Kalevi Kiviniemi

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Kalevi Kiviniemi
Born (1958-06-30) 30 June 1958 (age 60)
Jalasjärvi, Finland
Education Sibelius Academy
Occupation Concert organist
Website www.kalevikiviniemi.com

Kalevi Kiviniemi (born 30 June 1958) is a Finnish concert organist. He is known internationally for Finnish and French organ music and has given several recitals at Notre Dame de Paris and recorded on historic organs. He is also a notable organ improviser.


Born in Jalasjärvi, Kiviniemi graduated in 1981 as a cantor and organist and continued his studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki for the concert diploma with Eero Väätäinen (literature) and Olli Linjama (improvisation).[1] In the early 1990s he started an international career with recitals in Japan and London. He has toured in Europe, the USA, Russia, Asia, Australia and the Philippines.

Kiviniemi has frequently performed at Notre Dame in Paris. His first performance there in 2000, together with Olivier Latry, titulaire des grands orgue of Notre-Dame, was televised. His first solo performance at Notre Dame was in 2002. In addition to solo recitals and chamber music recitals, he has appeared with major orchestras such as the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra.

In 2006 he, the percussionist Markku Krohn, the guitarist Marzy Nyman and the soprano Tarja Turunen first shared a stage at Lahti Organ Festival. The aptly named performance, ‘Crossover Organ’, veered between the traditional and the contemporary, boasting a bold and far reaching repertoire. The reverent splendour of Liturgical hymns was juxtaposed by the likes of Deep Purple and Nirvana. After that, they played together again in 2008, in a series of Christmas concerts in Finland. Each year, the tetrad combed the breadth of their country, in annual tours that were becoming longer and longer. Despite the cold weather, churches were hot with the press of bodies, and when they were full, people crowded outside in the blistering December cold. A year later, in December 2009, they performed together again at Sibelius Hall, in Lahti. That concert was recorded and released as CD and DVD in 2011, under the name "Tarja Turunen and Harus: In Concert – Live at Sibelius Hall."

In 2009 he played a concert of transcriptions at the Konzerthaus Dortmund.[2][3] In 2010 he played a concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in San Diego.[4] In the fall of 2010 he played concerts at the Laurenskerk in Rotterdam,[5] at the Internationales Düsseldorfer Orgelfestival,[6] at the Wuppertaler Orgeltage[7] and at St. Martin, Idstein.

Kiviniemi has been a jury member at international organ competitions, Nürnberg in 1996, Capri in 1998, Speyer in 2001, Korschenbroich in 2005). He has given master classes, for instance at the Ruhr University Bochum. He was artistic director of the Lahti Organ Week in Finland[8] for ten years, from 1991 to 2001.

Selected recordings

Kiviniemi's discography numbers more than 140 titles as of 2010, including recordings made on historic organs in the USA, Japan, the Philippines, Australia, Italy, France, Switzerland and Germany, such as the Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Church of St. Ouen, Rouen. Kiviniemi was the first to record the complete organ works of Jean Sibelius,[9] reviewed in 2010:

'Judicious' is an apt description of Kiviniemi's playing style, as well as his choice of organ and repertoire. Whether it's the mighty Cavaillé-Coll of Saint-Ouen, the Grand Paschen organ of Pori’s Central Church or the noble Kangasala at Lakeuden Risti, one senses his choices are carefully made, the music matched to the instrument and its unique acoustic. This Sibelius recital is no exception, the late-19th-century Walcker – three manuals, with 16' and 32' pipes – seems ideally suited to the thrust and scale of the works at hand.[10]

OrganEra recordings

With the Finnish publisher Fuga he began in 2001 a series of recordings, OrganEra, planned to contain 20 volumes.[11][12]

Other recordings

Awards for recordings

Many of his recordings have won awards, Improvisation was named Star Recording by the magazine The Organ in 1999, and Visions, containing Finnish organ music, received the Janne Prize for the best Finnish solo disc. In 2009 his CD Lakeuden Ristin Urut was chosen as the organ album of the year in the US.


Kiviniemi has improvised and composed.


Kiviniemi received the Luonnotar Prize at the Sibelius Festival in Lahti in 2003 and the trophy of the Organum Society in 2004 for services to Finnish organ music. In 2009 he was awarded the State Prize for Music in Finland for lifelong achievements in music.


  1. ^ "Kalevi Kiviniemi". Internationale Orgelkonzerte St. Joseph Bonn-Beuel. 2004. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  2. ^ "Orgelrecital Kalevi Kiviniemi". Konzerthaus Dortmund. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  3. ^ "Meister der Orgeltranskription: Kalevi Kiviniemi präsentiert virtuose Vielstimmigkeit" (in German). Konzerthaus Dortmund. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  4. ^ "Spreckels Organ Society Presents Finnish Organist Kalevi Kiviniemi in a Free Concert". everythingsandiego.net. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Concerten archief" (in Dutch). stichtingvoxhumana.nl. 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  6. ^ "Kalevi Kiviniemi" (in German). ido-festival.de. 4 October 2010. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  7. ^ Veronika Pantel (6 October 2010). "Wuppertaler Orgeltage: Kalevi Kiviniemi spielt Barockmusik in Hit-Qualität" (in German). Westdeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  8. ^ Hillila, Ruth-Esther; Hong, Barbara Blanchard (1997). Historical dictionary of the music and musicians of Finland. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-313-27728-3. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  9. ^ "Circular letter November 2004". The Sibelius Society of Finland. Archived from the original on 27 April 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  10. ^ a b Dan Morgan (January 2010). "Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) Complete Organ Works". musicweb-international.com. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  11. ^ "OrganEra" (in Finnish). fuga.fi. 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  12. ^ "Organera Recordings". kalevikiviniemi.com. 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  13. ^ Dan Morgan (September 2009). "César Franck Organ Era – Volume 13". musicweb-international.com. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  14. ^ a b Dan Morgan (September 2009). "Organ Era Volume 14: Cavaillé-Coll à Paris Kalevi Kiviniemi". musicweb-international.com. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  15. ^ "Kalevi Kiviniemi Cavaillé-Coll". sa-cd.net. September 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  16. ^ a b Dan Morgan (November 2009). "Lakeuden Ristin urut". musicweb-international.com. Retrieved 1 September 2010.

External links

  • Kalevi Kiviniemi website
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