We warmly invite you…

We warmly invite you…


norman lebrecht

March 19, 2017

An effusive invitation from the Finnish ambassador:

Finland100 at the Bach Festival


Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Music Lovers,
It is an especially great pleasure for me to be the patron of the Leipzig Bach Festival in this particular year, 2017. Because in addition to marking the anniversary of the Reformation, it also marks another anniversary: in 2017, Finland celebrates its 100th year as an independent nation. We want to celebrate this anniversary year with all friends of Finland– and the Bach Festival offers us a wonderful opportunity to do so….

I wish all visitors an inspiring Bach Festival in 2017 – and warmly invite you to celebrate this very special year with us.


Ritva Koukku-Ronde
Ambassador of Finland

Smile, anyone?



  • Janne says:

    This made me laugh. Finns are, as many readers here know already, amongst the most dour, introverted, shy and unsmiling people on the planet. They are also very bad at marketing and selling themselves or an idea. Sad, because they have many good ideas and a lot to be proud of. That they allow a photo like this one, of their German Ambassador, to circulate, proves the point. This lady represents Finland in Germany and elsewhere and she herself should know better. We are today in a society where image is everything and a facial expression like this one on an invitation doesn’t really make you feel all warm and fuzzy and wanting to attend.

    • Rikhard Laiho says:

      That is a cruel comment. Make a point, if you wish, but taking it to this level says more about you than it does about her. “What you are speaks so loud….I hear not what you say.

  • Marg says:

    Poor photography. She isn’t even looking into the camera.

  • MWnyc says:

    But that IS a Finnish smile.