Finnish artist & photographer – Milla Koivisto

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 5th February 2016
  • Kaikubanner

    Nordophile was very excited to come across Finnish artist & photographer, Milla Koivisto. Not purely just because of her breath-taking artistic view of the Nordic landscape but also because of her natural intensity when relating back to her audience her vision. Milla Koivisto is an artist, photographer and author from Finland. Her focus is on the […]

    Nordophile was very excited to come across Finnish artist & photographer, Milla Koivisto. Not purely just because of her breath-taking artistic view of the Nordic landscape but also because of her natural intensity when relating back to her audience her vision.

    Milla Koivisto is an artist, photographer and author from Finland. Her focus is on the natural world and our connections and relationship with it. Milla studied both illustration and visual communication at the Arts University of Bournemouth. She also studied classical flute and music theatre in Finland. She works with several artistic disciplines and her interest lies in narrative structures and storytelling. She currently divides her time between Finland and the UK.



    We were keen to understand more about the Kaiku project from this Finnish artist and find out how this would translate to peak the interest of Nordophiles, with a certain attraction to the Nordic arts, in all genres.

    Kaiku is an audio-visual project, structured around a core narrative. Set in and inspired by the Nordic landscape of the Finnish archipelago, Kaiku tells the story of a reclusive Shaman, a flute playing girl called Aino and her echo Kaiku. The protagonists of the story face the harshness and the isolation brought by the landscape and each of their lives is a manifestation of learning and surviving by the stipulations of nature. Music and sound in the natural world become ways of connecting, coping and conveying feelings in the dialogue-less story of Kaiku.

    In the Kaiku project traditional storytelling is combined with modern narrative technique. The project combines words, images, recorded sound, compositions and video. The Kaiku project will be released in a series of exhibitions, events and talks during 2015-2017.


    The Kaiku Series

    The first short film in the Kaiku series, ‘The Old Woman’ is an exploration of solitude through sound and image and portrays the landscape of an old woman called Aino’s soul. The film was shot during a three month stay on a treeless lighthouse island of Bengtskär in the Baltic Sea in Finland.



    The Kaiku book

    The first part of the Kaiku project is an illustrated, fictional book. Set on a small island where the winter days are short and the summer sun never sets and life must adapt to the changing seasons. A vision of two women with the same face sets a reclusive shaman on a journey from his dark forest cabin to the barren, windswept shores of a lighthouse.

    In Kaiku our relationship with nature is explored through sounds and seasons. Set over the course of a year in the isolation of a small island Kaiku  is the result of a long-running fascination with traditional narrative, folklore and the natural environment.


    To order the book and find out more about Milla Koivisto head over to

    Milla talks about the origins of the Kaiku project on her site which gives us an insight into her thought process and how the idea was born.

    “A story had been brewing in my mind for some time, not leaving me alone. On the last day of December 2012 I sat down at my desk in my apartment in Brighton and started to write. I have always been writing stories, but never been mature enough to sit still long enough to finish a longer piece. Writing a book is of course more then just an endurance sport -it is about finding a story you believe in, are passionate about and know is true. For me there was only one thing I could write about. I had to write about the sea and the island I grew up on. The project became a love letter to the landscape I knew. I was brought up on a small island called Kemiönsaari in the south coast of Finland, in the Baltic Sea. At the time I started writing Kaiku I had been living in the UK for seven years. I realised how little was written or known about the Finnish culture outside Finland. It became clear to me that the story needed to be written in English, so I added this on to my challenge and started writing in my third language.

    I started to write about an island, about a Shaman, a girl called Aino and her echo Kaiku. Kaiku in Finnish is both a name and the event of a sound caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface back to the listener – an echo. What I wanted to portray in the story was the interconnection with the natural world and the people. It was important for me to show the integral connection between the people and their land. It also became a story about solitude, isolation and loneliness, themes I feel are close to the Finnish people through our characteristics, the geographical location of the country and perhaps even through the dissimilarity of our language compared to most other European languages.



    From the very beginning I wanted to create a whole world around the story of Kaiku. I wanted to not only to tell a story with words but also to make it come alive with sound and images. Kaiku became a multidisciplinary project structured around a core narrative. It is a project combining words, image, sound and music and video. So far the project has taken me to three small islands in Finland. In Summer 2014 I spent a month on the island of Kökar, in the Baltic Sea in Finland, living in the old post office that was converted in to an artist residence. My purpose was to compose and collect natural sounds for the project. I returned to the island in January 2015 to further compose and collect, this time the sound world of the Nordic winter. In summer of 2015 I divided my time living in Kemiönsaari and the small lighthouse island of Bengtskär at the Baltic Sea where I filmed and recorded natural sounds.

    Kaiku is an ongoing project which will be completed in 2017. The first part of the project, is a book titled Kaiku.”

    Contact Milla here


    Njord Biennale – Colour of Sound

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 29th January 2016
  • Great news! After a very long Christmas break, Nordophile is back for 2016 and will continue to introduce to Nordophiles many different Nordic talents. But we aren’t the only ones who are are here! Last year in the summer we featured the up-and-coming Njord Biennale – Copenhagen Festival and in 2016 it’s arrived! From 28th January […]

    Great news! After a very long Christmas break, Nordophile is back for 2016 and will continue to introduce to Nordophiles many different Nordic talents.

    But we aren’t the only ones who are are here! Last year in the summer we featured the up-and-coming Njord Biennale – Copenhagen Festival and in 2016 it’s arrived!

    From 28th January to 1st February Copenhagen is going to explode with Colour & Sound from Nordic contemporary artists.

    “With a focus on timbre in music and color tones in the visual arts, the biennale brings together a number of cross cultured composers, visual artists, musicians, directors, etc. in Nordic collaboration on a number of cross artistic projects.”





    NJORD Biennale has a clear aim to focus on the interaction between the tonal colors of music and colour tones of visual art. To live up to this aim, we have gathered a group of composers, artists, musicians, and directors etc. to create cross-artistic projects with a common Nordic tone.

    The festival´s programme offers five nights of concerts and three exhibits that will unfold the vision of this year´s theme. The programme is broad in scope  – both the well known and established as well as the new generation of composers are represented in NJORD´s diverse selection. Concert formats and content varies; from grand opera productions over experimental ensemble concerts with visuals, to intimate solo and duo performances.


    Featured Artists



    photo; Maarit Kytöharju


    Aliisa Neige Barrière (b. 1995) was born into a French-Finnish family in Paris, where her music studies have included violin, piano, chamber music and choral as well as orchestral conducting.

    The passionate chamber musician has participated in projects and master classes throughout Europe and America, and moving musical from the Baroque to the latest music.

    In Denmark Aliisa Neige Barrière helped to create the new Hindsgavl Nordic Chamber Orchestra and has participated in chamber music festival Open Strings.

    In the year 2011-2012 she studied violin with Renee Jolles in New York at the Preparatory Division of Mannes College of Music, as well as orchestral conducting and chamber music. As a winner of the Concerto Competition she played the first movement of the Khachaturian Concerto in March 2012 at Symphony Space, New York.

    After having received her Performance Diploma at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional, she returned to New York in 2013 where she was awarded a full scholarship for four years of studies at Mannes College of Music, where she studied for 2 years with Lewis Kaplan and Laurie Smukler (violin), Michael Adelson and David Hayes (conducting) playing also in the Mannes Baroque Players under the direction of Nancy Wilson.

