STATUS-nätverket på besök i Stockholm

Under två dagar var Unga tankar om musik (UTOM) värd när nätverket STATUS möttes i Stockholm förra veckan. Med på mötet var representanter för Art Music Denmark, Iceland Music Information Centre (IMIC), Music Finland och UTOM. På mötet var även medlemmarna Nisse Blomster och Sofia Hallgren.

Last week Unga tankar om musik (”Young minds for music”) hosted a two-day meeting in Stockholm for the STATUS network. Representatives from Art Music Denmark, Iceland Music Information Centre (IMIC), Music Finland, and UTOM were present.

Day 1

We kicked off the meeting with a check-in and round of presentations, followed by a more in-depth presentation of UTOM by Max Låke.

Ulrika Lind, project manager for Sjungande barn (Children singing) presented the initiative and how they work to highlight the importance of an education that includes singing, and to facilitate interaction between the world of music and schools. Following the talk the participants drew parallells to the situation in their own countries. Consensus was there is a lot more to be done in the field of engaging children musically.

Max led a tour of the house of Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien (The Royal Swedish Academy of Music), where UTOM also reside. The tour continued into the connecting building Musikaliska kvarteret (The music district), which houses Sweden’s oldest concert hall and multiple music venues.

During the discussion on the future development of the network, participants brainstormed ideas on how to create a forum for sharing best practices, what types of reports would be valuable to conduct, and whether the size of the network is a limiting factor or a benefit.

A recurring theme during discussions were the negative trends affecting Swedish music industry today: Waining number of music practitioners, fewer hours for music in school, decreased funding and support and the strugles of local music scenes. The nordic perspectives on the matters were most enlightening and added layers to the continued national debate.

After dinner it was time to visit another concert hall: Konserthuset Stockholm. That evening it hosted the contemporary music festival Svensk Musikvår, with KammarensembleN playing (joined by UTOM-member Tom Poulsen on trumpet).

Day 2

Day two began with a presentation of Kungliga Musikaliska Amademien, from CEO Fredrik Wetterkvist. The academy of music was founded in 1771, and is unique to Sweden, with no other academies existing in the nordic countries.

A subject in dire need of attention is the ’death of music venues’. Sweden has seen a catastrophic trend, where a third of all music venues have been closed the last ten years. The reasons vary, but among them are high rents, complaints on noise levels and decreased funding. Denmark has seen a similar trend and Sweden is often used as a cautionary example. The organisation Copenhagen Free Promotors is as a mediating organisation attemting to halt the negative trend. Iceland has never had a good infrastructure for music, and the newly built concert house is so expensive to rent that it mainly hosts major commercial acts. Some good initiatives have been taken to strengthen the infrastructure tho. Finland has a similar problem to Iceland, with larger venues being too expensive. Fortunately there are smaller scenes that successfully host contemporary music.

The final block continued the talk on visions for the network and timings for future meet-ups.

Unga tankar om musik (UTOM) would like to thank all participants for an interesting and invigorating two days that have given much needed perspectives. We very much look forward to the meetings to come.

STATUS är en sammanslutning av nordiska organisationer med målet att främja samtida och klassisk musik genom samarbete och kunskapsutbyte. Nätverket startade 2021 och består av Art Music Denmark, Iceland Music Information Centre (IMIC), Music Finland, Music Norway och Unga Tankar om Musik (UTOM), Sverige.

STATUS is a network of Nordic organizations with the common goal of promoting contemporary and classical music through collaboration and knowledge exchange. The network started in 2021 and consists of Art Music Denmark, the Iceland Music Information Centre (IMIC), Music Finland, Music Norway, and Unga Tankar om Musik (UTOM), Sweden.