newsflash no. 1: the Greek Embassy in Helsinki is organizing a reception (party?) for the Greek representatives in the Eurovision song contest. Yes, the circus that many famous Hollywood film-makers would dream of is this year in Helsinki -thanks to the monsters...
newsflash no. 2: Ralf Gothóni is leaving the Sibelius Academy this spring. He's been the chamber music professor here since 1992. He will continue teaching chamber music at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía and more specifically its Instituto Internacional de Música de Camara de Madrid (I tried their link, didn't work...)
Here's the deal: if I would suggest to the Embassy here any kind of serious actions towards cultural promotion of Greece, they would for sure deny it, with the usual excuse, lack of money. This is not of course always true, because even worse than lack of money is lack of any cultivation and contact to real culture and the arts. So, they'll spend some money again for silly useless things... As if Finns, don't already have sterotyped ideas about Greeks. The problem, just to make myself clear is not only here. Mostly this kind of politicians and diplomats are running Greece.
The institution were Mr Gothóni is continuing his teaching career is under the auspices of Queen Sofía of Spain. For those unfamiliar with royal families, I have to mention that she is Greek -and cultivated and interested in arts. But, we abolished the monarchy from Greece in 1974, 'cause we wanted democracy. We got that, with a bunch of ignorants running the country decade after decade... and 33 years after the change, while Spain has an institution equivalent to the Curtis Institute of music -or Juilliard, in Greece you enter the equivalent of a music academy without exam in your own instrument. I don't claim that we need a top-notch school, but the distance between the one and the other is light years. 'nuf said!