Juliste 2014

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For two frenetic weeks in July, Kuhmo is host to a chamber music festival attracting thousands of music lovers. In that fortnight, this town of 9,000 inhabitants echoes to the sound of music against a backcloth of a lake that almost laps the walls of the concert halls in the clear, unbelievable northern light.

The concerts are held at the Kuhmo Arts Centre, in the Lentua Hall renowed for its excellent acoustics, at the festival’s cult locale, Kontio School, and in Kuhmo’s beautiful wooden church. The concert venues are all within walking distance of one another, or bicycles are a popular means of getting about, for artists and audiences alike. Music is everywhere, there are concerts from morning to late at night, and people just live for the music. In the evenings, gathered round an open fire in the yard of the festival restaurant, musicians and festival-goers get together and strike up friendships.

In just over 45 years, Kuhmo Chamber Music has grown to become one of the world’s foremost music festivals. As early as 1989, the prestigious American journal Connoisseur was already calling it “possibly the best anywhere”. In 2009−2012 the Austrian music magazine Festpiele rated Kuhmo among the world’s leading festivals, and in summer 2014 the British Financial Times described it as “a remarkable event, where unfettered creative idealism reigns”.

Each year Kuhmo adopts a different theme. Next year Kuhmo will become a Global Village, as that is the theme of the Festival in 2016. Artistic Director Vladimir Mendelssohn points out that Kuhmo was in fact a global village long before the concept itself emerged. “Now Kuhmo is like the Tower of Babel” ,he says. “Artists from all over the world come to Kuhmo. The idea is that these inhabitants of the Global Village will bring to next year’s Festival music from their own countries – the sounds that represent their own culture best.” Obviously, next summer Kuhmo will also feature the traditional classical works of chamber music, but the Global Village theme will bring an ethnic flavour to the proceedings. It all promises to be an enjoyable and exciting musical experience, such as we have come to expect at Kuhmo.

The Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival will run from 10 to 23 July next year. The festival programme will be published in January 2016. Altogether 150 artists around the world will come and play at the Festival. The number of concerts will basically be around 70, 4─5 per day.

“Do not miss the festival", says Mendelssohn, "for it will never happen again in the same way under the same stars".

Welcome to Kuhmo - the capital city of chamber music!

For more information, please contact the Festival Office,
address Torikatu 39, FI-88900 KUHMO, Finland
tel. +358 8 652 0936,