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.