Barbara Helsingius

(born in 1937, in Helsinki, Finland, resident in Espoo, Finland), composer. Originally a physical education, teacher, she obtained MA in an education at Stanford University in the 60's. She left teaching, began working freelance for Finnish radio and was involved in a popular TV-series where she got a chance to sing. She has also had very successful concerts and gigs in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Israel, Spain, Japan, Germany and Latvia. She has written more than 700 texts-originals and interpretations. She worked freelance, until recently, at YLE International, Radio Finland. She teaches guitar accompaniment, the writing of lyrics and interpretation. She has been honoured as a singer-songwriter & cultural personality as well as for her work on behalf of Nordic music. She has twelve albums with her own songs and Finnish songs sung in Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and English. She has been on the board of many music and cultural organizations: former chair of Finnish singing society Helsingin Laulelman Ystävät (friends of ballad music); former chair and now honorary member of singing society Visans Vänner i Helsingfors, honorary member of Women and Music and of Yrkestrubadurernas Förening in Stockholm (association of professional troubadours); elected member of Svenska Visakademien (Swedish academy of songs).
Selected recordings: First album American folk in Finnish; Speiling (Reflection) 1981 Norway; Own Songs 1981; two song books in Swedish: Vill du visor min vän? and Kanske en visa (Schildts) and a booklet with her translations of songs based on poems by the great Eino Leino; Songs Finland Sings, a book with her English versions of much loved Finnish Songs and produced two CD s with some of the material sung by thirty popular artists; Nordic songs 1992; Such is our life 1996; Composed poetry 1982,
Awards: Alf Hambe and Nils Ferlin awards in Sweden; the Finnish-Norwegian cultural foundation prize; the NordVisa statuette; in Finland, the Pro Cultura Esbo

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