• Visit one of Europe’s most spectacular settings for music in high summer when the days are long, just south of the Arctic Circle.
• Discover the unique atmosphere of this small but world-renowned festival of chamber music where music lovers and top-class performers alike come together in the town
• Explore the surrounding forests and lakes of the Kainuu region, including the magical Koli National Park
Sandy Burnett, MA
a musician and BBC Radio 3 broadcaster
Depart Heathrow 1020 on Finnair arriving Helsinki 1515. Transfer to Hotel GLO Helsinki for one night. Welcome drink and introductory lecture.
Morning walking tour of Helsinki, University Library, Lutheran Cathedral, Town Hall, Market Square and Esplanade followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Further visits to the Rock Church and Sibelius Monument before transferring to Kuhmo. Depart Helsinki at 1825 arriving Kajani 1940. Coach transfer to Kuhmo and check-in to Hotel Kalevala for five nights. Free evening.
Morning lecture before lakeside walk to Petola museum celebrating the landscape of Kuhmo and large mammals (bear and wolf). Early afternoon festival concert at the Kontio school, J. S. Bach, Ysaye and Mendelssohn. Late afternoon festival concert at Kuhmo Arts Centre featuring historical informed performance of Schubert’s resounding “Unfinished” Symphony No.8. Evening festival concert at Kontio school with quartets by Golijov, Milhaud and Messiaen.
Morning excursion to Lake Pielinen, traditional wooden boat trip to Monola House, where Sibelius honeymooned and a private recital by celebrated concert cellist and local Jussi Makkonen followed by Traditional Karelian buffet lunch. Evening festival concert at Kuhmo Arts Centre with a performance of Marius Constant’s adaption of Georges Bizet’s Carmen, Le Tragédie de Carmen.
Morning festival concert at Kuhmo Church, with a trio of works by J. S. Bach, Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011 for solo cello, Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C, BWV 870 from Das Wohltemperierte Klavier II, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F, BWV 1047 (1721). Early afternoon festival concert at Lentiira Church with works by Handel, Organ Concerto in B flat, Fugue in G minor, Fugue in A minor, Fugue in C minor, Organ Concerto in G minor, Three Choruses from the Messiah, And he shall purify, He trusted in God, Halleluja, Organ Concerto in F. Evening festival concert and dinner at Vuokatinhovi restaurant with works inspired by Eastern European folk music: Brahms Hungarian Dances, Bartók Roumanisn Folk Dances, as well as Ligeti’s Old Hungarian Ballroom Dances, and Ravel’s Tzigane: A Concert Rhapsody.
Morning festival concert at the Kontio school: Schubert, von Weber, Strauss II, Sibelius and Shostakovich. Late afternoon festival concert at Kuhmo Arts Centre will feature great nineteenth century works from Saint-Saëns, Satie, Ravel and Debussy. Final festival concert at Kuhmo Arts Centre with Tchaikovsky’s Valse - Scherzo in C, Op. 34, Borodin’s Polovetsian Dances from the opera Prince Igor arranged for two pianos, and Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s enigmatic arrangement of Tchaicovsky’s Nutcracker Suite for jazz band.
Depart Kajanni 1110 for Helsinki arriving 1225. Depart Helsinki 1405, arriving Heathrow 1510.
23 Jul — 29 Jul 2018
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Cost includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, performances as described, breakfast, four lunches, five dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £295