Kaisa Kujanpää from Lapua wins the prized Golden Accordion Award
19 year old Kaisa Kujanpää from Lapua won the prized Golden Accordion Award scoring perfect 10's from each of the judges in the final round. Kaija was playing against five other fellow contestants: Heli Nikula from Kalajoki, Henna-Maija Kuki from Nivala, Tarja Alakorkko from Rovaniemi, Anna-Kaisa Penttinen from Jyväskylä and Timo Savinainen from Tuuupovaara.

The competition is presented as a live TV show filmed and broadcast as part of the 32nd Annual Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival in Ikaalinen.

Preliminary rounds were held onboard the Silja Europa cruise from Finland to Sweden and back that was held in March. During this competition, eliminations were held to select the finalists that performed live to a sold out audience.

Each of the contestants were filmed as part of the live national Television Show where Kaisa played an upbeat version of a Piazzolla Tango and for her second round, played Sähinäs Samba by Lasse Pihlajamaa.

After each contestant presented their first performance, the candidates were invited back to the stage for a musical potpourri of Finnish pieces. While the judges were working, each of the contestants was invited to step forward and perform a well-known Finnish piece, once again with the backing orchestra.

When the judges presented their scores, three finalists were selected and then asked to present one more round, where they were judged again. In this second round, Kaisa played a lively Sahina Samba by Lasse Pihlajamaa and went on to gain the Golden Accordion Title.
The TV Show was opened by hosts Silja Sillanpää and Kimmo Mattila who welcomed viewers and capacity studio audience to the annual Golden and Silver Accordion Awards Show with some performing of their own.

Even the adjudicator panel got up and played one selection in an impromptu performance.

Kimmo is the Musical Director of the Sata-Häme Soi - Accordion Festival and in addition is President of the Finnish Accordion Association and the Finnish Accordion Institute.

Silja served as the host for the Silver Accordion Award which was the first half of the show and Kimmo for the Golden Accordion Award with both joining the stage for the final rounds and awards.

Between the Silver and Golden Award competitions, the audience was treated to a performance by the lively Bryac Quartet from the Ukraine featuring accordion and three Balalaika artists.
Meet the other Golden Accordion Award Contestants
Heli Nikula from Kalajoki (24 years old)
Pietro's Return March - P. Deiro
Henna-Maija Kuki from Nivala (17 years old)
Hora Staccato - Heifetz
2nd Round: Näin On by Hietaharju
Tarja Alakorkko from Rovaniemi (24 years old)
Paris Waltz by Lasse Pihlajamaa
Anna-Kaisa Penttinen from Jyväskylä (17 years old)
Snow Train Shuffle by John Gart
2nd Round: United Nations Polka by Reic Gylling
Timo Savinainen from Tuuupovaara (22 years old)
Flambee Montalbanaise by Gus Viseur
Final Results from the Golden Accordion Award

Golden Accordion Final Round
1st Kaisa Kujanpaa Lapua 60 points
2nd= Anna-Kaisa Penttinen Jyväskylä 55 points
2nd= Henna-Maija Kuki Nivala 55 points
Golden Accordion First Round
1. Kaisa Kujanpaa Lapua 56 points
2. Henna-Maija Kuki Nivala 56 points
3. Anna-Kaisa Penttinen Jyväskylä 55 points
4. Tarja Alakorkko Rovaniemi 51 points
5. Heli Nikula Kalajoki 48 points
6. Timo Savinainen Tuuupovaara 45 points

Juuso Vesterinen from Taipalsaari Wins the Silver Accordion Award
Ten year old accordionist Juuso Vesterinen from Taipalsaari won the Silver Accordion Award for children 10 years and under, competing against Sanna Sallinen from Äänekoski, Julia Suihkola from Sievi, Joni Stein from Haapajärvi, Senni-Maaria Rantanen from Karkkila, Taneli Järvenpää from Kiukainen and Joona Vuopala from Kouvola at the sold out live TV show finals.

Juuso played an energetic version of Baby Elephant Walk by Henry Mancini, arranged by Virve Jääskeläinen. A student of Päivi Valkeajoki, Juuso also enjoys athletics, swimming and football.
Meet the other Silver Accordion Award Contestants:
Sanna Sallinen, 9 years old from Äänekoski
performing Punasaappaat, a traditional piece arranged by Lasse Könönen
Julia Suihkola, 9 years old from Sievi
playing Kamarinskaja, a traditional piece arranged by Lars Holm
Joni Stein, 8 years old from Haapajärvi
performing Kaarisilta, written by Joni Stein
Senni-Maaria Rantanen, 8 years old from Karkkila
performing Matkoilla (Ystävyys-Pariisissa-Mökillä) by Senni-Maaria Rantanen
Joona Vuopala, 10 years old from Kouvola
performing Mikkihiiri Ja Susihukka by G. Malmsten

As each contestant entered the stage, they were asked a few questions relating to their hobbies and musical background. After Joni told Silja that he was playing a piece he had composed himself, she asked how many pieces he had composed altogether.

Much to the amusement of the audience, eight year old Joni Stein (pictured left) could only explain that it was 'this' many by showing how big the stack of his original music was getting.
Adjudicators for the Golden and Silver Accordion Awards

Judges for the Golden and Silver Accordion Competitions were: from above left to right:

  • Elias Ukkonen
  • Oleg Sharov
  • Iiris Koronen
  • Taisto Lunkka
  • Arto Kivekäs
  • Seppo Lankinen.

At the conclusion of the judging, each judge was asked to display his or her score for the contestant. These scores were then fed into a computer which instantly calculated and displayed the results on the overhead screens.