Kuhmo Chamber Music 2019
over 70 concerts
30 other events
over 300 compositions
"The strenghts of
the Festival are
cosy atmosphere and
- Festspiele 2012
For two frenetic weeks in July, Kuhmo is host to a chamber music festival attracting thousands of music lovers. In that fortnight, this town of 8,000 inhabitants echoes to the sound of music against a backcloth of a lake that almost laps the walls of the concert halls in the clear, unbelievable northern light.
The concerts are held at the Kuhmo Arts Centre, in the Lentua Hall renowed for its excellent acoustics, in Kuhmo’s beautiful wooden Church and in the hall of the new Tuupala Primary School. The concert venues are all within walking distance of one another, or bicycles are a popular means of getting around, for artists and audiences alike. Music is everywhere, there are concerts from morning to late at night, and people just live for the music. In the evenings, gathered round an open fire in the yard of the festival restaurant, musicians and festival-goers get together and strike up friendships.
In 50 years, Kuhmo Chamber Music has grown to become one of the worlds foremost music festivals. As early as 1989, the prestigious American journal Connoisseur was already calling it possibly the best anywhere. In 2009-2015 the Austrian music magazine Festpiele rated Kuhmo among the worlds leading festivals, and in summer 2014 the British Financial Times described it as a remarkable event, where unfettered creative idealism reigns.
Each year Kuhmo adopts a different theme. This summer it is the 50th anniversary of the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival. It will run from 14 to 27 July and the theme this time is Nostalgia. For lovers of the great classics of the chamber music repertoire this summer promises to be a real celebration, as it will feature many of the works that have become firm favourites with audiences over the years. On the programme too will be some of the musicians who were at Kuhmo in the early years, such as Yoshiko Arai, Seppo Kimanen and Izumi Tateno.
“The past is the root from which all creatures that have become creators are cultivating an immortal tree,” is how Artistic Director Vladimir Mendelssohn explains the theme. Mendelssohn is not interested in just looking at history, though, because, as he says, “There is a way forward from those bridges that bend towards the past.” The new works commissioned over the decades for which the festival has been in existence are indicators of the future, and this summer we will be hearing some of the more outstanding pieces. The commissions continue, and this year will see the first performance of Juha T. Koskinen’s Dream Transmission for solo clarinet and electronics.
Almost 170 artists are appearing, including popular names such as pianists Natacha Kudritskaya and Nino Gvetadze, violinists Daniel Rowland, Nikita Boriso-Glebsky and, a familiar face at Kuhmo, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, clarinettists Christoffer Sundqvist and Lauri Sallinen, and virtuoso bandoneonist Marcelo Nisinman. Seven string quartets will be playing, including the Danel and Meta4 Quartets, both firm favourites in recent years. Youth continues to be represented, this time by the Young Chamber Musicians and the Quartet Academy, which was started in autumn 2018.
Do not miss the festival”, says Artistic Director Vladimir Mendelssohn, “for it will never happen again in the same way under the same stars”.
The programme can be seen on the website www.kuhmofestival.fi.
The 2019 programme and artists: www.kuhmofestival.fi.
For further information, please contact the Festival office in Kuhmo, tel. +358 8 652 0936 or e-mail kuhmo.festival(at)kuhmofestival.fi
Good to know
Kuhmo is located some 600 km north of the Finnish capital, Helsinki, not far from the eastern frontier with Russia. The closest railway station and airport are 100 km away in Kajaani. There is a transportation service from the airport to Kuhmo. Further information and taxi bookings from the Festival Office, tel. intl. +358 8 652 0936. There is also a coach service from Kajaani to Kuhmo.
www.vr.fi (Finnish Railways)
www.matka.fi (long-distance buses)
www.onnibus.com (long-distance buses)
Bus timetables for journeys between Kajaani and Kuhmo can be found at www.kuhmofestival.fi.
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Kuhmo Chamber Music