Nordic Matters at Southbank Centre

Jan 18, 2017 by

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Did you know that Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Finland have all been voted the world’s best countries in which to be a woman? Or that the United Nations rates Denmark the happiest place on the planet?


Southbank Centre announces Nordic Matters a year-long exploration of Nordic arts and culture throughout 2017


Southbank Centre have announced  Nordic Matters a year-long exploration of Nordic arts and culture throughout 2017. The programme will embed Nordic culture and artists in Southbank Centre’s year-long artistic offer and annual festivals and provide a platform to some of the more ‘hidden voices’ from Åland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, as well as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. This is the first time that Southbank Centre has programmed an entire year dedicated to one region of the world and around a third of artists, authors and performers participating in events at Southbank Centre during 2017 will be from the Nordic region.    


A particular emphasis will be placed on three main themes influenced by Nordic identity and society: play fostering curiosity and creativity, for people of all ages but especially children and young people; sustainability; and gender equality. Audiences will be able to experience and explore this cultural connection through an extensive program of music, dance, theater, literature, spoken word, design, visual art, talks & debates, fashion, and food.


Programme highlights to include:


  • The first major UK exhibition devoted to The Moomins and the world of their creator, Finnish author and artist Tove Jansson: Adventures in Moominland (16 December 2016 – 23 April 2017)
  • Winter Festival supported by NatWest features Nordic site design, over 300 trees and giant ‘gonks
  • Nordic artists, writers, musicians & performers featured include: Leif Ove Andsnes, Apocalyptica, Robert Ferguson, José González & The String Theory, Henna-Riikka Halonen, Jeppe Hein, Jesper Just, Anssi Karttunen, Pekka Kuusisto, Moddi, Anu Partanen, Outi Pieski, Kaija Saariaho, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Sjón, Maja Sten, Andreas Tophøj & Rune Barslund, Sandi Toksvig, Ingrid Torvund and more to be announced.
  • Site installations including: a Sauna, Outi Pieski´s Falling Shawls, Morten Søndergaard’s Wall of Dreams, and North Sami Pavilion – an architectural collaboration with Umeå University, Sweden.
  • The first iteration in the UK of contemporary music festival Nordic Music Days
  • A new anthology of Nordic literature commissioned to coincide with London International Literature Festival.
  • Participation activities ranging from mass feasts and a flat pack hack to a Learning through Play workshop hosted by a LEGO® team



The opening weekend took place last week on Saturday 14 January, Across Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

However, the festival is a year long but if you want to experience something extraordinary, don’t miss:


Jose Gonzales



Tuesday 24 January, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £25-30
Swedish singer-songwriter José González performs with maverick orchestra The String Theory. José González released his third solo album Vestiges & Claws following In Our Nature and his debut album Veneer, which sold over a million copies. He has recorded two albums and toured the world with Swedish folk band Junip and was involved in the soundtrack for the feature film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The String Theory sees some of Berlin and Gothenburg’s most exciting contemporary musicians join forces and have recorded material with artists including El Perro Del Mar, Wildbirds & Peacedrums and Pacific! Tickets here!


Rest of the Nordic Matters’s programme includes:


Imagine Children’s Festival (9–19 February)

WOW–Women of the World (7–12 March)

Festival of Love (3 June–28 August)

Chorus (July)

London Literature Festival (13–29 October)

BAM–Being A Man (24–26 November) all delve deeper into the core themes of children and young people, gender equality and sustainability. Royal Festival Hall also welcomes the first UK iteration of leading Nordic contemporary music festival

Nordic Music Days (28 September–1 October). One of the world’s oldest music festivals, founded in 1888, Nordic Music Days showcases pioneering performances by living Nordic composers performed by leading ensembles and soloists from the UK and the Nordic region.


The whole programme could be found on: