Program of the 29th Oulu Music Festival has been published - Tickets for the whole program available now!


Oulu Music Festival 2018 – the whole March program is on sale

Program of the 29th Oulu Music Festival has been published - Tickets for the whole program available now!

Game Music and Ismo Alanko Retrospective

Symphonic Memories is a combination that includes timeless melodies from SQUARE ENIX's legendary roleplaying games from the award-winning Symphony and Symphonic Fantasies concerts. In the concert, the audience will hear themes and much-loved melodies from Nobuo Uematsu's FINAL FANTASY VI and FINAL FANTANSY VII, Yasunori Mitsuda's CHRONO TRIGGER / CHRONO CROSS game musicals and a part of Yoko Shimomura's music for the FINAL FANTASY XV game. Impressive arrangements by Jonne Valtonen and Roger Wanamo, internationally recognised percussionist Rony Barrak, and the Oulu Symphony Orchestra lead by the conductor Jaakko Kuusisto will take the audience with this officially licensed Symphonic Memories concert to a memorable journey to the magic world of Japanese roleplaying games. The concert will be heard at Madetojan Sali three times; the public concert is on Friday 15.3. and the two other concerts on Thursday 14.3. are reserved for the Art Testers. After the game music concert on Friday 15.3., there is an opportunity to continue the evening on a club with Game Music Collective Band. Game Music Collective is Europe’s first professional game music orchestra, which is composed of young, first-class Finnish musicians. Performing at the Oulu Music Festival, Game Music Collective puts together orchestra collective musicians, whose backgrounds are from classical music, jazz, pop and folk music. During this evening, the audience will hear both old classics from Mega Man, Monkey Island, and Final Fantasy game series and music form new games such as Assassin´s Creed, Fortnite, and Red Dead Redemption 2. Smaller ensembles of Game Music Collective have previously performed at the Assemble 2017 opening gala, Animecon, Finnish Game Awards, and the PocketGamer Connects opening gala.

The Oulu Symphony Orchestra will also perform together with the charismatic musician Ismo Alanko on Thursday the 21th and Friday the 22nd of March. Alanko entered the Finnish music life with a bang as the lead vocalist of Hassisen Kone in 1980 and during the nearly-40-year period since that, Alanko has moved along a diverse career as an artist who has maintained a curious attitude and been forever renewing himself. Hassisen Kone changed to the legendary laboratory of collective music creation with the Sielun Veljet band, and at the arrival of the 1990s, to Alanko’s successful solo career. Ismo Alanko Säätiö stretched from the typical rock hardness even to some ethno tones, and Ismo Alanko Teholla after that moved the focus to ethno music completely. This concert offers both a full serving throughout Alanko’s career and also completely new material composed for a symphony orchestra during the past few years. The arrangement of this versatile concert is handled by a group of Finland’s front-row composers and arrangers. The concerts will be led by Jaakko Kuusisto.

Versatile Rhythm Music

The sophisticated singer Aili Ikonen and the Jukka Perko Avara band will perform music of Dusty Springfield, Carole King, Michel Legrand and Randy Newman. What is on offer is a concert full of these great song creators' songs translated into Finnish by the legendary singer-songwriter Hector on 11.3. at Valvesali. Hector has always been inspired by the 1960s American and British song makers, and of the interpreters, especially Dusty Springfield has influenced him deeply. These nostalgic songs are reborn as Finnish stories. On 13.3. Iiro Rantala Super Trio, in which the front man is joined by the Danish drummer Morten Lund, and the bassist Timo Hirvonen, will perform at Vanha Paloasema. Iiro Rantala and Morten Lund also act as Master Class teachers during the festival.

During the festival closing weekend on Friday 22.3., Ricky-Tick Big Band & Julkinen Sana, which has published new music after a three-year hiatus, will get onto the stage on the Oulu Areena. This also internationally unique and large assembly of jazz and hip hop consists of Finnish rap music pioneers and the most powerful jazz musicians of its generation. The first two albums received raving reviews, and the new album carries the title “Pidä valot päällä” (Keep The Lights On). As before, all the songs are products of the Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen, Paleface, Redrama and Tommy Lindgren cooperation. This time, the production team of the limits-breaking collective will also be joined by the urban pop music multitalented Minna Koivisto. The result is a more electric and modern sound than before, not forgetting the basic nature of the Ricky-Tick Big Band & Julkinen Sana band.  

