The 50th Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival that ended on Saturday attracted even larger audiences than in previous years. The Festival’s theme, nostalgia, intrigued our visitors so much that 20 of the event’s 70 concerts sold out completely. In all, over 35,000 seats were sold over the two weeks.

Nostalgia brought to Kuhmo some of the outstanding artists of its early years: Seppo Kimanen, Yoshiko Arai and Izumi Tateno. Newcomers included pianist Alexandre Kantorow, recent winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition, and violinist Aylen Pritchin, who came fourth in the same contest.

There were a lot of all-time favourite works played at this year’s Festival, such as the Trout Quintet, but on the programme too were a good number of the compositions that had been specially commissioned for Kuhmo Chamber Music over the years. There were also first performances in the shape of Vladimir Mendelssohn’s Mata Hari and Juha T. Koskinen’s Dream Transmission.

The new Tuupala School was used to its fullest extent for the first time, taking the place of the old Kontio School. The school hall proved effective in terms of its acoustics, and audiences found their way there without any hitches. To celebrate the anniversary year, there were also a number of village concerts off the beaten track, just like in the early days of Kuhmo. Almost all of them sold out.

This fiftieth festival was also celebrated with exhibitions of Stefan Bremer’s photographs and Pekka Lehtinen’s posters, art installations by Kaarina Kaikkonen and Kari Cavén. Festival’s history written by Juhani Koivisto was well-received from the critics and public.

Kuhmo Chamber Music’s Artistic Director, Vladimir Mendelssohn, is happy with the quality of the Festival this summer and audience numbers. ‘The Festival’s success depended on three factors: the fact that it was an anniversary year, audience loyalty and the programme,’ he says. Speaking of the event in 2020, Vladimir Mendelssohn tells us that the main theme will be the Art of Illusion.

Executive Director Sari Rusanen is pleased with the numbers of people who attended and the general reception of the new concert venue. The way the day was structured now worked well, with two short concerts in the afternoon at Tuupala and an evening performance at the Kuhmo Arts Centre.

‘The new hall is now up and running, and next year the arrangements will be even better,’ she promises. ‘The fact that we exceeded audience targets means we can plan next year’s event successfully.’

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