A guide to contemporary & classical summer festivals 2016

Once again, the Finnish summer is packed with contemporary and classical festivals. See our guide below!


Naantali Music Festival, 7–18 June

Naantali Music Festival in the south-west coast of Finland is a well-established festival whose repertoire focuses on chamber music in all its variety. Jaakko Kuusisto’s commissioned violin concerto is premiered at Naantali Music Festival, with soloist Elina Vähälä. Led by Krzysztof Penderecki, Sinfonietta Cracovia performs a cello and clarinet version of the composer’s altoviolin concerto. 


Musiikkia! Ruovesi 28 June – 3 July

A special concert takes place at Musiikkia! Ruovesi, as flutist Sami Junnonen and kantele player Heidi Äijälä perform a night concerto together. Other concerts in programme include Aki Yli-Salomäki’s work’s premiere and In Memoriam Jouni Kaipainen concert. 

XXXI Summer Sounds, 29 June – 3 July

The Avanti! Summer Sounds returns for the 31st time, with programme featuring works by Jouni Kaipainen, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Perttu Haapanen, Eero Hämeenniemi and Sebastian Fagerlund. This year, the artistic planning of the five-day musical event is the responsibility of conductor Dima Slobodeniouk.

Time of Music, 5 – 10 July

The 35th Time of Music Festival brings one of world’s leading contemporary ensembles to Viitasaari, Finland: Ensemble Musikfabrik performs their ambitious project ”Pitch 43_tuning the cosmos” with reconstructed Harry Partch instruments. This year’s guest composer is Mauricio Sotelo.

Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, 10–23 July

”World village” is the 2016 festivaltheme as chosen by the artistic director Vladimir Mendelssohn. Over 70 concerts take place during the two weeks performed by 150 international and Finnish musicians.

Kimito Island Music Festival, 11 – 17 July       

Meta4 will have various concerts at Kimito, and in the opening concert the quartet will perform the premiere of Kimmo Hakola’s new work. Other premieres are from Sebastian Fagerlund and Jyrki Linjama.

Crusell Music Festival, 23 July – 30 July

The artistic director of Crusell Music Festival is clarinetist Harri Mäki. On the 35th year the festival’s theme is storytellers. Olli Mustonen’s piano sextet for woodwind quartet and piano, as well as Jaakko Kuusisto’s, Sebastian Hilli’s and Marzi Nyman’s new works for woodwind quintet get their premiere during the music week. 

Meidän festivaali, 23 – 27 July

Meidän festivaali (which translates to Our Festival) continues on its pursuit to seek new perspectives on musical encounters and concert practices. This year’s theme is "processes". 


Korsholm Music Festival, 27 July – 4 August

Over 30 concerts take place around Vaasa and Korsholm. Dozens of musicians and four orchestras have been invited to perform at the event, with conductors including Sakari Oramo and Dylan Corlay. The theme composer of the year is Einar Englund, whose 100th anniversary is celebrated. 

Mänttä Music Festival (3–7 August)

Works by composers Juha T. Koskinen, Harri Vuori and Jean Sibelius are performed at Mänttä Music Festival this year. Performers include Soyeon Kate Lee, Borea String Quartet, Janne Mertanen and Elisabeth Leonskaja.

Oulunsalo Soi, 4 August – 3 September

The event takes place in different cities and municipalities around Northern Ostrobothnia. Riddle, the new work by Uljas Pulkkis gets its premiere at Oulunsalo Soi. 

Luosto Classic, 6–9 August 

Seven works by Pēteris Vasks, the composer guest of the year at Luosto Classic will be performed this year. Other celebrated composers include Einar Englund and Mozart.

Turku Music Festival, 6–15 August

Ville Matvejeff is the new artistic director of Turku Music Festival. The 57th music festival is opened by the world premiere of Olli Virtaperko’s Concerto for amplified cello and orchestra, with soloist Perttu Kivilaakso.

Helsinki Festival, 19 August – 4 September 

Highlights of this year’s Helsinki Festival include Lang Lang’s concert with Radio Symphony Orchestra and Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, led by Gustavo Dudamel