Scandinavia HouseScandinavia House

Concert Events - Scandinavia HouseConcerts @ Scandinavia House

map & directions

Stay Connected
Facebook, become a fan Twitter, follow us YouTube, subscribe to our channel

concert Past Concerts

2014

Jeffrey SiegelKeyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel:
Concerts with Lively Commentary

Thursdays @ 8 pm, January 30, March 27, 2014
$20 ($15 ASF Members)

Internationally acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel resumes his seventh season at Scandinavia House. Each evening is comprised of informal commentary on the music and its composers, a full performance of each work, and concludes with a short Q & A session. The accessible format enriches audience understanding of classical music for the newcomer and seasoned listener alike.

The Glory of Beethoven

January 30, 2014

The humorous Piano Sonata No. 6 in F major, Op. 10, No. 2, the Appassionata, and Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110, written after deafness engulfed the composer.

Chopin and the Romance of the Piano

March 27, 2014

Vivacious Waltzes, dreamy Nocturnes, virtuoso Études, and the demonic Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor,
Op. 31
.

This series is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, Edmund C. Duffy, Director.

Back to top of page

Music on Park Avenue
Evenings with Pianist Per Tengstrand

Monday, February 24, 8 pm; Tuesday, March 25, 8:30 pm
Series continues in the Fall & Winter 2014-15 season
$20 ($15 ASF Members), Series pass: $80 ($60 ASF Members)

Swedish pianist and artistic director Per Tengstrand – now in his fourth season of musical programming at Scandinavia House – performs a series of concerts with distinguished guest musicians. The series highlights the repertoire of Scandinavian chamber music and its composers. Tengstrand also hosts pre-concert talks 45 minutes prior to the start of each concert.

Andreas BrantelidAndreas Brantelid: Star Cellist

February 24

A young musician who has already performed with the Tonhalle Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, and more, star cellist Andreas Brantelid performs Percy Grainger’s La Scandinavie (Scandinavian Suite) for cello and piano (1902) and Edvard Grieg’s Cello Sonata in A minor, Op. 36 (1882) at Scandinavia House.

Masterworks by a Scandinavian Trio

March 25
Scandinavian TrioThree musicians from Norway, Iceland, and Sweden – David Coucheron, violin; former ASF Fellow Sæunn Þorsteinsdóttir, cello; and Per Tengstrand, piano – come together to perform two of the greatest piano trios ever written: Ludwig van Beethoven’s playful Piano Trio in E-flat major, Op. 1, No. 1 (1793) and the dramatic Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67 (1944) by Dmitri Shostakovich.

The Beethoven Sonatas

April 17

Scandinavian TrioTo hear Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas in their entirety is perhaps one of the most incredible musical journeys one can embark on. After more than ten years of preparation, Swedish pianist and artistic director Per Tengstrand will play the sonatas in their chronological order.

This spring, Tengstrand will begin to describe to audiences – through music and words – how the young, confident virtuoso developed into the celebrated composer of the Pathétique and Moonlight sonatas and later a deaf master in his final years. The first three of these concerts debut this spring; the remainder will continue in upcoming seasons of Music on Park Avenue.

A Young Virtuoso Arrives in Vienna

April 17

Tengstrand plays Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2, No. 1 (1795), Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2, No. 2 (1796), and Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2, No. 3 (1796).

The 2014 Music on Park Avenue concert series is supported in part by a generous grant from Christina Lang Assael and The Assael Foundation and a grant from The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

asf icon

Sydney Mancasola:
2013 ASF Birgit Nilsson Award Recipient

Sunday, March 2, 3 pm
$15 (Free for ASF Members); RSVP required

 

Sydney MancasolaSoprano Sydney Mancasola, recipient of The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) 2013 Birgit Nilsson Award, presents an afternoon of music by Vincenzo Bellini, Léo Delibes, Henri Duparc, Claude Debussy, Giacomo Puccini, Gaetano Donizetti, and more.

Mancasola received the Birgit Nilsson Award as a Winner of the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. ASF President Edward P. Gallagher and Executive Trustee Lena Biörck Kaplan presented the award to Ms. Mancasola at a reception following the finals of the auditions.

The Birgit Nilsson Award was established in 1988 on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of New Sweden, the first Swedish settlement in the U.S. It was endowed through the proceeds of a gala concert in April 1988, honoring Ms. Nilsson, the legendary Swedish soprano. Previous recipients of the award include Ben Heppner, Alan Held, Earle Patriarco, and Christine Goerke.

About Sydney Mancasola

After training as a classical violinist for 16 years in her home state of California, Sydney Mancasola began her vocal studies, earning a B.M. in Vocal Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2011, where she was the recipient of the Margot Bos Standler Scholarship. Performance credits include Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande, and Antonia and Stella in Les Contes d’Hoffman – all with AVA Opera; Adele in Die Fledermaus, Brevard Opera Center; Cunégonde in Candide, Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito, and Despina in Così fan tutte, Oberlin Opera Theatre; a cover of Marie in The Daughter of the Regiment with Opera Theatre of St. Louis; and a cover of Zdenka in Arabella with Santa Fe Opera.

On the concert stage, Mancasola has performed Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer, and Strauss’ Brentano Lieder. She recently appeared as a guest soloist in the 2012 international music festival Calí de Camara in Colombia, South America, singing Schubert’s Mass in G, and Mozart’s Exultate, Jubilate. Mancasola recently made her mainstage debut with the Fort Worth Opera as Young Alyce in Glory Denied by Tom Cipullo. Her 2013-2014 season will include performances of Handel’s Messiah; appearances with the Santa Fe Symphony and the Lexington Philharmonic; the title character in Massenet’s Manon with AVA Opera; and a company debut with the Des Moines Metro Opera as Comtesse Adèle in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory.

Mancasola is currently a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2013 she was the Top Prize Winner in the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition; received 2nd Prize and Audience Favorite at the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition; 1st Prize in the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition; and was a Grand Prize Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Mancasola has received awards from many other prestigious competitions, including the Sullivan Foundation, the Liederkranz Foundation, the George London Foundation, and the Florida Grand Opera Competition. She is an alumna of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, where she received the Judith Raskin Memorial Award for Singers, as well as the Gerdine Young Artist program at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Brevard Music Center.

Back to top of page

exhibitions icon

Art Afterhours

Tuesdays 6 – 8 pm, March 4 & April 1, 2014
Free

Maya VikCome early and stay late! Art Afterhours is a once-monthly art party with extended gallery hours, 6 to 8 pm, featuring drinks and music by Norwegian DJ Maya Vik. Meet up and socialize with other Nordic art fans at Scandinavia House to revel in Darkness & Light: Contemporary Nordic Photography after hours.

About the DJ

“Music to make babies to” is just one way to describe the sound of Norwegian bass player and solo artist Maya Vik. Although the press have drawn comparisons to Prince, Janet, Sheila E, and Vanity 6, Vik lays down a fresh brand of sexy electronic funk pop with her steamy vocals and thumping bass lines. Years of hard work has paid off for Maya which includes winning a Norwegian “Grammy” with her previous band Montée, playing in Savoy with a-Ha’s Paul Waaktaar, opening for Lenny Kravitz, and touring the U.S., Japan, Russia, Holland, and Germany with her own trio. In 2007 Elle Magazine voted Vik the “Most Beautiful Woman in Norway.” After independently releasing more than two albums worth of critically acclaimed material in two short years, Vik currently is sitting on a trove of new jams set for release throughout 2014.

Back to top of page

Kira Kira

Saturday, March 8, 7 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Kira KiraKira Kira is Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir, a composer and audio/visual prankster from Iceland. As a founding member of Kitchen Motors, a mischievous label and collective based on experiments in electronic music and arts, she continually breaks boundaries between forms and genres through a repertoire that includes compositions for theater, film, dance, and art installations – as well as playful multi-disciplinary productions that exceed her work as merely a composer. Kira Kira sprang from this collective in 1999 and to this day works with Kitchen Motors’ ethos at heart – a spirit of playfulness, exploring the relationship between experimental music and visual arts, collaborating with various artists.

At first Kira Kira played solo but since 2008 she has recorded and played with a wide range of musicians, mostly trumpet player Eiríkur Orri Ólafsson, Finnish percussionist Samuli Kosminen, contrabass wizard Borgar Magnason, and artist Alex Somers as well as guitarists Hilmar Jensson and Pétur Hallgrímsson.

Grandma Lo-fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir is her first feature film as director and screenwriter and has been celebrated at MoMA, CPH Dox, SXSW, and a plethora of other festivals around the world.

She has released three albums, Skotta, Our Map to The Monster Olympics, and Feathermagnetik, which came out on Morr Music’s Sound of a Handshake moniker in 2012 and on Afterhours in Japan.

Co-sponsored by Iceland Naturally.

Back to top of page

asf icon

ASF Fellows Concert: Asa Gudjonsdottir

Thursday, April 10, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Asa GudjonsdottirIcelandic violinist Asa Gudjonsdottir has awed audiences around the world with her flawless musicality and interpretation. Accompanied by Peter Eom, cello, and Will Lowry, piano, the 2013 ASF Fellow now displays her talents in a concert at Scandinavia House with works by Edvard Grieg, Aaron Copeland, and Johannes Brahms, along with Ljúflingslög – traditional Icelandic folk songs transcribed and arranged by Atli Heimir Sveinsson.

About Asa Gudjonsdottir

Asa Gudjonsdottir (b. Reykjavík, Iceland) began her study of the violin at the age of three and instantly became mesmerized with the instrument. She has since cultivated her talent with some of the greatest musicians in the world, including Chee-Yun Kim, Joseph Lin of the Juilliard Quartet, and Boris Kuschnir in Vienna; Gudjonsdottir currently studies with Anton Miller at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut.

Gudjonsdottir has regularly been invited to perform in concerts and music festivals in Europe and the United States, as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Her most recent appearances have been at Harvard’s Eliot House in Boston, Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center in New York, and the Nordic embassies in Berlin. From 2010-2011, Gudjonsdottir held a year-long position at the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. She is the recipient of the Visa Cultural Award in Iceland, a Fulbright Scholar, and a fellow of The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF).

Back to top of page




2013

Danish String Quartet

Thursday @ 8 pm, January 17, 2013
$20 ($15 ASF Members)

Danish String QuartetThe Danish String Quartet returns to Scandinavia House for a series of two intimate concerts, featuring in October 2012 Hugo Wolf’sItalian Serenade, Leoš Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1 “Kreutzer Sonata,” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132 and in January 2013 W.A. Mozart’s String Quartet No. 15 in D minor K. 421/417b, György Liget’s String Quartet No. 1 (Métamorphoses nocturnes), and Carl Nielsen’s String Quartet No. 4 in F major, Op. 44.

About The Danish String Quartet:
The Danish String Quartet — formerly known as the Young Danish String Quartet — made its debut at the Copenhagen Summer Festival in 2002. In the course of remarkably short time, the quartet drew attention to itself for its highly committed musicianship and enthralling style, and the ensemble quickly established itself as the most promising news in the classical music world in Denmark. After winning the Danish Radio P2 Chamber Music Competition in 2004 the quartet's good name was established in Denmark, and the four young musicians (Frederik Øland, violin; Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin; Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola; Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello) have since then been frequent guests in Danish festivals, music societies, and international chamber music venues.

The quartet has participated in numerous chamber music competitions with great success. After winning the P2 competition as the youngest winners ever, they proceeded to win first prize at the Vagn Holmboe String Quartet Competition and the Charles Hennen International Chamber Music Competition in Holland. The quartet won first prize and the Audience Prize in the Trondheim International String Quartet Competition in 2005. In March 2009 they won the first prize in the Eleventh London International String Quartet Competition. The Danish String Quartet was also awarded four other prizes: The 20th Century Prize, the Beethoven Prize, the Sidney Griller Award, and the Menton Festival Prize.

In 2006 the Danish Radio made the Danish String Quartet “Artist in Residence” and this led to solo performances with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Danish Radio Sinfonietta, playing works by Edward Elgar and O. A. Thommesen. It also gave the quartet the opportunity to record all of Carl Nielsen's string quartets in the Danish Radio Concert Hall. The recordings were released on the Dacapo label in 2007 and 2008 and they were hailed by the critics as extremely successful recordings. Recently, the Danish String Quartet was appointed by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to the prestigious CMS Two program beginning with the 2013-2014 season.

The Danish String Quartet's main teacher and mentor has always been Professor Tim Frederiksen. The quartet has also participated in master classes and received instruction from Tokyo-and Emerson Quartets, Alasdair Tait, Paul Katz, Hugh Maguire, Levon Chilingirian, Are Sandbakken, Mats Zetterquist, and Jan-Erik Gustafsson.

The joy of playing, the powerful impact the quartet makes on stage, and the fresh approach to well-known repertoire has become a trademark for the Danish String Quartet. These qualities have led to success not only in Denmark; The New York Times’ critic Anthony Tommasini let himself be carried away by the quartet's debut concert in New York. After their performance of Carl Nielsen’s Quartet No. 4 in F Major, he wrote “I cannot imagine a more involved performance” and praised all four musicians for their high level performance and their inviting style.

Back to top of page

Greip

Thursday, February 28, 7 pm
Free

Estonian a cappella ensemble Greip performs a concert from their repertoire of ballads, rock, and pop, as well as their own compositions that carry the history of Estonian folk music into the 21st century.

About Greip

GriepThis Estonian five-member vocal group includes Karin Leetsar, soprano; Mari Holm, alto; Fred Rõigas, tenor; Rauno Muttik, baritone and beat-box; and Reimo Kiisk, bass. The ensemble experienced their breakthrough in 2011 with over 100,000 views in two days of their contemporary rendition of Vihma Loits, an Estonian folk song. They continue to be an Estonian YouTube sensation with currently over 430,000 views (the entire country of Estonia has only 1.3 million people meaning almost 1/3 of the population have seen this video).

In addition to being a Top 10 Finalist at a worldwide a cappella competition in Leipzig, Germany, Greip has won numerous vocal ensemble awards in Estonia, including being nominated for the Estonian Music Awards. They have performed throughout Germany, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

Co-presented by Consulate General of Estonia in New York.

Back to top of page

New York Scandia Symphony presents Strings of Scandinavia

Thursday, April 4, 7 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

New York Scandia Symphony

Led by Dorrit Matson, Music Director and Conductor, musicians from the New York Scandia Symphony present a spirited performance featuring some of Scandinavia's most beloved music, including U.S. premiers of Pastorale by Jørgen Jersild (1913-2004) and Symphonie Spirituelle by Asger Hamerik (1843-1923), Concertino for Cello and Strings Orchestra by Lars Erik Larsson (1908 – 1986), and Frank Foerster’s Summer in Fort Tryon Park.

