Kuhmo Chamber Music has received the Cremona Music Award in the category ‘projects’. This is the first time the festival has been honoured in this way and it is also the first time the award has gone to a Nordic country.

The judges said that the festival has a unique format: almost 100 concerts in two weeks, with programmes that mix extremely rare and well-known music, famous musicians and rising stars, with an informal approach that avoids cult stardom. The Kuhmo Festival is an innovative example of something that also works in terms of production and finances, thanks to the enthusiasm of the musicians.

Director of Cremona Music, Roberto Prosseda, thinks highly of Kuhmo Chamber Music. He says that at Kuhmo no player is a star: it is the music that counts. Kuhmo is the Stradivari of festivals.

Sari Rusanen, Executive Director of the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, considers the award to be an important acknowledgement, since all the categories to receive the prize represent the best on the international stage. She says that Kuhmo Chamber Music has frequently been among the world’s leading festivals, and that it is wonderful to realise that Kuhmo’s original approach to putting on a festival is still appreciated.

Artistic Director Vladimir Mendelssohn is overjoyed. He said that many magnificent stringed instruments made hundreds of years ago in Cremona could be heard at Kuhmo, and that it was an honour to receive this sort of recognition from their city of origin.

All those to receive the award this year represent first rate figures from the world of music. The Cremona Music Award goes to the conductor Valeri Gergiev, the violinist Maxim Vengerov and the composer Giya Kantcheli. Other recipients include the Italian musicologist Alessandro Baricco and guitar builder Hermann Hauser III.

The award has been given out since 2014, and previous recipients include the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Shlomo Mintz, Krysztof Penderecki, Alfred Brendel and Michael Nyman.

The Cremona Music Award ceremony will take place 28-30 September. The event is host to the world’s leading instrument makers and retailers as well as numerous international artists, all congregating at the hometown of Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati. Originally it was just a meeting place for violin builders, but later became an internationally important venue for musical professionals. Last year it attracted 17,000 visitors.

Further information from:
Kuhmo Chamber Music, tel. 08 652 0936