Debussy – Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Kuhmo Music Festival
Kuhmo in Eastern Finland is host to a chamber music festival attracting thousands of music lovers. In that fortnight, this town of 8,300 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 renowned for its excellent acoustics, in Kuhmo’s beautiful wooden Church, and in the new Tuupala Primary School. The concert venues are all within walking distance of one another, and 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 50 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 summer 2014 the British Financial Times described it as “a remarkable event, where unfettered creative idealism reigns. The Austrian music magazine Festspiele has rated Kuhmo among the world’s leading festivals in 2008−2015.