Kuhmo Chamber Music 2018
For two frenetic weeks in July, Kuhmo in Eastern Finland is host to a chamber music festival attracting thousands of music lovers. In that fortnight, this town of 9,000 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 renowned for its excellent acoustics, at the festival's cult locale, Kontio School, and in Kuhmo's beautiful wooden church. The first concerts in the new Tuupala Primary School will held in summer 2018. The concert venues are all within walking distance of one another, and bicycles are a popular means of getting about, 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 just over 47 years, Kuhmo Chamber Music has grown to become one of the world's foremost music festivals. As early as 1989, the prestigious American journal Connoisseur was already calling it "possibly the best anywhere". In summer 2014 the British Financial Times described it as "a remarkable event, where unfettered creative idealism reigns. The Austrian music magazine Festspiele has rated Kuhmo among the world's leading festivals in 2008−2015.
Each year Kuhmo adopts a different theme. The theme in 2028 will be The Merchants of Dremas. Each day and every concert will also have its own theme, one able to cater for the diverse selection of music on offer.
The Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival will run from 14 to 28 July. Altogether 150 artists around the world will come and play at the Festival.
The amount of the festival concerts is 70. In addition to the main concerts there will be children's concerts, student concerts, talks on the programmes for the day, instrument demonstrations, meetings with artists, art exhibitions and workshops. Together these will amount to over 100 events.
"Do not miss the festival", says Mendelssohn, "for it will never happen again in the same way under the same stars".
Welcome to Kuhmo – the capital city of chamber music!