Marjukka Liimatainen graduated from Sibelius Academy church music department year 2002 (master of music). She was introduced to organ playing at the age of thirteen by the local organist Salla Palokangas. In Sibelius Academy her teacher was prof. Timo Kiiskinen. Marjukka has attended several master courses in Finland and abroad, where she was taught by e.g. Kati Hämäläinen, Olli Porthan, Kari Jussila, Pieter van Dijk, Paolo Crivellaro, prof. Luigi Tagliavini and Jon Laukvik. From year 2004 she has worked as church musician in Keski-Lahti parish (Lahti, Finland).
Ilkka Hämäläinen has sung at the Finnish National Opera since 2012 both as a soloist and as a member of the choir. He is also a sought-after artist in the Finnish regional operas and sings as a soloist at the Savonlinna Opera Festival.
Ilkka Hämäläinen masters a huge variety of different music styles. This ability of his is remakable even on an international level.
He started his career as a young pop and rock´n´roll singer. Nowdays his repertoire includes over 80 roles in musicals, operetta and opera.
Next season he will be singin at the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow when the Savonlinna Opera Festival brings their opera Otello there. He will also continue performing at the Finnish National opera, where his lead role of Andrew Lloyd Webber´s Phantom of the Opera has got rave reviews. In addition to this he sings the role of Andres in Alban Berg´s Wozzeck.
In 1997 Hämäläinen won the operetta competition ”Kultainen Silinteri” (Golden Tophat) in Turku.
He has recorded e.g. Orthodox choir music as a soloist of the Uspenski Cathedral Male-voice choir.
Pianist and conductor Erkki Korhonen graduated in piano from the Sibelius Academy in 1983. He rounded out his education with several teachers and specialized in opera repertoire. Korhonen has taught at music institutes and conservatories all over Finland and has been teaching piano and chamber music in the Sibelius Academy where he in 1989 was appointed lecturer of répétiteur studies. Erkki Korhonen was invited to the International Opera Festival in Zurich in 1997. He was recently invited to hold master classes at Weimar Lyric Opera Studio and the Conservatory of Shanghai. Erkki Korhonen has performed in Europe, Israel, India and North America and has made numerous radio and TV recordings.
Erkki Korhonen has served as General Director of the Finnish National Opera in 2001-2007, as Vice President of the Sibelius Birth Town Foundation 2011-2017 and Vice President of the project team for the Sibelius 150th anniversary. Korhonen has been the artistic director of the Organ Night & Aria Festival since the autumn of 2016.
Erkki Korhonen has been awarded the music prizes of the cities Hämeenlinna and Helsinki and Sibelius Birth Town medal and the Pro Finlandia medal.
”Dramatic mezzo-soprano Pilvi Äikäs was born in Ilmajoki. She has graduated from Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Music, in 2008. Pilvi has continued her singing and acting studies both in Finland and in Germany with different teachers and in several master courses. She has been member of Savonlinna Opera Festival Choir since 2004 and has also performed in Helsinki Festival and in productions of Lahti Opera Association. Pilvi works as a singing teacher, performs operatic and lied repertoire with several pianists and also sings as an oratorio soloist .”
Picture by Tarmo Valmela
Aurora Ikävalko has worked since 2008 in Church of the Cross in Lahti as cantor focused in singing. She has been an additional singer in the chorus in the National Opera in Finland. As well she performed in the Opera Festival chorus in Savonlinna. Aurora has besides the cantor work performed chamber music , sung ensemle projects and solo concerts which theater directors have dramatized.
Miikka Kallio is a talented jazz pianist and jazz organist living in Lahti. He is especially well-known as the leader of his Miikka Kallio Band. Miikka is also a very popular composer, especially in Russia. His compositions have been played by musicians of e.g. St. Petersburg Philharmonia, Mariinski Theater and St. Petersbourg Conservatory since 2005.