Northern Connection strengthens Nordic cooperation in contemporary music

Northern Connection is a new and innovative project that aims to connect Nordic countries and Scotland by establishing and strengthening liaisons between composers, ensembles and festivals in contemporary music.

Northern Connection is an international collaboration aiming to establish new creative links between Scotland, Finland and Norway through a new partnership of music export offices, music festivals, composers and ensembles.

In its pilot phase, the project will bring together key music organisations from Scotland, Finland and Norway to commission and premiere three new works. Each country will be represented by a composer, an ensemble and a contemporary music festival. One new work will be commissioned from each country’s composer.

The project will fully start at the beginning of 2023. Other countries will join the project in the coming years. The project is initiated and led by Music Finland.

Each country’s selected commission will be performed by one of the ensembles at a festival in at least one of the partner countries, and possibly more, during 2023 and the following years.

"It's been a pleasure to plan a new type of cooperation with our northern partners. It's especially gratifying to have Scotland with us in the project. Everyone is excited to join in and inquiries have already come in about when the project will expand and whether we can add more partners to the Northern Connection network," says Heli Lampi, Music Finland's Head of Communications and Promotion.

Versatile gains in ecologically sustainable ways

Northern Connection is built on the principles of sustainable development and ecological awareness, and it enables the creation of long-term cooperative relationships between contemporary music professionals in northern countries. The commissioned works will get more than one performance and the ensembles will tour in the partner festivals in an environmentally sustainable way.

With this program, composers will get new commissions, ensembles will get new material for their repertoire and festivals will get new program from the neighboring countries – which is sustainable and financially wise. New contacts, ideas and networks will strengthen co-operation and bring additional value to the contemporary art field in the northern area.

In the pilot phase, the partners of the project are Music Finland, Musica nova Helsinki and defunensemble from Finland, Music Norway, Ultima festival and Ensemble Temporum from Norway, and Scottish Music Centre, Sound festival and Red Note Ensemble from Scotland.

The composers selected through an open call are Lauri Supponen from Finland and Lisa Robertson from Scotland. The composer representing Norway will be announced later.