The Kymi Sinfonietta established on January 1, 1999 consists of musicians from the Kotka and Kouvola City Orchestras combined at the end of 1998. Now an orchestra of Sinfonietta strength, it has 32 regular players. It is maintained by a company, Kymenlaakson Orkesteri Oy, owned by the cities of Kotka and Kouvola. The broad, highly-acclaimed repertoire and first-rate concerts, performed with a burning passion for music in partnership with superb Finnish and other artists have won the Kymi Sinfonietta a devoted following.
The orchestra’s first Artistic Director was Juha Nikkola and its Principal Guest Conductor 2004–2006 was Dmitri Slobodeniouk. The artistic direction was in the hands of conductor Yasuo Shinozaki from the beginning of 2007 to summer 2014. The Kymi Sinfonietta appointed conductor Olari Elts as its Artistic Advisor as of January 1, 2018.
The Kymi Sinfonietta gives most of its concerts at the Kotka Concert Hall on Wednesdays and the Kouvola City Hall or Kuusankoski Hall on Thursdays. It has won recognition both in Finland and abroad, as when it toured to St. Petersburg in 2003, 2012 and 2013, Heerlen in the Netherlands in 2007, China in 2008, London (Cadogan Hall) in 2010 and Riga in March 2011 at the invitation of the State Choir Latvija.
The Kymi Sinfonietta has also won international acclaim as the performer of the works reaching the finals of the International Uuno Klami Composition Competition in 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019. The orchestra’s first disc, Klami Rhapsodie, of music by Uuno Klami, Eero Kesti and Toivo Kuula was released in 2002 on the Alba label. This was followed in 2004 by the opera The Journey by Jukka Linkola to a text by Toivo Pekkanen, and KymiScenes, of music by Uuno Klami in December 2007. Its latest recording project is a children’s storybook (Hilla ja Liisi) accompanied by a CD released jointly with Alba Records and the Teos independent publishing house.