About the New York Scandia Symphony

For over twenty years the New York Scandia Symphony has delighted New York City listeners with its warm and vibrant tone, a lovely clarity of expressive detail as well as interesting and exciting programs. It has a mission to present imaginative and creative programs of music by classical, romantic, and contemporary Scandinavian composers, introducing previously unknown and seldom performed compositions to American audiences. With up to 90% of its repertoire presented as U.S. premieres, the orchestra revives and preserves the works of Scandinavian composers that might not otherwise have been brought to the attention of the public.

Back to top of page

Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel:
Concerts with Lively Commentary

Thursdays @ 8 pm, January 24, April 18, & May 16, 2013

Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Concerts with Lively CommentaryInternationally-acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel returns for his sixth season at Scandinavia House. Each evening is comprised of informal commentary on the music and its composers, a full performance of each work, and concludes with a short Q & A session. The accessible format enriches audience understanding of classical music for the newcomer and seasoned listener alike.

The Sensuous Sonorities of Debussy

January 24, 2013

A slightly belated musical celebration of the 150th birthday of this popular composer, this program includes the famous Clair de Lune, the dazzling Fireworks, the humorous Homage to Samuel S. Pickwick, the nostalgic La plus que lente, and the climatic Isle of Joy.

Schubert in the Age of the Sound Byte

April 18, 2013

In the computerized (and often impersonal) age of today, the glorious music melodies and incandescent harmonies of Franz Schubert’s compositions have a more profound effect than ever. The program includes the fiery Impromptu in E flat major, the demonic Impromptu in F minor, Liszt’s arrangement of Serenade – Schubert’s most recognized piece – and the Sonata in B flat, written 6 weeks before the composer’s death.

Bach and the Romantics

May 16, 2013

The high-powered virtuoso works of J.S. Bach, as well as Bach-inspired works of later romantic composers, including pieces by Felix Mendelssohn, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Sergei Rachmaninoff, as well as Frédéric Chopin’s Preludes and Franz Liszt’s Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen – an intensely moving short set of variations based on Bach’s famous descending melody from the Mass in B minor, Crucifixus.

This series is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, Edmund C. Duffy, Director.

Back to top of page

Music on Park Avenue
Evenings with Pianist Per Tengstrand

Thursdays @ 8 pm, January 31, February 21, Tuesday, March 26, 8:30 pm, Thursday, June 6, 7:30 pm
$20 ($15 ASF Members)

Swedish pianist and artistic director Per Tengstrand – now in his third season of musical programming at Scandinavia House – performs a series of concerts with distinguished guest musicians. The series highlights the repertoire of Scandinavian chamber music and its composers.

Two Pianos are Better Than One

January 31, 2013

When The New York Times wrote an article on the piano duo of Per Tengstrand and Shan-shan Sun, the headline read “Two pianos, four hands, one heart.” This evening presents great orchestral works for two pianos such as Johannes Brahms’ Haydn Variations and Igor Stravinsky’s masterpiece The Rite of Spring.

Finnish Tango!

February 21, 2013

Finnish tango with longing and passion! Tango-orkesteri Unto and its musicians – six virtuosos fluent in genres from world music and jazz to theater and tango nuevo – present a highly unique and explosive concert.

Star Violinist Soovin Kim

March 26, 2013

The season concludes with a star on violin: Soovin Kim was the first American to win the Paganini competition (1996) and has toured the world since. The concert includes works for solo violin by J.S. Bach and Niccolò Paganini, as well as Johannes Brahms’ Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 100. Do not miss this exclusive opportunity to hear his musical and technical wizardry!

A Swedish Summer Night

June 6, 2013

Swedish pianist and Music on Park Avenue artist director Per Tengstrand embarks on a journey of Swedish music, with stories about great composers and their relationship to Sweden, and classical piano music with no relation to Sweden at all! Featuring music by Wilhelm Stenhammar, Ludwig van Beethoven, and more.

Supported by a grant from The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

Back to top of page

Nordic Cool Comes to New York

All concerts @ 7 pm, Saturday, March 2, Monday, March 4, Thursday, March 7, & Thursday, March 14, 2013
$15 ($10 ASF Members); Series pass: $45 ($30 ASF Members)

This February and March, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. presents Nordic Cool 2013, a month-long international festival that asks "What is 'Nordic'?" and celebrates the diversity of the Nordic region. Thanks to this festival, Scandinavia House is afforded the exciting opportunity to present some of these thrilling musical acts in New York City.

Nordic Sessions

March 2

Nordic SessionsBased in the Faroe Islands, Nordic Sessions was founded by composer and bassist Mikael Blak and his father, pianist Kristian Blak, a 2011 nominee of the Nordic Council Music Prize. The ensemble works to draw ideas from ethnic material and their improvisation ranges from free to classical styles.

Nordic Session's members have varied musical backgrounds, mainly in jazz, but also in ethnic, folk, rock, and classical music.

Skaran

March 4

SkaranSkaran charms audiences around the world with their fascinating instruments, contagious groove, and energetic presence. The explosive trio – including Emilia Amper, nyckelharpa; Jonas Bleckman, cello; and Anna Roussel, wooden flute – plays traditional Swedish tunes along with its own compositions bursting with attitude and joy.

Emilia Amper is one of the leading players of traditional Swedish instrument the nyckelharpa, or "keyed fiddle." In 2010 she won the Nyckelharpa World Championship and in 2011 Spellemannsprisen (the Norwegian Grammy). Amper was also nominated in 2010 for two (American) Grammy Awards together with The Trondheim Soloists, Gjermund Larsen and 2L. Cellist Jonas Bleckman has rapidly established himself on the Scandinavian folk scene as well as in other genres like pop/rock, jazz, and world music. Originally from Brittany, France, Anna Roussel is also a composer of Breton, Irish, and Swedish folk music.

The Reykjavík Wind Quintet

March 7

The Reykjavík Wind QuintetBased in the world's northernmost capital, in the land of volcanoes, glaciers, and the midnight sun, The Reykjavík Wind Quintet is an internationally-acclaimed ensemble consisting of key players from the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. In March they will perform a concert of works including Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson's Hræra (1988), Samuel Barber's Summer Music for Wind Quintet, Op.31 (1955), Five Antique Hungarian Dances (1961) by Ferenc Farkas, Trois Pièces Brèves (1930) by Jacques Ibert, and Carl Nielsen's Wind Quintet, Op. 43 (1922).

Established in 1981, The Reykjavík Wind Quintet is comprised of Hallfríður Ólafsdóttir, flute; Daði Kolbeinsson, oboe; Einar Jóhannesson, clarinet; Jósef Ognibene, horn; and Darri Mikaelsson, bassoon. The quintet is among the most prominent and active participants in Iceland's vibrant musical community. Making its reputation both at home and abroad, they have performed at major music festivals in a wide variety of venues throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia. Their travels have taken them to some of the world's most renowned concert houses, including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, and the Sydney Opera House, as well as to the Schleswig-Holstein, Cheltenham, and Flanders Festivals. As cultural ambassadors for Iceland, The Reykjavík Wind Quintet has accompanied former Icelandic President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir on state visits abroad and appeared in command performances for such foreign dignitaries as Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and King Juan Carlos of Spain.

The quintet's repertoire varies in style from the early classics to contemporary, including all of the standard masterpieces. Many composers have written specifically for the group, including popular works based on Icelandic folk music. Through the years, their recordings for BBC, ABC (Australia) and on BIS, Chandos, and other labels have received critical acclaim in the prestigious Gramophone and Penguin Guides to Classical CDs.

ASF Centennial Icon
Olli Hirvonen Quartet
ASF Fellows Concert

March 14

Olli Hirvonen QuartetOlli Hirvonen Quartet plays original compositions by the bandleader, hand-picked standards, and even some arrangements of popular Finnish songs.

Olli Hirvonen is a Finnish jazz guitarist, who was nominated for the Artist of the Year at the Pori Jazz Festival (2011). A graduate of the Sibelius Academy, he is pursuing his Master's degree at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he is also an ASF Fellow. Hirvonen has performed in New York, Estonia, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. His new international quartet plays music that is distinctively modern, influenced by rock, jazz, and R&B, as well as 21st-century classical music, and contemporary art and literature, and features Frederick Menzies, tenor saxophone; Jeff Koch, bass; and Philippe Lemm, drums.

Co-presented by the Finlandia Foundation, New York Metropolitan Chapter.

See also Finnish Tango! from the series Music on Park Avenue – Evenings with Pianist Per Tengstrand.

Back to top of page

Art Afterhours
Kids and Family

Art Afterhours

Tuesday starting @ 6 pm, June 18 & July 9, 2013
Free

Come early and stay late! Art Afterhours is a once-monthly art party with extended gallery hours, 6 to 8 pm, featuring music by Nordic DJs Slashed Ø. Join Scandinavia House to celebrate the current exhibition and to socialize with other Nordic art fans.

See also MUNCH | WARHOL and the Multiple Image in EXHIBITIONS section.

Back to top of page

Roger Hinchliffe
Kids and Family

Nordic Midsummer
with Roger Hinchliffe, Claes Dyberg, and Svante Engblom

Thursday, June 20, 7 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Midsummer is the longest day of the year, but Scandinavians know it as a day of non-stop celebration. Join us for our own fete, with extended gallery hours and featuring music by roving ambassadors of popular Swedish music Roger Hinchliffe, Claes Dyberg, and Svante Engblom.

Hinchliffe, Dyberg, and Engblom will perform – in English – beloved songs from Sweden’s astoundingly rich musical treasury, including immortal works by Carl Michael Bellman, Evert Taube, Povel Ramel, Mikael Wiehe, Cornelis Vreeswijk, Nils Ferlin, Mikael Wiehe, Ulf Lundell, Gustaf Fröding, Tove Jansson, Birger Sjöberg, Hasse å Tage, Dan Andersson, and Olle Adolphson.

About the musicians

Claes DybergRoger Hinchliffe and Claes Dyberg have for many years been seducing American audiences with the rich popular musical traditions of Sweden in Hinchliffe’s sensitive English language recreations. His remarkable voice, coupled with Dyberg’s expressive guitar work, has led to enthusiastic critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic; they can be heard on their CDs and seen on a variety of concert videos on YouTube.

Hinchliffe, from Vermont and Lexington, Massachusetts, and now Portland, Maine, lived in Stockholm for 28 years, collecting, translating, performing and recording (in English) these fantastic songs. He has two popular CDs, Swede's Greatest and Swedes on Love, available in the U.S. and in Scandinavia. One Californian critic noted: “No one has ever put together a more comprehensive, high-quality compilation of Swedish songs. It is hard to imagine anyone succeeding better!” Ana Martinez in Svenska Dagbladet asks: “What is it that makes Hinchliffe so delightful? He’s a gondolier who takes us across the ocean in our fantasies, turns Taube and Ramel into Shakespeare, and the audience swoons when he sings…”

Svante EngholmStockholm-native Dyberg is an accomplished guitarist, saxophonist, teacher, composer, and arranger. His sensitive arrangements and solo work can be found on Swedes on Love with Hinchliffe. Together with bassist and keyboardist Svante Engblom they form the ensemble Smalbandet.

Hailing from Stockholm, Engblom is also a guitarist and vocalist who composed most of the songs for Klick!, a joyful musical for youngsters who play, romp, dance and learn new songs – in two languages!

See also A Family Midsummer Celebration in KIDS & FAMILIES section.

Back to top of page

Hirvonen/Cohen/Goldbas

Thursday, June 27, 7:30 pm
$12 ($10 ASF Members)

Hirvonen/Cohen/Goldbas Concert

Hirvonen/Cohen/Goldbas is a new trio consisting of acclaimed musicians ASF Fellow Olli Hirvonen (guitar), Emmet Cohen (organ), and Jake Goldbas (drums). Channeling the spirit and style of the classic organ trios of the 60s, the trio performs music popularized by Jimmy Smith, Grant Green, Jack McDuff, and George Benson.

About Hirvonen/Cohen/Goldbas

Olli Hirvonen is a Finnish jazz guitarist, who was nominated for the Artist of the Year at the Pori Jazz Festival (2011). A graduate of the Sibelius Academy, he is pursuing his Master's degree at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he is also an ASF Fellow. Hirvonen has performed in New York, Estonia, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.

Jazz pianist Emmet Cohen, a finalist in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition, plays with the maturity and confidence of a seasoned veteran. With astonishing technique and an innovative harmonic palate, Cohen engenders a deep musical bond with his audience. He has shared the bandstand with a plethora of musical luminaries, including Christian McBride, Benny Golson, Joshua Redman, Dave Holland, Patti Austin, Maceo Parker, Carmen Bradford, Billy Hart, and many others.

Jake Goldbas has made a name for himself as an in demand percussionist, educator, and composer around the world. Growing up in the Hartford, Connecticut jazz scene gave him incredible opportunities at a young age to perform with jazz greats such as Kurt Elling, Jon Hendricks, Jimmy Greene, Dave Brubeck, and Nat Reeves.

Co-sponsored by the American Scandinavian Society of New York.

Back to top of page

Tórshavn Chamber Choir

Wednesday, September 11, 7 pm
Free

The Tórshavn Chamber Choir travels from the Faroe Islands to New York to perform an a cappella concert of Faroese choral music, interspersed with readings from the works of Nordic Council Literature Prize-winning author William Heinesen.

About the Choir

Founded in 1985 by then conductor Ólavur Jøkladal, the Tórshavn Chamber Choir is led today by Berharður Wilkinson (Faroese Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra) and comprised of 28 vocalists.

Recently the Choir sings music primarily by British and Icelandic composers. In their 28-year history, they have contributed to several recordings, both their own and those of others. With no permanent home, the Choir performs regularly throughout the Faroe Islands, especially in the churches of Tórshavn, and concert tours and festivals abroad, including Paris in 2010.

Back to top of page

film icon

Maria Minerva

Saturday, September 28, 7:30 pm | doors 7 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Channeling raw yet hazy disco energy with conceptual post-punk leanings, Estonian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Maria Minerva builds her music on an aesthetically-minded, intellectually-driven blend of electronic pop and “21st century folk music.” Her distinctive sound draws similarities to the reverb-laden hypnagogic pop created by Laurel Halo, L.A. Vampires, and Julia Holter.

