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Did you know? Suomen Harmonikkaliitto – Finnish Accordion Association: The Suomen Harmonikkaliitto - Finnish Accordion Association (SHL) was founded on the 27 September 1952 and will soon be celebrating their 62nd Anniversary. There are currently approximately 5,000 active members in the SHL including approximately 95 clubs and orchestras from all over the country. The SHL is supported annually by the Ministry of Education and its main annual activities include:
• Magazine for the members, 4 times a year
• Competition "Golden and Silver Accordion" Competitions
• Accordion Cruise in March
• Supports seminars and organizes many kind of educational affairs
• Supports Finnish candidates for the International Competitions

Mika Väyrynen World Premieres

Finnish accordionist Mika Väyrynen recently presentedd a concert, perimiering two new works at the Helsinki Music Center, Camerata Theater. The new works that were premiered were ‘Peer Gynt Fantasy’ by Paavo Korpijaakko and ‘The Sound of Ice’, by Pasi Lyytikäinen.
Mika Väyrynen has worked with the composers to write their new works, and requested pieces to be in romantic style, or at least having romantic ideals such as tonality, virtuosity, a large scale of interpretational elements with freedom in tempi and dynamics. Mika even suggested the possibility of using some famous romantic themes and Paavo Korpijaakko used some famous melodies from Edvard Grieg's ‘Peer Gynt’ suite in his new work. Mika is sure these accordion pieces will generate tremendous interest among accordionists.
Mika Väyrynen has been very proactive in working with composers to secure new works for the accordion, and has presented numerous world premieres by composers including Bogdan Prez, Matti Murto, Jouni Kaipainen, Leif Segerstam, Juhani Nuorvala, Tuomas Kantelinen, Olli Kortekangas, Aulis Sallinen, Kirmo Lintinen, Paavo Korpijaakko, Pehr Henrik Nordgren, Jaakko Kuusisto, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Matti Murto, Anatoli Kusjakov, Paavo Korpijaakko, and Kari Rydman.
Here Mika talks in an Interview about these new works, then there is a video of the performance at the Helsinki Music Center.

Mika Väyrynen - Interview about World Premiere Performances
Mika Väyrynen - performing World Premiere of Peer Gynt Fantasy
"Junioriharmonikat" Youth Accordion Orchestra WAD Concert
Junioriharmonikat" Youth Accordion Orchestra performing their World Accordion Day Concert

"Junioriharmonikat" Youth Accordion Orchestra celebrated World Accordion Day by organising a special concert in Kokkola, Tuesday 6th May at 6 o'clock pm. The concert was held at the Central Ostrobothnia Conservatory and conducted by Raimo Vertainen.
Junioriharmonikat Youth Accordion Orchestra is an orchestra made up of young accordion students from the Central Ostrobothnia Conservatory’s music classes. The orchestra is based in Kokkola.
The Junioriharmonikat orchestra runs on the principle of “everybody plays.” Even players who are just beginning get to join in with the orchestra. Step by step they move into more demanding parts. The repertoire offers the players a chance to get acquainted with different styles of music. Classical, rock, pop, folk music, musicals, etc... are all in perfect harmony in our program. This is a combination of musical education and getting to know the mysteries of playing in an orchestra.
Junioriharmonikat has performed widely at various parties and events. It is a tradition for the orchestra to open the Young Virtuosos Concert at the Kokkola Winter Accordion Festival. The fabulous May Day and Christmas Concerts are also a part of the orchestra’s annual programme. The orchestra has performed several times at the International Accordion Festival Sata-Häme Soi in Ikaalinen.

Junioriharmonikat is led by Raimo Vertainen, who has made most of the orchestra’s arrangements.

