Starring Saariaho, Lindberg, Penderecki, Gubaidulina and Kremer
This year Kuhmo Chamber Music presents 70 concerts spread over two
weeks. In addition to classics, it focuses particularly on the 20th
century and many works that have never before been performed in Finland.
Audiences may also meet in person four of our most celebrated
contemporary composers. As well as chamber music, the programme includes
opera, and the festival in fact begins with a performance of Mozart’s
Zaide on July 14. The last concert is on Saturday July 27.
“The best musical minds of the world will meet and witness the
performances of the more than 160 top artists from all corners of the
planet,” says Artistic Director Vladimir Mendelssohn of this
year’s programme. “The timeless voices of God
(Vox dei), of the people (Vox populi), which lit with their beauty the
whole history of the arts, will have their place of honour
among the voices of our time.”
One of the greatest musicians of the century is, in Vladimir
Mendelssohn’s opinion, Gidon Kremer, for he has also singled out
works that have passed unnoticed. Kremer and his Kremerata Baltica
are indeed among the most eagerly-awaited guests at this year’s
Kuhmo. Another firm favourite with Kuhmo audiences is the renowned
Eric Ericson Chamber Choir.
Visitors to Kuhmo may spot numerous familiar artists, among them
Yuval Gotlibovich (viola), Andreas Brantelid (cello),
Janne Thomsen (flute), Nicholas Daniel (oboe and conductor),
Michel Lethiec (clarinet), Marcelo Nisinman (bandoneon)
and the Meta4 String Quartet. There will be no fewer than 25
violinists – Pekka Kuusisto, for example, and the superb Norwegian
Vilde Frang, who made her Kuhmo debut last year.
Kuhmo Chamber Music begins on July 14 with a Mozart concert in which the
main item is his seldom-heard, unfinished opera Zaide. The Monday
concerts will gaze into a magic mirror, meet Kaija Saariaho, see
a lady of a lake, and a rainbow.
Tuesday is opera day – chamber music arrangements of operas and a real
rarity, the unfinished operetta The Great Lightning (1933) by
Dmitri Shostakovich. The evening ends with a marathon for 20th century
opera haters. The second of the festival’s four guest composers,
Krzysztof Penderecki, will be present on Wednesday July 17, and the
day will end with a great concert of serenades.
Thursday looks backwards and forwards, with music by composers ranging
from Arvo Pärt to Offenbach, and includes an introduction
to Orpheus. Magnus Lindberg is the guest composer on Friday July
19 – a day of shadows that roams from north to south. The theme for
Saturday, rounding off the first week, is words without sound and
culminates in a concert entitled “All
(you wanted to know) about Gidon Kremer”
The theme for Sunday is Vox Dei – the voice of God – complete with
angels, prayers, and The Seven Deadly Sins in Kurt Weill/Bertolt
Brecht style. The theme composer for Monday July 22 is Arvo Pärt. East
meets West in the evening concert. Vox populi – the voice of the people
– is the theme for Tuesday, and some of the chamber music is accordingly
seasoned with folk. The night ends with a tango extravaganza in which
Finnish tango joins with that of Argentina.
Wednesday’s guest is
Sofia Gubaidulina, keeping concert company with both Strauss and
Schubert. Members of the audience may ask her questions last thing at
night. Thursday July 25 is Noah’s Ark day, as illustrated by Saint-Saëns’s
Carnival of the Animals and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.
Shostakovich’s music for the animated cartoon
The Silly Little
something else to look forward to. The theme composer for Friday July 26
is György Kurtág, and the evening ends with a giant Hungarian
musical marathon. The closing day of the festival, July 27, begins with
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and two other concertos by him not
previously performed in Finland, continues with a Bach-Gubaidulina-Beethoven
get-together and ends with Mozart.
Concerts outside Kuhmo, too
Once again, chamber music will be travelling out and about. In addition
to the popular Lentiira concert, Kuhmo artists will be visiting Vuokatti
and Iisalmi. Mozart’s Zaide can be heard in Iisalmi on July 13,
before the start of the festival proper. And Kuhmo Chamber Music artists
will be appearing in the spring in Hämeenlinna, Kuusamo, Helsinki and
Paris, and at the Man and the Cosmos event in Kuhmo.
Concurrent with the festival will be the traditional Kuhmo music courses
under their Artistic Director Junio Kimanen. These courses, intended
primarily for future music professionals, are taught by festival
artists. Students on the courses will appear in concerts of their own.
During the festival there will also be poetry and music at the Live
Poets’ Club sessions.
Held since 1970, Kuhmo Chamber Music has long been Finland’s biggest
chamber-music festival in terms of attendance figures. Its concerts are
held in the acoustically excellent Kuhmo Arts Centre opened in 1993, the
traditional Kontio School, Kuhmo Church, Lentiira Church, and the Petola
Visitor Centre. Outside Kuhmo there will be concerts in Vuokatti and
Iisalmi. The Sokos Hotel Vuokatti is offering Kuhmo packages comprising
transport, concert tickets and accommodation.
Kainuun Sanomat newspaper and Kuhmo Chamber Music are once again seeking
new writers to report about the festival and supplementary events. The
closing date for applications is March 30.
Kuhmo Chamber Music’s partner for 2013 is the OP-Pohjola Group. Its
Friends are Canorama Oy, the magazine Eeva, E.ON, F-Musiikki Oy, Kainuun
Sanomat, Kaisanet Oy, the Etera Mutual Pension Insurance Company, Kuhmo
Oy, Metsähallitus, No-Pan Auto Oy, Osuuskauppa Maakunta and the VTT
Technical Research Centre of Finland. Grants have also been received
from the Ministry of Education and Culture and the City of Kuhmo. The
Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of Finland also supports the Festival.
The festival budget for 2013 is €1.1 million.
Kuhmo Chamber Music, tel. +358-8-652 0936