Finland’s ‘best-kept secret’ wins 150k Sibelius prize

Finland’s ‘best-kept secret’ wins 150k Sibelius prize


norman lebrecht

October 12, 2020

The composer Jukka Tiensuu won 150 000€ international Wihuri Sibelius prize.


Tiensuu, 72, never talks about his music.

Past winners of the 150,000 Euro prize are:
2000 György Ligeti
2003 Magnus Lindberg
2006 Per Norgård
2009 Kaija Saariaho
2012 György Kurtág
2015 Harrison Birtwistle
2017 Unsuk Chin



  • John Borstlap says:

    Here is his piano concerto ‘Mind’:

    Colourful and decorative convention. Not much ‘mind’ in it. Why not? Because the notes in themselves don’t form meaningful patterns, they merely fill-out the framework for the colour.

    Here is a so-called ‘cello concerto’:

    A piece for harpsychord:

    Because the composer does not have anything meaningful to ‘say’, he resorts to colour. And that is boring after a couple of minutes, it was Boulez who has shown this already many years ago very convincingly and effectively.

    Some secrets should remain secret, in a musical life that is being threatened on all sides. Why also by composers?

    • Novagerio says:

      I’m sorry to break it to you Bitchslap, but Tiensuu is still more famous than you’re ever going to be. But keep trying, at least here on SL, and good luck (!)

      • John Borstlap says:

        Simple folk often think that if someone’s opinion is different from one’s own, it must be the fault of that other person. The lack of any argument, or any opinion of one’s own, then unlockes the burning desire to attack, in the hope that some ventilation of this inner darkness will bring some relief. It has been the subject of quite some case studies in anthropology and psychology. The cause is in most cases childhood deprivation.

        Maybe this is helpful?

        If this does not offer any consolation, I would advise regular listening to the 2nd half of Stavinsky’s Sacre, or still better: the 1st of Schoenberg’s Five Orchestral Pieces. Most patients feel much relieved afterwards. Good luck with it!

  • Darrell says:

    How come they haven’t granted it to Kaija Saariaho again?

    At least two reasons apply:

    – Tomorrow is her birthday.
    – These wise and enlightening words:

  • yujafan says:

    He must be a secret, never heard a note of his music – will hunt some out