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Reviewed Below
International Press Conference
Reviewed Below
The Finnish Accordion Folk Musician Championship
One and Two Row Accordion Competition - Under 12, 15, 18, Open and Veterans
Venue: Oma Tupa - Tickets: Adult 10 € / Pensioner&Student 8 € / Child 5 €
Reviewed Below
XXXV Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival Opening Ceremony
Venue: Festival Park, Ikaalinen
14.00 Music in the Park
Finnish and international groups perform. Hosts: Matti Lepänhaara and Seppo Soittila. (Until 18.00)
Venue: Festival Park, Ikaalinen
Accordion Pub
Accordion groups and solo entertainers, Host: Jukka Laihiala, dance music by various Finnish Accordion Clubs from 20.00 until midnight.
Venue: Yellow School
Reviewed Below
Accordion Fair Opening
The fair is open 15.00 - 18.00. Accordions, accessories, music etc.
Venue: Kyrösvaate Building
17.00 The Silver and Golden Accordion Competition 2007 (Rehearsal)
Rehearsal for the final competition held at 20.00. Golden Accordion finalists: Sami Hopponen, Henna-Maija Kuki, Mari Laskujärvi, Veli-Matti Leppänen, Pasi Raukola and Henna Tahvanainen.
Silver Accordion finalists: Essi Elomäki, Johan-Antti Kivilahti, Menni Leinonen, Eemeli Morander, Minna Ristamäki, Mikko Suihkola and Lauri Tuomisto.
Jari Puhakka with his orchestra, Hosts: Silja Sillanpää and Kimmo Mattila
Venue: Ikaalinen Hall - Tickets: Adult 20 € / Pensioner&Student 15 € / Child 10 €
Reviewed Below
The Silver and Golden Accordion Competition 2007
Rehearsal for the final competition held at 20.00. Golden Accordion finalists: Sami Hopponen, Henna-Maija Kuki, Mari Laskujärvi, Veli-Matti Leppänen, Pasi Raukola and Henna Tahvanainen.
Silver Accordion finalists: Essi Elomäki, Johan-Antti Kivilahti, Menni Leinonen, Eemeli Morander, Minna Ristamäki, Mikko Suihkola and Lauri Tuomisto.
Jari Puhakka with his orchestra, Hosts: Silja Sillanpää and Kimmo Mattila
Venue: Ikaalinen Hall - Tickets: Adult 30 € / Pensioner & Student 25 € / Child 15€
20.00 Dance music in the Park
Tiina Pitkänen & Baroque Orchestra.
Venue: Festival Park, Ikaalinen
Reviewed Below
Valentine Osipov
Favourites of classical music, stage and movie music, and astonishing virtuoso numbers with concertina and xylophone. Piano: Vladimir Kogut
Venue: Oma Tupa - Tickets: Adult 15 € / Pensioner&Student 12 € / Child 8 €
International Press Conference
Wednesday began with an International Press Conference led by Public Relations Manager Minna Plihtari, Festival Director Sirpa Sippola and Artistic Director Kimmo Mattila. Two of the International guests were on hand to perform for the Press and conduct interviews including French artists Julian 'Speedy' Gonzales (accordion) and Cyril Carbonne (clarinet) and Italian Jazz Artist Renzo Ruggieri who will be featured at the festival with fellow Jazz musicans from the group Olmarin Unioni from Finland.
Members of the International Press being entertained by French artists Julian 'Speedy' Gonzales (accordion) and Cyril Carbonne (clarinet)
Renzo Ruggieri (right) being photographed outside the Town Hall
Renzo Ruggieri, Italy
The Finnish Accordion Folk Musician Championships
The Finnish Accordion Folk Musican Championship was held at Oma Tupa in five categories based on age. Each contestant was required to play on either a one or two row accordion, and was required to perform one Finnish Polka and one own choice selection of traditional Finnish Folk Music such as a Waltz, Polka etc... Contestants in each category were as follows:

