Three visions of classical music for the 2020s

“Internationalisation is vital for classical music. We need to forge a new image for Finnish music through technology: global, interesting and accessible.” –Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor and composer

What will the domain of classical music and contemporary music be like in the 2020s? How can Finnish music hope to succeed amidst increasing international competition? To find answers to these questions, a professional debate and vision development was launched under the leadership of Music Finland in autumn 2013.

A series of workshops was organised over the span of one year, intended to shape a shared vision for the music industry for the 2020s that would help actors in the field find their way in the international classical music sector. Three discussion forums involving composers, musicians, teachers, orchestras and entrepreneurs were held to outline the international operating environment, current trends, target states and visions. The final report of the project was published in Finnish in November 2014.

The publication focuses on the three visions for 2020s that crystallised in the course of the project:

1: We are a model nation for classical music

In 2020s, the field of classical music in Finland sets an interesting example for other countries to follow. We have a robust tradition of public funding that safeguards the wellbeing of the sector, but its financing profile has also diversified. New operating models have emerged that enable flexibility, rapid reforms and innovations. Music is one of the engines of the creative economy, and the added value it generates is of increasing economic importance. Classical music has an enthusiastic and committed audience.

New co-operatives, collectives, associations and businesses have emerged in the music sector. New operating models create jobs and foster enterprises, contributing to the strengthening of welfare in Finland. New forms of funding include crowd financing and corporate partnerships. Classical music is easy to approach. Interesting concerts and a wider variety of programming help attract new listeners.

2: We are an international nexus for classical music

In 2020s, we are in the midst of an international network of professionals and funding providers, regularly participating in international joint productions. Interaction and performer mobility feed into a continuous renewal and dynamic content production. Cutting-edge education brings international students and teachers to Finland. We are also a nexus for international online communications and discussions.

Foreign experts play key roles in Finnish music, and top Finnish musicians hold important posts abroad. We produce one of the leading online classical music publications and maintain online services that cater to professionals, institutions and audiences.

3: We export expertise and creative solutions in classical music

In 2020s, Finland has a reputation for producing some of the finest proponents of classical music, and Finnish music education is profiled as an export product. Innovations and technological applications leveraging classical music are doing well on the international market. New solutions enriching the traditional concert experience have also evolved into internationally successful products.

Finland’s leading performers and composers have created international careers thanks to their diversity of skills and expertise. Technological advancements have been leveraged in teaching and learning music, in games, in inter-art collaboration, in health care and welfare services and in enriching concert experiences. High-quality commercialisation has resulted in new, original concert concepts, curated playlists and multi-media packaging of musical experiences.

Music Finland was partnered by the Sibelius Academy in the vision development process. The project was governed by a steering group whose members were: Tuomas Auvinen (Sibelius Academy of the University of Arts Helsinki); violinist, conductor and composer Jaakko Kuusisto; Heli Lampi (Music Finland); Henna Salmela (Fennica Gehrman Oy); and composer Johan Tallgren. The project was led by consultant Jari Muikku (Digital Media Finland Oy).

Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi.