Why are we here?
The Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras (Suosio) promotes and develops Finland's symphony and chamber orchestras, and safeguards their interests and rights. It was founded in 1965 and has been actively championing orchestral music ever since.
We are here primarily to ensure the maximum well-being of Finnish orchestras: to see that they have sufficient funding, that their activities are made known, and that their standards are as high as possible. We are also here to guarantee that there is at least one organisation able to command the whole orchestral field. And this we do with the skill and expertise brought by long experience.
Here at Suosio we seek to further the mutual interests of all our member orchestras. The most significant project promoted by The Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras in this respect is the Orchestra Act enforced in 1993 bringing a ten-fold increase in the state subsidies for professional orchestras. We are also keeping a close watch on future amendments to the legislation.
We maintain regular contact with the decision makers at national and local level: politicians, civil servants, anyone involved in decisions concerning our orchestras. We tell them why orchestras are important, vital and splendid. We have close ties with the international orchestra and music organisations and see that new ideas find their way to Finland. In return, we tell our foreign colleagues, media people and anyone else who is interested about our Finnish orchestras.
What do we do?
The Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras makes proposals and issues statements to national and local officials and other bodies on matters concerning orchestras. We take part in public debate by writing articles for the press, sending petitions to and addressing the municipal management direct. A representative of The Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras is always present when orchestral matters are being discussed.
We arrange training events for orchestra managers and trustees, for musicians and other members of staff. Each spring we hold a big national conference that is the number one meeting place for the orchestral world. We also organise at least four other training eventseach year to develop the administration, operations and artistic standard.
We arrange joint projects, theme projects, and collaborate with other arts organisations.
We keep statistics on all aspects of orchestras and their operations. We could tell you the number of concerts each orchestra has given, its bottom line, audience figures, public grants, recordings and premieres.
The Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras runs a national library of orchestral music available to members for a fee. There are at present about 2,000 works in the library.
The Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras maintains international contacts at Nordic (Nordiska Orkesterkonferensen), European , (Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe/PEARLE) and global (International Alliance of Orchestra Associations/IAOA) level. A representative of the Association also regularly attends the meetings of the Association of British Orchestras/ABO and other such organisations.
Our display window for the outside world is our active web page listing the concerts to be given by all the member orchestras and lots of other information.The Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras is also a centre for information on anything to do with Finnish orchestras.Information is also available in our annual reports, bulletins, interviews etc.
How many orchestras?
The Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras at present has 30 orchestra members: all the professional Finnish symphony and chamber orchestras and seven others. Our members consist of:
14 professional symphony orchestras
1 opera orchestra
8 professional chamber and semi-professional orchestras
5 other orchestras
2 associate members