This section provides detailed information on concerts and festivals throughout Finland, including film, visual arts, classical music, opera and choral, contemporary, blues, jazz, pop and rock, dance, and multi-arts festivals, concerts and events.
There are almost 3,000 choirs in Finland, including the award-winning Tapiola, Rajaton, Musica, Jubilate, and Philomela Female choirs, not to mention the famous Mieskuoro Huutajat, or Screaming Men. Throughout the country there are regular choral performances, and Finland hosts numerous festivals of choral music annually.
Despite the fact that Finnish classical music has only existed for little over a century, Finland has a lively classical music scene, with numerous fine concert halls throughout the country, most notably Alvar Aalto's Finlandia Hall in Helsinki. There are 15 professional orchestras listed as members in the Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras, and another 13 semi-professional and chamber orchestras. Finland is also famed for its conductors, such as Mikko Franck, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Susanna Mälkki, Leif Segerstam and Sakari Oramo OBE.
The rise of metal in Scandanavia has led to a very healthy metal scene in Finland, as evidenced by the success of Lordi in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006. Likewise punk and hardcore. Most Finnish bands in these genres perform in English, rather than their native language, to appeal to the greater international audience.
Finland has a lively electronic music scene with many popular artists, DJs and clubs. The weekend scene is particularly vibrant in Helsinki, Turku and Tampere, with these cities also having a large underground party scene. Lahti, Oulu and Jyväskylä also have regular parties at least monthly. In the summer (and sometimes even in the winter) parks and forests become popular party venues.
Popular legend has it that jazz arrived in Finland in 1926 by a band of American-Finnish musicians on the M/S Andania. Today there is a thriving jazz scene, with the annual Pori Jazz Festival enjoying international acclaim. The blues might be older than Finland itself, but the Finnish blues scene is stronger than ever and it can be found not only in small clubs but also on large-scale festivals.
Finnish folk music can be roughly divided into two historical eras, the earlier stratum is often called the ancient Finnish period or the Kalevala era. It covers such genres as the singing of Kalevala poetry, the chain dance, the lament, and a distinctive brand of music performed on such instruments as the five-stringed kantele, the bowed harp, and a host of folk wind instruments. The later stratum of Finnish folk music is the period of agrarian or pelimanni music and it is clearly rooted in Western culture.
Finnish rock and pop has enjoyed considerable global success of late, with artists like The Rasmus, Apocalyptica, HIM, Bomfunk MCs and Nightwish all garnering international acclaim. In every town you'll find venues where both local and international acts perform, and there are plenty of rock and pop festivals held throughout the country, mostly during the summer months.
There are no less than 15 professional orchestras listed as members in the Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras, another 8 semi-professional or chamber orchestras, and 7 more orchestras of varying styles like the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and the Vantaa Pops Orchestra. With so many orchestras in Finland, it should come as no surprise that there are almost as many fine concert halls for them to perform in.