10.00 - 20.00 The Accordion Fair accordions, music books, etc...
Venue: Former "Sale" building by Festival Park | Free Admission
Reviewed Below
The Finnish Accordion Folk Musician Championship
The five-row Accordion Competition
Venue: Commercial Polytechnic, Ikaalinen | Admission: 8 € / 4 €
13.00 - 18.00
Reviewed Below
Accordion Groups and Folk Dance Groups performing in the Festival Park including groups from Kurikka, Kauhajoki and Ikaalinen area.
Venue: Festival Park | Admission: Free
13.00 - 24.00 Accordion Pub - Meeting place for accordionists and the public
Venue: The Yellow School next to the Festival Park | Admission: Free
Reviewed Below
The White Rose Concert matinée concert featuring famous Finnish soloists Pentti Hietanen and Johanna Rusanen sing light classical music with a light music orchestra.
Venue: Ikaalinen Hall | Admission: 20 €/ 10 €
20.00 Zoltán Orosz Duo in the Country Side the Hungarian duo of accordionist Zoltán Orosz and guitarist Gabor Ursu and the Orchestra Keräilyerä.
Venue: Iitun pirtti in Isoröyhiö | Admission: 10 €/ 5 € ticket includes coffee
20.00 The White Rose Concert featuring famous Finnish soloists Pentti Hietanen and Johanna Rusanen sing light classical music with a light music orchestra.
Venue: Ikaalinen Hall | Admission: 20 €/ 10 €
Reviewed Below
Mika Väyrynen in Concert a solo concert featuring the complete Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach and other premieres.
Venue: Ikaalinen Church | Admission: 8 €/ 4 €
20.00 - 24.00 Dancing in the Festival Park featuring Mutkattomat, Eki Jantunen and Jarno Kuusisto.
Venue: Festival Park | Admission: 8 €/ 4 €
Reviewed Below
The Bryac Quartet from the Ukraine the Bryac Quartet has received awards in the International Competition in Poprad, and the quartet breaks the conventional ideas of a Slavonic balalaika accordion group.
Venue: Oma Tupa | Admission: 8 €/ 4 €
Five Row Accordion - Finnish Folk Competition
Contestants took part in this years Five Row Accordion Folk Music Championships which were held in several different categories, including 12 years and under, 15 years and under, 18 years and under, and the Veteran category for players 50 years and older.

A panel of four judges including Risto Ala-Ikkelä, Teppo Välimäki, Riitta Kossi and Jari Komulainen listened as contestants were required to play two (2) Finnish compositions over two rounds.

Typical of the Finnish competitions, at the end of each piece the MC took the opportunity to interview the contestant asking informal questions about the choice of music, length of study and hobbies. Not only did this give the judges a chance to work, it also made it quite interesting and often entertaining for the audience.

Most of the contestants dressed in traditional costumes for their performances. Pictured below are some of the contestants in the various categories. Results are listed below.
Jury Members: Riitta Kossi, Risto Ala-Ikkelä, Teppo Välimäki, and Jari Komulainen
Results from the Five Row Finnish Folk Competition
Pictured left to right are: Kauko Kulmala, Anna Närhi Sami Hopponen and Henriikka Santamaa
Photo courtesy of Minna Plihtari
Category I, 12 years and under Category IV, 18 years and under
1. Anna Närhi, Palokka, 187 points
2. Tuomas Mäkelä, Kaustinen, 178.5 points
3. Juho Paltta, Marttila, 178 points
1. Sami Hopponen, Hukkala, 199.5 points
2. Pasi Raukola, Harjunpää, 192 points
3. Veli-Matti Leppänen, Vanha-Ulvila, 177 points
Category II, 15 years and under Veterans, 50 years and over
1. Henriikka Santamaa, Ulvila, 196 points
2. Netta Skog, Pusula, 190 points
3. Ilona Suomalainen, Kauniainen, 186 points

1. Kauko Kulmala, Tampere, 177 points
2. Olavi Tanhuanpää, Turku, 175 points
3. Aleksi Pynnönen, Mäntsälä, 162 points

Ikaalinen Festival Park
After the downpour of rain yesterday, festival attendees were thrilled to see the return of the sun for this afternoons Festival Park performances.

The crowds gathered to here to enjoy an array of accordion Folk Music played by groups from Kurikka, Kauhajoki and the Ikaalinen area.

Each afternoon features nonstop accordion music at both the Festival Park Stage as well as at the outdoor garden style Accordion Pub allowing attendees to enjoy the outdoor setting and sunshine.
The White Rose Concert
The annual White Rose Concerts featured popular singers Johanna Rusanen (center) and Pentti Hietanen (right) as they performed with the Vantaa Entertainment All Stars Orchestra under the direction of Johtaa Markku Johansson (left).

Performing solos and duos during the show, the two soloists gave a first rate concert to the capacity audience.
Mika Väyrynen and the Concert of a Lifetime!
Concert Program
Kirmo Lintinen (1967)

Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) Aria - 30 Variations - Aria
J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
To open the concert, accordionist Mika Väyrynen performed the world premiere of a new work by Kirmo Lintinen called "Puuska". This new work was commissioned by Mika with funding provided by the Finnish Accordion Institute which is based in Ikaalinen, so it was only fitting that the premiere be done here.

For Mika Väyrynen, performing the entire Goldberg Variations by Bach is a monumental task. For the audience, it is truly a chance of a lifetime opportunity to hear this magnificent work, not only in its entirety, but also in the hands of such a respected artist.

With the genius of J. S. Bach's Goldberg Variations resonating in the walls of the Ikaalinen Church, Mika took the audience on a musical journey from the opening Aria through 30 variations and then some 70 minutes later, magically back to the Aria to deliver what can only be described as a musical masterpiece.

The fourth time Mika has performed this work in concert, he displayed all the elements of an artist equal to the best on any instrument. His technical capability, seemingly effortless and equal in both hands enabled the expert execution of the variations. With a commanding control of his Jupiter bayan and seasoned musical prowess, Mika treated the audience of over 250 people to a milestone performance.

The Goldberg variations was composed in 1741. A certain Count Carl von Keyserling, Russian Ambassador to the court of Saxony in Leipzig, suffered from insomnia. There was at the court a harpsichordist by the name of Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, one of whose duties was to help while away his master's sleepless hours by playing him music of a soothing and please nature.

This Goldberg was a pupil of Bach's. The Count thus hit upon the idea of requesting Bach to write a few pieces for his resident harpsichordist to play. Bach consented and carried out his request and some 250 years later, the Goldberg Variations live on.

Mika Väyrynen (pictured center with Festival Musical Director Kimmo Mattila left, and Professor Oleg Sharov from Russia right) was born October 7th, 1967 in Helsinki, Finland. He studied at the Tampere Conservatory, the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki) and Gustave Charpentier Conservatory (Paris, France.) He completed a Master's degree in 1992 and went on to complete his doctoral degree in 1997. 

Among his teachers have been Timo Kinnunen, Matti Rantanen and Max Bonnay. Masterclasses given by Professor Friedrich Lips have also had an important role in Mika artistic development over the years.

Mika's debut recital took place in Tampere, Finland 1985. Since then he has given hundreds of recitals all over the world including in Austria, Belgium, Ukraine, China, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and the USA. He has appeared in venues such as the Salle Pleyel in Paris, Musashino Hall in Tokyo, Phoenix Hall in Osaka, Kiev Philharmony, The Gnessin Academy Hall in Moscow, De Ijsbreker in Amsterdam, Sibelius Academy, Tampere Hall and Sibelius Hall in Finland.

Mika has performed as a soloist with several orchestras including the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Okko Kamu and in the world-famous festivals including Lahti International Organ Festival, Kuhmo Chamber Music, Tuusula-lake Chamber Music, Korsholm Music Festival, Moscow Bayan Festival and the Beijing Accordion Festival. He has worked with many outstanding soloists, among them Jan-Erik Gustafsson, Yoko Hasegawa, Jorma Hynninen, Jaakko and Pekka Kuusisto and Vladimir Mendelssohn. Mika has also collaborated with important composers, whose works he has premiered including Jouni Kaipainen, Tuomas Kantelinen, Ilkka Kuusisto, Petri Makkonen, Matti Murto, Juhani Nuorvala, Bogdan Precz and Leif Segerstam.

To date, Mika Väyrynen has recorded thirteen CD's which include over 90 compositions. He has recorded on world famous labels such as Finlandia Records/Warner Classics, JVC Victor Japan, ALBA and Naxos. Since 1985 he has recorded regularly with the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE). 

urrently, in addition to teaching accordion at the Sibelius-Academy in Helsinki, Mika is concertizing around the world both as a soloist and as a guest artist with major orchestras.

Mika has recently recorded the Goldberg Variations work on the ALBA label (No. ABCD 191) and it has been met with excellent reviews. For more information, please visit:

The Bryac Quartet from the Ukraine

After a preview of their energetic and contemporary style while performing a piece on the televised Golden Accordion Award the night before, the standing room only audience at the Oma Tupa was eagerly awaiting the Bryac Quartet's return, this time for an entire concert, and they were not disappointed!

Not your stereotypical Balalaika players, the energized group from Kiev proceeded to break the barriers of conformity, using the instruments as not many have seen them used before. Combined with the accordion it made for a spectacular show that had the audience asking for more at the end.

Top open the program, the Quartet played a piece called - 'I'm Sorry Mozart', then went on to perform a diverse selection of music such as Melody in a Jazz Style, The Smoke Detector, a Piazzolla Tango, their own version of Vivaldi's 4 Seasons, a poplar version of Titanic (Sergei is pictured above right as he does his 'Bow of the Ship' imitation) and Boney M songs plus much much more.

The four musicians including accordionist Sergei Trotsenko, and Balalaika players Igor Nerovnui, Jevgeni Kazantsantsev and Oleg Shaman displayed excellent ensemble work, an innovative and fresh style plus superb dynamic control. Their dazzling program destroys all Balalaika stereotypes as they perform rock, jazz, pop and folk in their own unique style which even includes choreography dance steps and a costume change.

Each of the musicians has a classical background, providing them with the outstanding technical ability which they harness into an exciting energy that keeps the audience excited.

Making their first appearance in Finland, the audience brought back the Bryac for several encores after a show full of excitement, fun and surprises.

Pictured after the concert from right to left are: Italian Journalist Vesa Matteo Piludu, Bryac leader and accordionist Sergei Trotsenko, group manager Olga Kholodova, and Balalaika players
Oleg Shaman, Jevgeni Kazantsantsev and Igor Nerovnui.

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 3: Granite is made up from quartz, feldspar and mica, with fairly coarse and clearly discernible grains of the different minerals. In Finland, granite is often used for buildings, but also for sculpture. While it is perhaps best suited to more roughhewn works, it also has been used for very delicate pieces of sculpture.

Variation to Local Transportation: For those wishing an alternative to the local transportation, you might like to take a ride on this horse and buggy.