About Maria Minerva

Maria MinervaMaria Minerva (neé Juur) was born in Estonia, studied in London, and now calls Brooklyn home.

With a career in music that only began in 2011, she has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, NME, Uncut, Vice, Pitchfork, Dazed & Confused, Vogue, and countless other publications. Gathering descriptions as diverse as “hypnagogic abstractionist” and “dancer synth wizard” (Pitchfork) to “dance-pop made sallow and creepy” (The New York Times) and “dub-savvy, gothic electro-pop the likes of which we’ve never heard,” (FACT Magazine) Minerva has a sound that is quite impossible to define.

Having signed with acclaimed Los Angeles-based independent label Not Not Fun in 2011, she has since released an impressive collection of songs, beginning with her debut Tallinn At Dawn on cassette, as well as two LPs, Cabaret Cixious (2011) and 2012′s Will Happiness Find Me?, and two EPs, Noble Savage (2011) and the following year’s Sacred and Profane Love. Minerva has also found time to tour extensively in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and beyond, playing festivals as diverse as Sonar and the Melbourne Writers Festival to MoMA PS1 with Thom Yorke and The Royal Albert Hall in London.

With an aesthetic, sound, and philosophy informed by her previous work as an art and music critic at the U.K.’s Wire Magazine, as well as a Master’s degree in Aural and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London, Minerva is currently working on an upcoming full-length album and mastering the art of comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade.

In collaboration with BIO EST, New York Festival of Estonian Contemporary Culture with special thanks to the Estonian Ministry of Culture.

Back to top of page

Jeffrey SiegelKeyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel:
Concerts with Lively Commentary

Thursdays @ 8 pm, October 17, 2013
$20 ($15 ASF Members); Series pass: $64 ($48 ASF Members)
#KeyboardConversations

Internationally acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel returns for his seventh season at Scandinavia House. Each evening is comprised of informal commentary on the music and its composers, a full performance of each work, and concludes with a short Q & A session. The accessible format enriches audience understanding of classical music for the newcomer and seasoned listener alike.

Exhibitions
EXHIBITION-RELATED CONCERT
From the Golden Age to the Modern Breakthrough

October 17

Immerse yourself in highly expressive music from the period of the current exhibition Danish Paintings from the Golden Age to

the Modern Breakthrough, including works by Jean Sibelius, Edvard Grieg, Niels Gade, Dag Wirén, and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

See also Danish Paintings from the Golden Age to the Modern Breakthrough on
EXHIBITIONS
page.

The series is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, Edmund C. Duffy, Director.

Back to top of page

Risto Lauriala

Thursday, November 14, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Finnish classical pianist Risto Lauriala celebrates 40 years as an artist with a concert of works from his repertoire, including Jean Sibelius’ Kyllikki (Three Lyric Pieces), Op. 41, Frédéric Chopin’s Mazurka in G Minor, Op. 24, No. 1, Mazurka in C major, Op. 24, No. 2, and Mazurka in A-flat major, Op. 24, No. 3, as well as Chopin’s Polonaise-fantaisie in A-flat major, Op. 61, Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20, and Scherzo No. 3 in C sharp minor, Op. 39, and J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

About Risto Lauriala

Risto LaurialaRisto Lauriala began playing the piano at an early age in Oulu, Finland before moving to Helsinki to study under Timo Mikkilä at the Sibelius Academy, where he received his diploma in 1972. Further studies took him to London, where he studied under Ilona Kabos and Maria Curcio, and to the Vienna Music Academy where he attended Dieter Weber’s master classes. He won his first international prize in the 1974 at the Stepanow Piano Competition in Vienna, having already won the coveted first prize in the 1970 Maj Lind Competition in Finland. He is now a professor at the Sibelius Academy.

Lauriala has performed as a soloist with numerous symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles in Finland and throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States. He is also well known as a recitalist in Finland and Europe. His core repertoire consists of concertos and major works by J.S. Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, and Johannes Brahms. Lauriala has recorded works by Bach, Sibelius, and Josef Suk for NAXOS and for the Finnish label ALBA.

Co-presented with the Finlandia Foundation, New York Metropolitan Chapter. This concert is supported by the Hilppa Roby Fund for Finnish Cultural and Educational Programs.

Back to top of page

Exhibitions

EXHIBITION-RELATED CONCERT
Influences and Disciples of the Golden Age

Thursday, November 21, 8 pm | Pre-concert talk 7:15 pm
$20 ($15 ASF Members)

Per TengstrandHeld in the 3rd Floor Gallery, Swede Per Tengstrand performs piano music by one of the most prominent composers of the Golden Age, Hans Christian Lumbye, as well as music by Carl Nielsen and Edvard Grieg, two of his disciples. Also on the program will be music that inspired the composers of the Golden Age.

Exhibition-related educational programs have been supported in part by a grant from the Robert Lehman Foundation.

See also Danish Paintings from the Golden Age to the Modern Breakthrough on EXHIBITIONS page.

Back to top of page

Holiday ConcertHoliday Concert with Per Tengstrand

Sunday, December 15, 4 pm | Pre-concert talk 3:15 pm
$20 ($15 ASF Members)

Hear the musical stars of tomorrow! In this special holiday concert, young, up-and-coming musicians – alongside Swedish pianist Per Tengstrand – will perform classic pieces, as well as traditional Scandinavian holiday music.

Back to top of page



2012

Listening in Suomi: Magnus Lindberg and the New Finnish Sound
with counter)induction

Monday, January 23, 2012, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Listening in Suomi: Magnus Lindberg and the New Finnish Sound with counter)inductionMagnus Lindberg's recent appointment as composer-in-residence of the New York Philharmonic has spurred a new interest in contemporary Finnish composition. Join Mr. Lindberg and counter)induction for this special evening as he introduces his own works and those of his compatriots, including the New York premiere of his Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano (2008), Clarinet Quintet (1992), Kaija Saariaho’s Pres for cello and electronics (1992), Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Homunculus for String Quartet (2007), and Jukka Tiensuu’s NOUS (2010). This is a rare opportunity to hear the special insights of one of the foremost Scandinavian composers of today, in an intimate and inviting setting.

Finnish composer and New York Philharmonic Composer-in-Residence Magnus Lindberg studied at the Sibelius Academy with Einojuhani Rautavaara and Paavo Heininen, and co-founded, with colleagues including Esa-Pekka Salonen and Kaija Saariaho the “Ears Open” Society, dedicated to the exploration of the European avant-garde. Formal organizational techniques such as serialism and musique concrète were important features of his early works. In the 1990s he became more concerned with harmonic structure, and a broad range of styles including minimalism, free jazz, and rock became evident in his work. Throughout the 1990s he became increasingly drawn towards large-scale forms, describing the orchestra as his favorite “instrument.”

Counter)induction is a composer/performer collective committed to the notion that contemporary music can and should be both accessible and challenging. c)i celebrates the diversity of contemporary music by presenting the best, most innovative new music to both new and established audiences.

Back to top of page

Per Tengstrand presents Musical Evenings with Nordic Starscentennial icon An ASF Centennial Concert Series:
Per Tengstrand presents Musical Evenings
with Nordic Stars

Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 8 pm
Additional concerts in March 2012 TBA
Each $20 ($15 ASF Members) – Dinner & a Concert rates do not apply

Swedish pianist Per Tengstrand performs a series of concerts with distinguished guest musicians in honor of the ASF’s centennial year. The series highlights the repertoire of Scandinavian chamber music and its composers.

Portrait of a Composer: Tobias BroströmPortrait of a Composer: Tobias Broström

January 24, 2012

Tobias Broström (b. 1978) is one of Sweden’s rising stars in the music world. The evening includes the composer talking about his background and his work, as well as live performances of selected pieces. Born in Helsingborg, Broström studied percussion and composition at Malmö College of Music. Today his work is in high demand as he continually acquires new commissions. Recently, Broström composed solo concertos for Håkan Hardenberger, Karen Gomyo, and Per Tengstrand. In January 2012, his Double Concerto for Violin, Percussion, and Orchestra will be performed in Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall.

Edvard Grieg & Franz Liszt

February 23, 2012

Considered by many the pianist of all pianists, Liszt was 32 years Edvard Grieg's senior – Grieg was still a student in Leipzig when he first heard the composer play. At first rather cool in his impressions of the piano master, Grieg came to admire Liszt greatly. Over time Liszt became a mentor to Grieg, giving the young Norwegian recognition, encouragement, and support.

In the year that marks the 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt’s birth, Per Tengstrand will play two masterpieces by each composer: Grieg's most serious piano work, Ballade in G minor, Op. 24, and Liszt's Sonata in B-minor, one of the greatest solo works of the Romantic era.

This series is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

Back to top of page

Keyboard Conversations® with Pianist Jeffrey Siegel:
Concerts with Lively Commentary

Thursdays @ 8 pm, January 12, March 8, April 12, 2012
Each $15 ($10 ASF Members)

Keyboard Conversations® with Pianist Jeffrey SiegelInternationally-acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel returns to Scandinavia House for his fifth season at Victor Borge Hall. Beginning each evening with informal commentary on the music and its composers, Keyboard Conversations® offers a full performance of each work, and concludes with a brisk, upbeat question and answer session. The accessible, inviting format enriches audience understanding of classical music for the newcomer and the seasoned listener alike.

A Beethoven Bonanza!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The many moods of genius! The light-hearted and humorous Rage over a Lost Penny, the delightful yet rarely heard Sonata in F major, Op. 54, the beloved Sonata No. 8, Pathétique, and Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109.

From Art to Heart: The Romantic Music of Franz Liszt

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The seductive virtuosity and lyricism of the 19th century's rock star of the piano. From the melodic Liebesträume to the exuberant Hungarian Rhapsodies, with excerpts from Liszt's musical travelogue, Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage).

A Love Triangle: Music of Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, & Johannes Brahms

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Love-inspired music by three romantic composers! Clara Schumann’s Romance Op. 11, No. 2 (dedicated to Robert), her Romance Op. 21, No. 2 (dedicated to Brahms), Robert Schumann's Novelettes for Clara, and Brahms’ Variations, Op. 18 and Paganini Variations, Op. 35, a gift to Clara.

Back to top of page

Sæunn Þorsteinsdóttir

Thursday, February 2, 2012, 7 pm
Free

Sæunn ÞorsteinsdóttirnIn celebration of the recent release of her debut recording of the Suites for Cello by Benjamin Britten on Centaur Records, former ASF Fellow Sæunn Þorsteinsdóttir invites you to join her for a recital in Volvo Hall at Scandinavia House. Along with one of the suites by Benjamin Britten, she will also include a suite by J.S. Bach and a world premiere by Kendall Briggs. Just as the Britten suites were inspired by the Bach suites, Kendall Briggs was inspired by both to write a wonderful new addition to the cello repertoire, combining tried and true forms with his dramatic tonal language.

Praised by the New York Times as “a charismatic cellist,” Sæunn Þorsteinsdóttir (b. 1984, Reykjavík, Iceland) has appeared as recitalist and chamber musician across the U.S., Germany, Poland, Italy, France and her native Iceland and has performed concerti with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Silesian Philharmonic (Poland), and the Des Moines Symphony, among others. She has garnered numerous top prizes, including the Antonio Janigro International Cello Competition in Zagreb, Croatia and the 2008 Naumburg Competition in New York City. Þorsteinsdóttir was recently chosen as the recipient of a Career Grant from the Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation and nominated for the “Brightest Hope” of the 2010 Icelandic Music Awards.

An avid chamber musician, Þorsteinsdóttir has collaborated in performance with Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, and the Cavani Quartet in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Currently, Þorsteinsdóttir is a member of Ensemble ACJW and a graduate of The Academy, a collaboration of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, performing chamber music at Carnegie Hall and bringing classical music to students in the New York City Public Schools.

An advocate of new music, Þorsteinsdóttir has premiered dozens of works, including most recently, commissioned works for cello by Daníel Bjarnason, Nicholas Csicsko, and Kendall Briggs. She performs new music frequently in venues in New York City such as The Stone and Le Poisson Rouge. Along with the masterpieces of the 18th, 19th and 20th century, Þorsteinsdóttir is constantly inspired by works composed in our time.

A certified Suzuki teacher, Þorsteinsdóttir received her pedagogy training under Tanya Lesinsky Carey (former President of the Suzuki Association of the Americas), her longtime teacher and mentor. She has served as teaching assistant to Mrs. Carey at Meadowmount School of Music, Richard Aaron at ENCORE School for Strings, as well as having coached chamber music groups at the Chamber Music Connection, Columbus and CIM's Summer Chamber Music Program. As a component of the work she does through Carnegie Hall, Þorsteinsdóttir works regularly at Elementary School P.S. 28 in Brooklyn.

In 2006, Þorsteinsdóttir received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music with the highest honors for accomplishments in both cello and chamber music, the Ellis A. Þorsteinsdóttir Memorial Award in Cello and the Bennett Levine Memorial Award in Chamber Music. She continued her studies at The Juilliard School and completed a Master of Music in 2008. Her principal teachers include Richard Aaron, Tanya Carey, and Joel Krosnick.

Þorsteinsdóttir has performed in master classes for Zara Nelsova, Anner Bylsma, Bernard Greenhouse, and Steven Isserlis, and was a featured soloist on NPR’s From the Top and PBS’s SundayArts. She has been invited to numerous summer festivals including the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, Kneisel Hall, as well as the Sarasota, and Marlboro Music Festivals. She recently toured with the “Musicians from Marlboro,” playing chamber music in the most important halls on the East Coast as well as a part of the Ravinia’s “Rising Stars” series.

Þorsteinsdóttir plays on a cello made in Milan, Italy circa 1800.

Back to top of page

New York Scandia Symphony presents
Scandinavian Masterworks

Thursday, March 22, 2012, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

New York Scandia Symphony presents 
Scandinavian Masterworks
Dorrit Matson, Music Director and Conductor, leads the New York Scandia Symphony in a concert of masterpieces by Danish composer Anders Koppel, Swedish Baroque composer Johan Helmrich Roman, Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, and Finnish composer Bernhardt Crusell. Featured soloists include Mayuki Fukuhara, violin and Steven D. Hartman, clarinet.

For over twenty years the New York Scandia Symphony has delighted New York City listeners with its warm and vibrant tone, a lovely clarity of expressive detail as well as interesting and exciting programs. It has a valuable mission to present imaginative and creative programs of music by Classical, Romantic and Contemporary Scandinavian composers, introducing previously unknown and seldom performed compositions to American audiences. With up to 90% of its repertoire presented as U.S. premieres, the orchestra revives and preserves the works of Scandinavian composers that might not otherwise have been brought to the attention of the public.

