Next year’s theme: Borderlands

After the challenging years of the Covid19 pandemic, Kuhmo Chamber Music has finally returned to its former glory. By Saturday’s closing concert, the numbers of the concert visits for the entire festival had exceeded 22,000.

This summer’s festival was the culmination of much diligent planning on the part of our new artistic directors Minna Pensola and Antti Tikkanen. This year’s theme Roots and Wings aimed to pay homage both to the history of the festival itself and that of chamber music in general, while at the same time taking the festival in new directions. “We are extremely grateful for all the feedback from audience and colleagues alike. It’s good to hear that they found the programme as stimulating and successful as we did,” say Pensola and Tikkanen.

During the two-week span of the festival, we heard a total of 315 works. Among them were four festival commissions: Sampo Kasurinen’s chamber opera Trapped Butterfly, the string quartet Ungrievable Lives by the British composer Charlotte Bray, and two new works by Outi Tarkiainen: the quintet The Downfall of Judith Shakespeare and the clarinet quintet Seasons of Love. In total, the festival hosted 11 guest composers. The concerts that sold the most tickets were All Quiet on the Ukrainian Front?, Matti ‘Esa Pasa’ Salminen- Back to the Bassics, Working Women and Vivaldi’s Seasons.

The festival featured a total of 111 artists. These included audience favourites such as the Trio Storioni and the Meta4. New acquaintances who made an impact this year included the Belgian baroque ensemble Scherzi Musicali, the guitarist Marzi Nyman, the recorder player Erik Bosgraaf, and Vilma Jää with her vocal ensemble Jäine.

“The aim of the festival is to raise 500,000 euros in ticket sales, and this we achieved,” explains delighted Executive Director Sari Rusanen. “The festival’s budget is in good shape, so now we can safely begin planning for next year.”

The next Kuhmo Chamber Music will run from 14th to 27th July 2024. The theme of next year’s festival will be Borderlands. The idea of borders is examined from an array of different perspectives, both geographical, linguistic, cultural, social, spiritual and physical. Sebastian Fagerlund and Lotta Wennäkoski have been named as next summer’s featured composers, and Kuhmo Chamber Music will commission new works from both composers thanks to generous funding from the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation. Fagerlund will compose a quintet for guitar and string quartet, while Wennäkoski will compose a violin duo. The full programme and list of artists will be published in January 2024.

In 2023, Kuhmo Chamber Music had fifteen partners and friends in total. The partners were OP Kuhmo, OP Kainuu, OP Ylä-Kainuu and OP Paltamo, while friends of the festival were F-Musiikki Oy, Kainuun Sanomat, Kouta Media, Kuhmo Oy, No-Pan Auto Oy, Lumme Energia, Osuuskauppa Maakunta and the Patrons’ Association of the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Additionally, the festival received generous funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture, the City of Kuhmo, and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

More information:
Kuhmo Chamber Music, tel. +358 44 544 5162