Since 2017 the annual Monola Festival has brought together friends of Jean Sibelius, Finland's national epic Kalevala and karelianism to Pielinen Karelia area in the beginning of July to enjoy concerts and other events in the sources of Jean Sibelius' inspiration.
Monola Society was founded in 2015, and one of its missions was to make the less known phase of Jean Sibelius' life, his honeymoon on the shores of Pielinen in 1892, better known. The phase is an interesting time in Finland's culture history as well as in Sibelius' career. The influences Sibelius had during and after his honeymoon can be heard in his compositions. After visiting Koli later in 1909, Sibelius began composing one of his most personal works, the 4th Symphony.
Monola Festival is a forum that connects visitors and composers in the sources of inspiration to create experiences in the authentic environment. The programs of the festival not only include composers of the Pielinen area but also new music. In 2018 Pekka Jalkanen's and in 2019 Jonne Valtonen's pieces were premiered in the main event of the festival, the Monola gala.
The festival has an important impact on the cultural life in the Pielinen Karelia area introducing high-class orchestras, choirs and other musicians to audiences in different backgrounds and ages. Monola Festival wants to connect with the audience by organizing lunch and dinner concerts, Karelian feast and guided boat trips. Monola gala, organized as of 2015, is one of the cultural highlights of the region.
The first Monola Festival in 2017 celebrated the 125th anniversary of Jean and Aino Sibelius' honeymoon. In 2018 the theme of the festival was Kalevala, and in 2019 Sibelius' visit to Koli. 2022 marks the 130th anniversary of Jean and Aino Sibelius' honeymoon. In 2020 Kuopio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Atso Almila will make its debute at the festival bringing greetings from Aino Sibelius' home town, Kuopio.
The artistic director of the Monola Festival is cellist Jussi Makkonen.
Monola Festival's events in 2019. Photos: Pekka Varonen
Open in the summer.
Opening hours in 2020:
Tuesday–Sunday from 11AM to 4PM, closed on Mondays
Open for groups on request.
Adults 5 €
Children (ages 7 to 12) 1 €
Free entry for children under 7 years
(guide signs from Vartialantie)