Government to orchestra: Give us the money back

Government to orchestra: Give us the money back


norman lebrecht

March 14, 2018

The Finnish Ministry of Culture has ordered the Avanti chamber ensemble to repay half a million of euros, which it received in excess of its entitlement. The sum equals to a whole year’s budget and the orchestra says it will go bust if it has to repay.

A petition to the government to waive the debt has been signed by Pekka Kuusisto, Magnus Lindberg, Hannu Lintu, Susanna Mälkki, Sakari Oramo, Kaija Saariaho, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Dima Slobodeniouk, John Storgårds, and Lotta Wennäkoski.

Avanti chamber orchestra has been a major promter of new works by Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg and Esa-Pekka Salonen.


  • YoYo Mama says:

    Um, how about telling us why?
    Who, what, when, where, why are supposed to be addressed in the first paragraph of any news item.

  • Ravi Narasimhan says:

    Better the petitioners should chip in and pay the overage.

  • Doug says:

    Who in their right mind, when receiving a half million Euros more than your allotment, believes that no one will ever notice? What exactly did they spend it on? A holiday to the Seychelles for everyone in the organization?

    • Bill says:

      You are of course assuming that the money was easily recognizable as being “more than their allotment” which seems far from obvious here. More likely there was no fixed allotment to compare with, but rather a scheme where funds were requested or spent on a project-by-project basis, and only now is someone in the ministry saying that wasn’t what we had in mind at all for what we wanted to support, but it’s embarrassing that we were asleep at the tiller for a few decades…

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Half a million euros in excess. The Finnish Ministry of Culture had surely a Swedish administrator making the payments. 🙂