32nd Annual International Sata-Häme Soi - Accordion Festival is
being held from June 29 - July 4, 2004 amidst the beautiful parks and
wooden houses of Ikaalinen, Finland which is nestled on the banks of
Lake Kyrösjärvi, the 49th largest lake in Finland covering
96.2 square km. 'Sata-Häme' is the region of Finland in which Ikaalinen
is found and is home to the largest Spa and Indoor Swimming and Water
complex in Scandinavia.
The Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival is a member of Finland Festivals
Association, and is one of the most prominent music events in Finland.
It takes place annually during the five days in the beginning of July.
The Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival experience is a highlight
of Finnish summer culture. Its programme consists of genuine Finnish
accordion music as well as high-quality international classical and
light entertainment music.
Ikaalinen became an independent commune in 1641. The associated market
town was founded in 1858. The market town and the commune were united
in 1972 and Ikaalinen became a borough in 1977, a town with a rural
atmosphere. Ikaalinen has a population of approximately 8,000 people.
is an old tourist attraction in Finland. Its spa tradition dates back
to the last century and folk music, especially accordion music is one
of its traditions. Its beautiful landscape has always fascinated visitors.
During the last decades Ikaalinen developed into a versatile service
centre with good business, educational and recreational facilities.
Today about 55% of the population earns its living from the service
sector and 15% from agriculture, which has always provided an important
source of income. The biggest industrial plants are Finlayson, Upofloor,
Georgia Pacific Paper, Amerplast, Honkarakenne, Keskus-Sähkö,
H&H Siporex and Katsa.
the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival a highly diverse program has
been arranged around the accordion and its related instruments with
the diverse variety of events guranteeing something for everyone. Artists
representing a variety of styles will be performing at the festival
- Tango Argentina - Tango
orchestra Milonga with vocalist Martin Alvarado
- Zoltán Orosz
Duo from Hungary
- Lappeenranta Accordion
- Folk Dance Group Liparit
- Ikaalinen Music Association
- Veli-Matti Järvenpää
- Bryac-Quartet from
- Toccata from Slovakia
- Accordion Orchestra
of Arts Lyceum from St. Petersburg
- Pentti Hietanen
- Johanna Rusanen
- Mika Väyrynen
- Eki Jantunen
- Jarno Kuusisto
- Maria Kalaniemi and
- Sami Hopponen
- Elisa Inkinen
- Jonna Pirttijoki
- Seppo Lankinen
- MusIkaalinen Orchestra
- Rimini Rhythm Orchestra
- Orchestra Mustarastas
- Matti Lepänhaara
& Seppo Soittila and the Nikkelimarkka Orchestra
- One Nite Stand with
Janne Mäkinen, the winner of the Golden Accordion competition
- Maija Vilkkumaa and
The Crawfish Kings
- Nikolai Sivchuk - Russia
- Aleksei Peresidly -
- Armas Piippo
- Oleg Sharov
- The Light Music Orchestra
of the Turku Accordion Club
- The Orchestra of Nakkila
- Pasi and Petri Raukola
- Accordion Orchestra
Toccata from Slovakia
- Matti Lepänhaara
and Seppo Soittila
- Kyröskoski Voluntary
Fire Department Orchestra
recently renovated "Oma Tupa" Hall (left) will host a variety
of music including Folk Music and Dancing, Swing, Jazz and more. The
White Rose and televised Golden Accordion Competition will be held in
the Ikaalinen Hall, and others such as that by Finnish superstar accordionist
Mika Väyrynen will be held at the Ikaalinen Church which is pictured
left. In addition, concerts will be held at the Spa Open Air Theater,
Festival Park, the Yellow School, the Red School (right), the Accordion
Pub and other venues all located within short walking distances from
each other. The outdoor venues of Festival Park and the Accordion Pub
will ensure that music is heard in every corner of Ikaalinen!
Church of Ikaalinen (left) was designed by Thure G. Wennberg and was
completed in 1801. It is a wooden cruci-form church with a seating capacity
During the festival, Ikaalinen will provide a rare opportunity to hear
Classical music, the Tango, the Finnish two row and five row accordions,
Jazz, Rock, Zydeco, Folk, Polka and other types of music from soloists,
ensembles and orchestras.
The festival tradition of musical competitions will also be continued.
There will be several competitions for Folk Music on different types
of instruments, as well as the Finals of the competition held onboard
the Silja Europa cruise from Finland to Sweden and back held in March.
These 'Golden Accordion' finals will be televised live during a concert
where the contestants will perform with a backing ensemble.
In addition to music there will be displays of instruments, music and
recordings, accordion items and other Finnish crafts during the week
long festival. Even stores in Ikaalinen such as this Jewelry Store have
an accordion theme, featuring two antique instruments.
Ikaalinen also is the home of the Finnish Accordion Association, the
Finnish Accordion Institute, The Accordion Gallery and the Accordion
Museum of Musical Instruments.
Sata-Hame Soi - Festival Office
Ikaalinen City Hall
Valtakatu 7, PL 33
Telephone: +358 (0) 3 4400 224
Fax: +358 (0) 3 4501 365
A large part of the accordion
life in Finland is centered in Ikaalinen and is formed into three groups,
the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival, the Finnish Accordion Association
and the Finnish Accordion Institute.
Sata-Häme Soi Ikaalinen Accordion Festival offers performances
and concerts covering a broad range of styles as you can see from these
pages which review the 2004 Festival. The Sata-Häme Soi also has
an annual winter accordion cruise which attracts thousands from all
Finnish Accordion Institute caters to academic accordion activities
with the archives of accordion activities, publishing new and past accordion
works, CD's and other important accordion projects, including a museum
and offering support for the summer festival and cruise.
The third group is the Finnish Accordion Association which has
some 5,000 plus members. This gives accordionists an opportunity to
belong to a central accordion family, and an important part of this
association is the regular publication of their news, a 50 plus page
high quality magazine entitled "Hanuri."
This terrific cooperation between three major accordion groups is an
inspiration to the accordion world on the ability of groups to work
together for the common goal of promoting the accordion.
(It should also be mentioned that in addition to these three groups
promoting the accordion, many conservatories also accept the accordion
for studies, the most
famous being the Sibelius
Academy in Helsinki
which has both Classical and Folk departments.)
In addition, there is also an Accordion Museum which houses over
100 instruments of various styles, including the 'Accordion Bench"
demonstrated here (above right) by Kimmo Mattila. Having the appearance
of a piano stool, it converts into an accordion much to the amusement
of patrons who have just tested it out.