Six works of music nominated for the 2023 Teosto Prize
The nominees for the 2023 Teosto Prize were selected from Finnish works of music published in 2022. The Teosto Prize, which was first awarded in 2003 and is now being awarded for the 18th time, is one of the most noteworthy art prizes in the Nordic countries. The purpose of the prize is to recognise bold, original and innovative works of music.
If the Teosto Prize is awarded to multiple (but no more than three) works, the total prize money to be divided among the works will be EUR 40,000. If only one winner is selected, the prize money will be EUR 25,000. All the nominated works and collections of works were published or premiered in 2022.
The nominees for the 2023 Teosto Prize are:
- Helmi Kajaste’s and her team’s works on Draama-Helmi’s album Draama-Helmi kuistilla
- Petra Poutanen’s compositions, lyrics and arrangements and Joonas Outakoski’s arrangements on Pelkkä Poutanen’s album Pyhä veri vuotaa
- Mikko Sarvanne’s compositions on Mikko Sarvanne Garden’s album Heräämisen valkea myrsky
- Sanna Ahvenjärvi and Tapio Lappalainen’s composition Water
- Nino Ensio Mofu’s and his team’s works on NCO’s album Addikti
- Heinz-Juhani Hofmann’s composition and libretto in the work Aukio – ooppera kansannoususta
The nominees were chosen by a preliminary selection panel consisting of DJ and journalist Tytti Viljanen (Chair), journalist and radio host Antti Granlund, musicologist, Associate Professor and PhD Susanna Välimäki, blogger Pasi Virtanen, a.k.a. Jazzpossu, and journalists Oskari Onninen, Auli Särkiö-Pitkänen and Katri Norrlin.
”The preliminary selection panel for the Teosto Prize listened to many bold and interesting works. The music year 2022 brought fantastic works by both well-known creators and new names. Being able to listen to live and new music after the end of COVID-19 restrictions on events has been an important factor,” says Tytti Viljanen, the Chair of the preliminary selection panel responsible for selecting the nominees for the Teosto Prize.
The winner or winners of the Teosto Prize will be selected from the nominees by a five-person panel of judges, which consists of the winners of the 2022 Teosto Prize Cecilia Damström, Linda Fredriksson and Yona as well as members invited by Teosto’s management team, Miikka Maunula, Yle’s Executive Producer for music programmes, and Gita Kadambi, General Director of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. The winners will be announced at an event for invited guests at the restaurant of Helsinki Music Centre on 27 April.
Teosto Prize celebrates the diversity of music genres
With the Teosto Prize, Teosto also wants to bear responsibility for the future success and diversity of Finnish music. The Teosto Prize is awarded to bold, original and innovative works of music, regardless of genre or commercial success.
With the help of the prize, Teosto also wants to highlight the special importance of the work and primary production done by music authors and composers for the entire music industry ecosystem.
Reasons for selecting the nominees for the Teosto Prize
Helmi Kajaste’s and her team’s works on Draama-Helmi’s album Draama-Helmi kuistilla
Draama-Helmi’s, i.e. Helmi Kajaste’s, third album Draama-Helmi kuistilla is soft, languid, strange and mysterious – as well as blunt, direct and personal. The work consists of varied and even surprising elements. In terms of the music, the album jumps from the feel of Westerns to the rhythms of Kraftwerk and then onwards to yet another kind of place. Humour shines through the laconic rhymes.
Petra Poutanen’s compositions, lyrics and arrangements and Joonas Outakoski’s arrangements on Pelkkä Poutanen’s album Pyhä veri vuotaa
Pelkkä Poutanen’s debut Pyhä veri vuotaa contains staggeringly diverse singing ranging from traditional Finnish singing to hymns and throat singing. The lyrics, inspired by the ephemeral nature of human life, tell the listener stories about not only Christian tradition but also the political phenomena of our time. The electronic production of the work combines recorded loops and layers but is still able to make the work sound organic, modern and like traditional Finnish music.
Mikko Sarvanne’s compositions on Mikko Sarvanne Garden’s album Heräämisen valkea myrsky
Composer Mikko Sarvanne’s Heräämisen valkea myrsky smoothly moves across genre boundaries. Formed by jazz and classical musicians, Mikko Sarvanne Garden combines three singers, acoustic instruments, electronics and ASMR-style rustling to create a coherent soundscape. The work, which was inspired by Erkka Filander’s poems, develops slowly while transporting its listener to a dreamlike world for a moment.
Sanna Ahvenjärvi and Tapio Lappalainen’s composition Water
Sanna Ahvenjärvi and Tapio Lappalainen’s composition Water represents water music in the 2020s: it uses water as an instrument. A long echo can be added to a drop falling from a syringe, and when a hydrophone is frozen, it becomes a percussion instrument. However, the work is not a royal excursion. Instead, the threat of the climate crisis casts an increasingly dark shadow over the work. The symbolic nature of the work can be heard in the convincing and diverse tone colours: the patter of rain, an impressionistic stream and an atonal storm that arrives with a rumble of thunder. What remains is a dark and swirling wind instrument melody that feels like it could drown you.
Nino Ensio Mofu’s and his team’s works on NCO’s album Addikti
NCO’s, i.e. Nino Ensio Mofu’s, Addikti is Finnish 2020s rap music at its best. NCO’s original, confident and recognisable flow is impressive throughout the album: the lyrics are clever, and the artist has a gift for finding a balance between clichés and credibility as well as sensitivity and irony in a refreshing way. NCO’s delivery and lyrics are supported by excellent production.
Heinz-Juhani Hofmann’s composition and libretto in the work Aukio – ooppera kansannoususta
Aukio – ooppera kansannoususta for eight singers and electronic instruments once again takes Heinz-Juhani Hofmann’s raw and bare expression that uses the human voice to a new level, continuing with the harrowing social themes typical of the composer but without repeating previous works. Hofmann fills the work with a rhythmical sound mass that creates an uncomfortable and purifying image of human society.
Download the press photo (Photo: Jukka Mantere)
For more information, please contact:
Johanna Laitinen, Communications Manager
Finnish Composers’ Copyright Society Teosto
tel. +358 (0)40 192 1900