Programme 2013


Antti Isotalus, Kokkola Mayor:

The town greeting

Soon appears the magician, in a magic helicopter.

With him, gifts, a whole load.

Congratulations to all; I have movie tickets!

And five hundred large ice cream cones!

When I play my accordion,

Few appreciate the songs I play.

But who cares if it’s raining,

When it’s somebody’s birthday!

There is something in Gena the Crocodile’s birthday song that perfectly embodies the intensity of accordion music. Generally speaking, accordion players like Gena, who was created by Eduard Uspenskij, are all anarchists in one way or another. Not even the most virtuous composition can erase the smile from the accordion player’s face or the glimmer from her eye. Even the crocodile in the animal park gets a lifestyle upgrade when she wows the crowd with her lively accordion music.

Kokkola Winter Accordion offers, like a musical magician, an experience where modern music and rock meet old dance tunes and contemporary children’s songs. And we can’t forget Winter Accordion’s traditional ingredients:  skiing and karaoke! It’s a cultural experience that must be had in order to be believed.

The accordion is at the heart of this festival, pumping out warmth and energy throughout city during an intense week that unfolds against a wintry backdrop. We warmly invite everyone to celebrate a festive week filled with amazing music!


Raimo Vertainen, Artistic Director:

A festival for the fifteenth time

The world is always changing and in a state of constant upheaval. Communities come and go. The business world is awash with confusion and European decision-makers have much to consider. Things are speeding up. So, is it time to slow down? And are you able to wait for what’s next, or do you need everything to happen now?

To launch a festival takes several years and requires patience and perseverance. It also demands a vision of the future, yet a clear sense of how to connect the present with a plan for what lies ahead.  As a festival grows up, people and things become a regular part of it, and traditions are born. In my opinion, a festival should offer people something meaningful – something to look forward to, but also something to take away. An annual festival becomes a presence in the community whose members come to expect it, to rely on it. This, in turn, creates a feeling of security; of community.

There is reason to be especially proud of the fifteenth Kokkola Winter Accordion festival. This year we welcome the rare and much-anticipated master from France, Richard Galliano, who will debut as a guest soloist in Finland. Galliano and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra ? Who could ask for more? The duo Mimmit will perform children’s music throughout the region. Because it is important that an event embraces all community members, at Kokkola Winter Accordion there is something for everyone: dancing, skiing, sledding, and, of course, music – all to be enjoyed together or alone. We invite you to take part in them all!

Thanks in advance to all our supporters, the association’s worker bees, and the public, from infants to parents. And thanks to everyone who together make our community a better place to live.

We warmly welcome you to Kokkola, the home of Kokkola Winter Accordion festival.

Sun 17.2. War creates its own music

Sunday 17.2 Snellman Hall 19.00
Concert photos

Taina Piira, soprano

Raimo Laukka,  baritone

Seppo Hovi, iano, accordion, program leader and narrator

During the Winter War’s horror-filled months there was little time for entertainment. At best, there were hymns and patriotic songs. However, even during years of battle, artists – from  singers of opera to revue –came forward to entertain warring troops. During this time, entertainment was subject to state protection and played a vital social role. The grief, uncertainty and apprehension experienced during wartime unified the Finnish people in a way experienced neither before nor since. At that time, high culture and entertainment were one and the same. The music ranged from Merikanto to Malmsten; from popular German songs to Finnish film soundtracks.

These men sang on the banks of the Eldanka River while dreaming of home. You are invited to experience their songs, and to hear stories about the wartime entertainers who performed for soldiers in battleground shelters and military hospitals, and for those who expressed a longing for comfort and joy during those song-filled nights.

Admission 20 €


Lions Club Kokkola/Kokko

050-3398925, 0500-660349

and Käsityöliike Katariina

The rear seating area of Snellman Hall is raised for better performance viewing

Mon 18.2. Young virtuosos let loose

Monday  18.2.
Concert photos

Central Ostrobothnian Conservatory 18.00

Ostrobothnian students of music showcase their talent for accordion-playing. Solos, duets, groups and more. Guests from Nivala and Pietarsaari; Ostrobothnia Accordion Orchestra to perform.

Free admission.

