10.00 (Monday)
see below
International Press Conference (Monday, June 28th, 2010)
Mayor of Ikaalinen Tero Nissinen, Festival Director Sirpa Sippola, Members of the Press, International Guests gather for an International Press Conference prior to the commencement of the Festival.

"At the Old Gate"
Beautiful, nostalgic afternoon matinee concert with popular songs from the good old times. Eila Pienimäki and her Orchestra

20€, 15€, 10€
Groups: 30€ per person, buffet lunch and interval coffee included.

see below
"To the Memory of My Mother"
A musical moment at Lasse Pihlajamaa's Monument in honor of his Mother 'Hilma'
, near his place of birth in Jämijärvi.

Jämijärventie Road 650
Free entrance

see below
Folk Accordionists on Stage at the Arena
The concert introduces Folk Accordion music from the region, as well as foreign guest performers.

Jämi Arena / Lasse Pihlajamaa Hall, Jämijärvi
20€, 15€, 10€

Actress Meets Opera Singer...
..and one hundred other reasons to have a drink! Musical fun starring Merja Larivaara and Paivi Nisula

Oma Tupa
20€, 15€

The Mayor of Ikaalinen Tero Nissinen, Sirpa Sippola (Festival Director), Kimmo Mattila (Artistic Director) and Minna Plihtari (Public Relations Manager) welcomed members of the Press and Invited Guests for an International Press Conference prior to the commencement of the Festival.
One of the contestants in the Primus Ikaalinen VI, Haiyu Liu from Sichuan, China performs for the Press Conference
Kimmo Mattila (Festival Artistic Director) having his Welcome Speech translated into Chinese for the International Delegation
Above Left: Haiyu Liu from China, Above Right Top: Chen Jun (China) talking to the Press
Above Right Bottom: Ikaalinen Mayor Tero Nissinen Welcoming Guests, pictured with Kimmo Mattila
Above left: Haiyu Liu and guests being welcomed by Festival Director Sirpa Sippola
Above right: Renowned Chinese Accordionist Chen Jun (Chengdu) with Ikaalinen Mayor Tero Nissinen
Above left: Chen Jun, Haiyu Liu and Tero Nissinen
Above right: Festival founder
Heikki Eränen and his wife Tuula greeting Chen Jun (China)
Above left: Tuula and Heikki Eränen (festival Founder) with Minna Plihtari (Public Relations Manager)
Above right: one of the many posters advertising Festival activities (this one the traditional Folk Accordion Competition)
Office Team members Aino Ojakoski and Sari Rytkölä unveiling the New Zealand Flag to be displayed for the Primus Ikaalinen
With impeccable timing, I happened to walk into the office at the moment the flag was being unpacked! The New Zealand flag will be one of many shown to acknowledge the participants at this years Primus Ikaalinen festival (representing both contestants and members of the International Jury)

Contestants in the 6th Primus Ikaalinen held their first rehearsal with the backing orchestra comprising: Jari Puhakka (conductor-piano), Jarmo Nikku (guitar), Seppo Helin (keyboard), Risto Salmi (wood winds), Jari Heino (bass) and Miri Miettinen (drums). Pictured below are some of the contestants at rehearsal:
Above: Augustinas Rakauskas (Lithuania)
Above: Sarah Vonau (France)
Above left: Haiyu Liu (China) with Jari Puhakka, Cao Xiaoqing and Chen Jun (China)
Above right: Petar Maric (Serbia)

The first official function of the annual Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival is a folk concert and gathering at Lasse Pihlajamaa's monument "In the Memory of My Mother" on the outskirts of Jämijärvi. This beautiful monument is located at the approximate site where the late Lasse Pihlajamaa's boyhood home once stood.

Recalling an often difficult childhood and the profound respect he had for his widowed mother "Hilma", Lasse worked for many years planning this monument as an ongoing tribute to the special place she had in his heart. Lasse donated the monument and the land it stands on to the Jämijärvi municipality.

In addition to the monument, Lasse Pihlajamaa also composed a work "Muisto Aidille" in memory of his mother, an artistic manuscript of which is housed inside the monument.

As a sign of the tremendous respect given to this Finnish icon of the accordion world, a large gathering of people formed around the monument where official greetings were extended to attendees, followed by performances by local Folk Musicians Accordion Orchestra.

At the ceremony, Festival Founder Heikki Eränen recounted that on June 5, 1975 when they opened the Monument, it was actually snowing and it was so cold that Lasse Pihlajamaa couldn't play outdoors!
The large audience gathered at the Monument for the Ceremony
Above left: Festival Director Sirpa Sippola reading greetings from Maire Pihlajamaa
Above right:
Minna Plihtari (Public Relations Manager) and Festival Founder Heikki Eränen
Kastav Accordion Orchestra from Croatia
Festival Director Sirpa Sippola and Festival Founder Heikki Eränen

Another tradition on the evening prior to the official opening of the festival, this annual concert at the
Jämi Arena featured an array of lively Accordion music and Folk Music from the region, together with invited foreign guest performers.
Jämijärvi Folk Music Group
Kraslice Music Orchestra from the Czech Republic
Above left: Aliisa Räisänen (Pori) Contestant in the Silver Accordion Competition
Above right: Viivi Maria Saarenkylä (Savonlinna) Contestant in the Golden Accordion Competition
Seppo Lankinen, Seppo Soittila and Matti Lepänhaara

Above left: Haiyu Lui (China) Contestant in the Primus Ikaalinen VI
Above right: members of the Kastav Accordion Orchestra from Croatia

Audience at the Jämi Arena
The Kastav Accordion Orchestra (Croatia)

Pictures from around Ikaalinen.
2 AM - View of Lake Kyrösjärvi which is the 49th largest lake in Finland covering 96.2 square KM