The first Mänttä Music Festival was organised in the year 1999 amid astonishing enthusiasm. Although the production team, mostly in their twenties, half-jokingly predicted a splendid future for the event, few of us would have believed that it would still exist over twenty years later – and that many of the wildest expectations have come true.
As the sum of many factors, a festival for young musicians has grown in twenty years into a high-quality and internationally acclaimed event and has strongly influenced the development of piano music in Finland.
A large number of significant first performances of piano music have been heard in Mänttä. These works present a wide range of musical styles from Kalevi Aho’s 2nd Piano Concerto, Organ Symphony and 2nd Piano Sonata to piano works from composers such as Jean Sibelius, Erkki Melartin, Eero Hämeenniemi, Matthew Whittall, Tonu Korvits and Osmo-Tapio Räihälä.
During the years, the Mänttä Music Festival has featured a great number of international pianists of the highest rank, such as Sergei Babayan, Jeremy Denk, Richard Goode, Marc-André Hamelin, Angela Hewitt, Cyprien Katsaris, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Paul Lewis and Olli Mustonen.