emily’s diary – Super Guinea Pig flies to India‘) by Paula Noronen

> Orava ja pääskynen (‘The squirrel and the swallow‘) by Maria Vuorio

The receiver of the prize, which comes with an award sum of 26,000 euros, will this year be chosen by Inkeri Näätsaari, the Director of the Turku City Library. The winner will be announced on November the 29th.

The Finlandia Junior award is one of three prestigious prizes awarded annually by the Finnish Book Foundation, the others being the Finlandia Award (Best novel, since 1984) and the Tieto-Finlandia (Best non-fiction book, since 1989).

The first ever book to win the Finlandia Junior was Gondwanan lapset (‘Children of Gondwana‘) by Iranian-born Finnish writer, documentary maker, director-producer and publisher Alexis Kouros, in 1997. Last year, the prize was awarded to Timo Parvela for his book Keinulauta (‘The seesaw‘).

Finlandia Prize
– Wikipedia

Misc News

Shooting in Tuusula

Misc News

Film producers end the strike

Even though no final promises
have been made, the producers trust the Parliament to make the right decisions.
They base their trust on the fact that both the Education and Culture Committee
and the Audit Committee of the Parliament have expressed their opinion that the
lottery funds should be used exclusively to support the actual cultural and
sport activities of the beneficiaries, instead of to partly cover e.g. rental
costs of cultural bodies, like the government had suggested.

Misc News

Iron Maiden in Helsinki as part of biggest ever Nordic tour

Tickets for the Finnish part of the Somewhere Back In Time World Tour 08 will go on sale next Monday, the 12th of November, via Lippupalvelu.

Iron Maiden will release their double-DVD Live After Death in February (2008), as the band kicks off the Somewhere Back In Time world tour in Mumbai, India, on February 1st.  After that, the tour will take the metal legends to Australia, Japan, the United States and Latin America.

Trip back in time
The world tour will be a trip back in time, as the entire set list will consist of Maiden material from the 80’s. The stage design will feature elements from that decade as well, with a specific focus on the Powerslave era. Also the group’s mascot Eddie will return and be part of the show.

During the course of their careers, Iron Maiden has sold over 70 million albums worldwide, with sales of well over 500,000 copies in Finland.

The last time the group
played in Finland was in 2006, when the band
performed in front of more than 31,600 fans during three sold-out gigs.

Second stadium concert Iron Maiden


– Nordic leg of the tour

16 July – Stockholm Stadium, Stockholm (SWE)
18 July – Olympic Stadium, Helsinki
22 July – Lerkendalstadium, Trondheim (NOR)
24 July – Valle Hovin, Oslo (NOR)
26 July –  Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg (SWE)
27 July – Horsens Gods Bane Pladsen, Horsens (DK)

Iron Maiden
– official website

Iron Maiden
– MySpace

Misc News

YLE withdraws from Helsinki music hall project

The financially-strapped public broadcaster was to be one of the three financiers of the venture and pay 25 percent of the building costs. The City of Helsinki would also contribute 25 percent, with the State of Finland paying the remaining half.

YLE was prepared to pay a maximum of 35 million euros towards the building of the concert hall, where it hopes to accommodate its Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO). However, according to the latest bid, YLE’s share in the project would rise far beyond that.

The broadcasting company now intends to simply rent space for the RSO in the future building.

On Friday, the Board of the Music Centre venture rejected the only remaining bid to build it, which had been presented on Monday (29.10).

Third partner
Both the City of Helsinki and the Finnish State have publicly expressed their commitment to continue the music hall project and are looking for a new third partner.

The Musiikkitalo is to be built on the shores of Töölö Bay, opposite the Parliament Building and next to the Kiasma museum and Sanoma House.

The site has been one big, open building ground since the burning down and demolition of the old VR railway storehouses (‘Makasiinit‘) in May, 2006. Ground works continue despite the project’s setbacks.

Helsinki Music Centre (Musiikkitalo)

Live webcam images of the building site – Helsingin Sanomat

Photo gallery of the Makasiinit fire – Helsingin Sanomat

Misc News

Danish dancer nominated for director post at National Ballet

Greve, who is 39, has previously worked as a dancer with, among others, the New York City Ballet, the American Ballet Theater, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet and the Vienna State Opera Ballet. He currently works with the Danish Royal Ballet in Copenhagen, where he has worked as Principal Dancer since 1992 and Ballet Master since 2006.

The Board will take its final decision on November 14th. If Greve is indeed appointed as the National Ballet’s Artistic Director, he will start working in Helsinki at the beginning of August, 2008.

