Minna Leinonen and Tinyhawk & Bizzarro receive 2024 Teosto Prize

The winners of the 2024 Teosto Prize are Minna Leinonen’s composition "…and we are rotating with it" and Jenni Kinnunen’s compositions and Kinnunen’s and her team’s arrangements on Tinyhawk & Bizzarro’s album "Nekorok".

Recognising bold, original and innovative works of music, the Teosto Prize is one of the biggest art prizes in the Nordic countries. Its total prize money of EUR 40,000 will be divided equally among the winning works. The seven nominees and two winners of the Teosto Prize were selected from Finnish works of music published or premiered in 2023.

The winners were selected by a five-person panel of judges, which consisted of the winners of the 2023 Teosto Prize Helmi Kajaste aka Draama-Helmi, Mikko Sarvanne and Tapio Lappalainen as well as music editor Ida Karimaa (Spotify’s Finland) and lecturer (pop / jazz vocal music) and songwriter Aija Puurtinen, DMus.

The prize winners were announced in Helsinki on 22 April.

Rationale behind the winner selection

Jenni Kinnunen’s compositions and Jenni Kinnunen and her team’s arrangements on Tinyhawk & Bizzarro’s album "Nekorok"

Released September 2023, Humu Records. Composed by Jenni Kinnunen, arranged by Jenni Kinnunen, Teemu Aho, Markus Väisänen, Jaakko Pöyhönen, Tuukka Tervo, Niko Votkin, Jarkka Rissanen, Juuso Kolho.

"Tinyhawk & Bizzarro’s Nekorok is a joyful, unaffected and sincere album that boldly breaks the boundaries of guitar-dominated instrumental rock, which is often quite faithful to its traditions. The work is an unprecedented combination of different music genres, such as progressive rock, film music, Western music and Finnish schlager music. Although the album draws inspiration from a wide variety of sources, the team has created an impressively coherent whole of this diversity.

Jenni Kinnunen’s skilful compositions avoid being overly serious and create their own playful worlds. In the work, Kinnunen’s guitar acts as a narrator and the stories do not need words to reach the listener. The team’s arrangements are rich and ingenious. Nekorok is an album of musicians and dancers that engages the audience in the enjoyment of the communal dimension of music."

Stream Nekorok on Spotify or Apple Music.

Read more about Tinyhawk & Bizzarro on our latest "New Artists to Follow" list.

Minna Leinonen’s composition "…and we are rotating with it"

Premiere: Kamus Quartet, Our Festival, 29 July 2023, Kallio-Kuninkala’s Leonora hall

"Minna Leinonen’s …and we are rotating with it stems from our fragile and beautiful planet and its rotation that accelerates with climate change. Physical natural phenomena have inspired the composer to create extremely rich sound worlds and innovative playing technique solutions. The work uses the entire spectrum of string music, from chords emerging as fragile hints of sound to gripping, swirling noise. Advanced string instrument techniques, speech and singing are intrinsically intertwined with the themes of the work, breaking conventional boundaries. Carefully thought-out lyrics, expressed through speech and singing, bring rhythm to string music.

The confident and fascinating work is full of intense, even tormenting, emotions, captivating the listener from the first note. The work does not let its audience forget about the state of our planet and the inevitable changes caused by climate change."

Browse Leinonen's works on Music Finland Composers & Repertoire.

Read our brand new feature article on Minna Leinonen.

Listen below:

Seven nominees competed for the Teosto Prize

In addition to the winners, the nominees included:

  • Niko Katavainen and his team’s works on MELO’s album m<3lo
  • Outi Tarkiainen’s composition Polar Pearls, concerto for chamber orchestra
  • Orvokki Oittila’s works on Orvokki’s album Kasvotusten
  • Verneri Pohjola’s compositions on the album Monkey Mind
  • Vilma Jää and Mikko Renfors’s compositions, Vilma Jää’s lyrics and Vilma Jää, Mikko Renfors, Hanna Ryynänen and their team’s arrangements on Vilma Jää’s album Kosto

The nominees were selected by a preliminary selection panel consisting of journalist Katri Norrlin (Chair), journalist and radio host Laura Vähähyyppä, DJ and researcher Mikko Mattlar, PhD, and blogger Pasi Virtanen aka Jazzpossu, as well as journalists Sonja Saarikoski, Auli Särkiö-Pitkänen and Oskari Onninen.

The Teosto Prize is awarded to bold, original and innovative works of music

The purpose of the Teosto Prize is to annually recognise bold, original and innovative works of music or collections of works. The works may represent any genre. With the prize, Teosto also wants to support the diversity of genres and increase appreciation for the work of music authors in society. Awarded since 2003, the Teosto Prize is one of the most noteworthy art prizes in the Nordic countries. The prize was now awarded for the 19th time.