Almost 17,000 seats were sold for this year’s Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, even though audience numbers had to be halved because of social distancing. The two-week event ran as scheduled, despite the unusual circumstances. There were 55 concerts in all and 82 performers.

The Festival’s Executive Director Sari Rusanen declared the event a success. ‘We showed that even a big festival can be run safely. There was not one new COVID-19 case linked to the Festival.’

The Kuhmo Chamber Music theme this year was Beethoven. On the programme were all of his string quartets, for example. A special treat was to hear all Beethoven’s symphonies in arrangements for chamber ensemble. The Festival ended with Vladimir Mendelssohn’s new arrangement of the ninth symphony.

Top musicians from Finland and overseas performed. International stars this summer included pianists Nino Gvetadze and Dasol Kim, violinists Sergey Malov and Daniel Rowland, the Danel Quartet and the Storioni Trio.

This was the 51st Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival. Even with the reduced audience it was Finland’s biggest celebration of chamber music. Apart from the artists, the Festival employed 232 staff. At the same time the now familiar music courses were run. A total of 66 students took part.

The event’s costs were covered through financial assistance from the Ministry of Education and Culture and the town of Kuhmo, a Finnish Cultural Foundation grant, ticket sales, and support from Festival partners. The Festival’s sponsors this year were OP, F-Musiikki Oy, Kainuun Sanomat, Kuhmo Oy, Loiste Oy, Lounea Oy, Metsähallitus, No-Pan Auto Oy and Osuuskauppa Maakunta. The Jenny and Antti Wihuri provided financial support for the Kuhmo Chamber Music Quartet Academy.

Further information from:
Kuhmo Chamber Music, tel. 044 544 5162