Category I - 12 years and under
Akseli Isoaho
Kaisa Ruismäki
Aino Hilda Kankaanranta

Cateogry II - 15 years and under
Eveliina Uitto
Karoliina Virta
Kaisa-Lotta Leppänen

Category III - 18 years and under
Terhi Koivula
Sanni Ylimys
Niina Mäkiharju

Category IV - Open
Erkki-Jussi Koivuluoma
Elli Asunmaa
Tanja Rinto
Katja Torkkeli
Marko Välimäki (used two different accordions)

Category V - Veterans
Usko Välimäki
Reino Lautamaja
Festival Competition
Members of the Jury were: Markku Lepistö, Susan Aho, Minna Luoma and Erkki Friman
Final Results of Competition

Category I, 12 and under

1. Aino Hilda Kankaanranta, Honkajoki 156 points
2. Kaisa Ruismäki, Kuortane 135 points
Category II, 15 years and under
1. Eveliina Uitto, Kauhajoki 170 points
2. Kaisa-Lotta Leppänen, Hämeenlinna 165 points
3. Karoliina Virta, Pori 159 points
Category III, 18 years and under
1. Niina Mäkiharju, Hämeenlinna 171 points
2. Terhi Koivula, Virrat 148 points
3. Sanni Ylimys, Virrat 136 points
Category IV, Open
1. Tanja Rinto, Peräseinäjoki 167 points
2. Erkki-Jussi Koivuluoma, Koskenkorva 159 points
3. Marko Välimäki, Jorvas 150 points
Category V, Veterans
1. Usko Välimäki, Kirkkonummi 172 points
2. Reino Lautamaja, Seinäjoki 127 points
XXXV Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival Opening Ceremony
Eija Hinkkala, Director of the Artistic School in Ikaalinen welcomed attendees to the official Opening Ceremony of the 35th Annual Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival. She introduced each of the international guest artists and guest speakers to the several hundred strong audience who had gathered despite rain showers to enjoy the official opening ceremony.
Crowd gathered at the Central Park in Ikaalinen for the Opening Ceremony
Alexander Shirunov, Russia
Bojan Volcevski from Macedonia
2006 Silver Accordion Winner
Julian 'Speedy' Gonzales (accordion) and Cyril Carbonne (clarinet)
Festival Director Sirpa Sippola
welcoming guests to the 2007 Festival
Former Fesitval Director Minna Kulmala, founding festival Office Manager Eeva Sannikka and Tapio Tuomisto a second generation member of the Ikaalinen Accordion Club
'Garúa' from Spain
St. Petersburg Youth Accordion Orchestra
Accordion Fair Opening
Each year the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival features a trade show featuring instruments, recordings, music and accessories at the Kyrösvaate Building in Central Ikaalinen.
The Silver and Golden Accordion Competition 2007 Finals
The Golden and Silver Accordion was decided during a live Television broadcast on June 27th, 2007 at the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival in Ikaalinen, Finland. The winner will now represent Finland on Friday in The International Primus Ikaalinen Competition.
The Winner of the Golden Accordion, Sami Hopponen, was awarded 2500 Euros, the second prize 1000 Euros and the third prize 500 Euros.

The Winner of the Silver Accordion, Mikko Suihkola, was awarded 1000 Euros.
Winner of the Silver Accordion Mikko Suihkola Sievistä and Winner of the Golden Accordion Sami Hopponen
performing the traditional winners duet after the announcement of the results
Golden Accordion 2007
Hosts for the TV Show - Silja Sillanpää and Kimmo Mattila

Jury Members: Markku Lindeman, Eija Hinkkala, Paavo Tiusanen,
Johanna Juhola, Pasi Hirvonen, Satu Sopanen