Back to top of page

Triinu Taul

Saturday, April 14, 2012, 7 pm
Free

Triinu TaulEstonian musician, singer, and songwriter Triinu Taul performs a concert comprised of works by Estonian composers, traditional folk music, Finno-Ugric songs, in addition to pieces from her own repertory. Taul will play the Estonian bagpipes, Jew’s harp, and Scandinavian overtone flute, with accompaniment by Estonian musicians Peeter Rebane, guitar; Henno Kelp, bassist; and Roland Puusepp, drums.

Triinu Taul was born in Mulgimaa, Southern Estonia. She is a very versatile Estonian musician and songwriter who plays different folk instruments and uses various interesting musical voice techniques. Taul thinks of music as a universal language and believes the musical sounds and messages influence us more than we assume.

Taul spent her childhood in the Estonian countryside; therefore values from her rustic upbringing are reflected in her work, as well as in her being. Taul’s family has been involved with music for several generations and she started to sing and play instruments with her father in the family ensemble at a very early age. Taul went on to study classical music at the H. Eller Music School in Tartu and in 2011 she graduated from Tartu University Viljandi Cultural Academy with a Bachelor’s Degree in Folk Music. The singer has worked with different Estonian musicians and performed in several music, theater and television projects. She has also performed around the world with different folk music groups.

Co-presented with the Consulate General of Estonia in New York.

Back to top of page

Accordionist Veli Kujala

Thursday, April 26, 2012, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Accordionist Veli KujalaInternationally-acclaimed Finnish concert accordionist, composer, and inventor of the quartertone accordion Veli Kujala makes his New York debut in this concert with works of his own composition, including Hyperchromatic Counterpoint for quarter tone accordion, pieces by contemporary Finnish composers Sampo Haapamäki and Olli Virtaperko, and transcriptions for concert accordion of music by Jean Sibelius, Niccolo Paganini, and J.S. Bach.

Veli Kujala is an international prize-winning concert accordionist and composer. In fall 2010 he completed his PhD in Music from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, which focused on Finnish contemporary music for accordion. Kujala has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Finland, with conductors such as Stefan Asbury, Hannu Koivula, Dmitri Slobodeniouk, and John Storgårds. He has premiered numerous solo and chamber music works by composers such as Kalevi Aho, Juhani Nuorvala, and Einojuhani Rautavaara, as well as concertos by Pekka Pohjola, Markus Fagerudd, Sampo Haapamäki, Olli Virtaperko, and Joachim F.W. Schneider. Since 2005 Kujala has been teaching concert accordion and improvisation at the Sibelius Academy.

In 2006 Kujala developed the quartertone accordion with composer Sampo Happamäki, who wrote Velinikka, the first work for the instrument. The concerto premiered in 2008 at Gaudamus Music Week in Amsterdam.

Co-presented with the Finlandia Foundation, New York Metropolitan Chapter.

Back to top of page

The Raven’s Kiss
An Operatic Tale of Iceland

Tuesday, May 15, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

The Raven’s Kiss, An Operatic Tale of IcelandMusic by Evan Fein; libretto by Evan Fein and Þorvaldur Davíð Kristjánsson (2011). When a ravishing woman with a mysterious past arrives one misty morning, the inhabitants of a small Icelandic town learn that change can be both painful and joyful. Set against a land of austere beauty, this tragic love tale challenges us to examine our motivations carefully and to deal with ourselves honestly.

Featuring John Brancy, baritone; Catherine Hancock, soprano; Kjirsten Johnson, mezzo-soprano; Andy McCullogh, tenor; and Drew Santini, baritone, with pianists Evan Fein and Ryan Jackson.

Co-presented with The American Scandinavian Society of New York.

Back to top of page

Allusions to Seasons and Weather: Music from a Year in Norway
with Former ASF Fellow Michael Straus

Thursday, May 31, 7 pm
$10 ($7 ASF Members)

Allusions to Seasons and Weather: Music from a Year in NorwayComposer Peter V. Swendsen presents a full program of new and recent compositions for instruments, electronics, video, and dance, performed by some of the finest young performers in contemporary music, including former ASF Fellow Michael Straus, saxophone; Sigrun Eng and Sarah Biber, cello; Dana Jessen, bassoon; Terri Hron, recorders; and Jennifer Torrence, percussion.

Allusions to Seasons and Weather: Music from a Year in Norway is a set of four pieces based on Swendsen’s experience of seasonal transitions in Norway, where he lived from 2006-2007 as a Fulbright Fellow in residence at the NoTAM Computer Music Studios in Oslo. Each composition uses acoustic instruments, electronics processing, and field recordings to evoke a sense of time and place. The first full performance of this entire set of works premiered at the Sound of Mu in Oslo, Norway in May 2011.

The core of the concert is the first full U.S. performance of Allusions to Seasons and Weather, as well as featuring NYC premieres of new works for cello and dance, as well as a collaboration with saxophonist and former ASF Fellow Michael Straus.

Following the concert, Swendsen will discuss the locations and experiences that served as inspiration and material for these pieces, as well as his process of working closely with the performers during the composition process.

Back to top of page

Scandinavian Summer Sessions

Thursdays @ 7 pm (doors 6 pm), June 14 through August 2, 2012 (No concert July 5, 2012)
$12 ($10 ASF Members)

Experience an unforgettable taste of Scandinavian artists in concert in Volvo Hall while enjoying our outdoor garden terrace this summer. An alternative to the usual midtown "happy hour," Scandinavian Summer Sessions presents an eclectic selection of musicians and repertoires, with refreshments from Smörgås Chef’s terrace cocktail bar.

Ögmundur Þór Jóhannesson

June 14

Ögmundur Thór Jóhannsson Icelandic guitarist Ögmundur Þór Jóhannesson brings classical guitar sounds from Iceland to New York. Highlights include Atli Heimir Sveinsson’s Veglaust haf (1989), Jón Ásgeirsson’s Eitt sinn fór ég yfir Rín, and Karórlína Eiríksdóttir’s Sónata (2005), among others.

Jóhannesson (b. Reykjavík, 1980) began to study the classical guitar at the age of 10, and finished his music studies in Iceland with honors in May 2000.

He studied privately with Arnaldur Arnarsson, Ricardo Jesús Gallén, Alex Garrobé, and Sadahiro Otani at the Escola Luthier d'arts musical in Barcelona, Spain from 2000-2002. In June 2008 Jóhannesson graduated from Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria. There, under the guidance of Marco Diaz-Tamayo, he finished his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree with honors. He currently studies with Carlo Marchione at the Maastricht Conservatory.

Jóhannesson has received various awards and recognitions and became a prizewinner in the Tokyo and Bangkok international guitar competitions in November 2011. He received the sought-after Icelandic Artist Salary Grant from the Icelandic government (2010), a grant from the Icelandic Rotary Movement (2009), Jean Pierre Jaquillat Institution in 2005, and 2 other artistic awards the same year from Iceland. In 2003 he won the second prize at the II International guitar competition “Agustin Barrios” in Lambesc, France. In 2001 he was a finalist at the VII International guitar competition Andres Segovia in Linares, Spain.

He currently lives in Berlin, Germany, where he works as a freelance musician, teaching at various institutes and performing regularly as a soloist and with chamber ensembles.

Back to top of page

Guðrið Hansdóttir

June 21

Guðrið Hansdóttir In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, between Iceland and Scotland, there is a cluster of 18 small islands called the Faroe Islands. This is where Guðrið Hansdóttir was born and raised. Her music is a Lilith Fair-worthy blend of chamber pop and perky folk-rock.

Hansdóttir started singing at an early age and possessed a strong interest in music. She loved going through her father’s vinyl records, discovering artists like Kate Bush, Dolly Parton, Jethro Tull, and Jimi Hendrix. Her father was a highly skilled guitar player on the Faroes and on her fourteenth birthday he taught her a few guitar chords. After that she started writing her own songs.

In 2007 Hansdóttir released her debut album Love is Dead, which featured old and new songs. It was well received by critics and the same year she won “Best Female Artist” at the Planet Awards (Faroese Music Awards). After her first album Hansdóttir performed in Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Germany with great success.

Her self-released second album, The Sky Is Opening (2009), quickly became the bestselling album on the Faroe Islands and was awarded the Faroese Planet Awards ”Album of the Year.”

Hansdóttir’s newest album Beyond the Grey was released June 2011.The album is filled with catchy folk songs, inspired by Faroese culture and the distinctive Faroese weather. Hansdóttir sings in both Faroese and English and often the two languages are mixed together in the same song. The album was released by German label Beste! Unterhaltung across Europe and was very well received by critics. After the album’s release, she moved to Reykjavík to take singing lessons and to further her musical career.

In the past few years Hansdóttir has performed in the U.S. and across Europe.

Back to top of page

Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio

June 28

Sunna Gunnlaugs Trior Born in Iceland in 1970 and an ex-patriot of Brooklyn, Sunna Gunnlaugs – who is equally influenced by such American pianists as Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, and Scandinavians like Bobo Stenson and Jon Balke – has found a way to make music to which people on both sides of the Atlantic can relate. Her own charming brand of romantic lyricism rides upon a driving American rhythm section, appealing to jazzers and non-jazzers alike. The 7 CDs she has released have consistently received critical praise over the years, and she has appeared in publications such as Jazzwise, JazzTimes, Downbeat, Jazz Podium, Concert, Stereo, Jazzman, Village Voice, Time Out New York, Swing Journal, All About Jazz, and The Washington Post.

Long Pair Bond, the new trio album by Gunnlaugs with fellow Icelander bassist Þorgrímur Jónsson and long-time cohort Scott McLemore on drums, marks her move home after spending over a decade in Brooklyn playing mostly in quartets with saxophonists like Tony Malaby, Loren Stillman, and Ohad Talmor. Here her disposition is clearly more Scandinavian. With the trio format comes more space and there is an overall serenity to the album, which, like her homeland, is disturbed from time to time by unbridled energy bubbling up under the surface.

The reviews for Long Pair Bond have been glowing. The Austrian jazz magazine Concerto gave it 5 stars, and the respected Japanese critic Hiroki Sugita named it February's "CD of the Month" on Jazz Street. All About Jazz reviewed Long Pair Bond twice and the album even got a heart in the Belgium's JazzMozaïek. It was also nominated at the Icelandic Music Awards.

Her show at Scandinavia House is part of a two week tour of the U.S., beginning in San Francisco and ending in Washington, D.C.

Back to top of page

Eivind Opsvik Overseas

July 12

Eivind Opsvik Overseas Eivind Opsvik is a Norwegian musician who has been living in New York for over 10 years. His main instrument is the bass, but he also thoroughly enjoys experiments with recording and mixing; playing lap steel guitar, old organs, drums; and composing music.

He performs at Scandinavia House with Kenny Wollesen (drums), Jacob Sacks (piano and organ), and Brandon Seabrook (electric guitar).

Beyond his work with Overseas, Opsvik’s experimental orchestral pop collaboration with Aaron Jennings (Opsvik & Jennings) includes three well-received recordings, the latest being A Dream I Used to Remember (2009). Opsvik is also currently working on a solo album featuring the bass along with percussion, keyboards, and more, which he is recording in his basement studio and expects to release in early 2013 on Loyal Label.

As an ensemble member, Eivind Opsvik has lately been playing with bandleaders like Skúli Sverrisson, Nate Wooley, David Binney, Jeremy Udden, Mary Halvorson, Jesse Harris, Paul Motian, Tony Malaby, and Kris Davis.

Back to top of page

Naja Rosa

July 19

Naja Rosa Danish songstress Naja Rosa Koppel’s vocals are soulful and pure. Full of life and often with a wink of humor, her strong, melodic songs take you from a rocking Saturday night to a bluesy Sunday afternoon.

Koppel was born into a musical family. Her parents, Annisette and Thomas Koppel, founders of the legendary Danish rock group The Savage Rose took her on the road before she was even born. Growing up in the south harbor of Copenhagen, she was singing and writing songs from an early age and went on to sing background vocals in The Savage Rose for almost a decade. As a part of the band, she also landed two of her own compositions on their 2008 Danish Music Award-nominated release, Universal Daughter, and wrapped a European tour with them in the fall of 2008.

In 2010 Koppel finished her debut album, Naja Rosa, in a little analog studio in Copenhagen. The record was mixed by renowned producer Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Nada Surf, Apples in Stereo) at his Trout Studio in Brooklyn.

After she took Denmark by storm with her debut album, Koppel managed to top even herself with the release of her second album The Place I Call Home in February 2012. Debuting on the Danish charts in the Top 5 and at number 1 on iTunes its first week, the album has proved to be an even greater success.

The Place I Call Home was recorded partly in Denmark with her band, and then with locals from small towns across the southern U.S. From Austin, Memphis, New Orleans, and Atlanta, Naja Rosa managed to record with musicians throughout the south such as the legendary New Orleans Blues singer Coco Robicheaux, Hot 8 Brass Band, Dustin Welch, and others.

She recently finished a spring tour in Scandinavia and now returns to the U.S. to do summer shows with her outstanding band.

Back to top of page

Aleksi Ranta

July 26

Eivind Opsvik Overseas Aleksi Ranta (b. 1980) is a Finnish jazz and rock guitarist, composer, and teacher who studied music and music pedagogy at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, and Oulu Conservatory of Pop and Jazz. He has worked and studied with some of the most well-known names in the jazz scene of Finland, Sweden, and the U.S.

Currently Ranta works with his Finnish and international bands, Aleksi Ranta Group, Atmospheres, and The Lerois, and tours with other groups in Finland and abroad. He also composes music for the Comics in Concert shows that he performs with the comic artist Ville Ranta and the accordionist Niko Kumpuvaara.

Ranta began his musical journey at the age of four with the violin but changed his instrument to the guitar in his early teens. Later on, he found his way into progressive rock and more mainstream music. He played in the rock band The Black League, which released four albums with the original line-up. In addition, he played in Lotta Band's debut, released in 2007. He started his jazz studies in 2002 and has worked as a freelancer musician in various pop, rock, and jazz groups, and as a guitar teacher at various music institutions. As a versatile guitarist and a composer, Ranta combines styles from classical, rock, and jazz, while honoring the roots of the American bebop tradition and aesthetic. Ranta has received several grants for his international collaboration with Swedish and German musicians and for his international work as a diverse musician.

