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Bulletin 4.2.2022

Sounds of Luosto 2022 Summer Festival Program and Performers Published

This year the festival will be visited by three large ensembles, as well a menagerie of Finnish and international chamber artists. 16 performances will be held on Luosto, Pyhätunturi, and in Sodankylä, with works by 40 different composers.

Helsinki Chamber Orchestra, photo Petteri Järvinen

The festival is a multi-faceted array of chamber, solo, and orchestral music, stretching from the baroque to music of our time. The 2022 festival is themed around stories and myths. The festival will be held 27-31.7, and tickets are on sale now!

On 27.7, the opening evening of the festival, the critically acclaimed Seitakuoro will sing amidst the naturally carved auditorium of the Aittakuru gorge, conducted by Kadri Joamets.

The Polytechnic Orchestra will visit the festival on 28.7 as part of their 100th Anniversary Tour, conducted by principal conductor James S. Kahane. The program includes Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto, performed by pianist Martin Malmgren.

The main concert on 30.7 on the Ukko-Luosto outdoor stage will feature the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Aku Sorensen. The orchestra will be joined by world renowned mezzosoprano Virpi Räisänen, who will perform Lappish-born composer Outi Tarkiainen’s song cycle Eanan, giđa nieida. It is the first notated classical song cycle written in the Sami language. The concert will also feature Gustav Mahler’s ”Titan” symphony.

The rich array of chamber music offerings was curated with the intention of creating concerts that are easy to approach but will also introduce the audience to new and exciting musical experiences. The concept behind the programming will be introduced every morning in presentations which tell about the music and composers of the day.

The festival will also introduce multidisciplinary performances this year, such as the mobile concert “Down the river”, which will take place throughout the art collections of the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. The visiting-day to Kakslauttanen will also offer an opportunity to experience the brand-new Planetarium, the largest in Finland, which will show a presentation that begins the afternoon’s experience.

Another option on Friday is performances on the Pyhätunturi, with a recital in the Chapel of the Northern Lights and an outdoor children’s concert in the outdoor stage in Tajukangas.

The artists of the 2021 festival fell deeply in love with Luosto and the surrounding area, and they will all be returning in 2022. The collective of performers grows for 2022, with new players and new instruments. The old church of Sodankylä will play host to multiple concerts, including a performance by guitarists Teuvo Taimioja and Joona Lintunen. That particularly concert will also hear the world premiere of Robert Ruohola’s new guitar duo. 

The festivals “Metamorphosis” finale concert will start the move towards to 2023 festival, accompanied by the beautiful music of Richard Strauss

The Sounds of Luosto festival is a new annual classical music festival, which was held for the first time in 2021. The festival’s artistic director is Aku Sorensen, and it is organized by the Sodankylä based Kuusikko soi ry. The Sounds of Luosto continues the 15-year tradition of the Luosto Classic festival.


Bulletin 6.12.2021

Sounds of Luosto festival expands and will host two orchestras!

The next Sounds of Luosto festival will be held 27-31.7.2022. Two different orchestras will travel to Luosto to perform: the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra, and the 100-year-old Polytech Orchestra. The festival will also include a large variety of chamber music and interesting soloists.

The festival is a day longer than in 2021, and the programming significantly broader. Across five days, Luosto and the surrounding area will hear 16 different performances, with works by over 30 composers from all over the world.

Music from stories and myths

2022’s festival is themed around stories and myths. The theme has allowed for a program with both music and tales from cultures around the world, including Sami stories from just in Luosto’s backyard.

Some of the concerts will be held in Sodankylä’s 330-year-old wooden church and the impactful natural amphitheatres of the Pyhä-Luosto region, including the stage on Ukko-Luosto, in Aittakuru, and at Tajukangas. Other performances will be held in various halls and art exhibitions in the area.

The core of the programming will consist of chamber music, both eternal classics and rarer gems. The festival will grant an opportunity for an audience to hear music that tells stories from the creation of the world to dances of death and metamorphosis.

Along the way, audiences will have the chance to participate in many multi-disciplinary performances, in addition to more traditional chamber and solo concerts.

The baseline for the programming has been to create concerts that are easy for the audience to approach, while also attempting to introduce them to new music that may bring them to exciting and surprising places.

