Classics of the centenarian
Finland’s centenary has inspired Finns to take up classics. There are dozens of important works of art from a century of independence, from music to theatre.
Under the North Star, a classic novel by Väinö Linna, has been reinterpreted on stage in Seinäjoki, Lahti, Joensuu and Vantaa. Another classic by Linna, the Unknown Soldier, appears on four different stages and on the screen. The most popular interpretation of a classic is Aleksis Kivi’s Seven Brothers, which appears on seven different stages all in all.
Kalevala, Finland’s national epic, has inspired several new interpretations. They vary from burlesque and the Canine Kalevala to a musical and opera in Oulu, Seinäjoki, Turku, Kuopio, Lahti, Laitila and Rovaniemi. When a couple of poetry nights and other events are taken into account, one could enjoy Kalevala over 48 hours.
The composer king of the centenary must be Jean Sibelius, and Finlandia can be crowned as the number one hit composition of the centenary. Finlandia can be heard at different events around 350 times during the centenary. While listening to various versions of Finlandia, one could ride a bike from Helsinki to Inari with an average speed of 18 kilometres per hour, or take a road trip in Europe.
There are over 700 concerts, concert series and tours in the centenary programme, highlighting Finland and giving Finnish composers a central role. Songs by Toivo Kuula, Oskar Merikanto, and Erkki Melartin are particularly popular. A more recent classic, Sininen ja valkoinen (Blue and white) by Jukka Kuoppamäki, can also be heard at several events.