A nation rich in music

A concert stage with a drummer standing behind their drum kit and a singer standing in front of the stage.

Photo credit: Petri Artturi Asikainen

A blurred photo of a drummer drumming their kit and a guitarist playing in the background.
Photo Credit: Katri Naukkarinen

Finland has reinvented itself in just one short century. Our national character and Northern heritage have boosted us to the top of all kinds of country rankings from quality of life to innovation. There may not be a lot of us – only five million – but as a musical nation, Finland is bigger than you think.

Thousands of bands, dozens of symphony orchestras and a music loving audience ensure that music is appreciated all over the country and that musical innovations flourish. Music’s strong foothold in Finnish culture has also led to international success stories. International breakthroughs have considerably increased investments in the music business. In all its richness and variety, Finnish music is seen and heard around the world as never before.


Musical traditions go a long way back in Finland and are woven into the very fabric of its society. Finnish classical music first achieved international acclaim with Jean Sibelius. Today, many Finnish contemporary classical composers and artists are celebrated around the world. Finnish work is gaining more attention in the diverse genres of metal, indie, electronic and mainstream pop and our songwriters are topping the charts abroad as well as at home. Finnish world and jazz music is strongly appreciated everywhere.

An elderly man teaching a young girl how to play the violin, online students watching them are visible on a big screen.
International Minifiddlers is a distance education solution in violin studies developed in Finland by Caprice Oy. Violin pedagogues and their little pupils around the world are instructed online in real time using the distinguished Colourstrings -method. The lessons are documented for online broadcasting. International Minifiddlers gives an amazing opportunity to explore the Finnish high-standard musical education in detail. Photo credit: Minifiddlers


Investment in a world-class educational system, covering the entire period from kindergarten to university, ensures that quality music is produced, listened to and appreciated, regardless of genre. Finland’s thorough but open minded musical training has created fusions and crossovers for which the country is well-known. Finnish musicians and composers are willing to innovate across genres and art forms.

The last few decades have seen important international breakthroughs, with a remarkable variety of styles and genres at the top end of Finland’s musical offering.

Finnish songwriters are making international inroads at a staggering pace. Although song exports have been an investment priority for a relatively short time, the music industry is showing highly promising signs of international growth.

Music exports are viewed as a part of the creative industries, which are currently a nationwide priority in Finland. They make an important contribution to Finland’s economic and cultural competitiveness.

Four punk rocker men dressed in jeans and vests leaning on a white wall.
Photo credit: Anton Sucksdorff

Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät is a punk band that was formed in a culture workshop arranged by Lyhty, a nonprofit organization which provides housing, education services and workshops for adults with intellectual disabilities. PKN represented Finland in 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.


The Finnish music business is worth 863.2 million euros and employs around 30,000 people. Half of this value is based on live music, but other key sectors include education, copyright and the record industry. Finnish music exports amount to 35.8 million euros, having doubled in the last ten years and growing by a total of 8 % from 2011 to 2012.

Digital sales of recordings have more than doubled in the last five years and their share of overall sales has grown from 18 % to 52 %.

Finnish festivals had more than 2 million visitors in 2014. With 52.3 bands per 100,000 people, Finland has the highest number of metal bands per capita.


Conductors: Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sakari Oramo, Susanna Mälkki and Osmo Vänskä.

Contemporary classical composers: Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Einojuhani Rautavaara

Classical artists: Karita Mattila, Pekka Kuusisto, Soile Isokoski, Matti Salminen

Bands: Sunrise Avenue, Nightwish, HIM, Isac Elliot

Songwriters: Mikko Tamminen, Teemu Brunila, MGI, Jaakko Salovaara

Jazz & World music: Iiro Rantala, Kimmo Pohjonen, Värttinä, Verneri Pohjola

A nation rich in music

Thousands of bands, dozens of symphony orchestras and a music loving audience ensure that music is appreciated all over Finland and that musical innovations flourish.

This presentation offers some basic information on Finnish music culture and industry.