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Heini Kärkkäinen

Artistic director

The overall well-being of individuals and the philosophy of life had always been on my brain. Music has always been a part of my life from a young age. It maps all of my feelings and it helps to express emotions. I was shy and unspoken, but when I played, I became brave, courageous and glowed with emotional temperament. I was also interested in Chinese medicine; I had a sense of wonder in life. I love exercising, physical activity and sports. I skied all my youth. Nature, animals and contentment are still the central core of feeling happiness in life.

I’ve faced all the struggles of being a musician as a piano solo artist and a teacher. Sacrifices to achieve success, competition, envy and rivalries, but firstly, music with its ultimate power has been stronger than life for me. Like many others in the performing arts who have gone into public life, I had to open up about my relationship, narcissism, ego, and values. The festival has sprouted into my head over the years as a chance to bring together well-being and music, art and science. On my behalf, I want to bring the magic of chamber music to Tampere, support growth and spiritual maturation of young artists, prevent and relieve stress, arrange concerts to help people get inspired, lead to discussions about important topics, combine other fields with music such as medicine, dancing, physiotherapy, and psychology. A musicians’ stress, pressures and fears come with thinking. Connection between music and nature strengthens, filters, and purifies the inner world. Thus, inner experiences become more meaningful.  

For me, both music and life are motion. Change is an inevitable part of life, but it never happens without movement.  Sometimes this movement comes to a standstill; however, there is always a new breath, energy in there linked to other things. These kinds of static moments exist in a musician’s life as well and makes everything more difficult. “First it was a rhythm” – here is the foundation of everything.  We, like music, have an inner pulse which brings tension, what controls us and holds us together. But we also need to unleash creativity and relaxation, not tied to any time. Those two things could be linked to so many things around us: our physics, our playing technique, the rhythm of life, etc. I’ve always loved dancing. Playing the piano also makes me feel like dancing. If posture is good, all others work well in your body. 

Some emotions bring us to tears sometimes. Music helps to go through your own feelings while performing but also when listening. Music has incredible power.  Regardless of the genre, music consoles, empowers, revamps, connects, and supports all the processes. But music never needs to work for any purpose. Music is too precious to reduce to any roles. Each of us can decide ourselves what music means for us only. 


I wanted to hold a festival where we all buckle down to the threats to a musicians’ wellbeing, and tear into coping mechanisms and skills. How to build strength and toughness, so that in the middle of that media-centric productization, we manage to live our values. 

Art improves the overall well-being of society. I wanted to be part of it with that festival and support better health in Tampere. Scientific studies prove that music can aid in recovery, for example, cerebral infarction. Perhaps, we will finally recognize the essential importance of art in well-being and see it as a coping mechanism. After all, we are suffering with the same problems in all fields. Then, how can we increase the well-being of someone working in the corporate world by talking about the life of a musician?

I invite artists and lecturers to the festival. Those people who can lead the movement through that new breath, energy, and instincts aforementioned. Those are caring hearts for our listeners. 

 The festival consists of chamber music concerts, lectures and chamber music master classes. One of the festival's concerts is held together with the Tampere Philharmonic. Our artist performs as a soloist with the orchestra during the festival week.

At the chamber music clinic, along with the physiotherapist and festival artists, we’ll explore and deal with stress injuries and prolonged tension. The key idea is that you do not need to fight against gravity but use it for its best. This idea draws its vigor from along the process of self-talk, but it is graced with inspiration and aptitudes. It feels like there are different kinds of connections in the air, those which link fields, but also worlds of thought. 

The first festival, in January 2017, was a great success. It's a good sign, the courage to follow the intuition brings momentum. And although it is hard sometimes to move ahead, we keep on going to the beat of our hearts… 


Heini Kärkkäinen
Artistic director

Tampere Chamber Music


Heini Kärkkäinen

Photo: Matti Kyllönen

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