Kuopio Violin Competition saved by cooperation

Kuopio Dance Festival association takes the organizational responsibility for the nationally significant and traditional violin competition.

Back in the autumn, the future of the Kuopio Violin Competition seemed to be at stake. The reason was the financial situation of the Kuopion Musiikinystäväin association, which was responsible for organising the competition.

The association found itself in a financial deadlock, as its own coffers ran dry during the last competition. At that time, fewer grants were awarded than expected and unexpected costs were incurred for unforeseen expenses. Another stumbling block was the lack of sponsors.

Kuopio Dance Festival association, Kuopio City Orchestra and Kuopion Musiikinystäväin association, supported by the city of Kuopio, have together developed an approach to save the competition. In addition, the Kuopion Musiikinystäväin association received €50 000 “Christmas gift money” from the parliament to organise the competition.

The Kuopio Dance Festival association’s organisation will take responsibility for the production and practical organisation of the event. The content will be further planned in cooperation with the competition committee appointed by the Kuopion Musiikinystäväin association.

“The value of competition at national level is great. To stop the competition would have been a great loss for Kuopio and for classical music on a national level,” says Salima Peippo, Executive Director of Kuopio Dance Festival association.

The violin competition fits well with the activities of Association

The two final days of the week-long competition will be part of the City Orchestra’s programme in January 2025. These measures will significantly reduce the costs of organising the competition and streamline the production machinery.

“We are delighted to be hosting this great event in January 2025. We already have the production machinery and staff to organise the event. The events complement each other nicely in our annual calendar, taking place about six months apart,” Peippo says.

“There is also often a desire for more music at Kuopio Dance Festival. This collaboration brings dance and music together very well.”

Numerous top violinists emerged from the competition

The Kuopio violin competition has been taking Finnish violinists to the top since 1967. Held every five years, the competition has had a major impact on the development of Finnish violin playing.

This traditional competition has significant national importance: it provides young players good experience and a springboard to international competitions and the top of the field. The Kuopio violin competition has become a preparatory pre-competition for the international Jean Sibelius violin competition.

Throughout its history, the Kuopio competition has attracted notable violinists such as Jaakko Kuusisto and Pekka Kuusisto, Pietari Inkinen, Minna Pensola and Petteri Iivonen. The winners of the competition have gone on to become renowned top violinists who go on to careers as soloists and in symphony orchestras in Finland and abroad.

“The Kuopio violin competition is the most important national violin competition. By pooling our resources, we can enable this traditional event, which is important for the music scene, to continue,” says Jari Eskola, director of the Kuopio Music Centre and City Orchestra.

Jaakko Kosunen, the chairman of the Kuopion Musiikinystäväin association, adds:

“The cooperation pattern gives the production and practical arrangements of the competition a broader scope and is a great relief for a small association.”

The next Kuopio violin competition will be held in January 2025 (exact dates to be announced later). The registration period for the competition is 1st August to 15th September 2024.

For more information, visit the Kuopio Dance Festival’s website, where a dedicated section for the violin competition will be opened on Wednesday December 13th. www.kuopiodancefestival.fi/kuopion-viulukilpailu