Petri Kumela

Petri Kumela
Heidi Piironen
Petri Kumela is one of the 13 nominees for the 2023 Nordic Council Music Prize.


Petri Kumela is one of the most personal innovators of our time in the field of guitar art. Not only is he an amazingly versatile and skilled guitarist, but he’s also an interesting arranger and a significant buyer of new compositions who boldly questions traditional patterns. He’s someone who feels equally at home with authentic instruments and the very latest music.


Kumela devotes himself particularly to modern music and has given the first performance of ten guitar concerts, as well as countless smaller works both in Finland and abroad. Outside Europe, he’s given concerts in South America, the US, Russia, Japan and India, among other places.


Of Kumela’s commissioned work, his Pienet otukset – musiikilline bestiaari (2020; “Small creatures – a musical bestiary”) suite is especially worth mentioning, as it beguiled both critics and audiences. In it, with the help of his powerful musical talent, he has interwoven the animal miniatures of 35 different composers’ into a fascinating whole. 


In recent years, interdisciplinary projects as well as exploration and expansion of the traditional concert situation have taken on an increasingly important role in Kumela’s work. Examples of this are his location-based sound installations and the collective stage work Playtime – a Case Study which combines traditional instrument-making, object theatre and the latest technology.


In addition to his work as a musician, Kumela has enriched the concert scene, among other things as arranger for the concert series Klassinen Hietsu and Hietsu is Happening in Helsinki, and as artistic director for the festival Sipoon äänet – The Sound of Sipoo.