Pohjola Bank Art Foundation's instruments to be loaned to new musicians

The Pohjola Bank Art Foundation's most valuable musical instrument, a Stradivarius violin from 1702 known as the "Irish", will return to Réka Szilvay's use for two years. For the first time in history, all of the Foundation's nine highly-valued instruments could be applied for by young musicians simultaneously. Réka Szilvay has played the Stradivarius before. In 2009, she returned the violin in the middle of the loan period after having suffered a hand injury. She is now fully recovered and has returned to the concert stage. Szilvay will also continue in her post as Professor of Violin Music at the Sibelius Academy. - It is wonderful that after a several years' break, Réka Szilvay will once again shine at concerts with the Stradivarius, says Tuire Jäkkö, Executive Officer of the Art Foundation. The Pohjola Bank Art Foundation has been supporting music as a performing art since 1987 by lending its highly-valued instruments to young and talented musicians. On the Art Foundation's 25th anniversary, all of its nine instruments were made available for application. The collection includes five violins, two violas and two cellos. The Foundation's instruments give young people the opportunity to advance their career with the help of a unique instrument. Many of the musicians who were granted an instrument are currently preparing for competitions. The youngest of the musicians is Kasmir Uusitupa, aged 17, who began learning to play the violin when he was only three years old. He was granted use of the Art Foundation's Pierre & Hippolyte Silvestre violin from 1843. Three of the instruments will be lent to members of the Kamus Quartet, which focuses on chamber music. Of the members of this 10-year-old quartet, Terhi Paldanius, Jukka Untamala and Jussi Tuhkanen will now be performing with the Pohjola Bank Art Foundation's instruments. The Foundation's instruments and their new holders are as follows: Antonio Stradivari violin, the "Irish", 1702: Réka Szilvay Carlo Antonio Testore violin, 1730: Jukka Untamala Charles Gaillard violin, 1867: Eeva Oksala (for the second time) Pierre & Hippolyte Silvestre violin, 1843: Kasmir Uusitupa Ferdinandus Gagliano violin, 1767: Terhi Paldanius Leonhard Maussiell viola, 1722: Sauli Kulmala (for the second time) Joannes Florenus Guidantus viola, 1737: Jussi Tuhkanen Giovanni Grancino cello, 1698: Joona Pulkkinen Nicolas Lupot cello, 1795: Lauri Kankkunen For further information, please contact: Tuire Jäkkö, Executive Officer, Pohjola Bank Art Foundation, tel. +358 10 252 2202 or tuire.jakko@op.fi OP-Pohjola Group is Finland's leading financial services group providing a unique range of banking, investment and insurance services. The Group's mission is to promote the sustainable prosperity, well-being and security of its owner- members, customers and operating regions through its local presence. Its objective is to offer the best and most versatile package of loyal customer benefits on the market. OP-Pohjola Group consists of some 200 member cooperative banks and the Group's central institution, OP-Pohjola Group Central Cooperative, with its subsidiaries and closely-related companies, the largest of which is the listed company Pohjola Bank plc. This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that: (i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and (ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein. Source: Pohjola Pankki Oyj via Thomson Reuters ONE [HUG#1676368]