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Victor Zubkov and Sergey Katanandov visit the Kantele House

90th annversary of the Republic of Karelia

Lilia Stepanova tells about the ensemble's founding fathers

Lilia Stepanova tells about the ensemble's founding fathers

On June 8, the day of the 90th anniversary of Karelia the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Victor Zubkov and Head of the Republic of Karelia Sergey Katanandov have visited the Kantele House. In the old building of the former girls' secondary school, there has settled down the ensemble of dance and song of the same name famous far beyond the borders of Karelia and Russoa leaves far beyond Kareliya and Russia.

Continuing the tour

Continuing the tour

By the 90th anniversary of the republic the building was completely reconstructed. Victor Zubkov as the head of the federal Steering Committee on preparation for the anniversary of Karelia, could see how regional authorities have disposed of the help from the federal budget. Director of the ensemble Lilia Stepanova guided the tour.

At the rehearsal of young kantele-players

At the rehearsal of young kantele-players

Due to an extension, a mansard floor and expansion of socle premises the area of the building has increased 2.5 times. There opened an auditorium seating 100 spectators, a foyer with a wardrobe, rehearsal classes for ballet, orchestra, vocalists and ensemble of kantele-players. There have been created a folk costume studio, workshops of kantele instuments, requisite and decoration of programs, the sound department became equipped. In make-up rooms there appeared shover-rooms, a kitchen, a laundry for costumes and even a health center with exercise machines. For the Kantele House there has been purchased new modern sound equipment, musical instruments, professional photo-and videocameras, stage machine tools, etc. For implementation of the project from the budget of Karelia it has been assigned 74 million roubles.

A souvenir photograph

A souvenir photograph

During the tour over the buildig Victor Zubkov was shown how the musical instrument after which the ensemble is named was made. It takes about three months to make a professional kantele instrument. For this purpose various types of specially processed wood are used.

At the entrance to ballet class

At the entrance to ballet class

Many nations of the world have instrument, related to kantele, but only a few poeticize and animate like Finns and Karelians. According to the legend, the origin of kantele is connected with the name of old wizard Väinämönen, a legendary primogenitor of the Karelian and Finnish people, one of protagonists of the well-known Kalevala epic song. In former times only an elder ranked as a sorcerer in his clan could use this instrument, as he was the keeper of the spiritual wisdom of heaven. One of the instruments made by craftsmen of the Kantele House was presented to Victor Zubkov.

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Created: June 9, 2010. Last updated: June 8, 2010.
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