Next week Kuhmo Chamber Music will be collaborating with the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation in a programme of musical events in Seoul, South Korea. ”At last the two organisations with almost identical names are joining forces in the genre of chamber music,” enthuses Kuhmo Chamber Music Executive Director Sari Rusanen.
Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation is a celebrated South Korean organisation promoting the arts. It arranges visits by the world’s best orchestras to Seoul, supports young Korean musicians with loans of musical instruments and scholarships, and owns four concert halls. The collaborative concerts will take place in the Kumho Art Hall, specially designed for chamber music.
Concerts will be given from 9 to 11 February. They have been planned by Kuhmo Chamber Music Artistic Director Vladimir Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn has given the concert names, as is the custom at the Kuhmo Festival in summer. They are: The Time of Sibelius on 9.2., Paris by Night on 10.2., and Baroque Evergreens and Wiener Sternstunden on 11.2.
The first concert in particular will celebrate one hundred years of Finland’s independence. Included in the concert entitled The Time of Sibelius will be performances of Finlandia and Valse triste.
The concerts will feature contributions from both Kuhmo and Kumho artists. Representing Kuhmo Chamber Music in South Korea will be violinists Antti Tikkanen and Priya Mitchell, as well as the Artistic Director himself. Kumho performers include violinists Jehye Lee and Jiyoung Lim, violist Hanna Lee, cellists Min Ji Kim and Jung Ran Lee, double bass player Jung Su Lee, pianists Da Sol Kim and Yekwon Sunwoo, and harpist Jee Young Park.
The concerts are designed to establish both musical and tourist connections. They form part of the Wild Taiga, Kuhmo-Suomussalmi , tourism project targeting Asia. Kuhmo Chamber Music and Wild Taiga have both been involved in developing cooperation with Visit Finland, a range of cultural and nature products enabling travellers to stop over in Kainuu, in eastern Finland, if they are flying to Europe direct with Finnair.
The Finnish embassy in Seoul is hosting a reception on the evening of 8 February, the day before the concert series starts, to which Ambassador Eero Suominen has invited Korean partners, the media and tour operators. At the reception, Festival Artistic Director Vladimir Mendelssohn will talk about the summer Kuhmo Festival and the concerts in Seoul. Ambassador Suominen will speak about the Finland 100 celebration and the Wild Taiga area and products. Koreans are also being encouraged to take part in the current European Best Destination competition on behalf of Wild Taiga.
The Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation provides financial support for Kuhmo Chamber Music’s networking activities in Asia.