Tampere awards to Santtu-Matias Rouvali and Pauli “Pate” Mustajärvi

On the 244th anniversary of Tampere, Tampere awards were granted to conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali and musician Pauli "Pate" Mustajärvi.  The award recipients symbolise the importance of Tampere culture and music life both in Finland and internationally in a great way. The Tampere awards were presented at Tampere City Hall on 1 October 2023.

On Tampere Day, the City of Tampere traditionally rewards outstanding people who have contributed to the development of the city and the well-being of its residents through their life’s work or activities, or who have helped to make Tampere more attractive as the most popular city in Finland. The Tampere awards have been granted since 1959 and, so far, there have been 82 awards.

Santtu-Matias Rouvali was awarded a Tampere award for his outstanding merits as the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and for his impressive contribution to Tampere’s musical life.  

Rouvali is a conductor who has risen to a high rank in the international music field thanks to his talent and passion. As conductor, he is known for his charisma and energetic grip. His ability to lead the orchestra enthusiastically and accurately has made him a distinguished name both in Finland and in the world’s top orchestras.

Rouvali served as the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra between 2013 and 2023. Under his leadership, the orchestra gained even greater recognition and its performances were praised both in Finland and internationally. During his time, the orchestra has flourished artistically, inspiring the musicians and offering great performances to the public. This has had a positive impact not only on the reputation of the orchestra but also on the awareness and attractiveness of classical music. In his role, he has raised the profile of Tampere as a cultural city and strengthened its reputation as an attractive city of experience.

In addition to the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra concerts, Rouvali is remembered for creating the atmosphere of the park concerts in Sorsapuisto. With his comments, he has brought classic music closer to the city residents. He has also actively supported young musicians in their careers.  

In addition, he has received numerous recognitions and awards. The concerts conducted by him have attracted widespread praise from around the world and impressed both the audience and international music critics.

– Santtu-Matias Rouvali’s musical passion and talent have made him one of Finland’s most important conductors, and his contribution to the music scene in Tampere has been invaluable. His art enriches our lives and inspires all of us, Mayor Kalervo Kummola said as he congratulated Rouvali on the award.

Manserock icon gives strength and joy for many generations

The undisputed legend of the music scene in Tampere, Pauli “Pate” Mustajärvi, is a Manserock icon known by all Finns, whose voice and charisma are unrivalled. His long, successful career as a soloist and key character of the Popeda band is a significant part of Finnish rock history. Popeda is not just a band, it is a way of life and a phenomenon. Pate Mustajärvi’s charismatic presence and stage performance have made him one of the most respected performers in Finland. 

He is also a multi-layered artist whose solo career showcases his extensive musical talent. He is an artist who can tell stories, touch us and make us think deeper about life. He has also served as a model for many young musicians and promoted the music culture in Tampere with his own unique style.

– Pate Mustajärvi’s uniquely raspy voice is the voice that has been singing about love, rebellion, life and death with us. His music is part of Finnish life and offers comfort, strength and joy to many generations, says Mayor Kummola.

A Tampere award for Pate Mustajärvi is not only a recognition of his unique entertainment abilities, but it also celebrates his commitment to the local community, which has made Tampere an even powerful home for rock.

Mayor Kalervo Kummola and Chairman of the Tampere City Council Ilmari Nurminen presented the Tampere awards to the recipients on Sunday 1 October 2023 at the Tampere Day reception at Tampere City Hall. The physical award is artwork by artist Markku Salo called Tammerkosken kuohu, which combines curb stone and glass, and forms a well-functioning and impressive entity. The glass symbolises the foaming of the Tammerkoski rapids and the stone the rugged walls of the factory buildings.

At the event, first-class gold medals of merit of the City of Tampere were presented, as well, to CEO Leena Aalto, Professor of Practice Matti Apunen, ice hockey influencer Timo Jutila and General Manager Risto Jalo. 

Gold medals of merit for export promotion and work for media and business life

CEO Leena Aalto was awarded a medal of merit for her significant merits in favour of business life and export promotion in Tampere. She is a third-generation representative of the family company Koja Group. Since 2014, she has served as CEO of Koja Group and since December 2021 as CEO of Koja Ltd.

The family business that provides demanding ventilation solutions for cruise ships and industry employs nearly 500 people, including staff in Florida and Sweden. Koja Group is on the list of the London Stock Exchange Group’s list of some of the fastest-growing and most dynamic European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Aalto has been a member of the Tampere Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 2015 and chaired it from 2019 to 2021. Before her career in the family business, Aalto has been active as a diplomat at the Berlin Embassy in 2010-2013.

Professor of Practice Matti Apunen was awarded a gold medal of merit for his significant merits for the benefit of the media and business life in Tampere. Apunen started his career as a journalist in Aamulehti. He was the newspaper’s cultural editor from 1985 to 1994. He was awarded the Kalle Kaihari Foundation Cultural Award in 1988. In 1998, he became the Editor-in-Chief of Aamulehti and served as Executive Editor-in-Chief in 2000-2010. Between 2010 and 2019, he worked as Director of the Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA.

Since autumn 2019, Apunen has acted as Professor of Practice at the Tampere University Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences. He is also the Chairman of the Board of the Finnish Broadcasting Company and has been the Chairman of the Finnish Football League Association in 2017–2020. Apunen has also written and translated several books and is known as a business advocate. 

Tampere ice hockey influencers awarded

An ice hockey influencer, ex-captain of the Leijonat team Timo Jutila, was awarded a gold medal of merit for his significant merits in Tampere ice hockey scene and the Tappara team. Jutila has been involved in winning Finland’s first world ice hockey championship as a team captain in 1995. He is Finland’s first double world champion in ice hockey in adult level games. The Hockey Hall of Fame Finland has ennobled him as an Ice Hockey Lion, and the International Ice Hockey Federation has appointed him to its Hockey Hall of Fame. 

Jutila is one of the most well-known players in his first club Tappara. Jutila has also devoted himself to his community and, among other things, donated to charities by organising a game event for certain elementary classes. 

General Manager Risto Jalo was awarded a gold medal of merit for his significant merits in the good of the ice hockey scene in Tampere and the Ilves team. Jalo has worn the Tampere Ilves team colours both as a player and General Manager. He has won the Finnish championship playing in the Ilves team in 1984-1985. As a player, he is remembered as a score-maker. Ilves has frozen Jalo’s game number 13, and he has been nominated as an Ice Hockey Lion of Finland. 

As General Manager of Ilves, he turned the team’s success and they went from the brink of bankruptcy to a top-class performance. He is an example of how hard work and motivation can achieve great results.   

Neljä ansiomitalin saajaa seisovat Raatihuoneella.

First-class gold medals of merit of the City of Tampere were presented Professor of Practice Matti Apunen (left), General Manager Risto Jalo, CEO Leena Aalto and ice hockey influencer Timo Jutila.

Further information

Neea Loimuvirta



040 543 5412

Text: Aila Rajamäki
Photos: Laura Happo