This summer Kuhmo Chamber Music sees its 50th anniversary and starts the New Year 2019 with three splendid concerts. One is on January 3rd in association with the City of Kajaani cultural organisation and another takes places in Kuhmo on January 4th as part of the Kuhmo Winter Event put on as a collaboration between local organisers of the arts. The Festival also has the honour of being involved in the Finland and Kainuu region’s contribution to the city’s Winter Wonders Christmas Market, which has gone on for a month or so and ends on January 6.

The concerts in Kajaani and Kuhmo for the first time introduce the young players from the Kuhmo Chamber Music Quartet Academy chosen as a result of auditions held in 2018. They will be appearing with the Festival’s Artistic Director, the violist Vladimir Mendelssohn. The featured players are the Nome Quartet, the violinists Varpu Heikinheimo, Emil Hartikainen and Lotta Harju, and the cellist Maria Morfin Venäläinen. The programme comprises music by W. A. Mozart, Eugène Ysaÿe, J. S. Bach, Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich.

The Quartet Academy continues the long tradition begun by Kuhmo Chamber Music of providing training for young, gifted musicians. Auditions were held to select three permanent members for the Academy as well as a number of visiting participants. In addition to the Finnish Nome Quartet appearing at the concerts, the other permanent members of the Academy are the Abel Quartet from Vienna and the Bålder Quartet, also from Finland. Emil Hartikainen, violinist with the Bålder Quartet, will be performing solo works. The Academy’s visiting participants are Heikinheimo, Harju, Morfin Venäläinen and the Finnish Seele Quartet. Heikinheimo, Harju, Morfin Venäläinen have formed a quartet with Vladimir Mendelssohn for the concerts at Kajaani and Kuhmo.

Representing Kuhmo Chamber Music in the Brussels concert are familiar faces from the summer Festival – pianist Diana Ketler, violinist Priya Mitchell, cellist Joona Pulkkinen and, obviously, the Artistic Director himself. They will be playing works by Joseph Haydn, Jean Sibelius, Béla Bartók, Manuel de Falla, and Johannes Brahms. The Brussels concert is an event both for invited guests and the public. Tickets for the Winter Wonders concert are available via social media. The concert will be held in Brussels Town Hall.

The Winter Wonders Christmas Market in Brussels is one of the biggest of its kind in Europe. Up to 2.5 million people visit the Market annually. The City of Brussels each year invites a ‘celebrated country’ to the event, and this time it was the turn of Finland. Kainuu has represented Finland on the basis of an agreement between the Visit Finland organisation, the Regional Council of Kainuu, and the City of Brussels. On sale in the Finnish area of the Christmas market have been various Finnish products on the Kalevala Spirit Oy stalls, and the Regional Council of Kainuu and partners have put on an interesting cultural programme on stage and elsewhere. The Finnish information point is a wooden ‘stick house’, which has acquired the name of House of Silence at the Market. The building is an example of wooden construction that can be found in the Kuhmo area. On the top floor of the house the public has had a chance to find out about Kuhmo Chamber Music beforehand virtually.

The 50th Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival runs from 14 to 27 July 2019. This year the theme is Nostalgia. The programme will be out in mid-January.

The all year-long concert activities overseen by Kuhmo Chamber Music are supported by OP Financial Group. The Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation provided a grant for the start-up of the Quartet Academy.

Further information:
Kuhmo Chamber Music, tel. +358 8 652 0936