Pauliina Syrjälä is an artist and a pedagogue who plays all the different kantele types from the 5-string version to 41-string one. For her the most interesting kantele type is Jooseppi Pohjola’s kantele, which was traditionally played with a stick. Pauliina plays this kantele also with a knitting stick and paintbrush. The stick causes a lot of resonation on the strings, making the soundscape strong and grainy with flute-like overtones on the top.

Pauliina composes her own, experimental music, which often is improvisatory. She performs as a soloist, but also in different ensembles: right now she works in duos with singers Ilona Korhonen and Sanna Kurki-Suonio. She also performs together with the Latvian kuokle player Laima Jansone.

Pauliina finished her master’s degree at the Sibelius-Academy folk music department in 2003. Now she works there as a lecturer and prepares her artistic doctor’s degree in folk music.


Pauliina plays her composition ”Maanitus” (TV-serie Memory of music, 2010)


Pauliina has travelled a lot with her kantele and she lived in England for a year (1997-98). During the recent years Pauliina has performed in Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Russia, Vietnam, Japan, Greece, Germany and USA.

A New Album!

Pauliina's 2nd solo album "Lunkula" was released in July 2016. If you want one, please contact or visit the Folk Music Institute's webshop.