This year, the Southbank Centre celebrates the nations of Greenland, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – their central Scandinavian identity, as well the differences between them – in a year-long festival, Nordic Matters. Audiences will be able to experience and explore Scandi culture through an extensive programme of music, dance, theatre, literature, spoken word, design, visual art, talks & debates, fashion and food.
The whole shebang kicked off with Adventures in Moominland back in December 0 immersive adventure through the history, landscape and dwellings of Tove Jansson's beloved Moomintrolls. (Read our ★★★★★ review).
The opening weekend (14th - 16th Jan) sees a weekend of fika (Swedish coffee and pastries) and fun for all ages, featuring a LEGO workshop, 15 minute ‘bites’ on Nordic mythology with Icelandic poet, novelist, and lyricist Sjón, folk music and storytelling from Norwegian musician and activist Moddi, a flat pack hack, mass cinnamon bun bake-off, and Nordic chefs giving expert advice on sustainable food preservation. A programme of talks and panels explore three main themes that will provide the backbone to the year: play, gender equality, and sustainability.
Video and film works by Nordic artists will be shown throughout the weekend, and the Royal Festival Hall foyers will be transformed by the work of indigenous Sami artist Outi Pieski with her installation Falling Shawls, uses hundreds of traditional fringe threads to create a coloured three-dimensional drawing.
Over the next year, the Southbank Centre have programmed a wealth of Nordic acts, both classical and contemporary.
Leading contemporary music festival Nordic Music Days takes place in the UK for the first time. One of the world’s oldest music festivals, founded in 1888, Nordic Music Days showcases pioneering performances by Nordic composers performed by leading ensembles and soloists from Great Britain and the Nordic region.
Additional music highlights include Swedish singer-songwriterJosé González & The String Theory (24 Jan), leading Danish folk musicians Andreas Tophøj and Rune Barslund performing an array of captivating tunes with the violin, accordion and viola.
London Sinfonietta presents Nordic Nights – an evening of work by Nordic composers Eivind Buene, Kaija Saariaho (6 Jun). London Philharmonic Orchestra performs new works by Composer in Residence Magnus Lindberg: (22 Mar) and ‘Two Episodes’ (6 May).
Additionally, the 2017/18 season will have a distinctly Nordic theme, including specially – programmed concerts from Resident Orchestra the Philharmonia Orchestra and its Principal Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, and featuring violinist Pekka Kuusisto, pianists Vikingur Olafsson and Leif Ove Andsnes, and much more.
Many of the Southbank's annual festivals will have a Nordic focus.
London International Literature Festival will feature leading Nordic authors, a Nordic-focussed Poetry International in celebration of its 50th anniversary, a specially-commissioned Nordic Anthology, and Wall of Dreams, a large-scale projection of testimonies and dreams onto the Royal Festival Hall,
Imagine Children’s Festival (9–19 Feb 2017) will have a strong focus on the Nordic approach to play and imagination. We'll see theatre, dance, music, theatre and installations alongside readings and workshops with top children’s authors from the UK and the Nordic region. Highlights include den-making, a focus on children’s theatre from Denmark, Finland and Sweden, Nordic Nonsense Poetry and Nordic Storytime readings (9–19 Feb 2017).
Women of the World festival returns for its seventh year this March. With Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th respectively in the Global Gender Gap Index, WOW takes this opportunity to celebrate the Nordic countries, and congratulate and applaud the fearlessness and determination to prioritise gender equality.
Nordic gastronomy will be showcased and featured throughout the culinary calendar at Southbank Centre. Nordic produce and street food, and an exciting line up of Nordic inspired pop ups, will form part of the summer series of food markets on Queen's Walk at Royal Festival Hall.
|What||Nordic Matters, Southbank Centre|
|Where||Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
14 Jan 17 – 14 Jan 18, Opening times vary over events
|Website||Click here for more information|