A Feast of Strangers & Muse Conversations

by Theodore Zeldin

13-16 September 2019


Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don’t just exchange facts, they transform them. Conversation doesn’t just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards, and it involves being willing to emerge a slightly different person.” - Theodore Zeldin

We are honoured to team up with Theodore Zeldin, the renowned Oxford University philosopher, historian and author & the Oxford Muse to present The Muse Conversations in Helsinki.

During the events we invite you to experience an unconventional culture of dialogue, developed by Theodore Zeldin around exhilarating, thought-provoking topics.

The Muse Conversations bring total strangers or mere acquaintances together, in pairs, for a conversation that transcends small talk. Both are given a Menu of Conversation with specific questions that guide and structure their discussion. By working through a menu of different questions, they will both reflect on the details of their lives, speculate on their personal experiences and gain a deeper understanding of one another. The encounter will be captivating and memorable; it will change their world, even if just for a short while.

in collaboration with

Amos Rex Museum &

Stina Krook Foundation

Johanna Grönqvist from Svenska Yle wrote about her experience of having a conversation with a stranger. The full story (in Swedish).

Amos Rex Museum, Helsinki

📷 Johannes Romppanen (The Feast of Strangers)

📷 Iia Palovaara / Amos Rex


Theodore Zeldin, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), is an Oxford University historian and philosopher. He has been a pioneer in revealing how relationships; and emotions such as love, fear, loneliness, friendship and ambition; have evolved in different civilisations over the centuries; and most importantly, how they can be changed again today through a new kind of conversation that builds trust between strangers, new ways of working that avoid boredom, and new attitudes towards rebellious youth and forsaken old age. He has been an adviser to the President of France, was made a Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur and awarded The Wolfson Prize.

Over the last 30 years, Theodore Zeldin has been experimenting and developing a new form of conversing that enables people to exchange their experiences and aspirations in order to improve mutual understanding and trust. In twenty countries worldwide, more than 12,000 participants from the Olympics, and The World Economic Forum; to schools and homeless shelters, have taken part in Muse Conversations.




- the two deaths of Andy Warhol -

Composition by Juhani Nuorvala & Libretto by Juha Siltanen

February 9, 2019 Musica Nova Helsinki

Helsinki Music Centre, Finland


Flash Flash is a crazy piece of work, not so much ‘about’ Andy Warhol as it is set around the idea of him. Juhani Nuorvala´s opera, if that’s what it really is, has a bit of a history, and it took scandalously long to make it to the stage in any form – now the world premiere will take place, at last, in February 2019. It’s written in just intonation, with a highly rhythmic musical score, and with a pitch perfect pop English text by Juha Siltanen, and makes heavy use of stage projections and lights. It could be defined as ‘populist high art’. It is manic and meditative, tasteless and touching, superficial and probing, all at once. Although rooted in pop idioms, one never loses the sense that it is all being guided by a highly-trained, intelligent hand, much like Warhol’s art. Above all, though, it is human, and grounded in a heartfelt emotion.

MAY 7-8-10-11 2019 Espoo City Theatre

Revontuli Hall


As Juha Siltanen says Flash Flash describes a person and a culture that are forced by their own history to flirt with destruction and death, substituting personal experience and self-knowledge with consuming people, time, sexuality. At its core lies a simple and coherent story of a lonely man surrounded by people but interwoven in it and surrounding it there is a portrait of American culture, placed, through the opera form, in one frame with European tradition. Thus, it is a double portrait picturing both an opera and its ‘hero’.

Executive Producer: MiklagårdArts

Official partners: Musica nova Helsinki and the Espoo City Theatre, the University of the Arts Helsinki, and the Aalto University.



A-three-episode television series

February 2019


"A country is born out of passionate love and passionate hatred. Six years that changed everything," - Erik Söderblom

episode 1

episode 2

episode 3

YLE - The fınnısh National Broadcasting Company


The television series the Activists, based on the script written by Erik Söderblom that are shown by YLE (The Finnish National Broadcasting Company). The series, directed by Lauri Maijala, is a co-production between Helsinki-filmi, YLE (The National Broadcasting Company) and MiklagårdArts.


Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra & Kudsi Erguner Ensemble

Meeting Across Nine Millennia of Time

22 February 2019


An exceptional musical encounter between the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO) and ney master, UNESCO Artist for Peace Kudsi Erguner with his Ensemble of virtuosos; Neva Özgen, Hakan Güngör, Murat Aydemir, Giannis Koutis, Michalis Cholevas, Fahrettin Yarkın, initiated by MiklagardArts. The concert featured Guyue and Double Guan master Liu Zhengguo and Sheng master Wu Wei as well. HKCO was conducted by Maestro Yan Huichang and offered three world premieres at the 47th Hong Kong Arts Festival:

"Central Plains Connections" by Kudsi Erguner and Chew Hee Chiat

"Silk Road - The Travels of Marco Polo" by Enjott Schneider

"Chance Encounter" by Chan Ming-chi

47th Hong Kong Arts Festival

Hong Kong City Hall


With music as our guide, we arrive in Turkey, the hub connecting Eastern and Western civilizations. The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra is joined by the highly esteemed Turkish conductor Kudsi Erguner alongside Liu Zhengguo of ancient guyue (bone pipe) fame and internationally renowned sheng player Wu Wei in traversing nine millennia of music.


The Virtual Orchestra: Sibelius 360 Goes To Sibelius’ Hometown

8-12 December 2018


Experience the third movement of Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony like never before: through virtual reality headsets and headphones.

The City of Hämeenlinna invites you into the heart of the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Find out what it feels like to be inside one of the world’s greatest orchestras. As you turn your head, the 3D audio and video allow you to fully experience the nuances of each instrumental section, with sound so detailed you will even hear the score pages turning! Be transported onto the platform in the centre of the orchestra as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, conducts a performance of Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony. The Virtual Orchestra is produced by the Philharmonia Orchestra in collaboration with Inition and Southbank Centre and was conceived by the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Verkatehdas Cultural Centre, Hämeenlinna


Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony was premiered in Helsinki to great acclaim by Sibelius himself on 8 December 1915, his 50th birthday.  On December 8, 2018, The Virtual Orchestra: Sibelius 360 installation will be opened to the public as part of birthday celebration events of the great composer in Hämeenlinna, where he spent his childhood and youth.

Official partners: The City of Hämeenlinna and MiklagårdArts



Talk Kallio! Do You Have A Say?

a series of monthly unconference happenings

30 Aug/13 Sep/11 Oct/8 Nov 2018


Aren't you bored of traditional panel discussions? Would you like to get a hold of the mic and just jump into the debate yourself?

Talk Kallio! Do You Have A Say? is a series of monthly unconference happenings designed to encourage people to talk about the issues that matter to them. As the title suggests, everybody who has something to say is welcome to take the floor any time. The discussions will be set off by invited guests who will act as provocateurs. Soon you will find yourself at the edge of your seat and before you know it everyone is involved.

Cultural Center Caisa, Helsinki


The Cultural Centre Caisa has arrived at the eastern part of central Helsinki and reopens its doors at the Leipätehdas building in Kallio. Talk Kallio! Do You Have A Say? is designed to use this opportunity to celebrate the new community. Let’s get together, meet old and new neighbours and start conversations and have fun!

Concept design and facilitation: Ceyda Berk-Söderblom

Visual Identity: Reishabh Kailey 


The Virtual Orchestra: Sibelius 360


16-29 August 2018

16-21-23 August 2018


Experience the third movement of Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony like never before: through virtual reality headsets and headphones.

Helsinki Art Museum HAM invites you into the heart of the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Find out what it feels like to be inside one of the world’s greatest orchestras. As you turn your head, the 3D audio and video allow you to fully experience the nuances of each instrumental section, with sound so detailed you will even hear the score pages turning! Be transported onto the platform in the centre of the orchestra as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, conducts a performance of Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony. The Virtual Orchestra is produced by the Philharmonia Orchestra in collaboration with Inition and Southbank Centre and was conceived by the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

The Virtual Orchestra: SIBELIUS 360

installation at HAM - Helsinki Art Museum

A Rendezvous with Immersive Technology



During the time period of The Virtual Orchestra: Sibelius 360 installation, the Helsinki Art Museum HAM organises a series of participatory side events curated by MiklagårdArts to link cutting-edge Finnish technology developers with the arts and cultural institutions, to inspire divergent thinking and map out new scenarios for the future.

Increasing numbers of high-profile arts institutions and ensembles all over the world are using AR/VR (augmented and virtual reality) to attract younger audiences in the digital age. Finland is host to a vibrant start-up ecosystem and innovative companies specializing in immersive technology. While Finnish developers are keen to connect with the content creators of the cultural sector, arts institutions seek to explore the new possibilities uncovered by immersive technology.

