Audience numbers for the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival that ended on July 23rd were very much the same as in previous years, with the number of concert attendances reaching 35,000. And ten concerts in the second week of the Festival actually sold out. There were 72 musical events in all at Kuhmo, some of which were in Kajaani, Vuokatti and Iisalmi. In addition, the programme this year featured more than 20 free events such as meet-the-artist sessions and student concerts.
The theme this year was the Global village, while next year the general focus will be on the connecting thread between various genres and periods. Artistic Director Vladimir Mendelssohn sums it up nicely in the word ‘zap’, the French slang verb for channel surfing.
Channel surfing is open to interpretation. Instead of recitative in oratorio, Mendelssohn is planning to use a rap style; in one concert we will be in New York, which never sleeps, and in another we will pay a visit to a Russian tea room. Kuhmo audiences are no strangers to seamless changes in style.
Nevertheless, the main focus will continue to be on traditional chamber music. Vladimir Mendelssohn says the audience will still be able to enjoy the piano trios and string quartets of Beethoven, Mozart’s quintets, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, the chamber music of Brahms and Schubert’s string quartets. And not forgetting that old favourite, Schubert’s Trout Quintet.
He also promises that next year there will be events that will only take place once and only at Kuhmo. More details of the programme and the performers are to be announced in January.
The Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival next year will run from 9 to 22 July. This is rather earlier than usual, for practical reasons: in the last week of July Kuhmo will host the annual Kainuu Orienteering event. The music courses that are an essential component of the Festival will start next summer just before the concert series.
The Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival has been held a total of 47 times.