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Weekend Wrap

New UNESCO geopark, classical music triumphs and tech to combat bed bugs

About 21 per cent of the new Salpausselkä geopark is lakes.

Johannes Sipponen

This week, Finns have made a splash in the classical music world with the premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Semafor, Sakari Ornamo’s extended chief conductor contract with the BBC and Klaus Mäkelä’s triumphant conducting debut in Chicago. Click on any photo and take a look at recent creativity from Finland.

Kaija Saariaho’s Semafor premiered to an enthusiastic reception in New York City. Performed by Ensemble Connect at Carnegie Hall, the piece was described as “tumultous and colourful” and the high point of the evening by New York Classical Review. (Photo: Andrew Campbell)

Luxury hotels turn to Finnish tech to combat bed bugs. A product developed by Valpas, which includes bug traps integrated into bed legs and an Internet of Things network, notifies the hotel of the bug situation in its rooms. The startup has signed up 150 premium-brand hotels in over 20 European cities to use its service, writes Skift. (Photo: Valpas)

Klaus Mäkelä makes his debut conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Impressed by Mäkelä’s work, WTTW describes the 26-year old Finn as a “brilliant conductor” and “stellar young talent that will keep classical music thriving”. Further to guest appearances, Mäkelä is the chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and music director of the Orchestre de Paris. (Photo: Marco Borggreve)

Salpausselkä is named as a UNESCO Global Geopark. The 4 000-square kilometre region, located at the southern edge of Finnish Lakeland, is covered by sediments deposited by glaciers. Around 21 per cent of the geopark is lakes and the rest is forest. According to TheMayor.EU, the geopark label highlights “sites with a unique geological heritage, as well as cultural significance and the importance to local biodiversity”. (Photo: Johannes Sipponen)

Sulapac’s sustainable straws land in luxury hotels in the United Arab Emirates. Among others, St. Regis Downtown, Four Seasons Resort Dubai and Caesars Palace Dubai start to use the straws, which are made of wood chips from industrial side streams and plant-based binders, in their restaurants. Sulapac’s straws are also industrially compostable and biodegrade, writes Industrial News Service. (Photo: Sulapac)

The Finnish language has become a surprise trend among American companies. Thanks to its vast supply of short, simple and unique words, the language is increasingly used for product and company names. Eero (a man’s name), vuori (‘mountain’), levätä (‘to rest’) and raaka (‘raw’) are some of the words that have made the cut, Bloomberg reports. (Photo: Amazon.com Inc)

Always dreamt of making a boat from ice? Ice and snow builder Aleksi Ylläsjärvi shows how it’s done in two viral TikTok videos. Ylläsjärvi told Newsweek he’s planning to go boating with the ice boat and hopes it will float at least for a few hours. (Photo: Business Finland)

Sakari Oramo’s contract with the BBC Symphony Orchestra has been extended to 2026. The Finnish maestro has led the orchestra as its chief conductor since 2013 and “explored a wealth of new and rarely performed works alongside core repertoire,” says BBC Music Magazine. (Photo: Benjamin Ealovega)

Vincit receives glory for its International Biathlon Union (IBU) mobile app. The app was named the Best Service Overall and the Best Mobile Service at Finnish digital media competition Grand One Awards. According to Inside The Games, the app allows biathlon fans to follow competitions in real time and provides second-screen functionalities. (Photo: IBU)

Netflix is buying Finnish gaming company Next Games. According to Yle, the streaming giant is seeking to expand into the gaming market and the acquisition is “reportedly a key part of its strategy”. The Helsinki-based company is specialised in games based on TV series and franchises, such as its recently published title Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales. (Photo: Next Games)

By: Eeva Haaramo