Avita AudioVisual Expo, one of the most important professional audiovisual trade shows in Northern Europe took place in Messukeskus, Helsinki, this time in autumn, September 26th to 27th. The first Audiovisual Awards winners were announced at the show. Awards were presented for best locations, products and ideas, and for people with significant lifetime work in the industry.
One of the awards was posthumously presented to Ilpo Martikainen, founder, long time CEO and Chairman of the Board of Genelec Oy. In his lifetime work Mr. Martikainen, who passed away last winter, made a lasting impression on the Finnish AV industry and product development with the internationally renowned company he founded. The award was received by Ilpo’s children Maria and Mikko Martikainen, who with their brother Juho Martikainen, continue their father’s work in key positions at Genelec.
“For instance at trade shows and professional audio events abroad, one has always been able to feel joy and pride because one certain Finnish product and brand has been prominently visible. I am always amazed – in the positive sense – to see Genelec monitors at about every second stand”, states Ville Pulkki, Chairman of the Audio Engineering Society’s Finnish Section, who presented the award.
Pulkki, who is currently Professor of Acoustics at Aalto University, tells how his predecessor, Professor Matti Karjalainen often talked about the loudspeaker design seminar arranged at the Technical University in the 1970’s, which also Ilpo Martikainen participated in as a student. In the tests conducted at the seminar it was noticed that the directivity characteristics of a loudspeaker had a crucial effect on the sound quality when the testing was not done in an anechoic chamber. In those days, Martikainen and his closest colleagues started to develop monitoring speakers for YLE, the Finnish broadcasting authority, which led to the foundation of Genelec in the late 1970’s.
In public, the image of Genelec was personified by Ilpo Martikainen, whom Pulkki describes as a very pleasant and interesting character: “Over the years I repeatedly had the honour of discussing with Ilpo, who always emphasized high quality awareness and careful, systematic product development. Avita and AES Finland are proud to present this award to Ilpo Martikainen for his internationally significant career and in honour of his memory. At the same time, this award goes to Genelec as a company.” Maria Martikainen also sees the award not only as recognition of Ilpo Martikainen, but also of other founding members and important people in the company history. “The work of our father and other Genelec people goes on”, comments Maria Marikainen.