The festival will also feature morning presentations for the first time, which will discuss the music of the day and introduce audiences to composers and works they may not have encountered before.

5 days, 16 concerts

The festivals opening concert will be held on Wednesday 27.7.

On Thursday evening 28.7, the Polytech Orchestra will visit Luosto, conducted by chief conductor James S. Kahane. The concert is part of the orchestra’s 100th anniversary tour. On Friday 29.7, the audience will have an opportunity to go on a concert visit to Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, where they will also have the chance to view the incredible local art collection and hear performances inspired by the displays.

Friday night will also feature a concert planned specifically for children for the first time.

The festival’s main concert will be held on the afternoon of Saturday, 30.7, and the incredible outdoor stage of Ukko-Luosto will house the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra, conducted by artistic director of the festival, conductor Aku Sorensen.

Saturday evening in contrast will feature a bar-gig, quickly becoming a tradition at Luosto. This time however, the evening will be spent to the rhythms of tango!

The finale concert will be on Sunday 31.7, and will offer a peek into the themes of 2023. In addition to the orchestral musicians arriving, the festival will feature both outstanding young talent and established international stars.

The full program for the festival will be published at the beginning of February 2022, when tickets go on sale. The photograph above features artists of the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra.


Bulletin 16.10.2021

Audience found its way to the new Sounds of Luosto -festival!

On 29.7-1.8.2021, a new classical music festival was held on Luosto, Pyhä, and in Sodankylä that attracted an audience from both Lapland and all over Finland. This year’s festival’s theme was nature and the environment.

The festival had a turnout of nearly 1000 concert attendances. This is an especially good result when you bear in mind what a complicated year it has been for organizing events.

The main concert of the festival with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra on the outdoor stage of Ukko-Luosto had well over 350 listeners. Thursday’s opening concert, as well as Friday’s concerts in the old church of Sodankylä and Hotelli Luostotunturi were sold out, as was the event in Ravintola Punakettu with the Sodankylä Big Band that same evening. 

“These audience numbers surpassed expectations, and the feedback we have received has been glowing throughout the festival. This has shown what a desire there is for this kind of event” said Ali Arsalo, chairman of the Kuusikko soi organization, which organized the festival.

This same message has held through in the feedback gathered from the audience. A feedback form was filled out by 47 different audience members, of which roughly a fourth were from Sodankylä, less than a third from elsewhere in Lapland, and almost half from elsewhere in Finland or overseas. Half of responders reported on having attended between 2 and 4 concerts.

“This shows that the combination of Luosto and classical music has attracted interest, and that Luosto is inviting as a culture destination” declared Aku Sorensen, artistic director of the festival.

Nearly 90 percent of all respondents said they found the concert programs and auxiliary events good or excellent in their entirety, and well over 80 percent said they found the programming interesting or very interesting. 

As far as the economic repercussions of the festival, it is interesting to note that 40 percent of attendees reported on having stayed on their trip for 3 nights or longer. Of those, 60 percent stayed in a hotel or rental cabin. 

The spirit of Luosto has returned

The so-called “wonder of Luosto” happened this year too. Even though Saturday morning began gray and cloudy, it did not rain during the main concert, and during the final climaxes of Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony, the clouds in the sky disappeared. 

Central to the spirit of Luosto is a relaxed communal atmosphere. Audiences come to concerts in their casual clothes, and during the main concert, you can pick blueberries while listening. 

Luosto also claimed the hearts of the international group of young artists who arrived to perform, and they return to the world as walking advertisements for the Luosto area. 

In addition to the concerts, the weekend included daily auxiliary events. The festival brought an exhibit to Sodankylä that highlights the effects of climate change on Finnish Lapland, which will remain in the town hall till the end of September.

The festival was organized by the Kuusikko soi ry. which was formed in 2019. The festival was made possible by the active members of Luoston klubi ry, as well as other volunteers, who kept the festival running with a huge amount of round-the-clock work. 


Bulletin 26.7.2021

The Sound of Luosto begins! – nature and the environment present in concerts and in auxiliary events. Corona safety will be taken care of.

