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Tears and Hope in Oulunsalo Soi Chamber Music Festival

Oulunsalo Soi's new artistic director, violist Atte Kilpeläinen, has unveiled his first program.

"Over the years, I've had the opportunity to plan concert programs in many places, but this festival feels like a clearing of the hard drive. It became clear quite soon that now is the right moment to get the ideas out of my system," Kilpeläinen describes the planning of his first festival. "The concept for some concerts has been brewing in my mind for well over ten years."

One of these long-gestating ideas is a musical trial to be heard on Thursday, August 8th, exploring how much of Brahms' music can be legally battered. The courtroom drama concert will take place in the council chamber of the Oulunsalo municipal hall. Alongside Kilpeläinen, pianist Anna Laakso and bassoonist Etienne Boudreault will perform, with actor Timo Vuento serving as judge.

French photographer Christelle Mas serves as the festival's visual artist. Her exhibition "Paradise" will be displayed at the Oulunsalo library from August 8th to September 27th in collaboration with Photo North – Northern Photography Center. The opening of the exhibition on Thursday, August 8th, is part of the festival program. The festival's visual identity, as usual, is based on the works of the visual artist of the year.

The festival's opening concert on Wednesday, August 7th, is a tribute to deceased composers. In the White Hall of the Provincial Government Building, the Takapiha Quartet honors the virtuosity of composers like Jaakko Kuusisto and Kaija Saariaho by performing their compositions.

Friday, August 9th, promises two very different concerts at the Cultural Centre Valve. The evening kicks off with a laid-back after-work concert in café, Valveen Paljetti, where J.S. Bach's music collides with Finnish humppa. The evening concludes in Valvesali with compositions inspired by mothers. Belgian accordion virtuoso Philippe Thuriot performs in both concerts.

Saturday begins with the "Tears" concert at Kempele Old Church, where Oulu Baroque Orchestra's Obo Ensemble plays compositions from the Baroque era and modern arrangements. In the evening, RioLive stage hosts Samae Koskinen, who has garnered much attention from his latest album release.

The festival's final day begins with a concert based on J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations, where five musicians rearrange the hugely popular piece in a completely new order. The last concert on Sunday starts 200 years ago and ends with a recent composition. This musical journey creates a performance like no other.

Oulunsalo Soi Chamber Music Festival takes place in the Oulu region from August 7th to 11th. The festival, consisting of nine concerts and an art exhibition opening, brings top chamber music names from Finland and abroad to the Oulu region for the 27th time.


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