Accordionists take part in an accordion potpurri, each stepping
forward to perform a popular work
Silver Accordion
Lauri Tuomisto
Minna Ristimäki
Johan-Antti Kivilahti
Menni Leinonen
Eemeli Morander
Essi Elomäki
Mikko Suihkola
from Sievi
Winner of the
Silver Accordion
Contestants in the Silver Accordion
Lauri Tuomisto, Jurva (age 9)

trad./arr. Veikko Ahvenainen: Meidän kylän tyttäret

Lauri got interested in playing the accordion after seeing the finales of the Golden and the Silver Accordion on TV when he was about 5 years old. He hasn’t even considered trying any other instruments. Now Lauri’s been playing the accordion for two and a half years, and is being taught by Seppo Heikkilä. Although Lauri plays the accordion for over an hour every day, he’s still got some time left for all kinds of summer hobbies, such as athletics and football. In winter Lauri likes to ski a lot. Besides sports and music Lauri likes animals, nature, and drawing. The social young man likes slower kind of music the best, but enjoys playing happy and lively pieces as well.

Menni Leinonen, Lappeenranta (10)

composed by Toivo Kärki, arr. Virve Jääskeläinen: Tiku ja Taku

Menni has been playing the accordion for four and a half years now, with Päivi Valkeajoki as her teacher. During the spring Menni has gathered experience of performing as her teacher has fixed some gigs up for her. In addition to this Menni has been practicing daily and on the first week of her summer holiday she attended a music camp in Joutseno where she also got to play big time. The piece that Menni plays in the contest was her favorite song already before she had even considered taking part in the Silver Accordion. Menni finds the rhythm of the tune fun and really nice to listen to. Menni enjoys rhythmic music most. Menni competes in swimming and describes herself as a lively girl who enjoys playing the accordion, singing, dancing, and sports. Before the Midsummer Menni was waiting for the contest in high spirits. She knows that the atmosphere at the contest is great, since she was there last year to witness the event.

Johan-Antti Kivilahti, Haapajärvi (10)

Brahms: Unkarilainen tanssi n:o 4

Johan-Antti got interested in the accordion while watching the finale of the Silver Accordion on TV. Now he’s been playing for three years with Erkki Ihalainen as his teacher. For the last two years Johan-Antti has also been playing folk music with his big brother in a band called ”Speelarit”, and they’ve been on gigs even in Estonia! In addition to the accordion, Johan-Antti plays electric guitar.
Although Johan-Antti has been practicing thorughly for the Silver Accordion, he still has had some time left for his other passion: pole-vault. He made his personal record, which is two meters, earlier this summer. Johan-Antti finds the piece he has chosen for the Silver Accordion quite challenging. With the accordion he likes to play dance music, but with the electric guitar heavy music and rock. Johan-Antti characterizes himself as quite a quiet person.

Minna Ristamäki, Ylöjärvi (9)

Hannu Sepponen, transcription Sami Varvio / Pekka Kallio : Pikkuveli (PMMP)

Minna has been playing the accordion for almost four years now. Her teachers are Sami Varvio and Pekka Kallio. This summer Minna attended the accordion camp in Ikaalinen, played in all the concerts there and performed with her camp mates at the marketplace in Ikaalinen. Minna has been preparing for the Silver Accordion by practicing a lot. This pop and rock loving girl chose to perform a song of PMMP’s, one of her favourite bands, in the contest. Minna describes the song as brisk and fun to play. Minna likes different kinds of music, but never forgets to highlight that the Finnish Lordi is superior to others. With her friends Minna likes to sing karaoke. Minna also tells that she has a ”band” of her own.-I play the accordion and Roosa sings... Roosa is my dog. She likes to sing polka.