Tue 19.2. Accordion Goes Laser

Tuesday 19.2. Kokkola Municipal Theatre 19.00

Teemu Haapaniemi, arranger, presenter, videographer

Mats Hästbacka, lighting designer, video jockey and sound engineer

Sami Kallvikbacka, costume designer, stage director

Kimmo Käkelä,  lighting design assistant

In YouTube

What happens when accordion music meets eighties Euro disco? Answer: Microwaved dance music that will get your head bobbing, and laser and video displays that will blow your mind. Featuring music by Bad Boy Blue, Modern Talking, Aha, Alphaville, Fancy, and the Pet Shop Boys. Teemu Haapaniemi has wowed audiences with his accordion since 1983. He is constantly seeking new ways to play and to use the accordion in his show.

Mats Hästbacka has been bringing his sound and lighting skills to musicals and concerts for 20 years. Accordion Goes Laser highlights his video  and VJ (video jockey) skills. The performance also marks Teemu’s 30-year anniversary as an accordion player and is a 20th-year anniversary show for Mats.

Sami Kallvikbacka – also known as BB Sami – is featured as costume designer and set man. He is responsible for wardrobe changes in this breathtaking show, which will feature costumes in eighties style. Sami is experienced in the media industry and has a knack for fearlessly taking on fresh challenges.

1 hour, no intermission

Admission 15 € / 10 €

Ticket sales: Kokkola Municipal Theatre and Luckan.

Tue 19.2.

Ti 19.2. Lastenkonsertti Mimmit

Wed 20.2. Tonight – Jonna Pirttijoki

Wednesday 20.2. Central Ostrobothnian Conservatory 19.00

Jonna Pirttijoki, accordion and songs
Martta Valkeus, cello

The popular Jonna Pirttijoki is a gift to Ostrobothnia – and the musical world.

Jonna Pirttijoki began playing accordion at age six at Kauhajoki Adult Education Center in 1993 and continued at the Panula Institute between 1995 and 2003. From Kauhajoki ,she was well on her way, via Central Ostrobothnia Conservatory, to study the musical performing arts at the Sibelius Academy, from where she graduated with a Master’s degree in 2012.

Pirttijokis, who has had international competition success, names among her most significant teachers Matti Rantanen, Veli Kujala, Sari Viinikainen and Anne-Marie Sillanpää. She has, in addition, participated in the master classes of Mie Mikins, Stefan Hussongs, Hugo Norths, Claudio Jacomuccis and Iñaki Alberdis, as well as Janne Rättyäs. For Kokkola residents, Pirttijoki has perhaps become most known over the past 10 years as a magnificent singer and master of both the accordion and the concertina.

Pirttijoki’s repertoire is musically diverse. The first half of the evening’s concert will consist of modern accordion music and other arrangements. Featured composers include Kaipainen, Lievonen, Piazzolla, Stravinsky and Bach. The second half will include songs, Latino music and moving stories that are sure to captivate. Composers will include Edith Piaf, Eppu Normaali and everything in between. Music arrangements by Pirttijoki in strong, Latin spirit, of course!

Admission 15/10€

Ke 20.2. Lastenkonsertti Mimmit

Thu 21.2. Finnish Youth Accordion Ensemble

Thursday 21.2 Central Ostrobothnian Conservatory 19.00

The Finnish Youth Accordion Ensemble was founded in 2009 and consists of Finland’s foremost accordion players. The orchestra’s members are primarily music students.  The formation of such a remarkable group of young accordion players has been internationally recognized as an accomplishment in the music world. Their performances captivate audiences.

The orchestra performs throughout Finland while, at the same time, working to promote modern and classical concert music. The orchestra repertoire includes music from different centuries, as well as Veli Kujalas’ commissioned piece “Introduction & Passacaglia,” which premiered in March 2011.

A milestone in this remarkable orchestra’s young history was to win first prize, in 2011, in the internationally renowned accordion festival in Pula, Croatia, where the orchestra’s rich and energetic performance won over audiences from around the world.

Conductor: Janne Valkeajoki

Musicians: Ilona Suomalainen, Petteri Waris, Minja Jantunen, Matti Pulkki, Anna Nordberg, Vilma Räikkönen, Juho Jäppinen, Sini Kuusela, Saara Pitkänen, Maija Hirvi, Jonna Appelberg, Henna Aaltonen, Mikko Malin, Juho Kanerva, Laura Haimelin, Tuomas Poutanen, Anna Leskelä.

Admission: 10 /5 €

To 21.2. Säveliä senioreille