The festival begins on Thursday 29.7 with the opening of an exhibit that explores climate change. That same evening, the opening concert will be played on Luosto, which will include, among other things, the premiere of the Luosto-themed worked “Voara”

The science and photography exhibit at the Sodankylä town hall is based around climate change in Lapland. The exhibit will be opened at 13.00 on 29.7 and will be open until the end of September. 

The festival’s official opening and opening concert will be held at Luosto’s Santa’s Hotel Aurora on Thursday 29.7 at 17. That event will be preceded by the opportunity to go hear the PopUp concert of the Nuorten LuostoClassic camp on Avenlampi at 15.30

In addition to Luosto, concerts will be held at the Revontulikappeli of Pyhätunturi and in downtown Sodankylä. One of the performance venues is the local 330 year old wooden church.

The programing of the festival approaches climate change from many perspectives and explores in many different ways crises and hope within them.

Performers include the Lapland Chamber Orchestra and many interesting chamber groups.

The programing pays its respects to Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the most significant composers in classical music history, who’s 250th anniversary was celebrated in 2020. The piano recital on 29.7 begins with Kalevi Aho’s second piano sonata, introduced by the composer. Written in 2016, the work was given the subtitle “Homage a Beethoven”. After the Aho, pianist Tarmo Järvilehto will perform Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.

One of the most emotional concerts of the festival is Friday night’s The End of Times, which features Olivier Messiaen’s masterpiece Quotuor pour la fin du temps. The work was written in 1941 while the composer was a prisoner in a concentration camp. Powerful and emotional, the work deals with the feeling of apocalypse like no other. 

The Messiaen will be performed by a group of young international artists, Helmi Malmgren (clarinet), Martin Malmgren (piano), Laura Martin (cello), and Aku Sorensen (violin). 

The concert will also include what is most likely the Finnish premiere of Marius Flothius’ heartbreaking Aubade, which was also written in a concentration camp during the war. The piece will be performed by flautist Livia Schweizer.

The End of Times concert is produced by the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra.

After a heavy concert, the mood will be lightened by a performance by the Sodankylä Big Band in Ravintola Punakettu.

The festivals main concert is a performance on the outdoor stage of Ukko-Luosto on 31.7 at 13.00 by the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Tomas Djupsjöbacka and joined by soloists Ilkka Puputti (horn) and Anders Paulsson (soprano saxophone). The program consists of works by Aho and Sibelius.

Saturday ends with a late-night concert in the Chapel of the Northern Light called “Transfigured Nights”, with works based around stars and love stories. 

Sodankylä’s old wooden church will be home to two concerts, one on Friday 30.7 at 13.00, and the other on Sunday at 11.30. The first concert is built around several nature-themed short pieces, creating a musical garden for the audience. The latter concert features accordion player Minna Ristamäki, performing works from baroque to the modern day. 

Sunday’s final concert gets its name from Tanya Tagaq’s string quartet Sivunittinni. Tagaq is an Inuit-throat singer, and the work seeks to mimic the sounds of throat singing with string instruments. The concert, and the festival, ends with Antonin Dvorak’s fantastic Dumka piano quintet.

Lots of interesting auxiliary activities

In addition to the exhibit, the festival examines the effects of climate change on Friday 30.7 at 10 am, when Doctor Alpo Vuorio holds a morning lecture exploring the effects of air quality on heart health. This theme of breathing returns on Sunday morning, when Emily and Tomi Räisänen hold a guided breathing exercise accompanied by improvised music. 

The effect of music on children is the central theme of Saturday morning, when Jari Sinkkonen, a flautist himself,will hold a lecture at 10 am. The lecture contains small musical surprises! 

The morning lectures are held in the town hall of Sodankylä. Entrance to these events is free. 

Corona safety a priority

Please only come to events of the festival healthy. We recommend that audiences bring their own masks for use in all indoor events. This recommendation also holds for people who have been vaccinated. Masks will also be available at all event places. 

All entrances to events will have hand sanitizer, and everyone is responsible for upholding good hand and coughing hygiene. We ask that audience and staff avoid hugging and shaking hands and try to uphold a social distance to other patrons. 

We ask that audiences arrive in a timely manner to events, to avoid traffic at points of entry. It is asked that people avoid unnecessary movement in indoor spaces. 

