Date(s) - 8th May 2020
Tom was born Touko Valio Laaksonen in Ristimaki near Kaarina, on the southwest coast of Finland in 1920.
Artwork by Tom of Finland proudly hangs in Kaarina’s Town Hall as part of the city’s art collection.
On the artist’s birth date, 8th May, he will be celebrated with a dramatic Tom of Finland piano concert, the program of which includes letters and music about his life.
The piano music of Claude Debussy, Frédéric Chopin, Jean Sibelius and Ernst Lingo in the concert will be interpreted by Nicholas Pulkkinen. Music researcher Anna-Elena Pääkkölä is responsible for the script and artistic design of the concert, who has chosen important music for Laaksonen, who is also known as a leading pianist, and important turning points in the artist’s life. Actor Eric Barco reads letters by Touko Laaksonen, and the narrator is actor Miiko Toiviainen. The concert will be introduced by Mayor Harri Virta. Parts of the concert ensemble have been recorded in cities that are important to Tom of Finland: Kaarina, Turku and Helsinki.
Touko’s father composed music and directed a mixed choir and his mother encouraged the young boy with his piano lessons.
After the war Touko went back to school. There was no more waffling between art and music: he chose both, studying music during the day and advertising at night. He had been accepted at the famed Sibelius Academy. Thus he voluntarily doubled the class load that once, in 1939, had seemed so onerous. What’s more, even before his schooling was complete, Tom was taking on advertising jobs and playing piano for a cocktail lounge. War does tend to help a confused boy get his priorities in order—when it does not kill him.
Published: 8th May 2020
Categorised in: Supporter - World