Director’s Choice: Sex-bots and Symphonie Fantastique without notes

In September we are happy to still hold on to bits of summer, while enjoying all the treats of a vibrant cultural autumn season. I have chosen four favourite evenings this month and hope you will join me in the audience!

Prom 72

This spring we were happy to learn that Nicholas Collon had been appointed as the new Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. This seemed a fitting exchange, since many Finnish conductors have the same position in prominent British orchestras. Because of the new post even more interesting for me to hear Collon in his hometown London, performing with his own orchestra Aurora in the most festive classical music series in the world, the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall.  

Collon will be conducting Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique in a special visualized and choreographed performance. And his Aurora Orchestra will stick to their signature trait – performing the intricate and powerful piece from memory. 

Prom 72, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP,, 12th September at 7 pm, tickets: £11.69–49.94

Raindance festival

I’m thrilled to share that the Raindance Film Festival has chosen two Finnish films to be presented in their competition series as part of the festival’s annual program. 

Iiris Härmä’s documentary film WHO MADE YOU? deals with issues of artificial intelligence. This highly current topic is explored through various angles from sex bots to exercise aid for the elderly. 

Miia Tervo’s film Aurora competes for the best international film award. The comedy explores the minds of two young individuals, who meet by accident at a hotdog stand in Lapland, at a breaking point in their lives. 

WHO MADE YOU?, Raindance Film Festival, Vue Cinema London – Piccadilly, 19 Lower Regent Street London SW1Y 4LR,, 27th September at 8:45pm and 28th September at 3:30pm, tickets: £10–12

Aurora, Raindance Film Festival, Vue Cinema London – Piccadilly, 19 Lower Regent Street London, SW1Y 4LR,, 21st September at 9pm and 23rd September at 4:15pm, tickets: £10–12

Ian Bostridge tenor; Steven Isserlis cello; Olli Mustonen piano

Olli Mustonen, Steven Isserlis and Ian Bostridge join forces for a highly interesting programme at Wigmore Hall on the last day of September. The three striking artists perform music by Schubert, Schumann, Sibelius, Kurtág and Bennett, and end the concert with the UK premiere of Olli Mustonen’s new piece Taivaanvalot (Heavenly lights), based on the Finnish national epic Kalevala. This concert is sure to end the month on a virtuosic highnote. 

Ian Bostridge tenor; Steven Isserlis cello; Olli Mustonen piano, Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore St, Marylebone, London W1U 2BP,, 30th September at 7:30pm, tickets: £18-50


Text: Emilie Gardberg Photo: WHO MADE YOU?

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