The festival has been in touch with Lapland Regional Authority and the Sodankylä Medical Center on all matters having to do with COVID safety.


Bulletin 15.7.2021

Climate Change in Lapland – exhibit as part of the Sounds of Luosto festival.

The Sounds of Luosto 2021 festival will bring a powerful internationally appreciated exhibit to Sodankylä’s town hall. The exhibit explores the effects of climate change on Lapland’s nature.

Designed as a teaching tool, the exhibit consists of photographs and texts which guide the viewer to a greater understanding of what is happening to nature as the earth warms, as well as how individual people can help.

The exhibit was produced in 2013 by researcher Dr. Stephanie Lefrère as she worked in Lapland’s natural history museum. Begin in 2016, the exhibit has been upheld by the Finnish Environmental Institute (SYKE). The material has been gathered from over 60 researchers. 

The exhibit takes a broad look at research results about the current effects of climate warming on animals, plants, and landscapes. 

Information on the arctic area is particularly important in the battle against climate change, as the effects of warming are much more obvious here. The effect gets clearer the closer you get to the pole, but already in Lapland the situation is clearly getting worse. 

This exhibit has been displayed in, among other places, Paris, Nice, St. Petersurgh, Berlin and Monaco. Lefrère was part of the Finnish delegation to the climate conferences in Paris 2015 and Marrakesh 2016.

Lefrère holds lectures for audiences and school in Finnish, English, and French.

From Paris to Lapland

Born in Paris and now a so-called “Reindeer Doctor”, Lefrère came to Finland and Northern Karjala in 1998 to study Moose. After only year however, she moved to Lapland to study Reindeer. She defended her dissertation in 2003 at Sorbonne University in Paris. Her thesis focused on the changes in reindeer behavior throughout the seasons, as well as traditional and contemporary reindeer care techniques. 

“My love for the north and the arctic landscape came already as a child. When I moved to Finland to study, my mother thought I was insane, because I wanted to work alone in the woods and cold. She was from the Alps however, so she did understand how I came to enjoy the wild of the north!” Lefrère tells. 

“While I was studying, I started to notice something was wrong. Every winter, temperatures rose and rose. I decided to make this exhibition, because I wanted to do my part in protecting Lapland’s nature”

The exhibit will be opened on Thursday 29.7 at 13.00 and will be open during the festival at the following times: Friday 30.7 9-12, Saturday 31.7 9-12, and Sunday 1.8 12-16. Admission is free.

The exhibit will stay in Sodankylä for August and September, so that schools and other patrons will have time to visit. 2.8-30.9 the exhibit is open Monday to Friday 8-16. 


Bulletin 25.6.2021

Welcome to a Music Festival in a Place like no other

There is magic in the fells of Lapland. Behind every corner hides a small miracle: a lake, a bog, or maybe a vista. And oh, the sounds! Waves crash, the wind whispers, the birds sing…. Here, there is a possibility for a person to develop a truly intimate relationship with nature and the world around them.

When the idea emerged to bring classical music back to Luosto as the successor to the legendary LuostoClassic, I could not resist. Already when the idea of the festival emerged in August 2019, I had fallen in love with this area and its people. This milieu calls out for the interplay between small, intimate chamber concerts, and huge, grandiose outdoor orchestral performances. I had also gotten to witness in Kuusikko soi! and Lapland Chamber Orchestra concerts how readily the audience here would approach programs featuring unfamiliar works as well as familiar masterpieces. This environment seemed perfect for a new festival, and so, the Sounds of Luosto was born. 

The theme was also inevitable. A festival in the Lappish landscape is a celebration of nature simply by its existence, and so the Sounds of Luosto 2021 is built around the nature that provides its setting. The program consists of some of my absolute favorite works, and over the course of 9 concerts, world class artists take the audience on a journey that looks at humanity’s relationship with the world around it. 

The pandemic also makes this festival particularly special. Opportunities to experience live culture have been few and far between, and this year has been difficult for audiences and performers alike. Art is remarkable in that it is a possibility to experience something truly personal, but as part of a community. When you take the community out of the picture, the experience is different. The situation looks promising though, and at the end of the summer, we will celebrate nature, life, the future, and finally, after a long year, togetherness. 

I’ll see you at Luosto. I can hardly wait.

Aku Sorensen
Artistic Director


Bulletin 6.4.2021

Tickets on Sale – Program Published for the 2021 Sounds of Luosto festival

The new four-day classical music festival will be held in the incredible landscape of Finnish Lapland 29.7-1.8. The concerts bring the listener along on a journey of different natural experiences: sometimes a sunny garden, others a storm. Although the world is in crisis, music gives us hope for a better tomorrow.

The nine-concert festival is an opportunity to hear music from 27 different composers, and 900 years of music history. The concerts are a carefully curated blend of hidden gems and famous masterpieces, with major works including Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht, Sibelius’ Symphony no. 5, and the Dvorak Piano Quintet no. 2.

Fitting with the nature-based themes, the program has many works with overt nature connections, like Saariaho’s Sept Papillons and Haydn’s Sunrise Quartet. There are also several pieces with a more abstract connection, designed to awaken thoughts about the ongoing climate disaster, such as the Messiaen Quartet for the End of Times and Widmann Once Upon a Time.

“We are quite hopeful that by the end of the summer musicians will be able to come together to perform and audiences will be able to experience live art once again” says artistic director Aku Sorensen.

The festival begins on Thursday, 29.7, with a concert featuring the premiere of Voara, a Luosto-themed work by young Finnish composer Elisar Riddelin. The evening continues with a Beethoven inspired program.

First 30.7 jumps from a garden inspired audience-participation concert in the old church of Sodankylä, to a concert with the feelings of the end times, with works centered around the second world war. Spirits are lifted by the end of the evening by a performance by the Sodankylä Big Band.

Saturday 31.7 centers around the primary concert of the festival, a performance of Sibelius and Aho on the unique outdoor stage of Ukko-Luosto by the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, conducted by principal guest conductor Tomas Djupsjöbacka. The Aho Soprano Saxophone Concerto will be performed by Swedish saxophonist and composer Anders Paulsson.

On Sunday 1.8, a final concert lays the groundwork for the 2022 festival, based on stories and myths.

The festival is an opportunity to hear not only established Finnish talent with international careers behind them, but also promising young talent from Finland and top-class artists from Italy, France, Sweden, and the United States. Of the Finnish musicians, some of them are now based in Finland, others abroad.

The End of Times Concert is produced by the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra

In addition to Luosto, concerts will also be held on the Pyhä Fell and in downtown Sodankylä.

The artistic director of the festival is Finnish-American conductor Aku Sorensen. The event is organized by Kuusikko soi ry. and continues a 15-year tradition of music on Luosto set by Luosto Classic.

The Sounds of Luosto was set to begin already in 2020, but the pandemic forced the organizers to move the festival by a year. The weekend also includes interesting side-activities.

The 2021 festival will comply with all necessary pandemic-recommendations to create a safe environment for the audience.


Bulletin 19.1.2021

The festival will be held 29.7-1.8.2021 on the fells of Luosto and Pyhä, as well as in downtown Sodankylä

Preparations for the Sounds of Luosto! 2021 festival underway

The four day classical music festival will offer a program covering over 900 years of music history. The program includes works from 27 composers. The festival features a blend of rarely heard works and famous classics. Among the composers featured are notable Finnish talents Kaija Saariaho, Minna Leinonen, Kalevi Aho, and Jean Sibelius.

“As of now we are quite confident that it will be possible to organize cultural events in Finland during the late summer of 2021. Specifically open-air concerts are a fantastic opportunity to bring large audiences together and feed the hunger for the arts that has only grown over the last year” says artistic director Aku Sorensen.

In addition to performances, the festival will host a number of free-admission talks and activities.

The festival will follow all necessary COVID-19 government guidelines in order to ensure the safety of attendees, staff, and artists.

Ticket sales for the 2021 festival will begin in March. It is possible to use all non-returned tickets for the 2020 festival for 2021, and no action is necessary on behalf of the customer.


Bulletin, 27.4.2020

The Sounds of Luosto festival of 2020 will be organised summer 2021

As The Sounds of Luosto 2020 festival was cancelled due to the Corona-virus epidemic, the 2021 festival will be held according to the plans for the 2020 festival in Luosto, Pyhä, and Sodankylä 29.7-1.8.2021.

