The 52nd Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival will run 10–23 July 2022, once again on the same sort of scale as previously. Over the two weeks there will be 58 concerts in Kuhmo and one in Kajaani, 13 Heart of the Day events, and seven student concerts. The Art of Illusion programme is largely the inspiration of Vladimir Mendelssohn, but it has now been finalised by the new Artistic Directors, Minna Pensola and Antti Tikkanen. The Festival starts on Sunday 10 July with a memorial concert for Vladimir Mendelssohn, to be held in the Kuhmo Arts Centre. It ends on Saturday 23 July with a concert entitled Sacred Dance, Profane Dance.

According to Mendelssohn, the illusions of music can offer an escape from the hullabaloo in this time of fake news. When he was putting the 2020 programme together, he urged us to switch off our smart devices and come along for two weeks of musical cleansing.

The new Artistic Directors, Minna Pensola and Antti Tikkanen, say they are keen to continue Mendelssohn’s legacy. As they have put it: ’… to cherish this oasis of diverse sounds, to deliver touching, even haunting experiences. And be they ever so small and fleeting, or ones that stay with you forever, let us allow them to awaken something we sorely need or have forgotten.’

The programme represents Kuhmo at its traditional best. Familiar classics and exciting rarities will make for an interesting mix. One important composer who has received less attention than he is due is Mieczys&#322aw Weinberg, who moved to the Soviet Union from Poland when the Second World War broke out. His output is extensive and of superb quality, and at Kuhmo we will have a chance to hear string quartets by him played by the Danel Quartet.

Our guest composer this year is the Argentine Osvaldo Golijov. His music is a fascinating combination of nuevo tango, Jewish traditional music and modernist techniques. Golijov will be telling about his compositions on Sunday 17 July and will be present at the Festival until it ends. There will also be a world premiere from Outi Tarkiainen and the first performance in Finland of a work by Marcelo Nisinman.

The concerts will take place in spacious surroundings. The day will normally start with a Heart of the Day event at 10:00 in the Salakamari and a concert at 11:00 in Kuhmo Church. The afternoon concert will be in Tuupala Primary School hall and there will be two concerts in the evening in the Kuhmo Arts Centre. A special feature of the Festival this summer will be three concerts held at private venues, homes or local community places. Applications for these will start in March.

Altogether, 107 artists will be appearing at Kuhmo. They include pianists Natacha Kudritskaya and Heini Kärkkäinen, violinists Priya Mitchell, Daniel Rowland and Elina Vähälä, violists Yuval Gotlibovich and Gareth Lubbe, cellists David Cohen, Tuomas Lehto and Joona Pulkkinen, flautist Janne Thomsen, the Danel Quartet and the Storioni Trio. Newcomers to Kuhmo are to include cellist Boris Andrianov, French horn player Paula Ernesaks, soprano Tuuli Lindeberg and the Quartetto di Cremona.

There will be two art exhibitions. Paintings and graphics by Jorma Hautala will adorn the walls of the Kuhmo Arts Centre, and there will be paintings and installations by Urho Kähkönen on display in the Chamber Music Centre’s Gallery.

The Kuhmo Chamber Music budget for 2022 is 900,000 euros. Revenue from ticket sales will hopefully cover more than 50% of this sum, and the rest will come in the form of grants and other revenue. The Festival’s sponsors are the Ministry of Education and Culture, the town of Kuhmo, and the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Our corporate partners are OP Financial Group, F-Musiikki, Kainuun Sanomat, Kuhmo Oy, Lumme Energia Oy, No-Pan Auto Oy and Osuuskauppa Maakunta. Performances by the Quartetto di Cremona at Kuhmo will be sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute and the Kuhmo Quartet Academy is supported by the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.

As usual, music courses will also be run at the Festival. The budget for these is 80,000 euros. Further details will be published in February.

Like last year, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Programme will be available to view on the website at under ’Programme’, and a browsable version can be accessed on the homepage via a link. This can also be printed out if required. Tickets for members go on sale from 26 January and general ticket sales start on 17 February.

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