Teosto Prize 2016 to Bliss by Antti Auvinen and Malarian pelko by Paperi T

The 2016 Teosto Prize goes to Antti Auvinen’s composition and Harry Salmenniemi’s libretto in the chamber opera Bliss (Autuus) and to Henri Pulkkinen’s lyrics, and compositions and arrangements by Henri Pulkkinen, Niko Liinanmaa, Miska Soini, Roope Kinnunen, Kristo Laanti, Sandra Tervonen and Juuso Malin on Paperi T’s rap album Malarian pelko.

The three judges selected the winners among the five works and pieces picked by the pre-selection jury. Minister of Education and Culture Sanni Grahn-Laasonen chaired the jury of judges, and its members were Nelonen Media’s radio director Sami Tenkanen and Mikko Hassinen, the composer of the piece that won the Teosto Prize last year.

“At first, it might seem like the winning works represent two musical extremes. However, a careful listening reveals that the undertone of the two works is fairly similar, although their methods and tools for expressing it differ greatly,” says chairperson Sanni Grahn-Laasonen.

Awarded since 2003, the Teosto Prize is one of the most noteworthy art prizes in the Nordic countries. Both of the winning teams will receive EUR 20,000 of the total award sum of EUR 40,000. The judges characterise the winning works as follows: 

Bliss - Antti Auvinen and Harry Salmenniemi 
"Requires utmost dedication from its audience, but offers a cathartic release in exchange. The masterly composition is complemented with libretto elements that bring out the colours and hues beneath the dark surface."

Malarian pelko - Paperi T (Henri Pulkkinen, Niko Liinamaa, Miska Soini, Roope Kinnunen, Kristo Laanti, Sandra Tervonen and Juuso Malin) 
"Subtle yet effective, an album that deviates from its genre in a fresh way. This seemingly easy work reveals the exemplary dedication and exceptional talent of its authors."

Five diverse works as nominees

This year, the professional pre-selection jury had selected five works or pieces as nominees for the Teosto Prize. In addition to the winners described above, the nominees were:

Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L: Sanguis Meus, Mama!
Pekko Käppi’s, Nuutti Vapaavuori’s and Tommi Laine’s compositions and lyrics, and arrangements by the Pekko Käppi & K.H.H.L band and Jani Viitanen on the album Sanguis Meus, Mama!

Laura Moisio: Ikuinen valo
Laura Moisio’s compositions, lyrics and arrangements and Jarno Takkumäki’s composition and arrangements on the album Ikuinen valo.

Verneri Pohjola: Bullhorn
Verneri Pohjola’s compositions on the album Bullhorn.

The Teosto Prize is awarded to courageous, original and innovative works

Finnish Composers' Copyright Society Teosto established the prize in 2003 with the aim of promoting Finnish creative musical art. Music authors and publishers reward courageous, original and innovative Finnish music with the Teosto Prize. This year, the prize was awarded for the 13th time.

The prize will be awarded to 1–4 musical works or pieces, and the maximum prize sum is EUR 40,000. If the prize is awarded for a sole musical work or piece, the prize sum is EUR 25,000. The works can represent any genre, but they must be produced after the previous award season.

This year, the nominees were selected by a pre-selection jury consisting of composer Pekka Kuusisto (the pre-selection jury’s chairperson), editor Mikko Meriläinen, journalist Kare Eskola, music author Vilma Timonen, journalist Susanna Vainiola, journalist Tove Djupsjöbacka and journalist Jaani Länsiö.