Nordic Historical Keyboard Festival
in Kuopio Finland, August 15-24 2012
When harpsichords, clavichords and fortepianos had their golden heyday in the late eighteenth century, the town of Kuopio in Eastern Finland was in its infancy. This August, however, Kuopio will be an important center for all those interested in historical keyboards. The first Nordic Historical Keyboard Festival will bring together professional musicians, builders, students and listeners from around the world.
Audiences will enjoy two daily concerts presenting outstanding performers from Europe, the United States, Russia, Mexico, Israel, and China. The repertoire is not only drawn from the remote past, and will also include three world premieres for clavichord, fortepiano and modern piano by renowned composers from Mexico City, Kuopio, and St. Petersburg, Russia. The festival also offers master classes and interviews with the artists. Experienced performers will teach beginning and advanced students as part of Summer Academy of Music in Kuopio. Each student will be encouraged to study 2-3 historical keyboards with several professors.
National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
In addition to presentations by the two artistic directors, Anna Maria McElwain (Finland/United States) and Michael Tsalka (Israel/Sweden), performers will include harpsichordist Joyce Lindorff (United States) and baroque violinist Walter Reiter (England). Prof. Lindorff will present Italian and French harpsichord music including the rarely played and highly virtuosic cycle Rossignolo, composed in 1677. Reiter will perform the Mystery Sonatas by Biber, classic works of violin literature which demand great skill and depth of interpretation from the player.
During the last decades, Pekka Vapaavuori, director emeritus of Sibelius Academy, has been assembling a fine collection of historical keyboards in the city. Kuopio Conservatoire, the Savonia University of Applied Studies, Music and Dance, and the Sibelius Academy (Kuopio branch) have also been important centers for Early Music, attracting many teachers specialized in historical keyboards such as Anna Maria McElwain, Jaana Ikonen, and Mikko Korhonen. These institutions house collections of historical keyboards with even more rare and interesting specimens, enabling a festival of this magnitude to take place. The festival is arranged in collaboration with them, the Summer Academy of Music, Kuopio and other collaborators from abroad.