Welcome to the Sata-Häme Soi
Accordion Festival in
Ikaalinen, Finland
Home Monday, June 30
2003 Ikaalinen Festival Tuesday, July 1
Welcome to Ikaalinen Wednesday, July 2
Finland at a Glance Thursday, July 3
Golden Accordion Award Friday, July 4
Meet Maria Kalaniemi Saturday, July 6
Festival Faces Sunday, July 7

Young Children's Concert
A concert featuring the Young Students was held in Oma Tupa. A great encouragement for these youngsters was shown by the audience and was nice to see that in amongst some of the finest professional talent in the entertainment field, that the future generation of accordionists was featured in concert as well.

All the young artists joined together to sing the Finnish version of She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain When She Comes.

Tatar Folk Instruments Orchestra of The State Conservatory of Kasan

Formed in 1993, this outstanding orchestra of young musicians from Kazan has toured and competed internationally. They have won:

  • 1995 - the First Prize at the International compete in Castelfidardo (Italy)
  • 1997 - Grandprix at the International competition in Strasburg (France)
  • 1999 - Grandprix of the Fund of the Spiritual Revival "Rukhiyat" (Republic of Tatarstan)
  • 2000 - Grant of the President of Russian Federation.

In concert the orchestra which has three accordionists, presents a lively and entertaining show with music ranging from Folk Music of the Kazan area as well as Siberia and Russia, to modern Tatar music, traditional folk music of the east, Russian and Western European classical music as well as Latin-American music.

Many of the musicians in the group double on other instruments. For example, the bass player (pictured right) also performed a solo on a tiny 1 row accordion and the flutist played several whistles. Other soloists included vocalists and accordionists.

With a broad dynamic range from the most subtle to the most majestic fortes, the close knit ensemble displayed precision and warmth throughout its concert.

The orchestra delighted the audience when they performed a rather unusual but entertaining version of the Sakkijarven Polka, a Finnish favorite. The accordion soloist left the stage and wandered through the audience playing the Polka while doing something similar to the Kosak dance steps.

The orchestra was brought back to the stage for two encores, a repeat of the Sakkijarven Polka and a very lively novelty item featuring the solo accordionists for the show, pictured right, a fitting end to an exciting and upbeat concert.

Tatarstan is situated in the center of Russian Federation on the East European plain just to the west of the Ural mountain range and located where the two of Europe's largest rivers Volga and Kama meet. The territory of the republic is about 67, 836.2 km. The capital of the republic is the city of Kazan.

More than 70 nationalities live here, the most numerous of which are Tatars and Russians. The state languages are Tatar and Russian. The population of the republic is about 3,773,800 people.

The capital of Tatarstan republic - city of Kazan is situated in the northwest of Tatarstan. The city is stretched along two banks of Kazanka river - at the place o where it meets with the mighty Volga river. The population of Kazan is more than 1.1 million people.

With a rich cultural heritage, Kazan also has 4 state orchestras, Ensemble of Song and Dance of Tatarstan Republic, second-largest in Russia Bolshoy Concert Hall, Opera, Drama and Doll Theaters. In the city there are seven Higher and Secondary educational institutions of culture and art, over 50 musical and art schools.

August, 30, 2005 in the life of the capital of Tatarstan there will be a significant event - Kazan will mark the 1000-anniversary.


The Accordion and its Kindred Instruments
Free lance musician Petri Ikkelä took to the stage with Sakari Kuosmanen and his band during the afternoon concert. During this show, Petri was featured playing several relatives of the accordion family including the accordion, bandoneon, concertina, melodian, accordion guitar and Sheng.

Each of the instruments was used as an integral part of the band and added color and intrigue to the performance.

A former student at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Petri is one of the only musicians to be able to perform in concert on such an array of accordion related instruments.



Maria Kalaniemi

Finnish Folk Queen Maria Kalaniemi gave the audience everything they were expecting and more during her concert with pianist Timo Alakotila at the Uma Tupa in Ikaalinen.

Displaying all the talent that has made her known worldwide as one of Finland's most respected Folk musicians, Maria's repertoire ranges from arrangements of traditional Folk music to original compositions. Her range also spans stradella and mussette sound to free bass and straight tuned reeds.

Timo provided excellent accompaniment allowing Maria to deliver her rich and colorful melody lines for which she is so famous. She treats each note with care from the beginning to the end and also pays attention with equal importance on how she uses the bellows to keep the note alive in-between.

Maria has performed in many countries around the world and currently heads the Folk Music Department at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

For more information on Maria, please visit the:

Maria Kalaniemi Celebrity Interview


In and Around Ikaalinen
The Ikaalinen Music School is the popular music school for instrumentalists of all kind and is located by the shores of Lake Kyrösjärvi and just steps from the main town.

One way to get around Ikaalinen, is by horse drawn carriage. Of course there are also excellent services by Bus and Taxi, but by carriage is also a fun way to go.