Junioriharmonikat Youth Accordion Orchestra
World Accordion Day Performance by CIA General Secretary - Kimmo Mattila
CIA General Secretary performed on World Accordion Day to an enthusiastic audience of visitors to the CIA Headquarters town of Ikaalinen. Performing on concert and antique accordions as well as one of the unique Kauri accordions, Kimmo presented a selection of traditional Finnish pieces in the beautiful and historic Oma Tupa.
oma tupa
Finnish Championships for Accordion Orchestras and Ensembles
Finland hosted its national championships for accordion orchestras and ensembles, attracting a record 23 orchestras and ensembles, the most ever participating since the competition's inception in the 1970s.   The Sibelius-opisto (music school) in Hämeenlinna jointly hosted the event together with the Finnish Accordion Association.
The competition featured four categories: orchestra (own category for young players born 1998 and younger), ensemble, pop/jazz and dance music, performing a wide variety of music from traditional dance music, folk to classical.
Renowned Finnish accordionist Matti Rantanen (Director of the accordion Department at the Sibelius Academy) served as Chairperson of the Jury, and he was assisted by Satu Salmenaho, Mika Hakala and Erkki Friman.
Matti Rantanen commented "It was very daring to play traditional Finnish classical music by Sibelius  with an accordion orchestra, however Reijo Ahonen, the Conductor of Sibelius-opisto Accordion Orchestra presented this work in a very high level.  I also liked a lot the interpretation of Pirates of Caribbean played by According to Rhythm (conductor Henna-Maija Vannemaa) and that it was very delightful to see the youngest children (5-7 years old) play. The future accordion and accordion orchestras in Finland is guaranteed!”
According to Rhythm Juniors (conductor Henna-Maija Vannemaa), Nivala

Accordion Orchestras (young players)
1. Sibelius-opiston Junioriharmonikat (conductor Reijo Ahonen), Hämeenlinna
2. According to Rhythm Juniors, (Henna-Maija Vannemaa), Nivala
3. Furioso, (Merja Huhta), Vihti
4. HarmoNikkarit (Marko Räsänen), Mäntsälä
5. JunnuNikkarit (Marko Räsänen), Mäntsälä
Accordion Ensembles
1. Trio Accat, (conductor Reijo Ahonen), Hämeenlinna
2. Hollolan Harmonikat, (Marko Könönen), Hollola
3. Mäntsälän Harmonikkojen trio (Marko Räsänen), Mäntsälä
4. Mäntsälän Harmonikkojen kvartetti (Marko Räsänen), Mäntsälä
5. Harmonikkayhtye Pomppaduuri (Anita Lehto), Hämeenlinna
Pop/jazz category
1. Sibelius-opiston Harmonikkaorkesteri (conductor Reijo Ahonen), Hämeenlinna
2. According to Rhythm (Henna-Maija Vannemaa), Nivala
3. Turun Harmonikkakerhon Viihdeorkesteri (Kauko Tiistola), Turku
4.TeiniNikkarit (Marko Räsänen), Mäntsälä
Accordion Orchestras
1=. According to Rhythm (conductor Henna-Maija Vannemaa), Nivala
1=. Sibelius-opiston Harmonikkaorkesteri (Reijo Ahonen), Hämeenlinna
3=. Hollolan Harmonikat (Marko Könönen), Hollola
3=. Karjalan Harmonikkaorkesteri, (Pasi Suikkanen), Imatra
Dance music category
1. Kalliolan Harmonikat (conductor Marko Könönen), Lahti
2=. Karjalan Harmonikkaorkesteri (Pasi Suikkainen), Imatra
2=. Sibelius-opiston Harmonikkaorkesteri (Reijo Ahonen), Hämeenlinna
4. Hollolan Harmonikat (Marko Könönen), Hollola
5. Mäntsälän Harmonikat (Marko Räsänen), Mäntsälä

According to Rhythm (conductor Henna-Maija Vannemaa), Nivala
According to Rhythm & According to Rhythm Juniors (conductor Henna-Maija Vannemaa), Nivala

What:  World Accordion Day
When: 6th May
Why: a unified global effort to celebrate and promote the Accordion
Where: World Wide!
Contact: Harley Jones - CIA Public Relations Officer e-mail:

Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) - General Secretary

Kimmo Mattila - Kyrösselänkatu 3, FIN-39500 Ikaalinen, FINLAND
Phone: +358 3 4400221, Fax +358 3 4589071 E-mail:

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