Ilona Korhonen (FI)
Ilona Korhonen is dedicated to the bone to folk music but involved in all kinds of music, mostly vocal. She is familiar with many aspects of a musician’s work: composing, ensemble playing, producing, singing, teaching, researching and working as a consult.
Before turning completely to folk music, Ilona Korhonen studied at the Sibelius Academy Department of Music Education to become a secondary school and upper secondary school music teacher and took plenty of studies in choir conducting and pedagogy. In 2007, she was accepted to study at the Department of Folk Music, and she became Master of Music in 2003. The subject of Korhonen’s doctoral dissertation, accepted with honours in the summer 2012, was Ingrian runo-singing, focusing on solo runo-singing. Another field Korhonen has studied extensively is polyphony and choir singing in its many forms. Korhonen worked as the artistic director of Vantaan kamarikuoro for 13 years, composing plenty of music for traditional chamber choir, as well as forming important contacts in the choir community. Contacts with vocal music performers of all kinds across the genres have led to many collaborations and have encouraged singers to commission compositions from Korhonen.
In October 2012, Ilona Korhonen received the annual Larin Paraske Award, given out by The Kalevala Women’s Association to a skilled wordsmith.
Korhonen teaches folk music theory, specifically transcription, at the Sibelius Academy Department of Folk Music and is working on her compositions for female choir and composing singer/songwriter material for her ensembles, funded by the National Council for Music’s one year artist grant. She also gives concerts in Finland as well as all over Europe, performing at the moment mostly as a runo-singing soloist.