Eemeli Morander, Somerniemi (9)

Kari Kuuba, transcription Seppo Leino: Daada daada

Eemeli has been playing the accordion for nearly five years. His big brother played the instrument first and so Eemeli got excited about that too. Eemeli is the second oldest of the three Morander brothers, all of which play the accordion and are a familiar sight at gigs both together and separately. Eemeli’s teacher is Marjo Suominen. This spring Eemeli took part in an accordion contest in Pula, Crotia. Eemeli found the atmosphere there a little bit more ”tense” than in the Silver Accordion, where he competed last year as well. According to Eemeli, the trip was, however, very pleasant, as he got to swim a bit too. Eemeli, is a lively fellow, and admits that he sometimes finds himself in quite a hurry. He’s got a big bunch of hobbies, he swims all year long, skis, ice-skates, plays volleyball, and floorball in the winter, and football in the summer. In addition to all of this he’s also into athletics and orienteering. Besides playing the accordion, Eemeli studies theory of music in Karkkla music school. Eemeli is an athletic young man and enjoys playing fast-tempoed songs, but feels that from time to time it’s quite nice to play slower tunes as well.

Essi Elomäki, Pori (10)

Simo Silmu, transcription by Vesa Formunen: TV:n kokoinen haitari

Essi started to play the accordion for four years ago with the guidance of Vesa Formunen. She got interested in in the instrument after seeing her grandfather play in photos. As she heard that her grandfather, who she had never met, had played the accordion for all his life, she wanted try it as well. This is the second time that Essi takes part in the Silver Accordion, and she’s also been on gigs with her little sister Ella. The girls’ performing has truly paid off since the girls have been able to buy themselves a dog, thanks to the pay they’ve received from the gigs. For the finale of the Silver Accordion Essi’s been preparing by playing a lot and performing with an accordion orchestra. With this group Essi is heading for France this fall to play. The piece that Essi chose for the Silven Accordion finale is one of her favourite songs. She really enjoys the Music of the group ”Yölintu”. As Essi’s sister already plays the accordion, her little brother is about to start and her father has been practicing a bit too, there’s been talk about forming a family quartet. Essi, who’s been the teacher of her father’s, tells that he has been an enthusiastic student. At home Essi has been playing together with her sister and father, but hasn’t been able to persuade her father to join them on gigs.

Mikko Suihkola, Sievi (9)

Erkki Ihalainen-Lasse Könönen: Vossikka-ajelulla

At home of the Suihkola family life is full of accordion sounds as Mikko and all of his three sisters play the instrument. Mikko got excited about playing at the age of six, as his two older sisters set the example for him. Now he’s been playing for three years with Erkki Ihalainen as his teacher. For the Silver Accordion finale Mikko has been getting ready by playing at home and performing on gigs. He tells he’s been practicing his piece a few times a day. Mikko says that this spring he’s been performing more than before.
In June Mikko spent a week on an accordion camp in Reisjärvi, where he played a lot and got some good, new tips for his competition tune which he finds nice and cheerful. Actually, cheerful tunes are Mikko’s favourite ones to play. In addition to playing, Mikko has also had some time to be outdoors, play football and swim.
Golden Accordion
Mari Laskujärvi
Henna-Maija Kuki
Pasi Raukola
Veli-Matti Leppänen
Henna Tahvanainen
Sami Hopponen
Contestants in the Golden Accordion
Henna Tahvanainen, Tohmajärvi (17)

Evans: Lady of Spain
Hauge: Valse varieté

The 17-year-old Henna has been playing the accordion for 10 years now. Mika Tarkkonen was her taecher for the first 8 years, but after that she’s been taught by Timo Hacklin. Besides playing the accordion Henna’s hobbies are aerobics, jogging, playing the drums, and singing. For two summers she’s also been a member of a band called ’Kesäsoittajat’ and because of that she’s an experienced performer.

Sami Hopponen, Polvijärvi (19)

Astier: La Tempete 2’ 37
Jani Helenius: Little Masa 2’ 51

Sami has been playing the accordion for 12 years. At the moment Jouni Martikainen is his teacher. In the beginning of this year Sami graduated from Joensuu Conservatory, where Pasi Hirvonen taught him. Sami spends most of his time with music. In addition to playing the accordion he plays drums, sings and plays keyboards and accordion in a band. Lately Sami’s been quite a lot on the road with his band, Karavaani. The band is also going to take part in the Finnish Championships of dance orchestras.

