S O N J A  V E R T A I N E N

New accordion concerto by Cecilia Damström got it’s premiere at the annual Kokkola Winter Accordion Festival on 16th of February. Yle Radio 1 broadcasted the concert live and you can listen to it from Yle Areena until 17.3 https://areena.yle.fi/podcastit/1-67590395. THANK YOU to everyone who made it such a wonderful experience!

“Top-notch at Kokkola Winter Accordion – “Permafrost” is a Supreme Masterpiece with Sonja Vertainen Shining as Soloist. The composition commissioned from Cecilia Damström by Kokkola Winter Accordion and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra stands out as a remarkable achievement from the composer.


Damström exhibits a remarkable command in handling the orchestra and exploring its sonic capabilities. At times, she seamlessly integrates the accordion into the string section, requiring meticulous focus to discern the origins of the sound. Naturally, the composition also allocates distinct solo segments for the accordion. In the second movement, Damström demonstrates the artistry of how a top-tier composer uses extended playing techniques: a tap of the wood side of the bow on the strings evokes imagery of a drop falling or a bubble bursting. The accordion has serene, heartrendingly beautiful, simple melodies in the tranquil second movement, melodies that one could listen to endlessly. And what an ending Damström presented!


Permafrost stands as a truly exquisite and masterful creation, impeccably crafted with no superfluous elements. Its accessibility is remarkable; making it a true pleasure to listen to. I dare say, it’s a musical gem that is bound to grace many stages in the years to come. The commission by Kokkola Winter Accordion and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra is an unsurpassed success!”

-Anni Saari/Keskipohjanmaa 20.2.2024