- Ida Aalberg
birthdate= birth date|1857|12|04
deathdate= Death date and age|1915|01|17|1857|12|04
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Aalberg was born in
Tervakoski, Janakkala. She was a member of the Theatre of Finland from 1874 to 1883 and later a regular visiting actress. She also performed on foreign scenes, in Scandinavia, Germany, Hungary and Russia among others. Although she never managed a breakthrough in a foreign language she remained respected and highly popular in Finland, even when spending much, or nearly all of her time abroad.
A new theatre house that opened in 1902 led to the renaming of the Theatre of Finland as The Finnish National Theatre. A few years later Aalberg began to show an interest in directing and administration which lead to her appointment as director-actor (assistant manager) in 1909.
She was not a success as a director. When her contract was terminated in 1911 it caused a cultural scandal and she was never to perform regularly in the National Theatre again. She celebrated her 40 year anniversary as an actress there in 1914 and a visiting performance was being planned but her sudden death in January 1915 in
Saint Petersburgcame before the plans could be carried out.
Aalberg's first marriage was to a well-known Finnish nationalist
Lauri Kivekäsfrom 1887 until his death in 1893, and the second in 1894 to Baron Alexander Uexküll-Gyllenbandfrom St Petersburg, who was a lawyer and philosopher and later became an influential person in the Finnish theatre scene.
Remembering Ida Aalberg
On the other side of The Finnish National Theatre, in Kaisaniemi Park,there is a monument, The Curtain, designed by sculptor
Raimo Utriainenand raised in memory of Ida Aalberg in 1972. Being the first abstract sculpted monument ever planned in Finland it caused a huge uproar by winning the competition in 1961.
The city of
Helsinkihas named a street in memory of Ida Aalberg in Pohjois-Haaga, and she has also been featured on a Finnish Postage stamp.
birth homeof Ida Aalberg is located in Leppäkoskiin the municipality of Janakkalaand serves as the Ida Aalberg museum. The library of Janakkala is also named after her and is sited on Ida Aalberg Plaza.
Kyllikki Forssellplayed a small part as Ida Aalberg in the movie Poet and Museby Jaakko Pakkasvirta (1978). The movie tells the story of another famous Finn, the poet Eino Leino.
Ida Aalberg Foundation and Ida Aalberg Society
The memory of Ida Aalberg is kept alive by the Ida Aalberg Foundation in Helsinki (1957) and the Ida Aalberg Society in Janakkala (1985).
Ida Aalberg Foundation awards a biannual Ida Aalberg Acting Prize, which is the largest single prize in the theatre in Finland (15000 euros in 2007). In 1959 the Foundation announced an open competition for a monument and after various phases, including a follow-up competition, commissioned from sculptor Raimo Utriainen his winning work, The Curtain. It took 15 years from the initial idea in 1957 - centennial of Ida Aalberg's birth - until the monument was finally put up.
* [http://www.kansallisbiografia.fi/english/?id=3101 Ida Aalberg, A short biography, Kansallisbiografia – The National Biography of Finland, edited by the Finnish Historical Society]
* [http://www.ida-aalberg-saatio.fi/ Ida Aalberg Foundation (in Finnish)]
* [http://www.janakkala.fi/ida/Kotisivu/Index.htm Ida Aalberg Society (in Finnish)]
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