Biographies

All 'Biographies' are listed here in the order that they were published. We aim to have an assortment of biographies of individuals who are Nordic or have a connection to the Nordics, and who have made an impact on Nordic and/or international society in the modern era. Our long term aim is to focus on those who are little known and to be inclusive. 

Carl Th. Dreyer, Danish filmmaker, circa 1915. Photo: Peter Newland (Public domain)

2019.03.22 | Biography, Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, The arts, Aarhus University

Carl Theodor Dreyer (1889-1968)

Danish director Carl Th. Dreyer is world-famous for his films on passion and compassion. Emphatic depictions of religion and especially women’s destiny in societies ruled by men run throughout his work. Meanwhile, a special form of realism, in which minor facial expressions are more important than larger spatial movements, inspires philosophical…

Heyerdahl directed archaeological excavations in a variety of places including Easter Island and Azerbaijan. Photo: Kon-Tiki Museum (CC BY 3.0)

2019.03.20 | Biography, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Education, University of Oslo

Thor Heyerdahl (1916-2002)

The Norwegian scientist Thor Heyerdahl was internationally renowned for leading expeditions across vast oceans in rudimentary vessels.

Finnish author Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins, here portrayed wearing a flower crown, 1967. Photo by Per Olov Jansson (CC BY 3.0)

2019.03.20 | Biography, Joachim Mickwitz, Pietari Kaapa, Literature

Tove Jansson (1914-2001)

Writing in Swedish, the Finnish writer-illustrator Tove Jansson is most famous for her creation of the mythical creatures The Moomins.

Jo Nesbø at The Helsinki Book Fair 2005. Photo: Anneli Salo (CC BY-SA 3.0).

2019.03.18 | Biography, Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen, Literature

Jo Nesbø (b. 1960)

Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø is well known in- and outside the Nordic region for his many books on crime, some of which have been adapted for film.

Portait of Einojuhani Rautavaara. Photo: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).

2019.03.18 | Biography, Kyle Frackman, The arts

Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928–2016)

Einojuhani Rautavaara is one of the best-known Finnish composers of the twentieth century. Perhaps most famous globally for his Seventh Symphony, the Angel of Light, he made use of many different musical styles and techniques in a variety of genres, and was not afraid to go against musical trends in composition.

Myyrmäki Church (1984), Vantaa. Photo: author.

2019.03.15 | Biography, William C Miller, Architecture & design

Juha Leiviksä (b. 1936)

The architecture of Finnish architect Juha Leiviksä synthesises an abstract modernism with a sensory, experiential expressionism that results in stunning light-filled interior spaces, especially in his religious buildings.

Town Hall (1939-42), Aarhus (with Erik Møller). Photo: author.

2019.03.15 | Biography, William C Miller, Architecture & design

Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971)

Danish architect and designer Arne Emil Jacobsen is internationally renowned for his modern and functional architecture, furniture, and product designs. Employing a philosophy of ‘economy plus function equals style’, his buildings, furniture and tableware became emblematic of the concept “Danish Modern”.

Kristian Gullichsen, Church (1981), Malmi. Photo by author.

2019.03.15 | Biography, William C Miller, Architecture & design

Kristian Gullichsen (b.1932)

The work of architect Kristian Gullichsen, who is among Finland’s most important designers of the late 20th century, synthesises a cool, restrained modernism with the tactile, experiential, and expressive qualities associated with Finnish architecture.

Gro Harlem Brundtland in April of 2009. Photo: GAD (CC BY-SA 3.0).

2019.03.13 | Biography, Ann Legreid, Governance

Gro Harlem Brundtland (b. 1939)

Gro Harlem Brundtland is an internationally recognised Norwegian politician and environmentalist known for her advocacy of sustainability, public health and human rights. Among a number of public offices, she served as Prime Minister of Norway for ten years.

Urban commuter reading an Anders Bodelsen novel, Berlin, March 20, 2009. Photo by Olaf Simons (CC BY 3.0).

2019.02.27 | Biography, Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen, Literature

Anders Bodelsen (b. 1937)

Writing in a neo-realist style, Danish author Anders Bodelsen often portrays everyday people in contemporary welfare society, such as in his breakthrough crime thriller, Think of a Number.

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