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The Association

The background organization of the Nurmes summer cultural event is the Nurmes Summer Music and Summer Academy Support Association, which you can also become a member of if you wish! As a member of the support association, you take a stand for the importance of the Summer Academy and the Summer Music, and you can participate in its administration as a member of the association. The membership is confirmed by the council and the annual membership fee is decided by the association's annual meeting.


Becoming member

Joining is easy. Fill out the attached joining form.

State your name and contact information in the message.

In 2024, the individual membership fee is 20 euros, and the community/company membership is 100 euros.

Thank you for your message!

Written by the vice president of the council, doctor of theology Kyllikki Tiensuu

From Young Music to Summer Academy


In the summer of 1997, Nurmesi's music scene, rich in tradition, made a new territorial conquest. Cellist Seppo Kimanen, the creator of Kuhmo Chamber Music, had given a concert with his Jean Sibelius Quartet at the Evangelical College in Nurme the previous summer. Together with Kristiina Vuorela, the college's course secretary and a great lover of chamber music, Kimanen came up with the idea of a chamber music camp for children and young people. It would be organized as a folk school course every year at Nurme's evangelical college. The time would always be a week before Kuhmo's Chamber Music. The course would have the opportunity to have several artists as teachers from there. 


The "Nurmense Young Music" event immediately became a tradition that continued at the college from summer to summer. Kristiina Vuorela handled the duties of executive director. He managed to get important grants for the event, e.g. From Jenny and Antti Wihuri's fund, the Finnish Cultural Fund and its North Karelia fund, the North Karelia County Art Committee and the State Composition and Art Committee. The city of Nurme, parishes and local businesses and associations started to support the activity.Kristiina also managed to recruit a large number of talkers needed for the course.


The program arrangements of the course remained the same for a long time: each course participant received a lesson's worth of private instruction every day; in addition to teaching, the days were filled with rehearsals, also in the camp orchestra; an important part of the teaching has always been the concerts given by the teachers. The initially week-long camp was extended to ten days. In addition to the Evangelical College, concerts were held over the years, e.g. In the churches of Nurmes, Lieksa and Valtimo, Nurmes-talo, Kyrölä nursing home, Puukarin Pysäki and Männikkölä pirt. In 1998 and 1999, course participants had the opportunity to audition for a scholarship to the Purcell School in London. One student received a scholarship from the latter course. 


Due to moisture problems in the college's premises, the course location was changed in 2007 to the Hyvärilä Youth and Tourism Center, also in a beautiful landscape on the shore of Pielinen. Kristiina Vuorela continued as CEO. Friends of Nurmense Evangelical College Association. produced the event until 2009. Then it became clear that the association would no longer be able to continue with the task due to financial reasons. 


The year 2010 was a year of fate: would the music camp continue or would it be allowed to end with the closure of the college?

At this critical stage, vicar Raimo Kemppainen, chairman of the Friends of Nurmense Evangelical College Association - already seriously ill - turned to skipper Matti Turunen: "Please make sure that Nurmense Young Music continues."

Matti Turunen, who at that time led the famous Nurmesen Music Association, turned to this association in the matter. In 2011, the responsibility for implementing the music course was transferred to its shoulders. 


Matti Turunen's discovery as executive director during the difficult transition period was Heikki Masalin, born in Nurmek, master of economics who had an international career. When the Music Society wanted to free itself from the responsibility of organizing, it was decided to establish its own background organization for the event, Nurmesen Kesäakatemian Kannatusyhdistys ry. Its rules were registered in 2015. Heikki Masalin continued as CEO, who handled a very challenging task for a total of ten years.Master of music Jaana Luuppala was invited to succeed Masalini in 2020.

After Jaana had to leave the job suddenly, Ritva Koistinen and Taina Viinisalo have creditably piloted the operation.


Moving into the 2010s, the youth music camp gradually transformed into a music academy: the course participants were no longer just beginners, but even more advanced and many aspiring musicians. The level of teaching increased and top domestic and international musicians have been selected as artists. Nurmsen Nuori Musiikki became the Nurmsen Summer Academy, whose participants can use the course's studies as part of their Sibelius Academy studies if they wish.Today, the summer academy lasts eight days. Students each get 5 lessons of their personal instrument and can also choose lessons from a versatile workshop tray.


Over the years, a high-level music festival, Nurmesen Kesämusiikki, has been built alongside the Summer Academy, which attracts an increasing number of listeners every year. Following and listening to summer music, as well as the student concerts integrated into the festival program, are still an important part of the education of the Summer Academy students. One of the highlights of the Summer Academy was in the summer of 2015, when Kaija Saariaho taught composition in the course.

Many have made it a habit to come to the Nurmense event first and then move on to Kuhmo's Chamber Music offering. 


Over the years, the listeners' experiences are summed up in the words of the late Kristiina Vuorela: "We get to hear memorable concerts, follow the progress of young musicians and spend happy days with different people who are united by the love of music."



Artistic directors:

Elina Sofia Kimanen 1997 

Helen Lindén-Pons 1998–2003 

Folke Gräsbeck 2004 

interim year 2005 

Roi Ruottinen 2006 

Asko Heiskanen 2007–2009 

interim year 2010 

Reka Szilvay 2011 

Tuija Hakkila 2012–2015, 2017, 2019, 2022

Anna Laakso 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2023



Nurmense Evangelical College ja 

Friends of Nurmense Evangelical College Association 1997–2009 

Nurmense Music Association 2011–2014 

Support Association of Nurmense Summer Academy 2015–



Kristiina Vuorela 1997–2009 

Heikki Masalin 2011–2020 

Jaana Luuppala 2020–2021 

Ritva Koistinen (as producer) 2021

Taina Viinisalo 2021->

Association facts

Nurmesen Summer Music and Summer Academy Support Association (Y-2723488-6, registered 2 September 2015)


The purpose of the association is:

to promote creative expression and its teaching through the means of free educational work and art and music education, to bring music within the reach of various audiences and thereby contribute to the cultural, social and economic progress of the region and Eastern Finland, and to ideologically support Finnish music life and its international relations.

To fulfill its purpose, the association:

maintains the operation of the Nurmesen Summer Academy & Concerts and organizes training and discussion events and concerts and engages in cooperation and development by networking regionally, nationally and internationally with industry communities and other actors who share common views.


The board of the association 2022

Sakari Koistinen, chairman
Laura Sinisalo, vice president
Matti Makkonen, member
Kirsi Partanen, member
Katja Tolvanen, member
Kaija Kokkonen, member
Tiina Sormunen, member
Marjo Säkkinen, member

Committee supporting the association's activities 2022

Mayor of the City Hall Matti Kämäräinen 
Professor Kyllikki Tiensuu 

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