Executive Producer & Curator of A Rendezvous with Immersive Technology : MiklagårdArts

Collaborators: The City of Helsinki, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Aalto University Experience Platform, Aalto University Digi Platform, Demos Helsinki, Finnish Virtual Reality Association, University of the Arts, Sibelius Academy and LYFTA.



Become a co-writer of the #rootsanddreams manifesto!

20 August 2018


THE ROOTS AND DREAMS MANIFESTO is a call to re-imagine the concept of  TOGETHERNESS in light of the abundance of individual identities.

We want to engage in an OPEN, organic and COLLECTIVE WRITING process with each and every respondent. To create a STORY that truly BELONGS TO US ALL, we need to write not within a restricted group, but with ANYONE who shares our VALUES and cherishes HUMAN DIGNITY and DIVERSITY.

No matter how DIFFERENT our ROOTS, it is from them that we grow our DREAM of togetherness. Let’s our stories come together, our roots intertwine, and from this entanglement make a whole new garden full of wonder and POSSIBILITIES.


The choices we make today will shape the WORLD of tomorrow – the time has come to develop our thoughts and actions in a way that is truly collective.


We INVITE you to take part, PLANT YOUR SEED by adding YOUR VOICE to the Roots and Dreams Manifesto.


Amos REx Museum, helsınkı



Your contribution can be a short piece of writing, a recording, a drawing, a photograph or whatever format you choose. Written contributions should be no longer than 50 words at max, recordings no longer than 1 minute.

Submit your text by sending an email to rootsanddreams (at) globeartpoint.fi or by filling out this form.

All contributions will be published on our website on 20th August 2018 as well as through our social media channels.

The co-written #rootsanddreams manifesto will be also presented on 20th August 2018, 16-23h, as part of the 1968 @ BIOREX event at the AMOS REX MUSEUM at the Helsinki Festival.

*We will not tolerate hate speech.

Concept and facilitation: 

Ceyda Berk-Söderblom & Kemê Pellicer

in collaboration with the Globe Art Point



Kudsi Erguner Ensemble

“Liturgical Songs of Istanbul”

21 April 2018


“Liturgical Songs of Istanbul”

Kudsi ERGUNER, ney

Serkan Mesut HALİLİ, kanun

Hasan KİRİŞ, tanbur

Mehmet BİTMEZ, ud

Fahrettin Şükrü YARKIN, percussion

Bora UYMAZ, vocal

İlhan YAZICI, vocal

Mehmet Hamdi DEMİRCİOĞLU, vocal

Safa KORKMAZ, vocal

Burak SAVAŞ, vocal

Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

With a long history of invasions and conquests by Greek colonists, the crusaders and Osmanlı conquerors, the city we now know as Istanbul has witnessed the rise and fall of many empires, all of which have added to the cultural diversity that it is known for today. Once the capital of the Byzantine Empire and the prime centre of Christianity alongside Rome, it was also the capital of the Ottoman Empire, during which the Greeks, Persians, Arabs, Armenians, Jews and Turks co-existed and contributed to the richness of the city. Consequently, the songs of the Hebrew Maftirim (Jewish mystic music), Sufi ceremonial music and Eastern Orthodox hymns became part of the musical fabric of the people.

In tribute to the multi-faith history of Istanbul, the Kudsi Erguner Ensemble presents a repertoire of traditional sacred music from the various communities in the ancient city.


Studio Aleppo [Helsinki]

Picturing ‘New’ Citizens

5-17 AUGUST 2017
5-6 August 2017
10-17 AUGUST 2017


Studio Aleppo [Helsinki] has been awarded the “Production of the Year-2017” by the TAKU ry (Art and Cultural Professionals’ Trade Union)

Studio Aleppo [Helsinki] is a pop-up photography studio and portrait exhibition to give visibility and voice to the different residents of Finland. The project aimed to change the image of refugees and migrant people among the society in a positive way by using the transformative power of arts. MiklagårdArts presented Studio Aleppo [Helsinki] at the National Museum of Finland and curated a series of participatory side events that took place during the pop-up exhibition that took place between 10 and 17 of August 2017.