    As a passionate chamber musician, Barrière has participated in a great variety of projects and masterclasses throughout Europe and the United States, and is interested in all music from baroque to contemporary.

    Her recent engagements have included solo, conducting and chamber music appearances. She most recently conducted Stravinky’s L’Histoire du Soldat at Mannes College and is also a founding member of the new Hindsgavl Nordic Chamber Orchestra in Denmark and has participated in the Open Strings Chamber Music Festival both as a performer and in assisting in artistic programming.

    Since her move to Norway, her projects have included taking part in the celebration of the 80th birthday of pianist Liv Glaser in an all Mozart program on period instruments, under the direction of Bjarte Eike, and also producing and leading a special project, For Peace We Stand meant to unite musicians against barbary in the world.

    Aliisa Neige Barrière plays a 1717 violin by Claude Pierray.


    Avanti! Photo: Marco Borggreve
    Avanti! Photo: Marco Borggreve


    Finnish Avanti! Chamber Orchestra is a quite extraordinary artistic powerhouse! The ensemble was founded in 1983 on the initiative of Esa-Pekka Salonen, Olli Pohjola and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and since 1998 clarinettist Kari Kriikku has been artistic director.

    Today Avanti! is renowned as one of the best ensembles for new music in the world. The ensemble specializes in no particular genre; rather, it is proud to be a specialist in all styles with a strong sense of responsibility for the music of today.

    Avanti! works in close partnership with front-line international conductors, soloists and composers, and has won many prizes and widespread acclaim from audiences and critics all over the world.

    The concerts at NJORD Biennale 2016 are the first time ever Avanti! Chamber Orchestra will perform in Denmark.


    photo; Nikolaj Lund

    photo; Nikolaj Lund


    Bjarke Mogensen (b.1985) This Danish accordionist at the age of 13 made his debut as a soloist in a German TV broadcast with the Munich Symphony Orchestra.

    In 2011, Bjarke Mogensen had his solo debut at Carnegie Hall, New York, and in 2012 he received 1st prize in the prestigious European Broadcast Unions “New Talent” competition in Bratislava.

    Bjarke Mogensen studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music as a pupil of Geir Draugsvoll and today he teaches chamber music at the same place.

    He has given solo concerts all over the world from New York to Moscow, from Iceland to Turkey. He has performed chamber music with violinists Augustin Dumay and Gidon Kremer and cellist Andreas Brantelid. As a soloist he has worked with orchestras such as the Moscow Virtuosi, Kremerata Baltica, Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, The Tiroler Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Copenhagen Philharmonic, conducted by maestros such as John Storgårds, Francesco Angelico, Rafael Payare, Lan Shui, Rolf Gupta, Leos Svarovský, Beat Furrer and Vladimir Spivakov.

    A long succession of collaborations with prominent living composers has resulted in many new compositions – concertos, chamber music and solo works – dedicated to Bjarke Mogensen.

    Bjarke Mogensen’s repertoire is almost unlimited, with a span ranging from folk music and accordion classics over his own arrangements and transcriptions to brand new works for accordion.


    asa_gudjonsdottir_photo_guðmundur_ingo-lfsson (1)

    photo; Guðmundur Ingólfsson


    Asa Gudjonsdottir from Reykjavik, Iceland, came into a family devoted to the arts. Beginning her studies at the age of 3, and instantly became mesmerized with the instrument. At the age of 12, Asa was admitted to the Reykjavik Conservatory, ultimately leading up to her acceptance at the prestigious Icelandic Academy of the Arts where she studied with Auður Hafsteinsdottir. Asa has cultivated her talent with wonderful musicians, of which includes Routa Kroumovitch at Stetson University, Boris Kuschnir, in Vienna, and Anton Miller at the Hartt School of Music where she graduated with Masters in violin performance.

    Asa regularly performs in concerts and music festivals in Europe and United States, as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Her recent performances have included appearances at Scandinavia House in New York, Lincoln Center in New York, Icelandic embassy in Berlin and Washington D.C. She is a recipient of the Visa cultural award in Iceland, Fulbright Foundation and the American-Scandinavian Foundation.

    Asa’s latest concerts feature performances at the contemporary music festival, “Dark Music Days” in Reykjavik, Iceland, the “Mostly Nordic Concert Series” in Seattle in May with her duo, the Amaranth Duo, Mendelsohn Violin Concerto with the Icelandic Youth Orchestra and a premiere of Depo Flux, concerto grosso by Ken Steen at Lincoln Theater in Connecticut.



    photo; Charlotta Miranda


    Jakob Kullberg has been praised internationally for his performances of the modern cello concerto,  living in Paris, he is one of the most active and diverse young Danish instrumentalists.

    Jakob studied in a.o. Amsterdam, London, Zagreb, Vienna and Copenhagen, with Harro Ruijsenaars, Dmitri Ferschtman, Valter Despalj, Mats Lidström, Morten Zeuthen and Anner Bylsma.

    Top prize winner at international solo and chamber music competitions, twice winner of the Danish Grammy, most recently in 2013 for his concerto CD ’Momentum’ which was also nominated for the coveted Gramophone Award in London and chosen for ’Album of the Week’ with Q2 Music, New York.

    In 2011 he was awarded the ’Gladsaxe Music Prize’ and has been artist in residence for, amongst others, the Tivoli Garden Concert Hall, the International Carl Nielsen Violin Competition and New Music Orchestra, Poland.

    Jakob’s recent debut with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London as well as with Ensemble Intercontemporain at one of their inter-sessions in Paris received excellent reviews, and he looks forward to concerto debuts with the Bergen Philharmonic and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestras. He is scheduled to record Per Nørgård’s Remembering Child with Sinfonia Varsovia in December 2014. In the 2016/17 seasons he will embark on a two-CD recording project with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by John Storgårds comprising concertos by Saariaho and Nørgård as well as the two cello concertos by Shostakovich.

    He has returned frequently to prestigious international festivals such as the Aldeburgh Festival, the Warsaw Autumn Festival, the Huddersfield Festival and Bergen International Festival.

    Jakob enjoys a unique working relationship with the Danish composer Per Nørgård, who has composed and dedicated numerous works for him; the two have developed a rare dialogical collaboration in which the composer utilises the creative potential of the cellist in an experimental composition process. He is also a notable interpreter of the work of Bent Sørensen and in 2011 he moved to Paris to focus on his collaboration with Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.

    As a teacher Jakob has garnered attention giving masterclass internationally at for instance, the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Norwegian Academy of Music and the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Poland, and has held a teaching position at the Royal Danish Academy of Music since 2005.

    In 2013, he was appointed to the Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme and has been the artistic director of the Open Strings Cello Academy since 2004.

    For more information and other featured artists head over to



    Nordophile attends Norwegian Night in Utrecht

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  • 29th September 2015
  • A Nordic fairytale in…Utrecht? As a Dutch copywriter – editor – journalist I don’t usually write in English, but when Nordophile’s Sarah Surgey – whom I ‘met’ on Instagram – asked me to cover the Nordic Delight Festival in my hometown Utrecht I thought: why not give it a try! The undiscovered culture of Northern […]

    A Nordic fairytale in…Utrecht?

