Pauliina Lerche (b. 1974) is one of the many Finnish folk musicians who have their roots in the small North Karelian village of Rääkkylä near the Russian border. Her musical career began in the original line-up of the most famous of the folk bands stemming from this small village, Värttinä, but she had early on found the musical direction she wanted to pursue. Studies at the Folk Music Department of the Sibelius Academy only served to strengthen this musical vision and after graduating in 2002, she has quickly become one of the most personal ambassadors of Finnish folk music on the world music scene.

Pauliina is a multi-instrumentalist whose instruments include accordion, violin, kantele, deltar and her own voice. She composes, arranges and writes lyrics for her own material in which she combines her solid background in the Karelian tradition with influences from both world and popular music. Her first solo album ‘Katrilli’ (2002) received very positive reviews in both Finnish and international folk publications. The follow-up, ‘Malanja’ (2006), which will also be released in Japan, continues the lively, dance-like atmosphere of her debut album and draws on Finnish nature as its main inspiration.

In addition to her solo career, Pauliina plays violin and sings in some of the top Finnish folk music bands, for example, Burlakat, the only folk combo singing in the original Karelian language. The most exotic of her bands is, however, Kriya, an all-star group combining the musical and lyrical traditions of Finnish and Indian (Hindustani) music. Kriya’s debut album was released in 2006. In recent years, Pauliina’s versatility as a musician has come to good use in her extended touring with several major Finnish pop/rock acts.

Pauliina’s musical background in Karelian folk music, combined with her understanding of popular music creates a unique, exotic mix in which tradition alternates with more modern influences. The ancient, mythical elements of earth, wind, fire and water are clearly present in Malanja, producing an atmosphere organically rooted in both past and present.


Hector Acoustic Quartet 2004 -
Kriya 2003 -
Vesa-Matti Loirin yhtye 2002 - (substituting for Maria Kalaniemi 1998-2001)
Burlakat 1994 -
Mimmit 1993 - 2001
Sivuluisu 1990 - 1993
Värttinä 1983 - 1989