“The two instruments (organ and accordion) come from different worlds – and yet not, because their sounds are generated in a very similar way through the supply of air. Finnish composer Veli Kujala takes advantage of this. In his piece “Photon,” he ignites whirlwinds of sound, where one instrument throws and the other catches, as if two siblings were frolicking around. In the end, he transforms them into musical twins when he aligns their sounds, and you wonder: Who is actually playing right now? A great discovery, this piece, phenomenally interpreted.” Hamburger Abendblatt / Marcus Stäbler

“F.W. Murnau’s masterpiece was accompanied by the magnificent music of Lauri Porra and Veli Kujala. Porra and Kujala didn’t try to be faithful to the period, but they succeeded in fitting their music well across the ages. In the final climax, Kujala’s accordion resembled church organs, and Porra’s bass resonated like the bells of doomsday. The cold shivers indicated that even Ennio Morricone would hardly be able to teach these musicians much about enhancing the mood of a film.” Helsingin Sanomat / Harri Römpötti

“Keeping up with the spirit, Veli Kujala’s brilliant Dancespheres (2023) for accordion, double bass and percussion was heard in uplifting world premiere by Valkeajoki, Seppälä and Pekkarinen. As suggested by its title, the one-movement score is rooted in dance idioms, presented in one organic continuum, bridging from one choreographic ambiance to another in seamless motion. A night-piece par excellence, Dancespheres came off as choreographic poem of wondrous eventide appeal.” Adventures in Music / Jari Juhani Kallio

“There were gems, like … the MikroEnsemble’s performance of the folk-infused “Microdancetudes” by the member and accordionist Veli Kujala.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / Jeremy Reynolds

“Kujala’s concerto is strange music in a tantalising way, which is possible for a film dominated by a strange atmosphere. The Auseil concerto is not like an accompaniment to film music, but its narrative and strong atmosphere can be thought of as a film in the form of music. At the same time, it fulfils the function of a traditional concerto… Kujala has freely harnessed many techniques in the service of her peculiar storytelling. Microintervals sound appropriately quirky and natural, not impure. Cinematic swells have a touch of horror-romantic glow. In the second part, there is a night’s silence that is not actually silence. Random noises are heard in the creaks of the strings under pressure. The orchestration is skillful, colorful, and precisely targeted. Powerful imagery is created using simple means… Maalismaa played the exceptionally difficult, restlessly moving solo part with mastery, as if in a trance, embodying the main character of the story plagued by restless visions.” Helsingin Sanomat/Jukka Isopuro

“Who would have thought that the Finns would grab most of the glory?” The Times / Clive Davis

“There were strange, bluesy harmonic juxtapositions, a psychedelic counterpoint with wavering tunings, a trippy discordant sequenced accompaniment ending with a Bachian ourish, microtonal ring modulated clusters and a percussive loop that built into an atonal and increasingly frenetic jig. In other words, he put everything and the kitchen sink into the composition. After a gong strike, a quasi-fugal, atonal preprogrammed section began allowing Kujala to put down his accordion and walked around the hall leaving an empty seat. I loved it!” London Unattached / Adrian York

“Kujala’s bravura performance with an accordion capable of quarter tones in Mononen’s Satumaa added a thrill of off-key chaos….” MusicOMH / Barry Creasy

“The first composition, CybOrgan for organ, strings and infra-red camera controlled live-electronics, is a grandiloquent space opera, which reaches its full potential when listened with Super Audio CD -player and surround sound system. The organ part interpreted by Susanne Kujala, the spouse of the composer, intertwines seamlessly with the string parts played by Uusinta Ensemble and TampereRaw. The live-electronics part programmed by the composer reacts in with players and spreads out in the space and works as a “sound glue”. The entirety is convincing, the newest and most interesting music of our time… The music of Veli Kujala resonates in a startlingly fresh and uncompromisingly original way.” YLE Radio 1 / Ville Komppa

“Veli Kujala dives into the world of microtonality with his 24-tone octave. His compositions are not just bragging or boasting but instead bafflingly naturally inspired sonic paintings and spacial floating. The quarter-tone accordion and infrared camera-controlled electronics together with the organ and the string orchestra are breaking the taboos of contemporary music. If the listener has multichannel equipment and SACD player, we can certainly speak about the music of the spheres.” AVPlus Magazine

 “The composition [DAI] presented wonderfully the colorful soundscape of Kujala’s music, which is sometimes gushing, graceful, mystical, sneaky, creepy, hard, clear, blinding bright. The composer told he has currently plenty of commissions. It does not surprise me because his music is so fascinating.” Ilkka / Hanne Orrenmaa

“The Sonata for Two Accordions is a two-movement, 25-minute dissonant neo-Baroque suite that fuses formal structures with free chromaticism and improvisatory-like passages … the Kujala duo shines in the Sonata, delivering it with breathtaking virtuosity and nuance.” American Record Guide

“Veli Kujala’s visionary virtuosity brings out the true essence of Finnish contemporary music, which is so hard to catch.” Helsingin Sanomat

“Kujala played brilliantly on accordion… I would like to know if anybody in the audience had ever before heard such an unbelievable soloist on this instrument. He masters pure technical skills but brings as well the solo part out lively and clearly formed.” Östgöta Correspondenten

Kujala proved to be adept at all styles and made the accordion a more sophisticated instrument.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“The young docent of Sibelius-Academy opened the full spectrum of French impressionism for the listeners with his performance, which was not only technically virtuosic but as well blessed with dance characters demanded by the composition [About the performance of Maurice Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin on accordion].” Frankfurter Neue Presse

“Classical, contemporary, tango, Brazilian music, and jazz-rock; no matter what as long as a virtuoso like Veli Kujala is playing… Veli Kujala is the archetype of a modern musician, skillfully incorporating composition, improvisation and boundary-crossing into his artistry.” Hufvudstadsbladet / Mats Liljeroos

“In its comparatively modest way, the intricate interplay of textures in Tapio Tuomela’s Virvatulia (Feux follets) for solo accordion (1996) left as distinctly musical an impression – especially when played with the finesse evinced by Veli Kujala.” The Classical Source

“Accordionist Veli Kujala’s debut concert at the Sibelius Academy offered exactly what a debut concert is best to expect: brilliant musicianship, fine works, and an entertaining program.” Helsingin Sanomat

“Perhaps the most fetching, or offbeat, was the night dubbed K-18 “Some Kubricks of Blood,” built on darkly witty—and just plain dark— Kubrick film-inspired tunes. Of particular note were the fine Finnish players Kalima assembled for that project, from veteran bassist Teppo Hauta-Aho to young sensation Mikko Innanen on sax and, for this accordion-lover’s money, the star of the show, accordion virtuoso Veli Kujala.” JazzTimes