Video of Kenneth Greve performing with the Danish Royal Ballet

Finnish National Ballet (at the Finnish National Opera)

Danish Royal Ballet

Misc News

Finnish musicians get “humiliating” treatment at U.S. airport

The ordeal took place on the 13th of September after Karjalainen and fellow musicians Ninni Poijärvi and Mika Kuokkanen had arrived at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for a three week tour through the U.S. states of Minnesota and Michigan, including meetings with Finnish-Americans and performances at Finnish-American cultural events. They were joined by Finnish documentary filmmaker Erkki Määttänen, who was making a TV programme about the visit for Finnish public broadcaster YLE.

“Humiliating” treatment

The four were stopped by customs officials and interrogated for nearly three hours. “The treatment was bad,” Karjalainen told Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat. “’Don’t lie to us’, they yelled at us all the time.”

The Finns were each taken to separate rooms for questioning. Their luggage was checked by sniffer dogs. “First they suspected drugs. Then crime registers were asked for, “, said the singer, who described the actions of the officials as “supremacy“ and “humiliating“.

The questioning focused on whether or not the group came to earn money in the United States, while they were entering the country without work permits.

Threats, accused of lying

"They threatened us with severe punishments if we talk to each other," the Star Tribune quoted from the complaint that was signed by musicians Ninni Poijärvi and Mika Kuokkanen, "Through the walls, I can hear officers yelling, screaming. They ask about the purpose of our trip — except we are only allowed to give yes-or-no answers. I try to talk about our plans to meet with Finnish-American folk musicians. Nobody listens. They interrupt me constantly and they yell, 'You are a liar!"'

Filmmaker Määttänen told of similar experiences in the room he was kept in. "From the beginning, they said I was lying, that these guys were coming here to work. They were shouting at me, and people were going in and out of doors. They tried to put you down mentally, to humiliate you."

No apology

The Finns were released after nearly three hours, without any explanation or apology, according to the complaint.

A press officer for the regional Customs and Border Protection office in Chicago, who had not seen the complaint yet, told in a reaction that if such behaviour had indeed occurred, it would be against the agency’s policy and thoroughly investigated.

J. Karjalainen is one of Finland’s most popular singer-songwriters and a well-known devotee of Finnish-American folk music. Last year he released Lännen Jukka, Amerikansuomalaisia lauluja (Jukka of the West, Finnish-American songs), a collection of Finnish-American blues songs and a tribute to his musical mentor. The album was widely considered one of the best Finnish recordings of 2006.

Minnesota's Finnish guests find a rude airport welcome – Star Tribune

J. Karjalainen – official label site (in Finnish)
Lännen Jukka – official album website (in Finnish)

J. Karjalainen records classic Finnish-American songs – Helsingin Sanomat International Edition
Jukka Karjalainen "Channels" Old Country Blues… – New World Finn

Misc News

Discover Giotto, the first great Italian master painter, in Annantalo

Sculptor and architect Giotto di Bondone
(c.1267-1337) is considered not only as one of the first Italian, but one of
the first European master painters that would have a great impact on future
generations. All around the chapel, you can assist to their images where joys,
pain, betrayal, good or evil are depicted always in a religious environment;
All involved in the painter’s characteristic blue background.


Useful Information:

Annantalo Arts Centre

Street address: Annankatu 30 Helsinki


Exhibition: The perfect circle of a master –
Giotto’s fresco cycle in the Arena Chapel in

18 August – 4 November 2007-10-28

Free admission.

The exhibition is open to the public
1-8 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Open to groups Mon.-Fri 9 a.m.-1 p.m., advance notification requires as of 20 August by phone.

tel. +358 9 310 37168 (weekdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.).

Misc News

Mika Kaurismäki opens Brazilian restaurant

The restaurant will have a capacity of about 300 people and will offer Brazilian food, wine, beer and other drinks.

There will also be live music on offer at Bossa, starting with Brazilian music about once a week. Later on, Kaurismäki would also like to programme a wider range of music performances.

Mika Kaurismäki is the elder brother of director Aki Kaurismäki. Unlike Aki, he is especially known for his international co-productions.  During the past five years, Mika, who has lived in Rio de Janeiro since the early nineties, has delivered several films that focused on music and Brazil, such as Moro no Brasil (2002) and Brasileirinho (2005). His latest documentary, Sonic Mirror, explores different cultures through music and is centred around legendary jazz fusion drummer Billy Cobham.

Mika Kaurismäki earlier co-founded the well-known Moskova and Corono bars in the centre of Helsinki. Between 1999 and 2001, he also used to run a music club in Rio de Janeiro: Mika's Bar.

Bossa will likely officially open around the 15th of November, although the bar side of the restaurant will be taken into use already some time earlier.


Watching the sound – FREE!'s interview with Mika Kaurismäki 

Mika Kaurismäki – Official website