Back to top of page

Tuija Komi

August 2

Tuija Komi A flawless, ravishing voice from the Far North, Tuija Komi is a consummate jazz artist of engaging warmth and first-rate musicianship whose vocal expressiveness runs the gamut from unbridled excitement and fierce passion, to exquisite tenderness and beyond. With her exceptional vocal range and sophisticated timbre, Komi achieves not only a smooth, consistent tone but also a perfectly balanced buildup of dramatic suspense: she can deliver compelling renditions of everything from blues and soul ballads to a sultry tango.

Komi’s musical eloquence is offset by her stage presence: with charm and natural exuberance that enchants her listeners, she carries her audience through a spectrum of moods – each conveyed with deep sincerity. Her sparkling personality and endearing temperament lend her performances a light-hearted atmosphere that delights all those who seek to indulge in music for the heart and soul. For Komi, every tone holds vital importance; she fills her music with poetry and vibrant dynamics. A blazing jewel on the music scene – with a vast potential she has yet to explore.

The Norwegian Girls’ Choir

Tuesday, June 26, 7 pm
Free

The Norwegian Girls’ Choir The Norwegian Girls’ Choir, with its proud traditions, is globally recognized for its artistic performances. The now independent unit stems from the former National Norwegian Broadcasting’s Choir (NRK). The choir has made its mark, both domestically and internationally, by winning several prizes and awards.

The repertoire is broad, spanning from Norwegian folk music and classical pearls, to complex, modern compositions tailor-made for the choir. The artistic manager and director, Anne Karin Sundal-Ask has led several of the country’s best choirs, merited with awards and recognitions.

Her Highness, Mette-Marit, the Crown Princess of Norway, handpicked the Norwegian Girls’ Choir to perform as the only choir on her CD-release Sorgen og gleden (2008). The choir has also performed on several TV shows, as well as on the radio. Several well-known Norwegian singers and artists are alumni of the choir, including Elizabeth Norberg-Schultz, Hege Schøyen, and Anita Skorgan.

The Norwegian Girls’ Choir tours extensively. In recent years they have performed in France, Italy, Sweden, Scotland, and Japan. In 2012, the choir will tour the U.S., performing a custom piece by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo.

Back to top of page

Danish String Quartet

Thursdays @ 8 pm, October 11, 2012
$20 ($15 ASF Members)

Danish String QuartetThe Danish String Quartet returns to Scandinavia House for a series of two intimate concerts, featuring in October 2012 Hugo Wolf’sItalian Serenade, Leoš Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1 “Kreutzer Sonata,” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132 and in January 2013 W.A. Mozart’s String Quartet No. 15 in D minor K. 421/417b, György Liget’s String Quartet No. 1 (Métamorphoses nocturnes), and Carl Nielsen’s String Quartet No. 4 in F major, Op. 44.

About The Danish String Quartet:
The Danish String Quartet — formerly known as the Young Danish String Quartet — made its debut at the Copenhagen Summer Festival in 2002. In the course of remarkably short time, the quartet drew attention to itself for its highly committed musicianship and enthralling style, and the ensemble quickly established itself as the most promising news in the classical music world in Denmark. After winning the Danish Radio P2 Chamber Music Competition in 2004 the quartet's good name was established in Denmark, and the four young musicians (Frederik Øland, violin; Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin; Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola; Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello) have since then been frequent guests in Danish festivals, music societies, and international chamber music venues.

The quartet has participated in numerous chamber music competitions with great success. After winning the P2 competition as the youngest winners ever, they proceeded to win first prize at the Vagn Holmboe String Quartet Competition and the Charles Hennen International Chamber Music Competition in Holland. The quartet won first prize and the Audience Prize in the Trondheim International String Quartet Competition in 2005. In March 2009 they won the first prize in the Eleventh London International String Quartet Competition. The Danish String Quartet was also awarded four other prizes: The 20th Century Prize, the Beethoven Prize, the Sidney Griller Award, and the Menton Festival Prize.

In 2006 the Danish Radio made the Danish String Quartet “Artist in Residence” and this led to solo performances with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Danish Radio Sinfonietta, playing works by Edward Elgar and O. A. Thommesen. It also gave the quartet the opportunity to record all of Carl Nielsen's string quartets in the Danish Radio Concert Hall. The recordings were released on the Dacapo label in 2007 and 2008 and they were hailed by the critics as extremely successful recordings. Recently, the Danish String Quartet was appointed by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to the prestigious CMS Two program beginning with the 2013-2014 season.

The Danish String Quartet's main teacher and mentor has always been Professor Tim Frederiksen. The quartet has also participated in master classes and received instruction from Tokyo-and Emerson Quartets, Alasdair Tait, Paul Katz, Hugh Maguire, Levon Chilingirian, Are Sandbakken, Mats Zetterquist, and Jan-Erik Gustafsson.

The joy of playing, the powerful impact the quartet makes on stage, and the fresh approach to well-known repertoire has become a trademark for the Danish String Quartet. These qualities have led to success not only in Denmark; The New York Times’ critic Anthony Tommasini let himself be carried away by the quartet's debut concert in New York. After their performance of Carl Nielsen’s Quartet No. 4 in F Major, he wrote “I cannot imagine a more involved performance” and praised all four musicians for their high level performance and their inviting style.

Back to top of page

New York Solo Debut: Jens Elvekjær

Monday, October 15, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

One of Scandinavia's leading young pianists and Denmark's first Steinway Artist, Copenhagen-native Jens Elvekjær will make his New York solo debut at Scandinavia House, performing Per Nørgaard’s Turn (1973), Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit (1908), and Franz Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960 (1828).

New York Solo Debut: Jens ElvekjærAbout Jens Elvekjær:
Jens Elvekjær has won top prizes in some of Europe’s most prestigious international competitions, including 1st prize at the Brahms Piano Competition, Austria; 2nd prize at the Scandinavian Piano Competition; and 2nd prize at the Ferrol Piano Competition, Spain.

Elvekjær represented Denmark at the First Scandinavian Piano Festival and has performed widely across Europe, Asia, and North America in such venues as the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Copenhagen’s Tivoli Concert Hall; Tokyo’s Musashino Hall; Amsterdam’s Beurs van Berlage, the Austrian National Library in Vienna; the Casals Festival, Prades, France; Norway’s Bergen and Trondheim Festivals; the Umeå Kammermusik Festival in Sweden; and the Korsholm and Kuhmo Festivals in Finland.

He has performed as a soloist with all the major Danish orchestras and many prominent orchestras in Europe including the Danish National Orchestra; the Leipzig Chamber Orchestra (Germany), the Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen, l'Orchestre Syrinx (France), among others. He has toured in Europe as a soloist with Danish and German orchestras, and performed as a soloist with the Danish National Orchestra in Denmark and Sweden in 2008.

Elvekjær's début CD featured music by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and César Franck and was nominated in 2007 for Best Solo Album at the Danish Music Awards. Politiken hailed it as “an extraordinary release . . . performances radiant with talent.”

Elvekjær studied in Århus, Denmark; Cologne, Germany; and in the Vienna Conservatory and Salzburg Mozarteum, Austria. His teachers included John Damgaard, K.H. Kämmerling, Leonid Brumberg, Lazar Berman, Ferenc Rados, and the Alban Berg Quartett.

Back to top of page

Music on Park Avenue
Evenings with Pianist Per Tengstrand

Thursdays @ 8 pm, October 18, November 15, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012, 4 pm
$20 ($15 ASF Members); Series Pass: $96 ($72 ASF Members)

Swedish pianist and artistic director Per Tengstrand – now in his third season of musical programming at Scandinavia House – performs a series of concerts with distinguished guest musicians. The series highlights the repertoire of Scandinavian chamber music and its composers.

Homage to the Piano: Schubert, Mozart, & Chopin

October 18
Introduction by Mr. Tengstrand, 7:15 – 7:45 pm

Held in the 3rd Floor Galleries of Scandinavia House, the series’ season begins with some of the most beautiful music written for piano, featuring Per Tengstrand and including Franz Schubert’s Four Impromptus, Op. 90, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Twelve Variations on Ah vous dirai-je, Maman (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star).

Cello Fire from Iceland

November 15

Icelandic cellist and former ASF Fellow Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir returns to Scandinavia House, this time with two phenomenal string colleagues – violinist Owen Dalby and violist Meena Bhasin – joining pianist Per Tengstrand in a concert of works including Robert Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces for Cello and Piano, Op. 73, Franz Schubert’s String Trio in B flat major, D. 471, and Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25.

Rising Stars

December 9

Hear the musical stars of tomorrow! In this special holiday concert, young, up-and-coming musicians from the Juilliard School and New England Conservatory in Boston will perform classic pieces, as well as traditional Scandinavian holiday music.

Supported by a grant from The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

Back to top of page

The Confession of a Fool
Nordic Chamber Opera

Thursday, October 25, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

The Confessions of a Fool, Nordic Chamber Opera
In celebration of 2012 as the Year of August Strindberg – the prolific Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist, and painter – the Nordic Chamber Opera stages his The Confession of a Fool (1893). Performed as an opera in one act, this work originally was one of Strindberg’s autobiographical novels and tells his version of his unhappy, but passionate first marriage to Siri von Essen, the Swedish-speaking Finnish noblewoman and actress.

The world première of The Confession of a Fool, with music by Inger Wikström and text by August Strindberg, took place in 2002 at the Vasa Theatre in collaboration with the Royal Opera in Stockholm. It was also performed in Paris at the Cité Internationale des Arts 2006.

With Michael Bartov, baritone, Elisabeth Haglund, soprano, and Inger Wikström, pianist.

About the Nordic Chamber Opera:
Founded in 1980 by Swedish conductor, composer, and pianist Inger Wikström, the Nordic Chamber Opera is comprised of accomplished, young opera stars, accompanied by the Nordic Chamber Orchestra, which includes musicians from the Royal Opera in Stockholm.

The Nordic Chamber Opera made its debut in 1980 at Confidencen (the Ulriksdal Palace Theatre), performing George Frideric Handel’s Alcina (HWV 34). Subsequent repertoire at Confidencen included Vincezo Bellini’s La sonnambula, Joseph Haydn’s Il mondo della lunaLa Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, W.A. Mozart’s The Magic Flute,Don Giovanni, and Wikström’s The Outlaw, among many other works that spanned the classic to the contemporary.

The Nordic Chamber Opera regularly tours Sweden performing abbreviated versions of classic operas for schools, in addition to presenting operas written for children such as AladdinPeter Pan, and Junker Nils, based on a story by Astrid Lindgren. The Nightingale, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale and with music by Wikström, was staged at the Royal Opera in Stockholm, as well as in Germany.

Supported by a grant from The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

Back to top of page

Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel:
Concerts with Lively Commentary

Monday, November 26, 8 pm & Thursdays @ 8 pm, January 24, April 18, & May 16, 2013
$20 ($15 ASF Members); Series Pass: $64 ($48 ASF Members)

Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Concerts with Lively CommentaryInternationally-acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel returns for his sixth season at Scandinavia House. Each evening is comprised of informal commentary on the music and its composers, a full performance of each work, and concludes with a short Q & A session. The accessible format enriches audience understanding of classical music for the newcomer and seasoned listener alike.

Northern Neighbors

Originally scheduled for Thursday, November 1, 8 pm
Status: Rescheduled for Monday, November 26, 8 pm

Musical masterpieces from the North, all written at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, including the festive Prelude and charming Spinning Top from Carl Nielsen, Wilhelm Stenhammar’s rhapsodic Fantasy, the captivating Romance by Jean Sibelius, Edvard Grieg’s Lyric Pieces, and Preludes from Sergei Rachmaninoff.

This series is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, Edmund C. Duffy, Director.

Back to top of page



2011

Danish Counterpoints
The Talea Ensemble

Friday, January 21, 2011, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Danish Counterpoints The Talea EnsembleListeners will be transported to an arctic sound world as the Talea Ensemble presents Danish Counterpoint: Celebrating Danish Culture and Art through the Works of Bent Sørensen and Hans Abrahamsen. These celebrated composers, both descendants of Danish Innovator Per Nørgård, have a great deal in common aesthetically including shared ideas of counterpoint, canons and drawn-out melodies. Danish Counterpoint highlights those similarities while exploring the uniqueness in each composer’s voice.

The program begins with Sørensen’s sister works The Deserted Churchyards (1990) and Funeral Procession (1989-90). Though each work can be presented autonomously, Danish Counterpoint is a rare opportunity to hear them as a complementary pair. Both works together explore the threshold of sound in terms of audibility with intricate textures outlining harmonies, creating a blurred effect against a stark Scandinavian sound palette. After bringing listeners in closer to catch the detail within the sonic periphery of Sørensen’s works, the Talea Ensemble will present the US PREMIERE of Hans Abrahamsen’s magnum opus to date, Schnee (Snow) (2006). Schnee is an hour-long journey that explores the “questions” and “answers” of a musical phrase in an entirely canonic listening experience.

About the Ensemble:
Consisting of a core group of eight musicians (Tara Helen O’Connor, flutes; Rane Moore, clarinets; Erik Carlson, violin; Elizabeth Weisser, viola; Chris Gross, cello; Anthony Cheung, piano; Steve Beck, piano; and Alex Lipowski, percussion), the Talea Ensemble often expands or reduces its size as needed.

The Talea Ensemble has given many important premieres of new works by composers including Tristan Murail, Jason Eckardt, Pierluigi Billone, Jean-Luc Hervé, Stefano Gervasoni, Marco Stroppa, and Fabien Lévy amongst others. The Talea Ensemble was the guest ensemble for the 18-day Spectrum XXI Festival tour in Paris and London and has twice been invited as guest ensemble to the Nevada Encounters of New Music (NEON) as well as La Ciudad de las Ideas (Mexico) and the International Contemporary Music Festival of Lima, Peru. As an active collaborator of new music the Talea Ensemble has joined forces with Ensemble Cairn (Paris), Hyperion Ensemble (Romania), and the iO Quartet (New York).

Assuming an ongoing role in supporting and collaborating with student composers, the Talea Ensemble has served as ensemble-in-residence at Harvard University, Columbia University, and New York University. The Talea Ensemble has recorded works on the Living Artists Label and Gravina Musica. Recent projects include a tribute concert in memory of Fausto Romitelli, a festival of emerging Italian composers, and its monthly series at the arts-driven Roger Smith Hotel. A special highlight for the 2010-11 season includes a concert at Miller Theatre for Pierre Boulez’ 85th birthday with Mr. Boulez in attendance.

