In Haapavesi

Haapavesi - county of kantele

Music plays a central role in Haapavesi due to its long kantele tradition and also to top teachers. In 1985, Haapavesi was awarded the Kantele’s honorary title atthe initiative of the Finnish Kantele Association. The title is based not only on Haapavesi past, but also on its present, where kantele and playing kantele hold a strong position. In addition to music, theater and dance activities are also very popular in the city.

There are a few amateur choirs, the Haapavesi Chamber Orchestra and folk music groups of children and young people in Haapavesi.

As well as dance and handicrafts in addition to visual arts.

Haapavesi Folk Music Festival

has delighted and amazed its audience with its diverse music selection for over 30 years! In Haapavesi, folk music, etno, bluegrass, fado, Irish folk music, jazz and many other genres sound on the summer night. Emotional and high-quality church concerts enchant their audience. The Folk Course organized before the festival is the core of the international event.

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Adult Education Center

Jokihelmi educational center focuses on arts and crafts, especially visual arts, handcrafts, music and dance.

Musical College

Jokilaakso Musical Colledge is located in North Ostrobothnia and operates in six different local branches. The teaching points are Nivala, Oulainen, Haapavesi, Haapajärvi, Kärsämäki and Pyhäjärvi.

Kantele tradition of Haapavesi still alive

Kantele has been played in Haapavesi roughly since the 17th century. Professor A. O. Väisänen called Haapavesi even the best-known Finnish kantele and folk music county in his book “Kantele as a symbol”. In Haapavesi, kantele music has popular amongst whole families. The most famous kantele players are Rytky-Veijola, Kääriäinen, Haanpää-Pentti, Nummela-Mäkinen, Uusitalo, Savikoski, Pokela and the Rantonen family. (library post)

Eero Pitkälä is based in Haapavesi and in 2008 he was awarded an artist’s pension, which is a very rare recognition in Finland for a long-standing work in the field of culture. Eero has indeed been running a kantele circuit in Haapavesi for about 50 years.

Read Eero’s memoirs   here  (in Finnish)