    As a Dutch copywriter – editor – journalist I don’t usually write in English, but when Nordophile’s Sarah Surgey – whom I ‘met’ on Instagram – asked me to cover the Nordic Delight Festival in my hometown Utrecht I thought: why not give it a try! The undiscovered culture of Northern Europe brought to an innovating local music venue in the centre of a historical university town. It might be a positive new experience to a middle-aged guy (54) like me, normally covering city development and architecture. Well…I can tell you now, it was an experience more than worthwhile.




    Not only did the unexpected request from Nordophile’s Sarah Surgey to cover the Nordic Delight Festival trigger my interest, I was also intrigued as to the fact that the festival at first did not get any attention in what’s called ‘Uitagenda Utrecht’, which claims to give full insight in cultural events across the city. Woud this affect the success of this relatively small festival, still unknown to many? Probably not, with around 300 visitors the 2014 edition in EKKO was ‘utsolgt’, Norwegian for sold out! Not a mainstream festival, Nordic Delight isn’t the first that brings high-caliber performers to the picturesque city of Utrecht. Until recently it was Summer Darkness that turned Utrecht gothic-black in a more than special gathering of spirits once every year since 2003. And November this year it’s Le Guess Who? that again welcomes international upcoming bands and artists as well as international visitors. The initiative for a Nordic Delight Festival in Utrecht started in 2013. Founding fathers Arne Dee and Ad Pontier successfully organized two festivals and several events in Utrecht since then, always focused on Scandinavian music and culture. This September 26 Nordic Delight again offered a chance to experience the most talented upcoming music acts, from Norway this time, for the first time in the Netherlands.




    Getting tuned

    Not being much of a Nordophile myself the complete line up was unknown to me. Live performances by Fay Wildhagen, Emilie Nicolas and Bloody Beach, names that did not ring any bells to me. Then again, set to play their first shows in the Netherlands it would probably also be a first acquaintance to many. I decided to check them out before visiting the festival and doing so l had to adjust all of my (somewhat mainstream) musicality to tune into the styles of music they represented. In that way, and perhaps in many ways, covering Nordic Delight promised to be like discovering an entirely new world. Seeing some YouTube vids of the young but already eccentric Emilie Nicolas for instance, made it clear to me that she could bewilder me even more performing live at our local music venue EKKO, famous for its widely renewing agenda. Nicolas’ enchanting, melancholy and sometimes ecstatic songs made one shiver inside. ‘Amazing work on sound, vocals, electro-pop arrangements and a great richness of colours, true emotion and sensibility’ someone strikingly defined her music. For instance ‘Psterio‘ from her 2014 debut album ‘Like I’m a warrior’ (released in the Netherlands June this year) brought Northern Europe straight into my living room the way only Volvo did before with their ‘Made by Sweden’ campaign.



    Different dimensions

    Besides prizewinning Nicolas, without any doubt the most famous act in the Nordic Delight line up, the other acts deserve some special attention as well. Fay Wildhagen, the young singer-songwriter and guitarist with her impressive band brings songs with an organic mix of folk, rock and other genres. Straight from the heart and with a wide range of emotions, from small and modest, melancholy at times (as in this beautiful song), too loud and extrovert. Not always easy listening but pure, intense and very vivid. Her promising debut album ‘Snow’ was recently released in the Netherlands. And then there’s the five-piece band Bloody Beach with their self-proclaimed ‘tropidelica’, a colourful and warm cocktail of rock, psychedelia, dub, afrobeat, disco, punk, reggae and pop. Awaiting their final breakthrough with the release of their second album next year, performing at Nordic Delight might warm us up for what’s to come. But it’s not only the main acts that draw attention. The program contains music, a wonderful selection of short films and a Norwegian dinner. So, hungry in many ways, I headed for EKKO on this Saturday night.

    Stunning and ecstatic

    There I was in the midst of a mostly young, alternative audience that at first seemed to be more in place. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly and obviously everyone was curious for what the night would bring. None of us, however, seemed prepared for the impact of this evening. Where the sit down Norwegian dinner appeared to be reserved for other limited guests and was not open for all of the media, I arrived just before the stage opened at 20.00 hours. With the short films and musical performances programmed at the same time, for me it was more than logical to focus on music this evening and I’m glad I did. Almost traditional at times it was the stunning and sometimes ecstatic performance of the beautiful Emilie Nicolas and her impressive band that brought up a variety of emotions to probably every single visitor this night. What can one say about an overwhelming first acquaintance with this group of very modest young artists that in my opinion deserve a world stage. I’m convinced we’re gonna hear more of them soon…



    A warm embrace

    Also impressive was the first Dutch performance of the somewhat unordinary but charming Fay Wildhagen and band. Don’t ask me why, but to be honest, I was not expecting them to be as convincing as they were this evening. I was wrong there! Coming in from Hamburg/Germany, where she and Emilie Nicolas performed the night before at Reeperbahn Festival, Wildhagen rocked the house in many ways. Modest and fragile, folky at times and then up-tempo, loud and strong with a great sense of musicality and impressive guitar playing by Wildhagen herself. It felt like a warm embrace with this talented and promising young artist. And then, closing up Nordic Delight, there was Bloody Beach that finally made the audience move with their down to earth mix of music styles. In many ways a somewhat peace loving hippie style, dreamy rock perhaps, rather than the heavy metal appearance they seem to have. They did great on stage and knew how to take the house along with their infectious music.

    Catching up

    Looking back on the overwhelming experience that Nordic Delight was, it seems I’ve been missing out on the fast growing interest in Nordic culture. Working on this article, for instance, I discovered, a Dutch version of which is, to my surprise, based in Utrecht. So without any doubt I’ve got some catching up to do and writing this article might be just the start of that!

    Maurice Hengevel Twitter 

    All photos credited to Wim Pontier


    Norwegian/British band – Sun Up

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 24th September 2015
  • Nordophile is always on the lookout to bring you fresh Nordic music sounds which are creating ripples on the music scene. Occasionally known for its darker melancholy sounds running alongside with upbeat electronic pop, the acts coming out of the Nordics are certainly welcomed in countries fixated on the Nordic genre right now. We were […]

    Nordophile is always on the lookout to bring you fresh Nordic music sounds which are creating ripples on the music scene. Occasionally known for its darker melancholy sounds running alongside with upbeat electronic pop, the acts coming out of the Nordics are certainly welcomed in countries fixated on the Nordic genre right now.

    We were very excited to learn about a London/Norway mixed band called ‘Sun Up’ and wanted to find out more about this group whose track has been shared on Soundcloud this week.

    Listen to the ethereal dreamy voice from Frøydis Erås backed by upbeat pop music.


    Frøydis Erås – Voice
    John de Smet – Keys, Samples & Voice
    Maxim Fernandez – Guitar
    Howard de Smet – Bass
    Andrew Lusher – Drums, Samples & Voice

    If you tipped a scoop of Scandinavian snow, a handful of Hackney muck, and five friends in a blender, you’d get Sun Up, a new electro-speckled pop band hailing from Norway and London. Led by frontwoman Frøydis Erås, this five-piece uniquely weave together the introspective quirk of rural Scandinavia with the Technicolor clatter of metropolitan life.

