Do they bite?

I just had to take a picture of these cute little kids, sitting in Helsinki at the estuary of the Vantaa river, so-called “Vanhankaupunki” (the place where Helsinki was founded in 1550 by Swedish king Gustav Vaasa I), learning how to fish. There was a pretty cold wind on that day, but hey, they are…

Denis Matsuev in Helsinki

One day he spent in Helsinki and offered a piano recital in Helsinki Musiikkitalo. I absolutely had to go, I mean, Steinway Grand piano + Matsuev + Musiikkitalo is a safe bet for a wonderful evening, even though he didn’t play Rachmaninoff, but instead Beethoven and Tschaikovsky. Together with a large number of fans (the…

It’s the little things…

…that illustrate the difference between a first-class and “normal class” venue. I work as one of the moderators for Sibelius Finland Experience during the summer months – a beautiful, one-hour concert event in Helsinki where young master students and musicians present music composed by Jean Sibelius to guests from all over the world (piano-violin). This…

Berlin 1

Long ago, I lived and worked in Berlin, shortly after the wall came down. When I decided to start a family, we left the city, as I couldn’t imagine to raise children there. In those days, playgrounds and sidewalks in Berlin were too often toilets for dogs and garbage cans for heroin needles (unless you…

Best restaurant in Helsinki?

What is the best restaurant in Helsinki? This morning I realized that the answer depends highly on: which list you are looking at. Helsingin Uutiset just published a list of the best “New” Restaurants. Just for fun, I made an excel sheet with an extra two lists for Helsinki. So there is Helsingin Uutiset, where…

Jättiläiset

Helsinki feiert gerade die Helsinki Festwochen. Dazu gehört regelmäßig die Nacht der Künste. Dieses Jahr war der Hauptevent eine beeindruckende Vorstellung mit zwei 8 m hohen Puppen auf dem Senatsplatz, Mann und Frau, Sehnsucht und Hoffnung, die versuchen, zueinander zu finden (ja klar, happy end). Konzept und Verwirklichung durch BeNoit Mousserion & Bérangère Pajaud: Cie…

Sibelius Violin Concerto

I had the great pleasure today to listen to  the Violin concerto of Jean Sibelius in the same premises where it was performed the first time! The city hall of Helsinki, then still Seurahuone Hotel, features an impressive celebration hall and has hosted many balls, concerts and events since the 19th century till today. The…

Penkkarit

Wenige Tage, bevor in Deutschland die Karnevalsumzüge starten, gibt es jährlich in Finnland, und vor allem in Helsinki, eine eigene Art Umzug: Penkkarit. Auch hier werden Süßigkeiten unter das Volk geworfen und die Teilnehmer und Fahrzeuge sind “verkleidet”. Allerdings handelt es sich nicht um Narren, sondern um Abiturienten, die sich nun auf die letzten Abiturprüfungen…