The Kuhmo music courses, now in their fiftieth year, have played a pivotal role in the development of many professional musicians. This year, for example, there is a chance to enjoy the musicianship of Elina Vähälä and Antti Tikkanen, both former pupils at the Kuhmo Violin School. Pianist Paavali Jumppanen and Course Artistic Director Junio Kimanen also benefitted greatly from the courses run by Konstantin Bogino. Indeed, many Finnish artists appearing at Kuhmo have attended these courses and many of them preserve the tradition by providing instruction for the next generation of chamber musicians.

The Festival’s most recent education initiative is the Quartet Academy. Following an audition, three ensembles – the Abel, Nome and Bålder Quartets – were selected for the Academy. Quite apart from the experience they will gain performing, these musicians will receive guidance and supervision from Kuhmo Chamber Music artists. On the courses on offer this anniversary year, the Abels and Bålders will be benefit from the advice and direction of the Danel Quartet. The Nomes, meanwhile, will join Konstantin Bogino in a rendition of Borodin’s Piano Quintet.

The masterclasses, which are free for audiences to attend, are the following:
• Danel Quartet, chamber music 15-21 July. Tuupala School, annex, classroom 163
• Hagai Shaham, violin 14-20 July. Vocational College, main building (A), classroom 112
• Konstantin Bogino, piano 15-24 July. Vocational College, main building (A), dining room

More details of masterclass times and the repertoire covered can be found on the doors of the rooms where the classes are to be held, on the notice boards at the Kuhmo Arts Centre and the ticket office, in the Amati café at the Chamber Music Centre, and in the dining room building at Tuupala.

The music courses for the most part started on Wednesday 17 July and will run through to 26 July. The participants are young enthusiasts and vocational students. The teachers are mainly artists appearing this year at the Festival. The courses offer both individual and group tuition.

This summer there are 98 music course participants. The artistic standards are high this year. There are 65 students from Finland, five of whom are from Kuhmo. Foreign participants account for one-third of the total, 33 in all. There are 12 from Japan (12), three from Hong Kong, Germany and Australia, two from Spain, Russia, Switzerland and South Korea, and one from the USA, Austria, China and Sweden.

The music courses at Kuhmo receive financial assistance from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and the town of Kuhmo. Metsähallitus and the Oleg Kagan Fund make available grants to the students. The Japanese string quartet Cercatore, for example, received a gifted student grant from Metsähallitus. Its members are Tozawa Saki, violin, Tomotaka Seki, violin, Shiiko Nakamura, viola, and Haruka Mutaguchi, cello. Grants from the Oleg Kagan Memorial Fund have gone to Lauri Forstén, piano and Philip Zuckerman, violin.

When the music courses are over, a bursary worth 1,000 euros from the Oleg Kagan Memorial Fund is given to an especially talented and accomplished instrumentalist or ensemble. The award winner will be announced at 12:30 on 25 July at the final course concert and on the Festival website.

The course participants will have a chance to demonstrate their skills in nine student concerts. Seven of these will take place in the Kuhmo library, and two (at 10:00 on 24 and 25 July) at the new Tuupala Elementary School.

The Kuhmo music course student concerts start on Friday 19 July at the following times:

19.7. 12:30
20.7. 12:30
21.7. 12:30
22.7. 10:00
23.7. 13:15
24.7. 10:00 (Tuupala Elementary School) and at 12:30
25.7. 10:00 (Tuupala Elementary School) and at 12:30

Further information from:
Enni Meriläinen, Music Course Manager, tel. +358 44 586 1640
Junio Kimanen, Music Course Artistic Director, tel. +358 50 563 8404