    Sun Up’s first track ‘Machines’, a bedroom demo recorded and uploaded with minimal fanfare, immediately caught the attention of music tastemaker blogs such as Crack In The Road, Breaking More Waves and Gold Flake Paint.

    At their third ever gig, Sun Up were spotted by veteran booking agent Dave Chumbley at Primary Talent (Lana Del Rey, Alt-J, Wolf Alice) and spent the remainder of the year supporting the likes of Childhood, The Joy Formidable, and Phoria.

    Sun Up’s official debut track ‘Anchors’ is the crystallization of the band’s distinctive Anglo-Scandi DNA. Recorded during the pre-dawn hours of studio downtime by up-and-coming producer Neil Tollitt (Låpsley, Swim Deep, Pussy Riot), ‘Anchors’ is a glittering pop Trojan Horse hiding a bleak, broken heart.

    ‘Bursting with joy but tinged with something that sits between desire and the crushing weight of regret… understated brilliance’ – Gold Flake Paint

    ‘One of our new favourite voices… it took us just twenty-five seconds to fall in love’ – Breaking More Waves

    ‘Fantastic… Sun Up are well worth keeping an eye on’ – Crack In The Road


    Ultima – Oslo Contemporary Music Festival

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 7th September 2015
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    Ultima – Oslo Contemporary Music Festival takes place September 10-19. This is a fascinating festival which we thoroughly recommend as it takes us through a celebration of music through collaborations, talks, commissions, exhibitions, improvised performances and of course music from every corner of genres. Held in Oslo this is the perfect opportunity for a Nordophile to […]

    Ultima – Oslo Contemporary Music Festival takes place September 10-19. This is a fascinating festival which we thoroughly recommend as it takes us through a celebration of music through collaborations, talks, commissions, exhibitions, improvised performances and of course music from every corner of genres.

    Held in Oslo this is the perfect opportunity for a Nordophile to explore this cultural mecca of a Nordic city and immerse in the music culture through the festival.






    Ultima is the premiere contemporary music festival in the Nordic region. The festival became a designated “knutepunkt” (cultural hub) in 2006 and is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs and Oslo City Council. Ultima is a foundation with 17 members, all of them professional cultural institutions or organisations.

    The festival takes place during September and is staged at venues all around Oslo. Our events are staged both in large, established venues such as the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Oslo Concert Hall and the University of Oslo’s Great Hall as well as in small clubs, shop premises, industrial premises, museums, schools and outdoors.

    The Ultima Festival aims to promote artistic distinctiveness, trends and innovation and to make music of a high artistic standard accessible by everyone.

    His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon is the patron of Ultima.


    Featured Events



    Below are just a few of some of the events which are taking place. Head over to the Ultima website to find out about the other events which are taking place at the festival.


    Elisabeth Vatn: The color Beneath.

    Ekeberg park 6.30pm, September 10th



    Exclusive sunrise and sunset concerts with Elisabeth Vatn in James Turrell’s light installations in Ekeberg sculpture park.

    The Color Beneath by musician and composer ELISABETH VATN was conceived in James Turrell’s light installations in the old water reservoir on Ekeberg. Between 10–13 September, Vatn (harmonium, Meråker clarinet, bagpipes) performs withANDERS RØINE (langeleik, mouth harp, violin).

    Contemporary artist JAMES TURRELL works with perception, colour, light and space. The two location-specific works Ganzfeld: Double Vision and Skyspace: The Color Beneath were both created for the old water reservoir in 2013. While Ganzfeldexplores the way colours affect our senses, Skyspace makes use of the chromatic interaction between the concert space and the sky at dawn and dusk.

    In The Color Beneath the composer and performer turn their encounter with the installation into music, partly following the composition and partly through improvisation. Consequently, none of the concerts performed in this unique setting will be identical.

    The Color Beneath album was recorded during autumn 2014 and is released during Ultima 2015. The concerts are staged in cooperation with nyMusikk, Ekebergparken and Grappa Musikkforlag with contributions by Fond for Utøvende Kunstnere.


    Teknisk Museum, 10 AM

    Installation throughout festival



    ‘We are so used to seeing that suddenly we forgot how to look, so used to hearing that suddenly we forgot to listen.’

    Every movement we see in nature can be perceived as a visual concert, like a storm of birds moving together making astonishing patterns, or snow falling from the sky and touching the ground.Quintetto is based on the study of casual movement of objects or living creatures used as input for the production of sounds. The basic concept is to reveal what the ‘invisible concerts’ of everyday life. In this installation, the scene is five aquariums with a goldfish in each. The movement of the five fishes is captured by a video camera that translates their movements in digital sound signals/music in real time.


    Den Norske Opera & Ballett, Provesalen.




    Can music really be bad in itself or is ‘bad’ really nothing other than a subjective opinion?

    That is the question MATTHEW SHLOMOWITZ asks in Lecture About Bad Music, which was specially composed for the Anglo-Belgian octet. The work, which was written for lecturer, clarinet, electric guitar, synthesiser and violin, has been commissioned by Ultima and will receive its debut performance here. Australian-born Shlomowitz draws on elements from many fields and genres, employing musical demonstrations and recreations of psychological experiments to examine differences between musical experience and musical material.

    ALEXANDER SCHUBERT‘s Sensate Focus combines light and image, allowing lighting effects take on the role of a fifth performer to a quartet of musicians. In the work, Schubert, who studied bioinformatics, experiments with the interfaces between gesticular movements and musical sounds, where the performers’ physical movements and position in the room are essential elements of the composition.

    PLUS MINUS ENSEMBLE specialises in new music and modern key works. It is particularly known for its interest in avant-garde, experimental and conceptual music, such as Stockhausen’s seminal work from 1963, from which the ensemble takes its name.


    OCA (Office for Contemporary Art)




    CAMILLE NORMENT, who is Norway’s entry to the 56th Venice Biennale, began her collaboration with composer and writer DAVID TOOP at Café OTO in London in 2014. The collaboration resulted in a performance at the Biennale. The performance explores the legends, stories and mysteries of the depth of the oceans through sound. It is still being continually developed, and will be performed at Ultima in September.

    The Oslo-based American artist CAMILLE NORMENT’S practice includes performance, installation, drawing and sound. She explores how the body is interconnected with its environment through sound, and contemplates on the power of dissonance to create spaces for new ways of thinking. DAVID TOOP is a British composer, writer and professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation at the London College of Communication. The third edition of his debut book, Rap Attack, has just been released. He has recorded five solo albums since he released Ocean of Sound in 1995.

    In cooperation with nyMusikk and the Office for Contemporary Art Norway.


    Black Box Teater; Annie Dorsen – Yesterday Tomorrow

    September 18th, 7pm & September 19th, 6pm




    Annie Dorsen’s Yesterday Tomorrow is a musical that breaks most of the rules for this genre. Unlike traditional musicals, the music for this musical is created during the course of the performance with the help of computer-generated algorithms, which means that the final result is different every time. The only points of reference are the two well-known songs Yesterday by The Beatles andTomorrow from the musical Annie.

    Based on evolutionary processes such as mutation and natural selection, the algorithms determine the most appropriate route from the first song to the next, or from what has passed to what is to come. As a result, the performance stands as an expression of the unpredictable nature of the present, as a contrast to a familiar past and the notion of a happy future. The music is performed by three singers who continually receive information about which rhythm, pitch and lyrics to sing. The result is an intelligent, humorous yet disturbing encounter between man and machine.

    Annie Dorsen has previously work in film, dance and theatre, and in recent years has been particularly interested in artificial intelligence and digital performance. The Yesterday Tomorrowproject was developed in cooperation with Pierre Godard and Greg Bellar from the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM.).

    Concept, direction: Annie Dorsen. Music director: Joanna Bailie. Algorithm design: Pierre Godard. Sound design: Greg Beller. Video systems design: Ryan Holsopple. Lighting design and technical direction: Bruno Pocheron, Ruth Waldeyer. Producer: Alexandra Rosenberg. Performers: Hai-Ting Chinn, Jeffrey Gavett & Natalie Raybould. Coproduction: Holland Festival, Black Box Teater, Performance Space 122, La Villette – Résidences d’Artistes 2015, L’Hippodrome, scène nationale de Douai, Théâtre de Gennevilliers with Festival d’automne à Paris, Le Maillon-Wacken – Scene européenne – Strasbourg, théâtre Garonne – Scène européenne – Toulouse. Supported by: Mount Tremper Arts, Abrons Arts Center, New York State Council on the Arts.


    CEO & Artistic Director – Lars Pettern Hagen



    “The board appreciates that Lars Petter Hagen will continue to manage the festival for another three years,” says Stein Gullberg, Chairman of the Board. “Mr. Hagen has brought an innovative spirit to the festival program and steered its administrative advancement with a steady hand. Public attendance is on a rise, and Ultima is meeting with ever growing international attention. It’s important to make the best use of this potential, which is best served by the continuity we achieve by extending this appointment. Lars Petter Hagen’s extensive network as well as the fact that he is held in esteem by a broad music and art environment, both within Norway and internationally.”

    Lars Petter Hagen has accepted the offer. “Oslo is a fabulous music town in constant growth, making the Ultima Festival one of the most exciting places to work in the whole world right now. I look forward to another three years with unpredictable musical encounters, dialog with the public and artists, good colleagues and partners,” he says.


    Ultima Academy



    How does art affect nature? How does nature affect art? For its 2015 edition, Ultima Academy invites scientists, music researchers and artists to talk about nature and discuss our attitude to it.

    Head over to to read more about the collaborations and what you can expect to see!

    Special thanks to Ultima for text and photos.


    NJORD Biennale – Copenhagen Festival

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 31st August 2015
  • Nordophile is pleased to present another Nordic culture event which brings together different genres into a celebrated collaboration. NJORD is Copenhagen´s innovative new biennale for new Nordic music, art and culture. It offers new music, electronics, visuals, dance, installations and workshops – all presented at untraditional venues all over Copenhagen. NJORD Biennale will have its […]

    Nordophile is pleased to present another Nordic culture event which brings together different genres into a celebrated collaboration.


    NJORD is Copenhagen´s innovative new biennale for new Nordic music, art and culture.

    It offers new music, electronics, visuals, dance, installations and workshops – all presented at untraditional venues all over Copenhagen.

    NJORD Biennale will have its inaugural run from 28th of January – 1st of February 2016, where the meeting of music and visual art will be put under the microscope by a string of distinguished composers, musicians and artists.

    The relationship between the tonal colours of music and the colour tones of visual art are examined through concerts, exhibits, a separate children´s programme, seminars and lectures when NJORD 2016 takes centre stage in Copenhagen under the headline SOUND – COLOUR – MOTION.


    Kaukainen rakkaus

    Photo; Sakari Viika


    Composer in Residence

    The Finish composer Kaija Saariaho is this year’s Composer in Residence at NJORD New Nordic Music Biennale 2016 and her work will be presented to the audience in a series of concerts and exhibitions.

    Kaija Saariaho (born 1952) is one the most significant composers of our time. Her music is characterised by transparent, organic and expressive soundscapes – often created combining electronic compositions with acoustic music.

    At NJORD a number of Kaija Saariaho’s works will be performed and contextualised, using both the works of other composers as well as visual art and dance. Furthermore, NJORD has commissioned a completely new work by Saariaho, which will be presented for the first time during NJORD 2016. Saariaho herself will also play an active role in the development of the sound and art workshops for children that will be held during and after the Biennale.
    Thus, NJORD 2016 is the most comprehensive presentation of Kaija Saariaho’s work ever seen in Denmark, and as such NJORD Biennale affords Danish audiences a unique opportunity to experience this world-class composer in a variety of constellations and surroundings.

    NJORD 2016 is built upon the artistic idea of a convergence between music, colour and movement. A theme that proposes a cultural event of the senses, where the tonal colours of music and colour tones of visual art will saturate the historical as well as modern architecture of Copenhagen.
    For this purpose, Kaija Saariaho’s music is an obvious and most relevant choice. Saariaho is known for combining acoustic and electronic music focusing on sound and timbre, and her works reaches across genres into the visual arts, dance and theatre.



    Photo; Priska Ketterer

    Before Saariaho became a composer she was a student of music and art. Hence, the intersection between these art forms has always been an important fixture in her oeuvre. Often she draws inspiration from outside the realm of music – be it in the night sky, nature, art or literature.

    ”While I sat there listening, I suddenly began to see colours and colour formations moving through the orchestra while they were playing – just as seeing the northern lights moving across the sky. Colours changing as great formations moves in gentle strokes across the horizon – this was how these colour formations moved through the orchestra as they were playing Saariaho’s music.”
    Organiser of NJORD Biennale, Jane Schwarz, about her first experience with Kaija Saariaho’s music.

    Kaija Saariaho studied composition by Paavo Heininen at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, with Brian Ferneyhough at Freiburg Musikhochschule and at IRCAM in Paris, where she has been living since 1982.



    Photo;Maarit Kytöharju

    Kaija Saariaho has received a number of awards and prizes for her music including the Nordic Counsel Music Prize in 2000, the American Grawemeyer Composition Award, one of the most prestigious awards in the world, in 2003, Musical America Composer of the year 2008, the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 2011, awarded to her at a concert with Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and in 2013 the Polar Music Prize alongside Senegalese singer and politician Youssou N’Dour.

    For more information which is being released over the next few weeks, head to


    Swedish composer – B Tommy Andersson

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 28th August 2015
  • Swedish composer B Tommy Andersson is the Composer-in -Association for BBC NOW for the 2014/15 Season. His last big piece to be performed by them is a new commission from the BBC to be premiered at the BBC Proms on 3 September 2015. Pan is the piece to be performed: The music is inspired by the […]

    Swedish composer B Tommy Andersson is the Composer-in -Association for BBC NOW for the 2014/15 Season. His last big piece to be performed by them is a new commission from the BBC to be premiered at the BBC Proms on 3 September 2015.

    Pan is the piece to be performed:

    The music is inspired by the ancient Greek myths about the god Pan; the god of Nature, of the Wild, of Shepherds, and of Rustic Music. He is also known for his sexual powers and for playing the pan pipe. The large organ is used as an element in the orchestration. In a way, the organ becomes sort of a gigantic pan pipe, representing the god Pan.