The arrangers of the festival, Kuusikko soi ry., are following developments in the situation and government guidelines closely. For now, there has been no indication that the current crisis would affect an event in Finland at the end of July.

– In accordance with the guidelines laid out by federal and local authorities, I am devasted to announce that Luosto soi! will be joining the ranks of festivals cancelled by the spread of COVID-19. While this is of course difficult, this was the only way to keep our staff, artists, audiences, and communities safe in this uncertain time, tells Aku Sorensen, the artistic director of the Sounds of Luosto –festival.

All tickets purchased for the 2020 festival will be accepted for the 2021 festival without any additional action. Tickets can also be returned, where the full price of the ticket will be repayed, excepting the Ticketmaster service fee.

We all hope to see you at The Sounds of Luosto 2021. It should be a festival worth the wait.

More information on our website www.luostosoi.fi and Facebook www.facebook.com/luostosoi/


Bulletin, 23.3.2020

The Sounds of Luosto Festival continues preparation despite the Corona virus

Preparations for the 2020 summer festival are continuing as planned. Tickets can also still be purchased via Ticketmaster.

The arrangers of the festival, Kuusikko soi ry., are following developments in the situation and government guidelines closely. For now, there has been no indication that the current crisis would affect an event in Finland at the end of July.

By following us on our website, www.luostosoi.fi, and our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/luostosoi, you can get up to date information if the situation changes.

The festival’s new mascots, the vocal and friendly Lappish Jays, will keep you up to date on all there is to know about upcoming events.


Bulletin, 31.1.2020

The program is published – Sounds of Luosto 2020 offers a diverse repertoire

Next summer, taking place over four days surrounded by the beautiful nature in Lapland, the classical music festival offers a chance to enjoy music spanning nine centuries. The program consists of music from 27 composers.

Consisting of 9 concerts, the festival will take place between July 30th and August 2nd in Luosto, Mount Pyhä and Sodankylä communal centre. Nature and climate have been chosen as themes for the festival. The program can be found at www.luostosoi.fi and ticketsales begin on February 1st.

The program has been built around musical compositions that have been inspired by nature, such as Saariaho’s Sept Papillons and Haydn’s Sunrise Quartet.

Other works that stir up thoughts of the state of our nature and climate change are also included in the repertoire. Aku Sorensen, the artistic director of the festival, mentions Quartet for the End of Time by Messiaen and Once upon a time… by Widmann as just two such examples.

– The festival also offers the possibility to experience music from such prominent Finnish composers as Kaija Saariaho, Minna Leinonen, Kalevi Aho and Jean Sibelius, Sorensen says.

A composition commissioned specifically for the festival can also be heard. It is created by a young Finnish composer Elisar Riddelin. Its premiere will take place during the opening concert.

In addition to many rare pieces, the festival features also great classics. Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht, Sibelius’ Fifth Sinfony and Dvořák’s Piano quintet No.2 are among the principal compositions.

The main concert is on Saturday, August 1st, and it takes place on the slopes of the beautiful fell Ukko-Luosto, where Lapland Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Tomas Djupsjöbacka will perform music from Sibelius and Aho. A soloist performance of Aho’s soprano saxophone concerto will be given by Anders Paulsson, accompanied by Lapland Chamber Orchestra.

The open-air event on Ukko-Luosto will carry on the unique traditions of Luosto Classic, a festival that was held there for over 15 years.

The Helsinki Chamber Orchestra will also perform during the festival. They will play the End of Times concert.

In addition to performances by artists with long international careers, the festival also offers an opportunity to acquaint oneself with interesting Finnish and international top musicians of a younger generation from Italy, France, Sweden and The United States. Of the Finnish performers, some work in Finland and others on the international stages.

Besides different chamber ensembles, the program covers also solo concerts with performances by Tarmo Järvilehto (piano), Minna Ristamäki (accordeon) and Livia Schweizer (flute).

Apart from the concerts, there are also enrichment lectures and other side events that follow the festival’s theme. These events are free of charge.

The artistic director of the Sounds of Luosto festival is the Finnish-American young conductor Aku Sorensen. The festival is organized by the Kuusikko soi association, established in March 2019.