Thank you!

Cellofest 2023 drew record audiences featuring exiting world premieres and sensational new discoveries from the past, and we want to very warmly thank everyone involved in this unbelievable 9 days cello-adventure!

The third edition of the festival took place between the 31st of January and the 7th of February 2023 in Helsinki, and was held under the theme Mystery of Cello. A name well chosen for a program that intertwined the old and the new, all the way from forgotten treasures of the past to never-before-heard transcriptions and new music commissioned for the festival.

Thus, on the 1st of February in Temppeliaukio Church, three World Premieres commissioned for the festival were performed at the Opening Gala Concert.

-Jean-Baptiste Barrière’s reSonate, an electronic meditation and orchestration for one cello and electronics after the 3rd & 4th movements of Jean-Baptiste Barrière’s Sonata for cello and basso continuo in B minor, Book I, no°1 (1733) was premiered by cellist Laura Martin and the composer himself.

-Cecilia Damström’s Aveo (in latin farwell, or, to long for) for solo cello was premiered by Jonathan Roozeman.

-Finally, Lindude Vaikus (Silence of Birds) by cellist-composer Alisson Kruusmaa, got its cello orchestra premiere. This piece is an arrangement of her choral piece by the same name, completed in 2016, and inspired by a poem by the Estonian poet Ellen Niit.

Among other mysteries and surprises during the week, we got a taste of a musical Nordic smörgåsbord in the beautiful Galerie Donner, on Runeberg’s Day, showcasing a selection of Nordic music repertoire for cello and piano previously never heard in Finland.

Throughout the festival, the Bach Matinée series in Oodi Library focused around the enigmatic solo cello Suites that gathered every day hundreds of people to the heart of the Helsinki center for a moment of introspection. The series ended with the virtuosic Chaconne for violin, played on the cello by Sydney Lee.

The festivities came to an end in the most touching way on February 7th with a Closing Gala Concert in support of Ukraine where rarities and classics played along, giving its modern premiere to Domenico Lanzetti cello concerto performed by Senja Rummukainen.

As the festival has drawn to a successful close, we want to warmly thank our wonderful and generous audiences who showed up in big numbers, resulting in sold out or nearly full concerts the whole week. Additionally, our streamings also brought audience from all continents resulting in a total of 8000 listeners, both in person and online!

We wish to extend a big thank you to our partners and sponsors as well, including the Sibelius Academy, Oodi Library, the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra, the musicians of Tapiola sinfonietta, the Sinebrychoff Museum, the Galerie Donner, the Italian Institute, Toonika, BNP Paribas and more. They allowed us once again to create such events in a world that craves more connection and unity. Last but not least, a huge thank you to our fantastic artists from all over the world (Italy, Ukraine, Finland, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, Poland, United States, Latvia, China, Brazil etc…) who did wonders during the whole week! A last applause goes to our CelloFest team without whom nothing would exist in the first place!

See you again in 2025!

About Us

CelloFest is the first ever International Cello Festival in Finland and its first edition took place in Helsinki, from 1st to 7th of February 2019.The festival is developed by Martti Rousi – a cello professor at the Sibelius Academy – and the French cellist Laura Martin, in collaboration with the Sibelius Academy.
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Artists 2023