    B Tommy Andersson 3 (72dpi)


    Nordophile wanted to know about this Swedish music master who composes and conducts throughout the world.

    B Tommy Andersson was composing music at the age of 11. At that point it was mostly small pieces for one or two violins, but he soon became interested in writing pieces on a larger scale. The first piece of Andersson’s music performed in public was the Prelude and Fugue in F major for organ, performed by Lars-Erik Bernvill in Sandhult Church, 20 May 1979.




    At fourteen years old, he started to study orchestration with a local conductor in Borås, Jan-Anders Eriksson, who generously gave his time and advice to his young student. He also studied harmony and counterpoint with an elderly military band leader, Arne Ask. In the spring of 1980, a larger orchestral piece, Trolle-Ljungby Horn och Pipa, was performed by the local youth symphony orchestra in Borås. This, of course, inspired Tommy to learn even more about composition. During the Borås years, the local music school continuously commissioned him to write musical arrangements and he had many opportunities to listen to what he had composed or arranged.





    During his high school years in Borås, he also studied composition with composer Sven-Eric Johanson in Gothenburg (1981—83). Andersson was quite productive during these years (writing about 25 compositions), considering that he also went through high school and in addition, played several instruments. The studies with Johanson focused on counterpoint in Palestrina-style (according to Knud Jeppesens textbook), twelve-tone technique (according to Ernst Krenek’s principles) and Paul Hindemith’s Unterweisung im Tonsatz.

    In the course of his studies in the music teacher’s class in Stockholm, from the Autumn of 1983, he took composition lessons with Hans Eklund and Professor Sven-David Sandström. At first, he continued to compose regularly and received several commissions. During the years 1991—2001, B. Tommy Andersson was focusing on establishing his conducting career. That is the reason why so few pieces were composed during this period. Nevertheless, three larger works were created; the Horn Concerto, Apollo — the successful concerto for solo percussion and orchestra, written in 1995 for Markus Leoson, and Satyricon. Furthermore, quite a few arrangements, orchestrations, transcriptions for symphonic band and adaptations for chamber orchestra were made during these ten years.



    Since the turn of the century, his music has increasingly attracted more attention and several larger pieces have been commissioned and performed. Among these, we find an opera, orchestral pieces, and choral pieces. In April 2009, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in Stockholm gave a festival entirely dedicated to the music of B Tommy Andersson. During four days, 24 of his compositions were performed in Stockholm Concert Hall. It was a great success, just like the CD Satyricon, which was released in 2009 and received highest possible acclaim from the critics.



    We are really interested in hearing how you first discovered your talent for composing and conducting? Do you feel the two go hand in hand with having such an understanding of music?

    When I was eight years old, I was given the opportunity to learn to play an instrument in the local music school in the city Borås (a city situated 60 km west of Gothenburg), where I grew up. Like everybody else, I had to start with the recorder, but then I switched to the violin. In those days, all children were offered this possibility for free, which tells a lot about the kind of society Sweden was in the 1970’s. Had this not been the case, it is not at all certain that I would have come into the world of classical music, since there was no tradition of music in my family.

    In the music school, I met several enthusiastic and inspiring people, who opened my eyes and ears to classical music. By coincidence, the municipal library happened to have a large collection of orchestral scores, a result of a donation, which I happened to notice. For me, the discovery of the connection between the music I listened to and the notation in the scores was exhilarating. I listened a lot to classical music on the radio, which gave me access to a wide repertory. The classical channel (P2) was a really fantastic thing for me, since in those days, prior to the easy access everybody has today through Internet, it was very expensive and difficult to get to hear the music you wanted to get to know. Before long I systematically borrowed the scores to the music that was broadcast, and I followed the music in the score as I was listening.

    For some reason, this inspired me to try to compose my own pieces. In the beginning, when I was around eleven years old, it was small pieces for one or two violins, which I played together with my violin teacher. But one thing led to another, and shortly I tried to compose bigger pieces. Through the music school I received wonderful help from enthusiastic teachers to learn the craft and I was also given lots of opportunities to hear my music played, which is, of course, the ultimate inspiration to continue composing.

    Before I left Borås, at age 19, for studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, I had already been able to listen to many of my own pieces, also some orchestral works. By then, I had also conducted my own music on some occasions, and somehow it became clear that I had a talent for conducting.

    My original intention was to try to become a professional composer. But in the early 1980’s, the prevalent style of new music was much more modernistic than I was comfortable with, and I realized that it would become tough for me to become successful as a composer, so after a while I put more time and energy into trying to become a professional conductor instead.

    Times have changed, however, and since the mid 1990’s the scene for contemporary music is open to a wider spectrum of musical styles. Suddenly, my music has become increasingly appreciated and I have taken up composition again.

    For me, the combination of being conductor and composer is really successful, since the two roles are closely related. I learn new things about music and composition every time I conduct, particularly during the rehearsals, and the experience as a conductor gives insights in music-making that is invaluable for a composer.


    Coming from Sweden how have you seen the arts appreciated and encouraged there?

    Sweden is, like all the other Nordic countries, situated on the outskirts of Europe. Because of this, it took more time for cultural phenomena to reach us in the 18th and 19th centuries. As a result of this, it was not until the 20th century, particularly the second half of it, that a proper infrastructure for classical music was built up, in the form of several professional orchestras and opera houses.

    The state support for art, theatre, literature, and music has been strong since WWII. It’s not until the last decade that neoliberal ideas has become involved in the discussion about cultural financing. Despite severe cuts in the culture budgets in many countries around the world, the cultural institutions in Sweden have so far remained rather intact.




    • Can you tell us a little bit about your new commission for the BBC, Pan, which is to be performed at the BBC Proms September 3rd?

    The piece is inspired by the ancient Greek myths about the god Pan; the god of Nature, of the Wild, of Shepherds and of Rustic Music. He is also known for his sexual powers and for playing the pan pipe. Pan is sometimes depicted as a rather small and not very attractive being, horned and goat-like. On the other hand, he could also be rendered as an imposing, beautiful, and seductive man, albeit with some characteristic features like horns and a tail. Regardless of his appearance, he is to be reckoned as a powerful force of nature. The word “panic” (Panikon) was used by the ancient Greeks to describe the feeling of fear that was incited to men and animals alike when they sensed that Pan was nearby.

    The organ is used as an element in the orchestration and it becomes a gigantic pan pipe, representing the god Pan. The loud organ is a manifestation of the immense power that the god possesses, and at the same time the panic that he stirs around himself.

    Despite rather illustrative musical characters, the music is by no means programme music in the sense that it tells a story. I have been influenced by several different representations of Pan, from old Graeco-Roman pictures and statues, paintings of Nicolas Poussin, and also more contemporary artwork, such as the images by the Italian painter Roberto Ferri.


    How did your relationship with the BBC come about?

    It is a direct result of that the Danish principal conductor of BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Thomas Søndergård, likes my music. He wanted me to be Composer-in-Association with his orchestra for one year, and there we are.


    What do you have coming up after this?

    In terms of composition, I’m working on a violin concerto right now. When it’s finished, it will be followed by a couple of choral works, and after that my second opera. Besides composing, I have several conducting engagements, and I am also Professor of Orchestral Conducting at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.




    Find out more about the BBC Proms, 3rd September


    Nordic Delight – Norwegian Night

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 26th August 2015
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    Nordophile has always noted the Nordic connection between the Nordics and the Netherlands. Close ties are going to be made even stronger when Nordic Delight put on a Norwegian Night in the cultural hub city, Utrecht.     Nordic Delight Norwegian Night with Emilie Nicolas, Bloody Beach & Fay Wildhagen The organisation of Nordic Delight […]

    Nordophile has always noted the Nordic connection between the Nordics and the Netherlands. Close ties are going to be made even stronger when Nordic Delight put on a Norwegian Night in the cultural hub city, Utrecht.




    Nordic Delight Norwegian Night with Emilie Nicolas, Bloody Beach & Fay Wildhagen

    The organisation of Nordic Delight has announced the next Scandinavian event today. On Saturday, September, 26th music venue EKKO in Utrecht is all about Norway. With live performances by Emilie Nicolas, Bloody Beach and Fay Wildhagen Nordic Delight brings three talented high potential acts from Norway to Utrecht. Besides live music, short films by Norwegian makers are screened and there is a limited number of combi tickets available including a three-course Norwegian dinner.




    Fay Wildhagen is a young folk singer-songwriter and guitarist from Oslo and one of the biggest promises of Norway. With a full band including violin and cello she brings an organic blend of folk, rock and other genres with lots of passion and charm and a very unique sound. After a summer full of performances at all important Norwegian festivals, she will play at several international (showcase) festivals later this year, but first she will make her debut in the Netherlands at our Norwegian Night.



    Photo credit Tore Winsents


    Who remembers Kakkmaddafakka? Bloody Beach are also from Bergen and guarantee a similar party! A cheerful mix of pop, rock, psychedelia, with elements of afrobeat, dub and surf rock, which they describe as ‘tropidelica’. Next year, with the release of their second album, a breakthrough is expected, including shows at Dutch festivals, but at Nordic Delight you can get a first taste.





    Emilie Nicolas is the most well-known name in her own country and was already on the wishlist of Nordic Delight for a while. The Norwegian singer and composer is praised for her powerful vocals and wistful lyrics, accompanied by a sparse and somber backdrop of electronic beats. Emilie Nicolas won several awards as best live act and for her debut album, which was released in the Netherlands in June this year. In September, she will tour through Europe and gives an exclusive show at Nordic Delight.

    Nordic Delight organised two festivals and several events in Utrecht in the last three years, always focussed on Scandinavian music and culture. On September 26 Nordic Delight offers you the chance again to experience the most talented upcoming music acts from Norway for the first time in the Netherlands.


    Head over to Nordic Delight for more information and support this Nordic event at EKKO Utrecht.



    Tickets are now for sale here:

    More info:

    Facebook event:



    Bora Bora

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 11th August 2015
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    Nordophile on its discovery of the arts in the Nordics is excited to present Bora Bora, a production house of dance and visual theatre. Based in Aarhus Denmark, this is definitely a cultural experience which any Nordophile can enjoy without fear of a language barrier, because the presentation is different to regular theatre and is […]

    Nordophile on its discovery of the arts in the Nordics is excited to present Bora Bora, a production house of dance and visual theatre. Based in Aarhus Denmark, this is definitely a cultural experience which any Nordophile can enjoy without fear of a language barrier, because the presentation is different to regular theatre and is not done solely through dialogue but a very visual exploration of performing arts, which makes it perfect for an international audience (like expatriates in Aarhus). Bora Bora is key in promoting international exchange, with encouraging and obtaining foreign acts to their stage as well as sending the performances they help co-produce out into the world – all the while trying to help emerging artists. Bora Bora presents, produces and co-produces national and international performances, organizes festivals, conducts artistic experiments and initiates residencies and workshops.




    Bora Bora as a house does not have its own dance company – as many other dance theaters have. They work with select groups, though, and co-produce their shows – among other things providing them much needed space to rehearse.

    They are involved with some international groups, but also have a handful of local groups connected. Among them the company Don*Gnu Physical Theatre – who will present their latest premiere “M.I.S. – All Night Long” this October. A good chance to see some uniquely Danish dance theater. Through exchanges with partners in different networks across Europe, Bora Bora wants to show the audience the newest and freshest in visual performing arts. They work together with partners to internationalise production possibilities for a wide range of artists locally and nationally. Facilitating contact between the Aarhus audience and European artists, and between the artists in general.




    Festivals are an important part of Bora Bora. Through festivals – like artist residencies –  the audience meets artists from different countries, exchange views, experiences and sometimes begin long-lasting cooperations.

    There are some amazing productions coming up which we recommend you see. Aarhus as a city is a cultural hub and is worth combining your Nordic travel with this theatre that is raw and impassioned about producing and promoting visual theatre.




    Sometimes words are not enough when it comes to the arts, so hereare some videos for you to hear & see a small glimpse into what Bora bora is really all about!


    Upcoming events


    Detour 16-17 Sept

    Detour is an urban dance festival with b-boying, house and hip hop poetry – dedicated to promoting and enhancing the quality of urban dance and its great choreographic potential in Denmark.

    The last three years the festival has been a great success in Copenhagen, where it has challenged both the audience and the Danish dance environment in their perception of urban dance and choreography. Now the festival comes to Aarhus for the first time.

    Detour festival is a celebration of the whole urban dance environment and is dedicated to further accelerate the meeting of urban dance and new audiences across cultures.

    The festival is for all ages, so come and join in when the year’s most extensive urban dance festival kicks off! Get carried away by the good mood when some of the best dancers on the urban dance take the stage. There is room for both clapping and cheering, be captivated and get up from the seats when the dancers interpret the classic hip hop in new ways that reach far beyond the stage.

    The festival includes short features from a mixture of the most renowned national and international choreographers on the urban dance scene.

    Featured artists on the programme:
    Tentical Tribe (CAN)
    CJM’s (FRA)
    Rico Coker (DK)
    Sara Jordan (DK)
    Anna Eileen & Marie Paldrup (DK)




    Reptile Youth 3rd Oct

    Mercedes-Benz presents a unique concert with Reptile Youth with stage design and visuals by the American artist Abby Portner.

    This cooperation was first presented at CPH:PIX and later at SPOT Festival. This evening you will experience a fully developed version of this collaboration between Reptile Youth and Abby Portner with a full live band set-up. The band will perform the songs from the EP “Away” plus older material. For the concert, Abby Portner is building an entirely unique stage design with video as well. For many years she has worked closely with Animal Collective as well as worked with John Cale and Jim Henson Studios.

    Bora Bora presents this concert in cooperation with Fonden Voxhall.




    Lost Memories 7-8 Oct

    Shaken, disoriented and without memory Mr. H arrives at a psychiatric emergency ward. The space, sounds and doors evoke glimpses of memories and the staff transforms into people from his past. Infinitely slowly he recalls: A woman is lost in the darkness.

    LOST MEMORIES recreates the feeling of inner chaos from a man who has lost his beloved to suicide, and the paralyzing despair that hits you when you see another human disintegrate. The performance shows in retrospect and in a backward manner the traumatic events which led to Mr. H’s amnesia.

    LOST MEMORIES is a tale of losing yourself when you lose someone else. About rediscovering yourselves and live in a moving narrative with dance, video, words and music.

