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Timo Väänänen

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Mr. Timo Väänänen plays various types of kantele, the Finnish national instrument. He plays both traditional and new music with his instruments. In recent years he has been making new music with the uniquely modern electric kantele which has a solid wooden body instead of a sound box. It incorporates a built-in microphone and is played on a matchingly futuristic table. His third solo CD ‘Musiikkia’ has been released in the end of 2005. Like the previous one, ‘Matka - Voyage’ from 2001, it is played with the electric kantele.

Among his many distinctions, Timo Väänänen was awarded first prize in the Finnish Kantele Society’s national competition for kantele duos in 1993. In 1995 he won first prize in the same competition for soloists and in 1997 he was chosen the Young Artist of the Year by the Finland Festivals organisation. In addition to concerts in Finland he has performed abroad at least in Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, USA and Wales. In 2005, he played as a featured musician in the Disney film ‘The tales of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.’

Väänänen is a member of Loituma, Matara, A’ tre and Taith ensembles and a part time teacher at the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department in Helsinki, where he is also studying for his artistic doctoral degree.

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