Lohja Soi – Sounds of Lohja
City of Lohja has been home to a classical music festival of international quality since year 2000. Now the festival has renewed itself and goes by the name Lohja Soi.
Spanning over two weeks, Lohja Soi (Sounds of Lohja) consists of 14 concerts between August 6th and 18th 2018. Besides classical repertoire, the festival also presents schlager, rock, jazz, and popular classics as well as the world premiere of Goldilocks and the Three Bears – a musical fairytale, commissioned by the festival from composer Jukka Linkola. This year the festival returns to its roots, with half of the concerts held in the newly renovated Laurentius Hall. Festival venues also include Karjalohja church, Lohja City Museum, Theatre of Lohja, and Lohja marketplace. Music echoes throughout the town already in the spring, as the festival’s karaoke competition is launched with qualifying rounds all around the city.
Lohja Soi artist of the year is tenor Tuomas Katajala, a fresh and sought after name in opera halls around the globe. Katajala performs in the festival opening concert on August 6th together with soprano Helena Juntunen, Kamus Quartet, and pianist Erkki Korhonen. The festival repertoire compiled by Katajala brings together other greats of the Finnish music scene, such as soprano Camilla Nylund, baritone Tommi Hakala, and bass Mika Kares.
In Rock at the Theatre on Aug 9th, the stage belongs to Tom Nyman, one of the most popular tenor soloists for oratorios and passions in Finland. In this concert, however, Nyman takes the stage to perform rock music. Nyman played the guitar in rock acts throughout his student years and is still in touch with the genre.
Best from Finland –Merikanto’s 150th Anniversary is a concert on August 10th, where the Lohja City Orchestra, conducted by Hannu Norjanen, accompanies soprano Johanna Rusanen-Kartano and Tommi Hakala.
Aug 11th the festival and Sibelius Academy Opera join forces in a concert titled Merry Operetta, and on Aug 17th the singers and players of Finnish Baroque Orchestra FiBO perform Händel’s Messiah oratorio.
The crowd favourite of the festival, the Grand Opera Gala, is held on August 16th; artist of the year Tuomas Katajala is joined onstage by mezzo-soprano Monica Groop, Camilla Nylund, and Mika Kares, accompanied by the Lohja City Orchestra and conductor Markus Lehtinen.
The festival reaches its peak on August 18th with an open-air concert titled Stars and Diamonds at Museum at Night, where soloists Angelika Klas, Arja Koriseva, Annimaria Rinne, Matti Siitonen, Harri Kaitila, Hannu Lehtonen, Juha Pirinen and Antti Sarpila perform evergreens and popular classics with Kimmo Leppälä conducting the Arriba! Big Band.
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