Co-presented in collaboration with the Consulate General of Denmark in New York.

Keyboard Conversations® with Pianist Jeffrey Siegel Keyboard Conversations® with Pianist Jeffrey Siegel:
Concerts with Commentary

Thursday @ 8 pm, January 27, 2011
Individual tickets: $15 ($10 ASF members); Series pass: $35 ($20 ASF members)

Internationally-acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel returns to Scandinavia House for his fourth season at Victor Borge Hall. Beginning each evening with informal commentary on the music and its composers, Keyboard Conversations® offers a full performance of each work, and concludes with a short, lively question and answer session. The accessible, inviting format enriches audience understanding of classical music for the newcomer and seasoned listener alike.

Romantic Fantasies

Thursday, January 27, 2011, 8 pm

Highlighting the passionate, poetic music of Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Wilhelm Stenhammar, the Swedish master whose music was inspired by them.

The Miracle of Mozart!

Thursday, April 21, 2011, 8 pm

Beloved works of this incomparable composer, as well as other Mozart masterpieces that will be welcome musical discoveries - all with intriguing stories!

Out of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics

Ongoing, the first Thursday of each month (except for Monday, March 14, 2011), doors 7 pm/concert 7:30 pm
Concert for May 5, 2011 TBA
$10 ($8 ASF Members)

Out of Scandinavia is an on-going series of uniquely selected musical performances the first Thursday of each month, headlining a myriad of fresh Nordic musicians that features one-off and premiere performances. Through subtle, deft curating of disparate styles, Out of Scandinavia will satiate your craving for innovative and compelling new indie music from the Nordics.

Out of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics is made possible in part by the Consulate General of Denmark, New York; the Consulate General of Finland, New York; the Consulate General of Sweden, New York; Iceland Naturally; Music Export Finland; Music Export Norway, and Export Music Sweden.

Double Bill: Helena Espvall & Pétur Ben

February 3

Helena EspvallHelena Espvall

Born and raised in Sweden, and having played the guitar and cello in several rock bands (as well as performing in a silent movie orchestra and an Arabian Music ensemble), Helena Espvall moved to the U.S. in 2000. Besides performing with the renowned Philadelphia band Espers, Helena collaborates with many others in the psychedelic folk and free improvisation world. She has recorded with folk guitar legend Bert Jansch, toured with Vashti Bunyan, and Damon & Naomi, and released two albums on Drag City records consisting of Swedish folk songs and improvisations together with Tokyo musician Masaki Batoh.

Espvall has performed several times at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, twice at the High Zero Festival of improvised music in Baltimore, at the Improvised and Otherwise Festival in Brooklyn, at the Big Sur experimental festival in California and at Terrastock 2006 in Providence, Rhode Island, among others.

Listen to Helena Espvall on MySpace

Download mp3 files:
Uti vår hage (size: 6630 KB)
Jag vet en dejlig rosa (size: 3087 KB)
Seaspray & Nebulae (size: 8578 KB)

Pétur Ben

FM BelfastBorn in Reykjavík in 1976, Pétur Ben has been playing and writing music since his teens. Although active in the Icelandic underground scene for years, Ben first became known for playing with Mugison, as well as arranging and writing Mugison's 2004 album, Mugimama is this Monkeymusic.

Ben graduated from the composition department at the Reykjavík Academy of Music in 2004, where he studied with Úlfar Ingi Haraldsson and Hródmar Ingi Sigurbjörnsson. The composition degree has come to good use for this indie rock artist. The music to Ragnar Bragason's Children/Börn (2006) and Parents/Foreldrar (2007) are his first film scores and he has been involved in several theatre productions. Most notable are his score for Strindberg's Dreamplay directed by Benedikt Erlingsson and his arrangement for Woyzeck a Vesturport production with original music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Ben has also made a name for himself for arranging music for others, including Mugison, Slowblow, and Telepathetics.

Listen to Pétur Ben on MySpace

Special SxSW Showcase featuring Nive, FM Belfast, & Giana Factory

Monday, March 14

Nive

NiveNive Nielsen is an Inuit singer-songwriter from Nuuk, Greenland. She just finished her debut album nive sings! and self-released it on her label tuttu recordings.

Nive’s played more than 120 concerts in both Europe and the U.S. since she started playing live in mid-2009 (SxSW, Iceland Airwaves, Pop Montreal, Eurosonic, and Green Man, among others) and won various international awards.

nive sings! was recorded over the course of 2 years in Bristol (UK), Montreal (CAN), Tucson (AZ), San Francisco (CA), Ghent & Antwerp (BE) and in an attic in Nuuk, Greenland. The record was produced by John Parish and Nive with additional production by Jan de Vroede and Alain Auger.

Listen to Nive on MySpace

Download mp3 files:
Good for You (size: 3997 KB)
Pirate Song (feat. Howe Gelb, size: 3395 KB)
Room (size: 6413 KB)
Aqqusernit (size: 3945 KB)

FM Belfast

FM BelfastFM Belfast is a Reykjavík-based electro/electronica group that began as a duo in late 2005 when Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson (Plúseinn) and Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir wrote a song as a present for their friends. The band was a studio project for some time until the 2006 Iceland Airwaves Festival when the band expanded into a full on live act.

The members now vary from 3 to 8 individuals, with the core of the band made up of Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson (Plúseinn, Hairdoctor, Motion Boys), Árni Vilhjálmsson (Motherfuckers in the house) and Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir. When the stars are aligned correctly the band consists of Sveinbjorn Hermann Pálsson (Terrordisco), Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason (múm, Borko, Skakkamanage), Björn Kristjánsson (múm, Borko, Skakkamanage), Birgitta Birgisdóttir, Eiríkur Orri (múm, Kira Kira, Benni Hemm Hemm).

In 2008 the band formed World Champion Records. Their first full-length record How to Make Friends was released in Iceland on World Champion Records in October 2008. It has sold over 4,000 copies in Iceland alone.

Listen to FM Belfast on MySpace

Giana Factory

Giana FactoryCopenhagen-based Giana Factory consists of Louise Foo, Sofie Johanne and Lisbet Fritze. Since 2008 an old warehouse in the outskirts of Copenhagen has set the scene for the creation of this trio’s unique musical universe - a manipulation of easily accessible pop towards the darker recesses of electro and avant-garde.

They debuted in October 2008 at the popular Copenhagen club, Little Vega, which marked the start of an intense period for the Danish trio, whose current and seductive sound quickly caught the attention of the public eye. After a staggering series of concerts in the Nordic countries, including touring with Scottish band Glasvegas in 2009, Giana Factory has established themselves on the music scene. The growing interest culminated in the summer of 2009 when they played at multiple music festivals, including the Spot Festival (Aarhus), Start! Festival (Copenhagen), and Roskilde Festival.

The debut album Save the Youth was released in Denmark September 2010 on Music For Dreams. The album invites the listener to indulge in a unique universe of dreamy pop that moves on the darker side of electronica and avant-garde.

The album, produced by the girls themselves in cooperation with producer Tomas Barfod is a nuanced exploration of the unique musical vein they first presented on their critically acclaimed EP, Bloody Game, released last year.

Fuelled by an ambition to play with the contrasts between pop and melancholic electro-house, the organic and the mechanical, the classically acoustic and futurist, Giana Factory’s music is layered and eerily inviting. Led by dark and elusive vocals from Louise Foo, their atypical and almost hypnotic sound has already drawn attention.

Listen to Giana Factory on MySpace

Back to top of page

Northern Reflection:
Finnish Kantele with Hedi Viisma

Monday, February 7, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF members)

Northern Reflection:
Finnish Kantele with Hedi ViismaEstonian-born, Finnish-based musician Hedi Viisma presents a concert performed on the kantele (a traditional plucked instrument of the zither family native to Finland, Estonia, and Karelia) that includes premiere performances of Alex Freeman’s Toccata, Matthew Whittall’s The Snow Watcher, and Sebastian Fagerlund’s Kohti, as well as her own arrangements of J.S. Bach, Isaac Albeniz, John Dowland, Claude Debussy, and John Cage.

Viisma began studies on the kantele at the age of seven. She earned a diploma in performance from the Georg Ots Conservatory in her native Tallinn, and a Master’s degree at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, where she studied under Ritva Koistinen, Finland’s premier kantele pedagogue. A highly sought-after recitalist and guest lecturer, Viisma is currently based in Helsinki, pursing a doctoral degree at the Sibelius Academy, where she also coaches chamber music. Additionally, she holds the post of Lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater.

From its roots as a six-string folk zither, the kantele has grown over the last half century into a full-fledged concert instrument, and Hedi Viisma has consistently been at the forefront of its technical and structural development through her commissions, transcriptions and work with instrument makers. Her kantele model, a five-octave, sixty-one-string chromatic kantele, debuted in 2010. Designed in collaboration with master craftsman Otto Koistinen of Rääkkylä, Finland, the instrument is set to become the concert standard for the chromatic kantele. Viisma has recorded music by Bach for the Finnish IMU label and has performed many new works for broadcast in Finland and Estonia. Her upcoming album Reflections, with cellist Seeli Toivio, will be released in 2011.

Back to top of page

Skogensemble with ASF Fellows Ilari Kaila & Ellen Lindquist

Thursday, February 10, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF members)

Skogensemble with ASF Fellows Ilari Kaila and Ellen LindquistSkogensemble, New York's Nordic new music ensemble, presents a concert of works by ASF Fellows Ilari Kaila and Ellen Lindquist, as well as world premieres by Henrik Strindberg and Ivo Nilsson, and US premieres by Malin Bång and Sebastian Fagerlund, featuring guest soloists Hedi Viisma (kantele) and Elisabeth Holmertz (soprano).

Skogensemble is an international ensemble of musicians dedicated to the performance of contemporary music by composers from Nordic countries and from composers with Norse heritage. Skogen, which has its roots in Icelandic and Old Norse, is a Scandinavian word meaning “the forest.”

Skogensemble grew out of a four-year collaborative opera project called drömseminarium, based on texts of Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer and music by American composer Ellen Lindquist. Throughout the development of the opera the synergy between the musicians grew, as did their desire to explore the music of the Nordic countries. Skogensemble performs repertoire ranging from large-scale multi-media work to the most intimate of chamber music pieces.

ASF fellow Ilari Kaila (b. 1978) began his composition studies in 1998, at the Sibelius Academy in his native Finland, and continued at Stony Brook University with support from The American-Scandinavian Foundation, where he just received his PhD. He has participated in master classes with Magnus Lindberg and Esa-Pekka Salonen, and studied Carnatic music on several trips to India since 2002. Kaila has written chamber music, vocal music, orchestral music, and works for stage. As a pianist, he has performed in premieres of his own and other young composers' works, and in several improvisation projects. He has received, most recently, a commission grant from the National Council for the Arts in Finland, special recognition prize in the Composer Competition of the 9th International Piano Festival in Espoo, a commission grant from the Wihuri Foundation, and the Seaside Institute's artist residency.

The music of ASF fellow Ellen Lindquist (b. 1970) is performed regularly throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe (Sweden, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria), and has also been performed in South Korea, the Philippines, and South Africa. Discovery of unique sound-worlds through collaboration is central in much of Lindquist’s work; several of her pieces are collaborative projects involving dance, theater, poetry, and performance art.

Lindquist's work has been heard at venues such as Carnegie Hall, The United Nations, The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine (New York), The Västerås Konserhus (Sweden), and The Royal Northern College of Music (England). Past commissions range from solo and chamber pieces to choral and orchestral works. Recent grants to support Ellen’s work include fellowships from The American-Scandinavian Foundation and the American Swedish Institute (the Malmberg Scholarship), and development funding from The New York State Council on the Arts. She has been invited to multiple residencies at the Visby International Centre for Composers (Sweden), the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), and the International Ceramic Research Center (Denmark; a collaboration with ceramic artist Henny Linn Kjellberg to develop porcelain percussion instruments), and has served as composer-in-residence at Mälardalen University (Sweden). Lindquist has been invited to speak about her work live and in radio interviews in the US, Canada, Sweden, and Denmark.

Lindquist holds a BA in Composition and Piano Performance from Middlebury College and a MA and PhD in Composition from Stony Brook University. Her work is published by Marimba Productions, Inc., and Apple Mountain Music Press (ASCAP). Go Fish Music has released Thomas Burritt’s solo CD titled All Times Identical with his recording of her solo marimba work Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky.

Listen to Ivo Nilsson discuss his new work Destinated Objects in this podcast for Skogensemble

The Complete Brahms Piano Quartets with the Dingstad Family Piano Quartet

Sunday, February 27, 2 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

The Complete Brahms Piano Quartets with the Dingstad Family Piano QuartetThe three piano quartets by German composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) are undoubtedly some of the greatest chamber music pieces ever written. In this concert they will be performed by the Dingstad Family Piano Quartet from Oslo, Norway, featuring Tore Dingstad, a sought-after collaborative pianist and former Head of Artistic Administration at the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet; Elisabeth Dingstad, a violinist and newly appointed Concertmaster of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic; Jakob Dingstad, a violist and 1st year student at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, and Christopher Dingstad, a cellist based in New York.

Back to top of page

ASF Centennial Concert:
A Special Evening with Leif Ove Andsnes

Wednesday, April 6, 7 pm
By invitation, please call for details

A Special Evening with Leif Ove AndsnesThe celebrated Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes in conversation and performance for ASF Members hosted by WQXR morning host Jeff Spurgeon.

Described by Gramophone as a pianist of “jaw-dropping dexterity” and “immense musicality,” Andsnes will discuss his Norwegian roots and the influence of Scandinavian music in his development as an artist. He will also perform selections from his repertoire for a special members-only evening.

The Wall Street Journal has called Leif Ove Andsnes “one of the most gifted musicians of his generation,” while the New York Times has described him as “a pianist of magisterial elegance, power and insight.” With his commanding technique and searching interpretations, the celebrated Norwegian pianist has won worldwide acclaim. As well as giving recitals and playing concertos each season in the world’s leading concert halls and with the foremost orchestras, he is also an active recording artist and avid chamber musician who has joined select colleagues each summer at Norway’s Risør Festival of Chamber Music.

