Reviewed Below

"To the Memory of my Mother"
Local folk musicians
Venue: Lasse Pihlajamaa's monument for his Mother, Jämijärvi | Admission: Free
19.00 Folk Musicians Concert
Local folk musicians and some international flavor, for example a folk music group from Keisenfeld, Germany.
Venue: Central School, Jämijärvi | Admission: Adults 8 € & Children 4 € (5-12 yrs)
19.00 Tango Argentina
Vocalist Martin Alvarado and Finnish tango orchestra Milonga.
Venue: Puumilan Taitotalo, Kihniö | Admission: 10 € / 5 €
Reviewed Below
Zoltán Orosz Duo
The Hungarian duo of accordionist Zoltán Orosz and guitarist Gábor Ursu play virtuoso interpretations of well-known compositions. The accordion is the lead instrument and the guitar creates a colorful background. This is the first performance of the Zoltán Orosz Duo in Finland.
Venue: Oma Tupa, Ikaalinen | Admission: 10 €/ 5 €
Traditional Map Pinning Ceremony
One of the traditions of the Sata-Häme Soi - Accordion Festival is when festival Musical Director Kimmo Mattila conducts the traditional "map pinning' ceremony. A large map gracing the walls of the Finnish Accordion Institute is covered with pins, as visiting guest artists locate their city and country of origin.

Pictured here is Sergei Trotsenko, the accordionist and leader of the guest artist Bryac Quartet from the Ukraine, as he pins his place on the Sata-Häme Soi international guest artist map.
Lasse Pihlajamaa's Monument 'To the Memory of my Mother'

The first official function of the annual Sata-Häme Soi - Accordion Festival is a folk concert and gathering at Lasse Pihlajamaa's monument "In the Memory of my Mother" on the outskirts of Jämijärvi. This beautiful monument is located at the approximate site where his boyhood home once stood.

Recalling an often difficult childhood and the profound respect he had for his widowed mother "Hilma", Lasse worked for many years planning this monument as an ongoing tribute to the special place she has in his heart. Lasse has since donated the monument and the land it stands on to the Jämijärvi municipality.

In addition to the monument, Mr. Pihlajamaa also composed a work "Muisto Aidille" in memory of his mother, an artistic manuscript of which is housed inside the monument and is pictured above.

A large gathering of people formed around the monument as a local Folk Musicians Accordion Orchestra performed. This has become an annual tradition prior to the official beginning of the annual Ikaalinen Festival.

A highlight of the ceremony and concert was the attendance of 86 year old Lasse Pihlajamaa himself, who had traveled from the Helsinki area with his wife Maire (pictured left) to attend the event.

At the conclusion of each performance, Mr. Pihlajamaa stood and praised the performers, much to the delight of the attendees. Pictured above right are Accordions Worldwide representative Kevin Friedrich from New York, Sata-Häme Soi Festival Director Minna Kulmala with Mr. Pihlajamaa.

Pictured to the right, are Maire and Lasse Pihlajamaa with Sata-Häme Soi Festival Director Minna Kulmala at the conclusion of the ceremony in Jämijärvi.

Immediately following the gathering at the statue, a standing room only audience enjoyed a concert at the Jämijärvi School Hall which also featuring local Folk musicians.

In a neighboring town the popular group Tango Argentina featuring vocalist Martin Alvarado and Finnish tango orchestra Milonga performed at the Puumilan Taitotalo, Kihniö.
Zoltán Orosz & Gábor Ursu - a Recipe for Success!

What a pleasure it must be to be the newly renovated Oma Tupa Concert Hall and have the sounds of the finest artists in the world resonate through your walls!

Tonight was no exception as Oma Tupa played host to the first ever Hungarian guests at the annual Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival featuring an exceptional duo comprising three time Hungarian Accordion Champion Zoltán Orosz and guitarist Gábor Ursu who form the "Podium Duo."

Formed in 1992, the Podium Duo couldn't go wrong. Performing well known virtuoso favorites, Tangos, French works and light classics, the duo dazzled the audience with their fresh and innovative style. Their arrangements featured both spectacular technical displays and haunting lyrical lines in addition to a touch of jazz where the accordion and guitar provided rhythmical and musical support to each other. Their high energy program which captivated the audience for over an hour, left everyone clapping for more. The duo lived up their motto of providing "well-known melodies with a virtuoso interpretations."

Among tonight's program were arrangements of Brahm's Hungarian Dance No. 5, the Russian favorite 'Dark Eyes', Tico Tico, French favorites, Strauss, the Monti Czardas, Tangos and much more. The concert concluded with an impressive arrangement of Granada which left the audience calling for more. They were not disappointed when the duo played two encores including Piazzolla's popular "Liebertango."

Rich in intricate ornamentation and flashy technical work, Zoltán leads the duo while Gábor expertly provides a backing that compliments the accordion work both musically and technically.

While they are working as solo and accompaniment, they each play an equally important role with the guitarist providing melody, harmony, rhythm and percussive effects at various times.

Zoltán uses the full dimensions of accordion registers ranging from the highest piccolo notes, to the haunting musette to full registration providing listeners with a constant variety of tonal qualities. His superb technical work seemed absolutely effortless as his fingers at times flew from one end of the keyboard to the other.

Zoltán inherited his love of accordion from his father, who noticed early on the talent of his son. Zoltán was four years old when he got his first accordion, a tiny one with only 8 basses. In 1977 at the age of 11, he started his studies at a Bela Bartok Secondary School in Budapest which specialized in Music and Arts. Here, in addition to the accordion, Zoltán also studied the organ. After completing his studies at High School in 1984, he continued his studies at college.

Zoltan was 13 years old, when he took part in an international accordion competition in Klingenthal (Germany). The audience at that early time was already astonished by this young player. From there he went on to win the Hungarian National Accordion Championships three times.

From Singapore to Paris the Podium Duo has appeared in numerous cities of the world, but their most loved place to give concerts in is the homelands of Hungary. In 2000 the Podium Duo was awarded the noted eMeRTon Prize by the Hungarian Radio and has gone on to tour both throughout Hungary and abroad. Zoltan also plays on many of the CDs of prominent performers of Hungarian music life.

If you would like further information about ordering recordings, please contact the Podium Duo at:

In and Around Ikaalinen
Finland's Nature Symbols: Six national 'nature symbols' have been chosen for Finland by popular vote and all the symbols carry powerful connotations of popular tradition, stretching back to ancient times.

They were only officially chosen in the 1980s and '90s, however, so one cannot claim they are based on any formal tradition. The aim in choosing the symbols is to draw attention to Finnish nature and wildlife and to promote appreciation of them.

Symbol Number 1: When it flowers in June, the Lilly-of-the-Valley - Convallaria Majalis, is all the more attractive for its powerful, sophisticated scent and used as decorations on festive occasions.

Local Water Taxi: Festival attendees enjoy being transported accross the lake on the Lempi, the scheduled boat between the town of Ikaalinen and the Spa Hotel where most of the guests and attendees stay.

The 20 minutes trip accross the lake affords beautiful views of the Ikaalinen town, lake front houses and camping facilities.

During the festival, the Lempi operates seven additional round trips to coincide with festival activties.