Presenting Juhana Salminen
If you have visited any of the FiBO events during the last one and a half year, you might have caught a glimpse of Juhana Salminen. He is the producer of FiBO’s regional project Sprouts of the Northeast (Koillisen versoja) in northeast Helsinki. Juhana also works with the productions of Helsinki Early Music Festival.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m from Vuolenkoski in Iitti, and music was always very present in my home. When I began studying at the music school in Heinola, I chose violin as my instrument. After my A levels, I progressed through the Conscript Band of the Finnish Defence Forces to Lahti Conservatory, and I also earned a BBA. I worked in the production departments at the Sibelius Hall and at Sinfonia Lahti, and eventually the violin received less attention. I have later supplemented my education with studies in cultural production. I could be more active with my violin playing nowadays.
What do you do at FiBO?
I work as a producer. I work together with the office team in the orchestra’s different projects, especially focusing on the planning and production of the regional project Sprouts of the Northeast (Koillisen versoja). The Helsinki Early Music Festival in October is another thing I do.
Which of the subcategories of your work do you like the most?
I’m a social guy and I like planning meetings, where even somewhat crazy ideas can grow into concrete plans. As a producer, I’m of course pleased when an event or a concert we have worked on for a long time finally is over and the audience as well as the musicians are happy.
What has surprised you most in your work at FiBO?
The nimbleness and open-mindedness. How the orchestra and its different ensembles adapt in many ways with short notice. The endless creativity and the passion with which everything is done still amaze me.
Which art forms feel closest to you?
As a violinist who has passed through the “music school gauntlet”, I’m naturally most familiar with the world of classical music. I’ve worked with many pop music festivals as well as in concert halls and theatres, and I’m interested in all forms of art. During the last years, I’ve been an active theatregoer. I’d like to have more time to read. I’ve also got a museum card and a library card in my pocket.
If you wouldn’t live in Finland, where would you move?
I spent my exchange student years in Glasgow, and Scotland is an important place for me. The weather there is of course utterly horrible, and Finland is as wet and cold. I might move to the Mediterranean region… let’s say Italy!
How do you relax?
I’m bad at relaxing. I work quite a lot. On my free days, I like to be outdoors and meet my friends. In the summer I bike and paddle, in the winter I ski and go to the swimming pool! Sometimes I just relax at home, perhaps watching a film.
What would you pick from the Helsinki Early Music Festival program this autumn?
The festival starts with coronation music by the RIAS Chamber Choir and FiBO. I wouldn’t want to miss that. I got to hear the festival guests Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Barokkanerne in Berlin, and these guest concerts I’d recommend to everyone who enjoys orchestral music. Of the smaller concerts, I’d pick Eero X Eloisa. The concert is a three hour long lute recital and gamba concert in the intimate Angelicum Hall.
Reveal a vice of yours.
My secret vice, which I’m trying to get rid of, is dwelling on things. Sometimes I’m somewhat slow when it comes to making decisions.
If you’d have to choose between running a Cooper test or baking for a party with 30 guests, which would you choose?
I actually ran a Cooper test in June, and it wasn’t that bad – I even got a fairly good result. I need to practice my baking skills a bit more, so I’d choose that. I’m happy to organise activities of all kinds for my friends, and the catering is an integral part of any social event.