The Karelian Folk Music Ensemble (KFME) is the only touring group of musicians playing traditional folk songs and instrumentals of Karelia, a large region that is part in Russia and part in Finland. Warmly received wherever they perform, the KFME are the keepers of the flame for this distinctive ethnic music.
The Karelian Folk Music Ensemble is a professionally trained and widely traveled trio of singers and musicians from Petrozavodsk, in the Republic of Karelia, Russia. The ensemble's music is an exciting and interesting mix of Finnish, Russian and Karelian cultures. They sing in Finnish, Karelian and Russian, as well as perform instrumental and dance music.
The Ensemble first came to the US in 1991 as a university group with the Petrozavodsk State University. They have since released two recordings on the Gadfly label, "The Karelian Folk Music Ensemble" (an all-instrumental CD) and "Ingrian Folk Songs," which is a set of songs from the region. The members of the group are:
Igor Arkhipoff. Igor is a graduate of the Petrozavodsk Conservatory of Music. He has been a featured presenter in the Petrozavodsk State University Folk Ensemble, Toive and is now their music director. He is also the music historian and bell ringer for the island museum of Kizhi, the director of a Finnish choir, Inkeri and is on the music staff of the Petrozavodsk State University. In addition to performing in Russia, he has toured the USA, Finland, Sweden, Poland and Iraq.
Alexander Bykadoroff. Sasha is a graduate of the Petrozavodsk Conservatory in Choral Conducting. He has been a choir director, and an orchestra conductor of the Karelian national folk ensemble, Kantele. As a child, he performed piano in competitions as a child prodigy and since then has added many other instruments. He is a composer and music arranger and is currently the musical director of a folk group Myllarit. With Myllarit, he has toured Russia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the USA, Canada, Scotland and Germany.
Arto Rinne. Arto is a graduate of Petrozavodsk State University and was also a member of the Folk Ensemble Toive. He started his musical career as a singer in a boys' choir when he was six. He sings and plays many instruments. Currently he performs with the folk group Myllarit and with them, has toured Russia, Finland, Sweden, Canada, Norway, the USA, Scotland and Germany.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Vainamoinen and Salmon-Maider
3. Waltz from Southern Karelia
4. Poor Boy
5. Kantele Polka
7. Miihkali's Protection Spell
8. Somewhere Heard Polska
9. Two Children Of The King
10. Karelian Boys
11. Lumberjack Of The West
12. Konsta's Waltz
13. The Hunter
15. The Swan
16. 2-row Polka
17. Young Girl