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Kuhmo is a city of 9000 inhabitants on the Eastern border of Kainuu. The wild nature attracts tourists interested in enjoying peaceful nature. Juminkeko Foundation in Kuhmo serves as the national information centre for the Kalevala and as a channel for cultural exchange between Finland and the Karelian Republic. You'll also find something a bit unexpected from Kuhmo - a world class chamber music festival arranged since 1970!
Kuhmo Chamber Music
Kuhmo Chamber Music is an international chamber music festival held every July for two weeks in the city of Kuhmo, Finland. The original idea for founding the festival was by a Finnish cellist Seppo Kimanen, who was looking for a place to arrange music courses and play chamber music with a handful of fellow students. The festival was founded in 1970 by an association called Kuhmon Musiikkiyhdistys Ry. The Artistic Director of the festival since 2005 has been Vladimir Mendelssohn.
In 1970, the total number of concert visits was 800. Nowadays the Kuhmo Chamber Music is the largest chamber music festival in Finland in terms of sold tickets. The number of concerts held within the two weeks is around 70 and the number of concert visits is around 35 000. Approximately 150 artists from Finland and abroad perform at the festival. Kuhmo Chamber Music also offers music courses, master classes and chamber music workshops that are taught by the festival artists.
The main venue of the Festival is the Kuhmo Arts Centre. Other venues include the Kontio School and Kuhmo Church. During the festival, the whole Kuhmo is buzzing with life, with all the possible accommodation in use. You may stay in the local hotels, camping sites and resort villages or cottages in Kainuu, but there are also private homes for rent if you want the authentic experience.
Visit the official website of the event for more detailed information of the history of the event, for festival stories, the artistic approach and for lots more. You’ll also find the information of the upcoming events on the site.
The roots of Juminkeko Foundation date back to 1985, as Juminkeko's predecessor, Kuhmo Kulttuurikornitsa centre, was founded in Kuhmo to uphold Karelian traditions and to improve public awareness of this cultural heritage in Finland. Five years later the centre received backing from a newly formed foundation that included leading experts on Karelia and the Kalevala.
The objectives of Juminkeko are the preservation of Kalevala traditions and culture, cultural exchange between Finland and the Republic of Karelia (Russia) and international cultural exchange based on the Kalevala epic poetry. These goals are supported by the numerous exhibitions and events which the centre organizes in Finland and Karelia. Visiting authors, exhibitions, as well as musical and folklore tours - examples of Juminkeko at its best. The Juminkeko foundation and its partners are also active in various projects: the production of media content for publications, the collection and preservation of Karelian and Finnish traditions, and the revitalization of folklore villages in Viena Karelia.
Visit the Juminkeko Foundation web site for more information.
Sommelo Folk Music Festival
Sommelo Folk Music Festival is held every year in July music festival in Kainuu and Viena Karelia. The event includes the provision of concerts, courses, public lectures and art exhibitions
Also the Sommelo folk music festival’s roots stretch back quite a few years. There has been consistent development work in the background of the Sommelo Festival that has been carried out within the Juminkeko Foundation and the Kuhmo Music Institute since the early 1990s. The starting point for this development work was the fact that Kuhmo is situated in the rune singing region, as defined by Elias Lönnrot, in the immediate neighbourhood of Viena Karelia. The artistic director of the festival since 2006 has been Taito Hoffrén.
Visit the Sommelo web pages for more information.
Sinfonietta Lentua Orchestra
The Sinfonietta Lentua Orchestra was founded to perform at the turn of the millennium festivities in Kuhmo. In the first years of its existence, it entered into the special course actions of the Kuhmo Music School. Since 2005, the orchestra has operated as an independent artistic unit, serving concert-going public around the Kainuu region, providing a professional training environment for musical students and a pedagogically rewarding challenge for young instrumentalists in Kainuu. The artistic director of the orchestra is conductor Jukka-Pekka Kuusela, the initiator of the orchestra.
The basic idea is to build up an orchestra by means of co-operation with the Petrozavodsk State Music Academy in the Russian Republic of Karelia. Half of the musicians come from Kuhmo or the Kainuu region and the other half from Petrozavodsk. To our knowledge, the Sinfonietta Lentua Orchestra is the only orchestra in the world operating steadily over the national border.
Visit the web site of Association of of Finnish Symphony Orchestras or the Facebook page of the orchestra for more information.