Nordic Historical Keyboard Festival
INTERNATIONAL CLAVICHORD COMPETITION
This summer, the Nordic Historical
Keyboard Festival (NHKF) returns to Kuopio, Finland. The
third installment of this music event will take place
from August 13 to August 22 and gather an international
array of early keyboard specialists, who will offer
concerts, lecture-recitals and specialized courses. The
clavichord, harpsichord, fortepiano, organ, and virginal
will be the leading instruments on stage. Concerts will
take place in venues throughout the city, including the
Music Center, the Cathedral, the beautiful Town Hall,
and several churches and chapels.
NHKF is co directed by clavichordist
Anna Maria McElwain (Finland) and multi-keyboardist
Tsalka (Israel/Netherlands). Both artists will
perform in several of the twenty-one concerts projected
for 2014. Michael Tsalka, together with virtuoso
Alon Sariel (Germany/Israel), will be heard in the
opening recital on August 13. Anna Maria McElwain will
perform clavichord recitals, with varied repertoire.
The event will feature a wide range of keyboard music,
from medieval music to four new works for early
keyboards especially composed for NHKF. Composer
Herbert Lindholm from Kuopio has drawn inspiration
from Greek mythology in his work Hefaistos' Dream, which
will be premiered by Pekka Vapaavuori (clavichord) and
Silja Kallio (kantele). The other world premieres were
James Hewitt (Great Britain), Max Yount
(Taiwan/U.S.A), and Péter Tornyai (Hungary).
This year marks the 300th anniversary of composer Carl
Philipp Emanuel Bach. His intricate and vibrant musical
style will be celebrated in recitals interpreted by
Aapo Häkkinen (Finland),
Chai ((U.S.A./Netherlands) and Norberto Broggini
(Argentina). The modern piano will also be heard in a
charming recital of Romantic noctures played by
Frederic Voorn (Netherlands). The period instruments
Baroque Ensemble Galantina (Finland) will fill the
Chamber Music Hall of Kuopio Music Center with three
harpsichord concerti from the eighteenth century.
Grahn and Finnish clavichordist
Assi Karttunen will present two intriguing programs
with seldom-heard Spanish and French Baroque composers.
Daniel Bruun will present a magnificent program at
the Cathedral with German and English Romantic
Besides historical keyboards, several period instruments
will be heard throughout the festival, such as the rare
five-string Baroque cello played by
Clemens Goldberg (Germany), the Baroque violin in
the masterful hands of
Shunske Sato (Japan), and the Baroque flute played
Wendy Rolfe (U.S.A.), a virtuoso who specializes in
female composers. Soprano
Christina Knochenhauer will also delight audiences
with the beauty of her timbre and bel canto technique.
In 2014, NHKF will also offer lectures and individual
instruction on all types of historical keyboards.
Students from five different countries will gather in
Kuopio for the summer courses. Teachers will include
Joyce Lindorff, from Temple University
(Philadelphia, U.S.A.) and the Dean of Kazan
Conservatory (Russia), organist
Rubin Abdulin. Also, the First International
Clavichord Competition—the first in the 700-year-old
history of the instrument—has been organized by NHKF.
The competition has raised interest around the world and
competitors from Europe, the U.S.A. and Japan have been
selected to participate in the finals, which will take
place on August 14.