Live video tour of world's hottest musical sauna

Live video tour of world's hottest musical sauna


norman lebrecht

October 28, 2011

YLE, the Finnish broadcaster, has taken its viewers backstage at Helsinki’s new concert hall to show them the sauna reserved exclusively for members of the radio symphony orchestra (plus the occasional conductor).

You can watch it here, about two minutes into the news report.

Hey, guys, keep your shirts on….

(this is a simulated image)


Mikko, who sent me the clip, adds: The sauna is a tiny, windowless, electrically heated one that seats two at the most and is located deep in the underground backstage bowels of the building. A Finn would not be impressed. (A good sauna would be wood-burning, more spacious and have access to the outdoors, if not a view over a body of water). No wonder that the other orchestra housed at the Centre, the Helsinki Philharmonic, did not request this kind of a sauna-in-a-closet for their dressing rooms.


  • Simon Broughton says:

    I have some experience of Finnish saunas – and an amazing musical one. But first saunas are generally windowless (at least the main hot room) otherwise you lose heat and Finns like their saunas hot. But last year I went on the Folklandia (forgive the pun) cruise which goes on the first Fri in Jan from Turku to Stockholm and back with several thousand folk musicians on board. Around 1am I went to a sauna session which included special sauna songs – which were so obscene that my Finnish friend wouldn’t translate them beyond saying they involved lots of sucking. The sauna was mixed, although not as brightly lit as the artists impression above. But it did, unusally, have huge windows and it was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life looking out at the ice flows moving past (it was -15 outside) while steaming within. A full accoun of the trip is under Folklandia here:
    Simon Broughton