21 February 1909 Karttula – 20 October 2014 (!) Jyväskylä
In RA format
Vilho Kekkonen was born on the 21st of February 1909. He studied at the Conservatories of Viipuri and
Helsinki before entering the Sibelius Academy. He sang in his first concert in Helsinki in 1944.
He was also the lead tenor at the Finnish National Opera. He became an organist, a singer, a composer,
a conductor and a teacher of singing. He gave concerts in Europe, Canada, and the United
States. He composed hundreds of musical pieces (symphonic, oratorio, solo singing, and children's
songs), wrote poetry and was a vocal teacher at the Conservatory of Jyväskylä.
He served from 1951 as the director of the women's choir Vaput in Jyväskylä, and was still the director of a
church choir at almost 100 years of age. In 2001 he donated a significant amount to the Conservatory of Jyväskylä in order
to organize the tenor competition held in his name. The first winner in 2001 was tenor Tuomas Katajala,
a student of the deceased Finnish tenor Peter Lindroos. Kekkonen ranks in the Guiness Book of Records as
the world's oldest performing tenor. In 1999, he sang a concert to celebrate his 90th birthday.
in 2004, he sang at the Taulumaki Church to celebrate his 95th birthday.
I would like to thank Mel Eisenberg for the recording and biographical information.