The sixth Oulu Music Festival was organized in April 1996. The theme of the festival week was compositions of the Romantic Period. The opening concert was a lied concert of Finnish singers Soile Isokoski, Raimo Laukka and Ilkka Paananen, followed by solo concerts of Swedish cellist Frans Helmersonin and American pianist Yefim Bronfmanin.
Other international guests included conductor Stefan Lano, pianist Henri Sigfridsson and violinist Peter Csaba. Finnish InTime Quintet played Tango Nuevo by Astor Piazolla.