Creation: Paradox

Author: Issa Touma

Executive Producer in Finland: MiklagårdArts

photos: Soile Tirilä & Johannes Romppanen


The National Museum of Finland
Pop-up photo studio WITH Juuso Westerlund
Exhibition & Side-events


Studio Aleppo is a European project of pop-up photo studios and exhibition, that travels in various cities in Europe and invites old and new residents to have their portrait taken by a local prominent photographer. As an act of solidarity and hospitality, local citizens also pay for the portrait of a newcomer and/or his/her family. For both parties, the portraits are a gesture of recognition and acknowledgment. The portraits are displayed side by side in an exhibition, after which they will also be added to an online gallery. Each portrait is a symbolic gesture, a declaration of intent for creating a new, equal future for all. Each participant is shortly interviewed about their background and future expectations. Through photographing newcomers and including them in a collection of portraits, the project aims to stimulate a feeling of recognition and inclusion.

Studio Aleppo [Helsinki] is supported by the Mondriaan Fund

Studio Aleppo [Helsinki] is part of the Finland 100 programme



A gateway to innovative approaches in the field of performing arts between Finland and China

AUGUST 2016-december 2018


MiklagårdArts kicked off a collaborative project Circus Bridge with three distinguished partners operating in the field of contemporary circus and performing arts: Cirko, Maracat Caravan and FeverChina. These four partners join forces aiming to build a bridge between the innovative Finnish contemporary circus and the ancient traditions of Chinese circus and acrobatics.

Circus Bridge launched at the EARS Helsinki seminar in August 2016. Over the next three years, we will take Finnish circus companies, performances and creative know-how to China, arrange meeting points for Finnish and Chinese circus artists and create the first Finnish-Chinese circus performance.

Circus Bridge is part of the Centenary of Finlands Independence - Finland100 - programme.

Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland - initial funder of the Circus Bridge



The partners join forces in a bridge-building project between the ancient traditions of Chinese acrobatics and Finnish contemporary circus. The unique collaboration aim to contribute to the development of creative and innovative capabilities of the performing art field, and to merge the characteristics of Finnish contemporary circus and Chinese acrobatics into a fresh form of contemporary circus to engage younger audience.

Our Vision

Circus Bridge aims to enable Finnish and Chinese artists to utilize the transformational power of collaboration.

Our Mission

Circus Bridge designs an innovative, transformative learning methods of Finnish experts, artists, and educators to combine it with the ancient tradition of Chinese acrobatics - to introduce Finnish know-how in China.

Our Values

Circus Bridge seeks to facilitate new ways of achieving:

#Convergence #Creation #Change




14 April 2017


Choreographer, circus artist: Ilona Jäntti

Composer, musician: Aino Venna

Double bass: Erik Michelsen

Light designer: Kauri Klemelä



Yablochkov Candle is a concert and an aerial acrobatic performance put together. The sounds of Singer-Songwriter Aino Venna, richly influenced by French chansons and old school rock 'n' roll, blends effortlessly with Jäntti’s beautiful aerial choreography.




19 March 2017


Kudsi Erguner, ney

Serkan Halili, kanun

Hamdi Akatay, percussion

Son of the head of a troupe of whirling dervishes, Kudsi Erguner was named UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2016. For many years, he has researched and documented nearly forgotten middle eastern music traditions and brought them to the attention of a new audience, in the course of which he has released more than 100 CDs. He is a world authority on Sufi music - a spiritual dimension of Islam, and the Turkish, Arabic and Jewish influenced music of the former Ottoman Empire. Kudsi Erguner Trio performs colourful social music, drawing on centuries of music tradition from the rich culture of the Ottoman Empire.





The HKJC Amphitheatre, HKAPA


The Ney flûte; the privileged instrument of the classical Ottoman and Sufi music, praised in the verses of Jallal ad-Din Rûmi. The Ney represents for Sufis a symbol of the soul separated from the Divine and yearning for the Union. Kanun (cithara) is one of the main instruments of the classical ottoman court. The trio offers a large repertoire on the instrumental court music and the pieces issued from the ceremonies of the Whirling Dervishes.


CIRCUS BRIDGE publishes:

“Crossing Boundaries ! European Contemporary Circus”

12-19 February 2017


#CircusBridge’s first residency in China

The team of Circus Bridge traveled to China to meet and network with local professionals. During the visit Petteri Jakobsson & Erik Söderblom hosted an introduction lecture to Finnish and European contemporary circus. The book about European contemporary circus produced by Circus Bridge was introduced at the lectures.