Chamber and Church Concerts

In the chamber series, there will be eight concerts, in which the audience will hear the violinist Jaakko Kuusisto as well as the Oulu Symphony Orchestra's chamber musicians, Meta4 Quartet, DUO Tiksola, the pianist Heini Kärkkäinen and the soprano Anu Komsi. Komsi also performs with Marzi Nyman in a church concert. The cooperation of the Anu Komsi and Marzi Nyman duo started in 2008, and Duke Ellington’s ’Sacred Concerts’, a multiple-piece spiritual work, in which solo parts are written for a high soprano, became the core of their wide programme. The rest of the concert is a mix of improvisation, well-known opera arias, and hymn arrangements, music from composers such as Jean Sibelius, Giacomo Puccini, Pekka Pohjola and Elliott Carter. The chamber concerts programme includes, for instance, Heinz-Juhani Hofmann's Kylätasku songs, György Kurtag's Kafka Fragments for Soprano and Violin, Felix Mendelssohn's Octet for Strings, Toivo Kuula's Violin Sonata and Clara Schumann's piano works. 

"Chefs & Homes" Concert Series Takes Concerts to New Locations

In September 2018, the Oulu Music Festival searched for suitable homes and different kinds of spaces in Oulu and in the Oulu region for food-themed home concerts. This concert series is called "Chefs & Homes". Private persons and companies offered their spaces for concert use or suggested interesting concert venues. In addition to homes, the festival was looking for people interested in cooking. The chefs plan and will prepare food at the concerts, and there will be extra staff to help. The chefs will focus on using local produce in their cooking. The venues for the concert series are private homes in Oulu and Kempele, Gallery Kaikkonen in Ylikiiminki, Piispantalo (bishop's house), the Oulu Art Museum and the Botanical Garden of Oulu University.

The performers from different weeks of the festival perform in the home concerts. One of the performing guests is Signe, which will be performing at the Botanical Garden of the Oulu University and at the Oulu Art Museum. (A vegan brunch will be served at these concerts.) Signe's music moves along the borders of jazz, modern music and radio drama. The unique sound of the band comes from a rather exceptional instrumentation; there are three vocalists and a double bass player in this ensemble. 

Finnish Folk Music and Tango

During the Oulu Music Festival, the folk music event Samuelin Poloneesi will also be held in Oulu. As co-production with the Finnish Folk Music Association, the Oulu Music Festival brings the harmonica band Sväng and the widely popular Estonian Trad! Attack band to Oulu. The concert held at Madetojan Sali is also joined by Oulu dance teacher training from Oulu University of Applied Sciences. The dinner concert at Uusi Seurahuone, which was hugely successful last year, will take the audience to the core of the Finnish tango with the soprano Helena Juntunen. Tango has a significant role in the Finnish culture and identity. The Finnish mindset can be strongly heard in our traditionally sorrowful tangos.

Celebrated Nautilus and KILL Carmen

Phenomenal, loved by critics and award-winning clown Trygve Wakenshaw of New Zealand brings a solo show Nautilus from his third under-water trilogy to Oulu. He will feed the audience's stream of consciousness with various creatures through a transformation game: intelligent animals meet up with stupid human beings. A dinosaur gets ready for a long nap. Jesus walks on water. Rapunzel looks for love. Wakenshaw's super funny physical comedies are constantly sold out at festivals around the world. His energetic and joyful shows include miming, vegan undertones, jokes, comedy, cowboys, stagehands and crayfish. Wakenshaw's visit to Oulu is organised through cooperation of Flow Circus and the local culture production of Valve on Tuesday 19.3. at Valvesali and on Wednesday 20.3. at Teatterikuoppa. Compañía Kaari and Roni Martin's KILL Carmen performance will visit the Oulu Music Festival on Saturday 23.3., in cooperation with JoJo – Oulu Dance Centre. Stage performances of the internationally acclaimed Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin are known for their barbarously absurd estheticism. KILL Carmen is both arrogant and cruel, seducing and bent. The orchestra led by Roni Martin, without hesitation, combines funk, flamenco and Balkan influences. Both Finnish and Spanish artists will be performing in this show. 


All concert tickets are available now through Ticketmaster Suomi across the country. A service fee will be added to the ticket price. Tickets without service fee can be purchased from Oulu 10 -service points and Culture Centre Valve.

The whole program: