Kymi Sinfonietta at Kymijoen Lohisoitto: THE NAVAL BATTLE OF RUOTSINSALMI

Autumn 2021
Kotkan Concert Hall
Atso Almila
Markus Nieminen, baritone


Marko Puro: Laivarautaa
Atso Almila: Sodan soutumies (a Kymijoen Lohisoitto commission, world premiere)

2020 was Ruotsinsalmi theme year in Kotka. Kymijoen Lohisoitto and the Kymi Sinfonietta wanted to contribute to this by commissioning a new composition on the topic from conductor-composer Atso Almila. The result was Sodan soutumies (A Seaman’s Tale) that brings to life the moving story of a soldier called Antti caught up in one of the most famous tragedies of the naval battle of Ruotsinsalmi. The narrator of Almila’s enchanting story is baritone Markus Nieminen. The naval battles of Ruotsinsalmi were internationally significant: the second one, in 1790, is the biggest ever waged in the Baltic and one of the biggest in the world in the number of vessels involved. The number of 18th-century wrecks at the bottom of the sea where the battle took place is rare by any
standards and a real treasure trove for researchers. What stories there must be hidden in the watery depths! By popular request, the concert will include the second performance of a piece, Laivarautaa, by local musician-composer Marko Puro in which the metal percussion instruments are objects that once belonged to ships.
The work by Atso Almila was funded by local organisations in collaboration with the Vellamo
Maritime Centre.