An essential exploration of Nordic composers and musicians, and the distinctive culture that continues to shape them
Once considered a musical backwater, the Nordic region is now a musical powerhouse. Conductors from Denmark and Finland dominate the British and American orchestral scene. Interest in the old masters Sibelius and Grieg is soaring and progressive pop artists like Björk continue to fascinate as much as they entertain.
Andrew Mellor journeys to the heart of the Nordic cultural psyche. From Reykjavik to Rovaniemi, he examines the success of Nordic music’s performers, the attitude of its audiences, and the sound of its composers past and present—celebrating some of the most remarkable music ever written along the way. Mellor peers into the dark side of the Scandinavian utopia, from xenophobia and alcoholism to parochialism and the twilight of the social democratic dream. Drawing on a range of genres and first-hand encounters, he reveals that our fascination with Nordic societies and our love for Nordic music might be more intertwined than first thought.