Mari Laskujärvi, Vilppula (16)

LP: Mustalaisinspiraatio
André Astier: Valse Arabesque

The talkative and happy Mari has been playing the accordion for 11 years. In her freetime she goes jogging and likes to bake. Veli-Matti Grönvall is her teacher.

Veli-Matti Leppänen, Ulvila (19)

Emanuele Rastelli: Pensieri di primavera
trad. arr. Mindie Gere: Venetsian karnevaalit

Veli-Matti has been playing the accordion since he was 6 years old. For all these years he’s been taught by Vesa Formunen. He’s also been competing in dancing for 13 years, and is interested in information technology. Veli-Matti is an energetic young man who gets well along with people and is always ready for new adventures. He graduated from Finnish high school in the spring of 2006. Veli-Matti has clear plans for the future. This July he’ll start military service, and after that he’s heading to Tampere to study IT.

Henna-Maija Kuki, Nivala (19)

Chick Corea: Spain (soolo Ville Vannemaa) 3’ 30
Richard Galiano: Heavy Tango 3’ 30

Henna-Maija started to play the accordion at the age of 9 as the student of Juha Hietaharju. Nowadays she studies at the Sibelius Academy with Matti Rantanen and Heidi Velamo as her teachers. Besides the accordion, Henna-Maija plays the piano and is into exercise. Henna-Maija really enjoys playing and is really keen on passing on her own exitement to the audience. Being already an experienced competitor and performer, she’s always ready to challenge herself time after time.

Pasi Raukola, Ulvila (19)

Pasquale Coviello: Musette in Jazz 2’ 30
Viktor Vlasov: Steps 3’ 05

Pasi has been playing the accordion for some 11 years, and his teacher is Jan Grocky. His other hobbies are taking his dog out for a walk, fixing up his car and playing the drums. At the moment Pasi’s doing military service, but this fall he’s going to start studying again
Winner of the Golden Accordion 2007 - Sami Hopponen from Polvijärvi
Votes from Viewers at Home and Final Top Three Places:

1. Sami Hopponen, Polvijärvi - 44%
2. Pasi Raukola, Ulvila - 30%
3. Henna-Maija Kuki, Nivala - 26%
Marks from the Jury in First Round
1. Sami Hopponen, Polvijäri - 60 points
2. Henna-Maija Kuki, Nivala - 57 points
3. Pasi Raukola, Ulvila- 55 points
4. Veli-Matti Leppänen, Ulvila - 51 points
5. Henna Tahvanainen, Tohmajärvi - 50 points
6. Mari Laskujärvi, Vilppula - 47 points
Valentin Osipov at Oma Tupa
Valentine Osipov was born in 1930 to a family of circus artists, in Tashkent. From the age of 6 he took his first steps on stage, playing on some eccentric instruments, in due course he has mastered such instruments like concertina, accordion and xylophone. Mr. Osipov finished his education at a music school in Frunze and went on to become a professional performer.

Valentine Osipov is now the soloist of many concert organizations in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, he constantly leads a concert activity, takes part in the best performances of different ensembles of Russia. Also he is a welcome guest abroad.
Nowadays Valentine Osipov is the most popular performers to concertize on english concertina and xylophone and from 1992 he has worked in cooperation with the Song and Dance Company "Skomorokhi".

Mr. Osipov brought the house down at Oma Tupa where the audience gave him two standing ovations and many curtain calls for his spectacular performance. He delighted the audience with dazzlings performances on both his concertina and his xylophone, and even included melodica on occassion.

It is easy to see why Valentine is one of he most respected concertina artists in the world, as he explioits his tiny instrument to the fullest while captivating the audience with his firey techinque and popular musical selections.
Valentin Osipov - Russia
In and Around Ikaalinen
Many goodies tempt the visitors including these homemade Karelian Rice Pasties!!
Official Sata-Häme Soi Festival Website




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