Among the many highlights of Leif Ove Andsnes’ 2010-11 season are two important residencies: as Pianist-in-Residence with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, he performs five diverse programs including chamber music, Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with conductor Bernard Haitink, and a solo recital. He will also appear as Artist-in-Residence with his hometown orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic, where he will perform three programs. A European tour with the London Philharmonic and Vladimir Jurowski features performances of the Brahms Second in London, Spain and Germany. He brought his tenure as co-artistic director of the Risør Festival to a festive conclusion with a fall tour that included concerts in Brussels, London and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

As an exclusive EMI Classics artist, Andsnes has recorded more than 30 discs spanning repertoire from Bach to the present day. He has been nominated for seven Grammys and awarded many international prizes, including four Gramophone Awards. Last season, in addition to Pictures Reframed, he released Shadows of Silence, featuring a work of the same name by the Danish composer Bent Sørensen and French composer Marc-André Dalbavie’s Piano Concerto (Andsnes gave the world premieres of both works, at New York’s Carnegie Hall and London’s Proms respectively.) Other repertoire on the disc includes solo works by Kurtág, and Lutosławski’s Piano Concerto recorded live with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst.

Andsnes has received Norway’s most distinguished honor, Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. In 2007, he received the prestigious Peer Gynt Prize, awarded by members of parliament to honor prominent Norwegians for their achievements in politics, sports and culture. Andsnes has also received the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award and the Gilmore Artist Award. Saluting his many achievements, Vanity Fair named Andsnes one of the “Best of the Best” in 2005.

Andsnes was born in Karmøy, Norway in 1970, and studied at the Bergen Music Conservatory under the renowned Czech professor Jiři Hlinka. Over the past decade, he has also received invaluable advice from the Belgian piano teacher Jacques de Tiège, who like Hlinka, has greatly influenced his style and philosophy of playing. Andsnes cites Dinu Lipatti, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Sviatoslav Richter, and Géza Anda among the pianists who have most inspired him. Andsnes currently lives in Copenhagen and Bergen, and also spends much time at his mountain home in Norway’s western Hardanger area. He is a professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, a visiting professor at the Royal Music Conservatory of Copenhagen, and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

Back to top of page

An ASF Centennial Concert Series:
Spot on Royal Danish Academy of Music: A Centennial Tribute

Thursdays in March starting March 17, 8 pm
FREE

The Royal Danish Academy of Music is the oldest music academy in Denmark. It is a dynamic and vibrant artistic educational institution, centered on teaching, which counts among its principal tasks the aim of continuing to develop classical music and enhance its relevance on an ongoing basis, as a central part of contemporary musical and cultural life.

The Academy has a broad musical and stylistic span, ranging from period music to classical-romantic, as well as more recent and new contemporary music, including the compositional music of tomorrow.

Nightingale String Quartet

March 17

Nightingale String QuartetCarl Nielsen’s String Quartet Op. 13 in G-minor; Rued Langgaard’s String Quartet No. 3; and Franz Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 in D-minor, D. 810, “Death and the Maiden.”

Inspired by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale about the little nightingale, the Nightingale String Quartet was founded in 2007 by violinists Gunvor Sihm and Josefine Dalsgaard, violist Marie Louise Broholt Jensen, and cellist Louisa Schwab. All four are currently studying their masters at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen with Professor Tim Frederiksen as their chamber music mentor and coach.

The quartet has won prizes at several national as well as international chamber music competitions, including the Danish Radio P2 talent prize 2010. In June 2008 the quartet won 1st prize at the Royal Danish Academy of Music’s scholarship chamber music competition. After having only played together for a year and a half, the quartet won 2nd prize at the Danish Radio’s chamber music competition in February 2009. In April 2010 the Nightingale String Quartet was awarded 2nd prize at the international chamber music competition Charles Hennen Concours in Holland. As a result of this prize the quartet was exclusively invited to take part in the summer course Orlando Festival in Holland along with only 3 other prize winning quartets. At the festival they received daily coaching from the legendary violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi and performed at several concerts around the area.

Besides from being taught by professor Tim Frederiksen, Nightingale String Quartet has also received instruction from members of the Alban Berg Quartet, the Vermeer Quartet, Quatour Danel, and the Danish String Quartet. They have taken part in Milan Vitek’s course in the Czech Republic, the Orlando Festival in Holland, and have had lessons with Lilia Schulz, György Kurtág, Vlad Bogdanas, Jensen Horn-Sin LAM and Roberto Díaz.

In the winter of 2010 Nightingale String Quartet will begin recording all of Rued Langgaard's string quartets for the Danish record label DACAPO.

Trio Ismena & Soprano Dénise Beck

March 24

Trio Ismena & Soprano Dénise BeckCarl Nielsen’s Piano Trio No. 1 in G-major, Genrebillede, I Seraillets Have, and Æbleblomst op. 10, No. 1; Peter E. Lange-Müller’s Piano Trio Op. 53; selections from Peter A. Heise’s Dyveke’s Songs; and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 in E-minor, Op. 67.

Formed in 2004 at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Trio Ismena has established itself as one of the most exciting and promising young chamber ensembles on the Danish music scene. Having won 1st prize in the Danish Radio Chamber Music Competition 2009 and 3rd prize in the Trondheim International Piano Trio Competition 2007, the trio now looks forward to a season with concerts in major halls in Denmark and tours to China, Spain, Germany, and the United States.

Professor Tim Frederiksen was their mentor at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. They also received instruction from the Tokyo, Jerusalem, and Vermeer Quartets, as well as Gerhard Schulz of the Alban Berg Quartet. Subsequently they have performed at the most important Danish music festivals and music societies as well as at festivals in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Latvia, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

The trio is also interested in playing contemporary music, which has resulted in several collaborations with composers, most notably with the Danish composer Ib Nørholm. In the future they plan to collaborate with several American composers as well.

Since 2009 Trio Ismena has been a part of the chamber music class at the Escuela Superior de Musica de Camara, Reina Sofia in Madrid where the professors include Menahem Pressler of the Beaux Art Trio and Professor Ralf Gothoni.

Trio Ismena & Soprano Dénise BeckDénise Beck graduated from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna in 2010 with the highest grade. From 2008-2010 she studied in the soloistclass at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen with Professor Kirsten Buhl Møller. She also received lessons with Professor Julie Kaufmann in Berlin and Michael Eliassen from Philadelphia.

Beck has performed in opera houses and on stages around the world, including Salzburger Landestheater, Volksoper Wien, Royal Opera Copenhagen, Oper Klosterneuburg Vienna, Konzerthaus Wien, Musikverein Wien, Wigmore Hall London, Operacity Shinjuku-Tokyo, Bunkan Kaikan Tokyo, and Teatro Nacional de Brasilia.

Apart from her opera career, Dénise Beck is a renowned concert and oratorio soloist. She has performed in Copenhagen, Vienna, Innsbruck (at the Tiroler Festspiele), Montepulciano, Italy, Düsseldorf, Germany, Zell am See (at the New-Year Concerts), Hanoi, Bangkok (in honor of his Majesty the Kings´Anniversary in 2006), Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Brasilia. In 2010 she went on tour in Japan with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

Dénise Beck has worked with various renowned conductors and stage directors such as Ira Levin, Kazufumi Yamashita, Giancarlo Andretta, Nicholas Milton, David Levi, Johannes Wildner, Enrico Calesso, baroque specialist Ingomar Rainer, Reto Nickler, Didier von Orlowsky, Thomas Barthol, Johannes Pölzgutter, and Anna Bernreithner.

In 2004 she won the first Prize in the Young Singers competition in Denmark and in 2010 she won 2nd Prize in the Richard Tauber competition in London.

Nielsen Winds

March 31

Nielsen WindsSamuel Barber’s Summer Music for Woodwind Quintet, Op. 31; Jørgen Jersild’s At spille i skoven – Serenade for Woodwind Quintet; and Carl Nielsen’s Woodwind Quintet Op. 43.

Nielsen Winds has its roots in the Royal Danish Academy of Music’s select ensemble, Rosenørns Ensemblet, led by Prof. Max Artved, put together with the most talented strings and wind students, as well as occasionally pianists, percussionist and other instrumentalists, of the Academy.

The idea behind the ensemble is to give advanced students the possibility to play some of the great pieces of the musical literature, both chamber music pieces and pieces for a larger ensemble. The repertoire of Rosenørns Ensemblet consists among other pieces of R. Strauss: Serenades, Dvořák: Serenade, Schumann: Piano Quartet and Quintet, Mozart: Gran Partita, Debussy: Sonata for flute, viola and harp. Lately the ensemble performed Messiaen: Piano concerto “Oiseaux Exotiques” and Mahler: Kindertotenlieder.

Back to top of page

Out of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics

Ongoing, the first Thursday of each month (except for Monday, March 14, 2011), doors 7 pm/concert 7:30 pm
$10 ($8 ASF Members)

Out of Scandinavia is an on-going series of uniquely selected musical performances the first Thursday of each month, headlining a myriad of fresh Nordic musicians that features one-off and premiere performances. Through subtle, deft curating of disparate styles, Out of Scandinavia will satiate your craving for innovative and compelling new indie music from the Nordics.

Out of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics is made possible in part by the Consulate General of Denmark, New York; the Consulate General of Finland, New York; the Consulate General of Sweden, New York; Iceland Naturally; Music Export Finland; Music Export Norway, and Export Music Sweden.

Double Bill: Philco Fiction & Dinosauruxia

April 7

Acoustic sounds meet home-grown electronic beats, strong synths, and bold melodies from these two promising and dynamic acts.

Philco Fiction

Philco FictionStarted by Norwegians Turid Alida Solberg and Bjarne Christian B. B. Gustavsen in 2003, Philco Fiction has now grown to include Andreas Lønmo Knudsrød, Christian Skaugen, and Ruben Larssen. From the beginning the band has focused on creating their own musical world, one that is rooted in their strong, but playful compositions and keen interest on the visual aspects of performing. An aural mashup of Björk and Edith Piaf, the heart of Philco Fiction’s music is found in a mix of acoustic and electronic sounds. Their use of alternative instrumentation and a self-declared lack of respect for any one musical genre make Philco Fiction a highly dynamic and unpredictable ensemble.

With their first album, Give Us to the Lions, released in August 2010 (Brilliance Records), the band will tour Norway, Europe, and China through the following year.

Listen to Philco Fiction on MySpace

Dinosauruxia

DinosauruxiaOne of Finland’s most promising new indie bands, the experimental electro-pop duo Dinosauruxia is a comprised of the two 19-year olds Emilia Lagk and Sanna Lehto. The girls are equal measures sweet and hauntingly mysterious, with a sound reminiscent of CocoRosie, Bat for Lashes, and Björk. Their unique sound consists of painstakingly crafted home-grown electronic and electro-acoustic beats, strong synths, and bold melodies sung with brooding intensity.

Dinosauruxia has previously released a split 7” on the label Moron Says What and a debut single Safe on Misf*tsounds.

Listen to Dinosauruxia on MySpace

Double Bill: Hafdís Huld & The Migrant

May 5

A rich blend of psychedelic folk and dreamy, disjointed pop with songs full of vivid imagery, carefully crafted lyrics, and catchy hooks from Icelandic songstress Hafdís Huld and Danish one-man act The Migrant.

Hafdís Huld

Hafdis HuldHafdís Huld is an Icelandic siren with a growing reputation for being one of the most entertaining performers to ever grace a stage or an interviewer’s couch. Huld is a former member of Gus Gus and erstwhile collaborator with electro-outfit FC Kahuna and Tricky.

Huld’s critically-acclaimed debut solo album Dirty Paper Cup (2006) won Best Pop Album at the 2007 Icelandic Music Awards and featured songs co-written with Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys), Pascal Gabriel, Boo Hewerdine (Natalie Imbruglia, Eddi Reader), and Chris Corner (Sneaker Pimps). The album received considerable acclaim from the world’s music press and brought her to the attention of national radio in the U.K.

Her second album, Synchronized Swimmers was released in 2010 and explores bigger sounds and has a live, organic feel. Co-produced by French Grammy award-winning producers Calum MacColl and Alisdair Wright, the album gave Huld three Icelandic number one singles and raised her profile worldwide.

Huld is a favorite festival act, with appearances including Glastonbury, The Secret garden Festival, The Big Chill, Camden Crawl, and JaJaJa in the U.K., Hultsfred in Sweden, By:Larm in Norway, Airwaves in Iceland, Spot Festival in Denmark, Les Femmes S’en Melent and Europavox in France, The Midnight Sun Festival in the Czech Republic. She has supported major pop acts such as Paolo Nutini and Mika, and played music industry conferences In The City in Manchester and SxSW in the U.S.

Listen to Hafdís Huld on MySpace

Download mp3 files:
Synchronized Swimmers (size: 7794 KB)
Action Man (size: 9023 KB)

The Migrant

The MigrantDanish act The Migrant (musician Bjarke Bendtsen) invites one on a journey into the underworld of beautiful pop songs and psychedelic folk. Released in fall 2010 and warmly received, Travels in Lowland (fall 2010) is The Migrant’s first album. Since the album’s release, The Migrant has played more than 50 concerts in the U.S. and Northern Europe.

Having released two critically-acclaimed albums with his old band The Elephants in 2007 and 2009, Bendtsen decided to break with the band to travel and play his songs in more folky, stripped down versions.

On a visit back to Denmark last summer, Bendtsen recorded Travels in Lowland with some of his Danish friends in a summerhouse by the coast. The prelude to this session had been a number of free-spirited concerts where the different musicians joined in on Bendtsen’s new songs. The free-form vibe from those concerts made it all the way to the record where Bendtsen’s vocals are backed by an exciting mix of nostalgic guitar, violin, drums, and kitchenware. Later in 2010, after the winter snow had covered the entire country, Bendtsen isolated himself in the same summerhouse to mix the album.

Only half of Bendtsen’s new songs, however, were recorded during the Danish session. He therefore happily accepted an invitation by The Theater Fire’s horn and piano-player James Talambas to record in his Texas studio. The album appearing from that session, Amerika, is expected to be released sometime in 2011.

After the tours this past fall Bendtsen has settled for a while in Copenhagen, dedicating the winter months to more song-writing. He has scheduled recording The Migrant’s third album for this spring, once again in Texas.

Listen to The Migrant on MySpace

Back to top of page

Copenhagen Girls’ Choir

Monday, April 18, 6 pm
Free

Copenhagen Girls’ ChoirLed by Claus Vestergaard Jensen, the Copenhagen Girls’ Choir is proud to present a concert of both religious and non-religious music including Rheinberger’s Mass in G-minor, modern Danish sacred choral music, Danish folk songs, and newly composed pieces with texts by Ursula Andkjær-Olsen, Hans Christian Andersen, and T.S. Eliot.