Modern Art Museum, Shanghai


#Crossing Boundaries ! European Contemporary Circus

Presented during the first residency of Circus Bridge in China, this visual book includes the best examples of the circus in its contemporary narrative! We are very proud and happy to be part of Circus Bridge with Cirko, feverchina and Maracat Caravan.



9 November 2016


Verneri Pohjola, trumpet, electronics

Aki Rissanen, piano, electronics

Akbank Sanat, İstanbul


Verneri Pohjola is a renowned trumpet player and Aki Rissanen a reputable jazz pianist. They have played in several ensembles together and separately for over ten years, and now they have joined their forces in a duo project. Together they combine acoustic and electronic soundscapes, and play their original distinctive compositions. Both musicians are creating an international career and releasing new albums abroad - both for the British Edition Records label. The duo's own album is also in preparation.



20 October 2016


Kudsi Erguner, ney

Tuuli Lindeberg, soprano

Antti Tikkanen, violin

Mikko Perkola, viola da gamba

Anna-Maaria Oramo, harpsichord

Solmund Nystabakk, lute

G LiveLab, Helsinki


It is a brilliant new collaboration between Kudsi Erguner and the Finnish Baroque Orchestra. Kudsi Erguner, Tuuli Lindeberg, Antti Tikkanen, Mikko Perkola, Anna-Maaria Oramo, Solmund Nystabakk offered a magical journey towards the same historical period of two separate worlds' music; the Eastern Ottoman and Western Baroque.




21 September 2016


Bora Uymaz, vocal

Aron Saltıel, vocal

Safa Korkmaz, vocal

Kudsi Erguner, ney

Giannis Koutis, ud & vocal

Hakan Güngör, kanun

Michalis Cholevas, yaylı tanbur

Yinon Muallem, percussions

Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival

Kudsi Erguner, the master of Turkish Sufi music, is coming to Mekudeshet with a new and exciting project: ancient maftirim sung in Hebrew from the heart of Islamic Turkey. The tradition is based on the writings of Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī and was performed by learned Jews who combined holy Hebrew texts with classical Turkish melodies. The maftirim choirs first appeared in the 18th century in Edirne, known historically as Adrianople and later and today as Istanbul. The repertoire, which was sung on the Sabbath, was arranged according to Turkish Maqams with the music and the style of singing based on classical Turkish and Sufi music.



17 September 2016


Bora Uymaz, vocals, bendir

Şirin Pancaroğlu, lever harp

Mehmet Yalgın, kemençe

Handelsbeurs, Gent



The Şimdi ensemble (Şimdi means “now” in Turkish) is inspired by the Sufism of Asia Minor. They embrace Turkey’s music heritage and its amazing traditional repertoire, supplementing it with their own compositions and improvisations. The harp of Şirin Pancaroglu, who is considered a star in Turkey, combined with vocalisation and the unique sounds of the kemençe will transport, taking you on a journey from the past to the future, while mainly spending time in the “here and now”.



A showcase marathon of Finnish arts in Beijing

13-15 May 2016


The City of Helsinki will create a weekend of Finnish culture on the Xidan-square in Beijing. The Moi Helsinki event will bring together some extraordinary interesting Finnish artists for a three-day performance and installation marathon on May 13-15 2016.

We are a member of the curating team and responsible for the dramaturgy of the event.

Xidan-square in Beijing


The accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen, the dancers Minna Tervamäki, Tero Saarinen and Ima Iduozee, the singer Ronya, the Humppavanti Orchestra, the Finnish-Chinese Beijing opera company Wusheng, the Club for Five ensemble, the installation artist Kaisa Salmi and much more will come together for this extraordinary outdoor festival in the centre of Beijing.



“Ottomans meet the Baroque World”

A collaboration between Kudsi Erguner and the Finnish Baroque Orchestra (FiBO)


The word baroque has usually been used to refer to irregular, asymmetric, or -according to Jean-Jacques Rousseau - to mixed harmonies, too many modulations or even dissonance. In the light of these definitions, for the Western world, not only the music of the 17th and 18th century but even the Ottoman music could have been considered “baroque”.



The ney flute master, one of the most inspiring musicians of the Sufi tradition Kudsi Erguner will meet soloists of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra. A musical journey towards a repertoire that will consist of compositions from the same historical period of two separate worlds, the Sufi tradition, and Baroque. The musicians will juxtapose the different musical languages of the East and the West and explore similarities and differences of harmonies and maqams and blends the singing techniques of the two cultures.