One of the most-anticipated cultural events in 2017 is the Southbank Centre’s Nordic Matters, a whole year’s programme packed with classic, forward-thinking and inspiring arts and culture from the Nordic region.
Nordic Matters will feature music, dance, theatre, visual arts, participation, talks and debates, and gastronomy. Chosen from a number of international applicants, London’s Southbank Centre is the sole recipient of a grant from The Nordic Council of Ministers for a new festival celebrating the very best of Nordic art and culture throughout 2017 – one of the biggest cultural-political partnerships of its kind.
A particular emphasis will be placed on the idea of play fostering curiosity and creativity, for people of all ages but especially children and young people. Moving beyond popular perceptions of ‘Nordic Noir’, the programme is designed to embed Nordic culture and artists in Southbank Centre’s year-long artistic offer and offer a platform to some of the more ‘hidden voices’ from Greenland, Åland and the Faroe Islands.
The programme unfolds as the year rolls on, so make sure to stay updated. Below is an overview of what to check out over the next few months of Nordic Matters.
One of Norway’s most remarkable pianists, Leif Ove Andsnes, fills the Royal Festival Hall with a programme specially assembled for Nordic Matters. Considered “a pianist of magisterial elegance, power, and insight,” by the New York Times, Andsnes performs on October 31 for what is set to be an extraordinary evening.
From September 28 to October 1, the world-famous contemporary classical festival Nordic Music Days comes to the UK for the very first time, taking over Southbank Centre’s site. Showcasing pioneering contemporary compositions by Nordic composers, Nordic Music Days offers a unique opportunity to experience new, delicate and exiting music.
Make sure to see the young and exciting Distractfold ensemble present Nordic music for instruments as well as objects, solenoids and transducers in Nordic Forests on September 29, and don’t miss out on Floral Night Episode on September 30 and With My Ear to the Ground on October 1, where The Riot Ensemble present works by contemporary composers from the Nordic countries.
This October, London Literature Festival 2017 explores a World on the Brink, with an entire weekend devoted to looking in-depth at Nordic literature and culture. Celebrating both established writers and rising stars from the region, London Literature Festival explores what we can learn from Nordic literature about pressing issues of our times like political upheavals and the reality of changing climate and about our shared future. Several acclaimed Norwegian authors contributes in this exploration.
Karl Ove Knausgård presents his new book, Autumn and one of the Nordic countries’ most celebrated writers, Per Petterson, reads from his era-defining fiction. Hanne Ørstavik joins other acclaimed women writers in a panel challenging taboos and highlighting both the past and present lives of women in the Nordics. Tore Renberg joins Danish author Christina Hesselholdt in a discussion about how Nordic writers are handling a changing world.
For its 50th anniversary, Southbank Centre’s longest running festival, the biennial Poetry International, opens London Literature Festival for the first time with a focus on cultural sustainability and how to rescue endangered languages. Exploring linguistic displacement through a mix of spoken poetic performance, musical composition, field recordings and lightwork, French-Norwegian poet Caroline Bergvall’s new collaborative work in progress, ‘Oh My Oh My: Poetic Variations’, is specially assembled for Poetry International. Bergvall, who was recently presented with a 2017 Cholmondeley Award, performs at 7.30pm on 14 and 15 October.
With plenty of opportunities to taste some of the best treats the Nordic region has to offer, creative chefs from eight Nordic destinations cook live in front of you over the weekend 20 – 22 October. On Friday and Saturday’s Artisan Breakfasts, Norwegian chef Richard Nystad teams up with Lena Flaten from Sweden. Saturday’s big Feast will be hosted by team Denmark, Greenland and Norway, including chef Heidi Bjerkan. Find out what makes the Nordic lifestyle so desirable, and how they embed values like equality, sustainability and openness into their food and health.
Throughout the year there will also be a Nordic Corner at Southbank Centre’s Food Market. With a variety of traders from across London’s Nordic community, take a culinary journey through authentic Nordic street food.
…and much more to come! Watch this space for additional announcements of fantastic Norwegian and Nordic culture at Southbank’s Nordic Matters as 2017 progresses.