Velmu ry, Bingheng Yang and Pinja Huhtimo were awarded Vantaa cultural prize
Vantaa cultural prize for significant cultural act has been awarded to Vantaan elävän musiikin yhdistys VELMU ry. The cultural prize for a young artist is shared by pianist Bingheng Yang and ballet dancer Pinja Huhtimo. The prizes were awarded at the city council meeting on December 17.
The reformed Vantaa cultural prize was this year awarded for the first time in two different categories. Both of Vantaa's two cultural prizes amount to €10 000; with the prize reform, the city also doubles the sum of its cultural prize.
The over-40-year-old cultural prize was reformed, because Vantaa wants to support talented Vantaa artists at the beginning of their careers in addition to significant local cultural acts.
Velmu ry – 40 years of work for music
The 40-year-old Vantaan elävän musiikin yhdistys Velmu has been creating and promoting Vantaa's music culture in many ways. The association and its volunteers have brought interesting performers to the city and highlighted local artists. It has arranged concert tours, offered practice premises and taught playing.
Velmu has brought into our city a sense of community and of doing together. Vantaa is truly lucky to have an actor like Velmu: the association enriches Vantaa residents’ cultural life both independently and in cooperation with the city.
Talent and motivation characterize the young prized artists
Bingheng Yang started his piano studies at Vantaa Music Institute in August 2012 at twelve, just after having moved from China to Finland. In the course of years, he has—in addition to studying—played at the music institute as a lied pianist, music theater pianist and symphony orchestra pianist. In addition, he has greatly encouraged other students in composition concerts, as a pianist and a composer.
Nowadays, Bingheng Yang studies at high school, but will continue to play and study composition at Vantaa Music Institute as well. During the past few years, Bingheng Yang has in many ways proven his commitment and encouragement to music, and has developed as a player.
Ballet dancer Pinja Huhtimo started dancing when she was 3 years old at Vantaa children’s ballet. Huhtimo's career as a competitor began in the national ballet competition arranged in 2016. After that, she has also competed abroad, and this year Huhtimo was invited as the only European competitor in her own age group to the highly valued Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition finals, held in New York in March.
Thanks to her artistically talented performance, Pinja Huhtimo has received several study offers around the world for the fall. She has also herself devised modern choreographies that are required in addition to classical ballet variations.
Vantaa residents could propose prize recipients
You cannot apply for Vantaa cultural prizes; Vantaa City Executive Board will decide on awarding the prizes on the basis of proposal by the Leisure and Recreation committee.
Nevertheless, this fall Vantaa Cultural Services asked residents to propose Vantaa persons and actors whose endeavors for the benefit of Vantaa's cultural life should be recognized. The proposals were utilized when preparing for 2018 Vantaa cultural prizes.
List of recipients of Vantaa cultural prizes from 1976 through 2017 (in Finnish)