    LOST MEMORIES is supported by the Danish Arts Council, Augustinus Fonden, Wilhelm Hansen Fonden, Denmark’ National Bank’s Anniversary Foundation of 1968, Konsul Georg og hustru Emma Jorcks fond and Copenhagen Performing Arts Committee.

    LOST MEMORIES on tour is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation Project Funding Committee for the Performing Arts.




    DON*GNU 29 Oct-3 Nov

    M.I.S. ALL NIGHT LONG is a slapstick dance performance which kicks the balls in orbit and bang the heads together in pursuit of the cursed self-understanding.

    In the final part of the trilogy about MEN SANDALS which is about the man’s identity in modern society DON*GNU digs down in the subconscious. Four totally different dancing men stretch themselves to the breaking point and throw themselves against their self-inflated walled-up self. They explore the man‘s unexpected paths and hidden energies in his labyrinthine search for meaning and pathos.

    What are these mechanisms we start when we as men look inward to find the answer? And how do we meet those mechanisms again, when we look outwards and are confronted with ourselves? How do we act in this inferno of unintended consequences with guilt and remorse at one end and desperate rescue operations in the other?

    Supported by Danish Arts Foundation, Aarhus Municipality, Aarhus Municipality’s Cultural Development Fund



    Bora Bora is supported by The Performing Arts Committee of the Danish Arts Council and The Municipality of Aarhus.

    We thank Lars Kjær Dideriksen who was only too happy to speak with us about Bora Bora

    Nordophiles should head to the site for the full programme with info and video trailers


    Helsinki Festival

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 7th August 2015
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    Helsinki Festival is the largest arts festival in Finland, organised annually in late summer. The festival’s aim is to make art accessible for all. In 2015, the Helsinki Festival is arranged from August 14-30. The Night of the Arts is arranged on 20 August 2015.   Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin; KILL Carmen   Featured events […]

    Helsinki Festival is the largest arts festival in Finland, organised annually in late summer. The festival’s aim is to make art accessible for all.

    In 2015, the Helsinki Festival is arranged from August 14-30.
    The Night of the Arts is arranged on 20 August 2015.



    Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin; KILL Carmen


    Featured events

    Art goes Kapakka

    Ten days, ten nights and more than 300 events taking place across Helsinki’s bars, restaurants and cafes. Art goes Kapakka brings together interesting and insightful art, the city’s finest gastronomic delights and some fantastic crowds – and is a chance for established artists to preview their latest ideas and newcomers to do some profile raising.

    Throw yourself in and enjoy unforgettable AgK moments in the dark August nights. The long-awaited programme is due to be announced in summer 2015. See you there!




    30th Helsinki Comics Festival

    This year, the largest comic festival in Northern Europe is also turning its gaze toward Asia and moving its normal timetable up by one week. The special themes for 2015 are zines and small press, Hong Kong and Korea. The programme will include, e.g., a comic market, Small Press heaven, comic artists, gallery exhibitions throughout the city, discussions, lectures, live drawing sessions, competitions, animations, a children’s programme and evening clubs.

    In co-operation with:
    Suomen sarjakuvaseura, Sarjakuvakeskus




    Helsinki Night Market

    At last! After two years of waiting, the Helsinki Night Market offers the possibility of tasting insects. More than ten different street stalls set up with a variety of night-time delicacies from traditional Asian treats to more exotic flavours. This year, insect food cooks from Shanghai conjure up snacks from all kinds of insects.

    Inside the red-brick yard, there is a diverse and zany combination of art forms, glow-in-the-dark lions and dragons, and of course, live music. There are also activities for the smaller members of the family. The event continues on Friday!

    In co-operation with:
    The Abattoir (Teurastamo), Centre of International Cultural Exchange, Chinese Ministry of Culture




    Searching for Janne

    In honour of the 150th anniversary, students from the Theatre Academy read the Sibelius biography by Erik Tawaststjerna in pop-up events all over the city. Find yourself in situations that uplift beyond everyday life in unexpected locations throughout the Festival!

    Performed in Finnish.

    In co-operation with: Theatre Academy OP





    Enormous, eight-metre giants come to life at Night of the Arts! Where are they from? How did they get here and why? Helsinki Festival and Helsingin Sanomat join the city residents in welcoming these rare guests with open arms. Join in the fun of building giant wicker beings in free workshops co-ordinated by EMMA. The event will culminate in the giants coming to life, and that can happen only with your help!

    Night of the Arts thu 20.8.
    The Giants come to life at Senate Square at 19.00

    Concept, production: BeNoît Mousserion & Bérangère Pajaud, Cie l’Homme debout

    Co-operation: EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art

    In partnership with: Helsingin Sanomat




    Susanne Sundfør; Color Dolor

    Dramatic, elegant, cinematic, unapologetic, inspiring. These adjectives, among others, have been used to describe Susanne Sundfør, a young talent at the top of the charts in Norway. Sundfør, 29, has already recorded six albums and collaborated with the Norwegian group Röyksopp and the French group M83. Sundfør has moved from nostalgic folk music to dark pop and gloomy electronic music. Her newest album, Ten Love Songs, is like Kate Bush meets disco.

    The warm-up act for the evening, Color Dolor from Helsinki, leads you into a vortex of experimental, dream-like and unexpected soundscapes. Underneath the wild sound, there is classy, dynamic pop playing that is guaranteed to lift your dancing feet off the floor.

    Color Dolor starts at 7 p.m. Susanne Sundfør starts at 8.15 p.m.
    Doors: 6 p.m.

    For this event you can purchase a meal by Restaurant Juuri beforehand!

    Age limit: 18


    credit Luke Gilford


    Director of Helsinki Festival – Erik Söderblom

    The Tree Booms

    Boom 1: Changing China

    Circus, dance, design, rock, symphony, cartoons, kites and street food. As part of the 2015 Helsinki Festival, we present Focus: China, one of the most comprehensive looks at Chinese culture seen in Europe over the past years. We are not interested in how different or exotic the Chinese are as such, but rather how similar we humans ultimately are.

    The world has changed China. Now China is changing the world at a pace. If you dig deep enough in Finland, you get to China, they say. The 2015 Helsinki Festival provides you with shovels for the exploration.

    Boom 2: Changing musical theatre

    Theatre changes, music changes, dance changes. Perhaps musical theatre is the art form which, in embracing the world, ultimately best describes our multifaceted modern reality. This has been understood by the modern generation of composers – more than 20 of them are currently working on an opera or musical theatre project. Finland is experiencing a well-hidden musical theatre boom! The 2015 Helsinki Festival programme contains a small part thereof: three premieres of Finnish musical theatre works.

    Boom 3: Continuing agent of change

    The Huvila Festival Tent, the agent of change in the city’s music scene, celebrates its 20th anniversary! Over the years, this Tokoinranta landmark has fed the fires of passion, introduced new artists of all sorts and launched one star after another into the musical sky of Helsinki. And it will do so this summer as well. The agent of change continues!

    In this landscape of change, after six festivals, I bid farewell to the wonderful audience of the Helsinki Festival with this year’s programme and welcome my successor, Topi Lehtipuu.

    The world is changing – art makes the transition easier.



    photo; Sasa Tkalcan

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