The Copenhagen Girls' Choir rates among the best of its kind in Denmark and has its home at the Sankt Annæ Gymnasium, the Copenhagen Municipal Choir School. The Copenhagen Girls’ Choir was founded in 1973 and is under the patronage of HRH Princess Benedikte, and is resident choir at the Helligaandskirken in central Copenhagen (Church of the Holy Spirit). The connection between court, church, and school is a centuries old tradition in Denmark and a tradition, which The Copenhagen Girls’ Choir proudly maintains.

Copenhagen Girls’ ChoirThe Choir seeks to have a balance between more challenging and more direct music in its programs. In this way the concerts appeal to both regular and new audiences. The repertoire is broad with special focus on new music and popular music. Many composers of stature have felt persuaded to write for the choir, among them Knut Nystedt, Ib Nørholm, Leif Kayser Maj-Britt Kramer, Bo Holten, and Michael Bojesen. The Choir also performs music by the important composers such as Fauré, Poulenc, Brahms, Schubert, and Rheinberger.

The Copenhagen Girls' Choir is characterized by its homogeneous sound, partly resulting from the fact that the girls are of the same age, partly a result of the careful voice-training received at the Sankt Annæ Gymnasium. The Copenhagen Girls' Choir consists of all the girls from grade 6 through 9 at the Sankt Annæ Gymnasium, nearly 130 altogether.

The Copenhagen Girls’ Choir has recorded several CDs and toured all over the world, most recently in the U.S., Canada, and China, with the aim of spreading knowledge of Danish and Scandinavian choral music. Touring the East Coast this April, the Choir consists of 36 girls ages 15-16, and will visit Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Princeton, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Back to top of page

centennial icon An ASF Centennial Concert Series:
Per Tengstrand presents Musical Evenings with Nordic Stars

Tuesday, May 3, 8 pm
An additional concert will be held Fall 2011
Each $15 ($10 ASF members)

Per Tengstrand presents Musical Evenings with Nordic StarsPianist Per Tengstrand, one of Sweden’s leading musicians and winner of many international awards (Long-Thibaud, Cleveland, and Geneva competitions), is the artistic director of a series of concerts with distinguished guest musicians in honor of the ASF’s centennial year. Beginning this spring, the series highlights the repertoire of Scandinavian chamber music and its composers and performers.

Grieg, Alfvén and the Scandinavian Joie de Vivre

May 3

In this opening concert, Tengstrand is joined by acclaimed musicians pianist Shan-shan Sun, violinist David Coucheron, and the Choral of the Swedish Church to perform Hugo Alfvén’s Swedish Rhapsody for Piano Four Hands, Edvard Grieg’s Violin Sonata and songs for choir, and choral works by Jean Sibelius and Einojuhani Rautavaara.

This series is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

Back to top of page

Out of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics

Ongoing, the first Thursday of each month – June 2, 2011, July 7
(No concert in August or September 2011, series resumes in October 2011), doors 7 pm/concert 7:30 pm
$10 ($8 ASF Members)

Out of Scandinavia is an on-going series of uniquely selected musical performances the first Thursday of each month, headlining a myriad of fresh Nordic musicians that features one-off and premiere performances. Through subtle, deft curating of disparate styles, Out of Scandinavia will satiate your craving for innovative and compelling new indie music from the Nordics.

Out of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics is made possible in part by the Consulate General of Denmark, New York; the Consulate General of Finland, New York; the Consulate General of Sweden, New York; Iceland Naturally; Music Export Finland; Music Export Norway, and Export Music Sweden.

Elise VatsvaagElise Vatsvaag

June 2

On dreary days when everything seems blasé, Elise Vatsvaag’s endearing voice and playful lyrics are a pick-me-up. The small-framed Norwegian singer-songwriter has been compared to Ingrid Michaelson, Katie Melua and Colbie Caillat for her style and songwriting prowess, but her unique charm is the result of her innocent outlook on life and youthful zest.

In 2009 Elise signed with the Norwegian management company Great Moments, and since then she has grown to be among one of the most interesting up-and-coming artists in the west coast area of Norway, playing over 50 gigs in Norway throughout 2010.

Skúli Sverrisson with Davíð Þór Jónsson

July 7

Skúli Sverrisson with Davíð Þór JónssonOver the past two decades, bass guitarist-composer Skúli Sverrisson has worked with a veritable who’s who of the experimental music scene, from free jazz legends (Wadada Leo Smith, Derek Bailey) to music icons (Lou Reed, Jon Hassel, David Sylvian, Arto Lindsey) and composers (Ryuichi Sakamoto, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and Hildur Guðnadóttir). Sverrisson is also known for his work as an artistic director for Ólöf Arnalds (Innundir Skinni, Við og Við), recordings with Blonde Redhead and as a musical director for legendary performance artist Laurie Anderson. He has released a series of duo albums in collaboration with artists such as Anthony Burr, Óskar Guðjónsson, and Hilmar Jensson. He has been a member of many influential groups including Pachora, Alas No Axis, The Allan Holdworth Group, and The Ben Monder Group.

In 2005 Sverrisson also founded Seria, an ongoing ensemble featuring Amedeo Pace (Blonde Redhead), Ólöf Arnalds, Davíð Þór Jónsson, Anthony Burr, Eyvind Kang, and Hildur Guðnadóttir, and released Seria in 2006 and Seria ll in 2010.

He has appeared on over 100 recordings and has performed around the world with a wide range of artists.

Sverrisson has been awarded 5 Icelandic Music Awards, including Icelandic Album of the Year for Seria in 2006 and was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize 2011.

Skúli Sverrisson with Davíð Þór Jónsson Davíð Þór Jónsson is one of the most inventive musicians, pianists, and performers to come out of Icelandic music scene. He has collaborated with a whole spectrum of artists, from obscure troubadours in the countryside to stadium bands. He has made music for art installations, theater, and film. His main goal in music is to never lose his childlike enthusiasm and free spirit. Jónsson was nominated for “Performer of the Year 2009” by the Iceland Music Awards.

Back to top of page

Aventa EnsembleVoluptuous Panic – Music from the North
Aventa Ensemble

Monday, June 6, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Canada’s Aventa Ensemble (Bill Linwood, Artistic Director/Conductor) wraps up an exciting 2010/11 season on a high note with an awaited performance at Scandinavia House. Linwood and his 16-piece ensemble have concocted a delicious musical menu, which mixes works by Canadian and Scandinavian composers, including the U.S. premiere of Einstein's Dreams - May 14, 1905 by Jordan Nobles (CDN), Voluptuous Panic by Paul Frehner (CDN), and KafKapriccio by celebrated Danish composer Poul Ruders. Moreover, Danish harp virtuoso Maria Sørensen joins Aventa in the US premiere of Per Nørgård’s …gennem torne… (…through thorns…), - one of Denmark’s most esteemed composers.

The June 6 performance in New York marks the end of Aventa’s 2011 Spring Tour, which includes concerts in Sweden (Malmö Academy of Music in Malmö - May 29); Denmark (Athelas New Music Festival in Copenhagen - May 30 and June 3) and Germany (A•DEvantgarde-Festival in Munich -June 1).

AventaHailed as “a superb contemporary-music ensemble” (Globe and Mail), Aventa is amongst Canada’s finest musical ambassadors. With a reputation for superb performance and ambitious programming, Aventa has established itself as one of the country’s leading contemporary music ensembles. The group is comprised of musicians who are passionate about new music and its place in our culture. Pushing the boundaries through diverse projects, collaboration and cultural exchange, Aventa challenges the preconceptions of new music. Founded in 2003, Aventa regularly commissions both Canadian and international new works and has presented over 80 premieres both in Canada and on tour. Upcoming activity for the 2011/12 season includes a composer workshop with British composer Michael Finnissy, a new commission from Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and the world premiere of Gavin Bryars’ opera Marilyn - Anyone can see I love you, based on the life of actress Marilyn Monroe and featuring Faroese vocalist Eivør Pálsdóttir in the title role.
Canada Council for the Arts/British Columbia Arts Council/Brtish Columbia

Back to top of page

Preview Concert: Bard Music Festival 2011
Sibelius and His World
featuring the Daedalus Quartet, Pianist Anna Polonsky, & Soprano Lucy Dhegrae

Thursday, June 16, Pre-concert talk @ 8 pm by Robert Martin, co-artistic director of the Bard Music Festival & director of the Bard College Conservatory of Music
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Preview Concert: Bard Music Festival 2011 - 
Sibelius and His World - featuring the Daedalus Quartet, Pianist Anna Polonsky, and Soprano Lucy Dhegrae

The 22nd Bard Music Festival will focus on the life and times of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, whose startling, intense compositions evoke a range of powerful and unique associations—an imaginary sonic vision of mythic tales, Nordic landscape, and the haunting sounds of a midsummer night.

The Bard Music Festival was founded in 1990 to promote new ways of understanding and presenting the history of music to a contemporary audience. Each year, a single composer is chosen as the main subject. The festival explores his biography, considers his influences and the consequences of his achievement, and examines all aspects of the musical culture surrounding the time and place of his life.

The Daedalus Quartet (violinists Min-Young Kim and Ara Gregorian; violist Jessica Thompson; and cellist Raman Ramakrishnan) has established itself as a leader among the new generation of string ensembles. The ensemble has performed in many leading venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., and Boston’s Gardner Museum. Abroad the ensemble has been heard at the Musikverein in Vienna, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Cité de la Musique in Paris, among others. The Quartet has won plaudits for its adventurous exploration of contemporary music, most notably the compositions of Elliott Carter, George Perle, György Kurtág, György Ligeti, and David Horne. The group has collaborated with some of the world’s finest instrumentalists, including Marc-André Hamelin, Simone Dinnerstein, Awadagin Pratt, Joyce Yang, Benjamin Hochman, Paquito D’Rivera, Alexander Fiterstein, Roger Tapping, and Donald Weilerstein. Honors include Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award and Chamber Music America’s Guarneri String Quartet Award.

Anna Polonsky made her solo piano debut at the age of seven at the Special Central Music School in Moscow, Russia. She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Music diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with the renowned pianist Peter Serkin, and continued her studies with Jerome Lowenthal, earning her Master's Degree from the Juilliard School. Polonsky was a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in 2003. With the violist Michael Tree and clarinetist Anthony McGill, she is a member of the newly formed Schumann Trio. In addition to performing, she serves on the piano faculty of Vassar College. She is a Steinway Artist.

Ms. Polonsky has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, and many others. Ms. Polonsky has collaborated with the Guarneri, Orion, and Shanghai Quartets, and with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Ida and Ani Kavafian, Cho-Liang Lin, Arnold Steinhardt, Anton Kuerti, Gary Hoffman, and Fred Sherry. She has given concerts in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall's Stern, Weill, and Zankel Halls, and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. A frequent guest at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, she was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two during 2002-2004. In 2006 she took a part in the European Broadcasting Union's project to record and broadcast all of Mozart's keyboard sonatas, and in the spring of 2007 she performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium to inaugurate the Emerson Quartet's Perspectives Series.

Soprano Lucy Dhegrae is a graduate student in the Bard College Conservatory Vocal Arts Program where she works with Edith Bers, Kayo Iwama, and Dawn Upshaw. She is a lover of new music and has premiered new works at the Morgan Library in New York City as has worked with new music ensembles Contemporaneous and Da Capo Chamber Players. She is the founder of the Prism Project, a collective of artists from all different media who collaborate to create installations mixing poetry, music, dance, photography, theater, visual art, and film. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she also studied with soprano Sylvia Greenberg in Vienna, Austria. She is married to composer Shawn Jaeger.

Back to top of page

Nordic Midsummer Celebration
With the Jonas Kullhammar Quartet & Kuára

Monday, June 20, Doors 6:30 pm/Concert 7 pm
$15 ($12 ASF Members)

Midsummer, also known as the summer solstice, is the longest day of the year, but Scandinavians know it as “the day that never ends.” It is also a day of non-stop celebration extolling the Sun’s path around the earth. Join us for our annual Nordic Midsummer Celebration, featuring music from the Jonas Kullhammar Quartet and Kuára.

Nordic Midsummer CelebrationJonas Kullhammar Quartet was founded in Stockholm in 1998 and has since released 5 records and toured around the world.

Comprised of Swedes Jonas Kullhammar, saxophone, Jonas Holgersson, drums, Torbjörn Gulz, piano, and Torbjörn Zetterberg, bass, the band has been considered one of Sweden’s best jazz groups, and also won the award for Swedish Jazz Group of the Year 2002.

Nordic Midsummer Celebration Kuára is comprised of drummer Markku Ounaskari and pianist Samuli Mikkonen, both fixtures on the jazz scene of their native Finland, along with Norwegian trumpeter/vocalist Per Jørgensen. The unique musical project concentrates on open-form playing and spontaneous improvising and finds its inspiration rooted in Russian psalms and Fenno-Ugrian folk songs from Udmurtia, Vepsä, and Karelia.

Melodies unfurl slowly, and textures are carefully explored in the open improvisations and soundscapes shaped out of the songs: this sacred and secular music is the soil from which new sounds and ideas arise. A contemplative atmosphere prevails; themes and solo lines are counterbalanced with silences.

Back to top of page

Nordic Summer Jam

Thursdays (except for July 7) starting June 30 through July 28, Doors 6:30 pm/Concert 7 pm
$10 ($8 ASF Members)

Experience an unforgettable taste of Scandinavian artists in concert in Volvo Hall while enjoying our outdoor garden terrace this summer. An alternative to the usual midtown “happy hour,” Nordic Summer Jam presents an eclectic selection of musicians and repertoires.

In the Country

June 30

In the CountryIn The Country is a piano trio consisting of piano player Morten Qvenild, bass player Roger Arntzen, and drummer Pål Hausken.

Morten Qvenild is probably best known for being the orchestra in Susanna and the Magical Orchestra but has plenty more to show for. He has been a member of both Shining and Jaga Jazzist and is since long a member of Solveig Slettahjells Slow Motion Orchestra. In 2003 he formed In the Country with Ballrogg- and Chrome Hill-bass player Roger Arntzen and Christer Knutsen-drummer Pål Hausken at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. Since then they have been selected best young jazz artists in Norway, played concerts in Europe and USA and released two albums on the prestigious Rune Grammofon label (This was the Pace of My Heartbeat, 2004, and Losing Stones, Collecting Bones, 2006) to much critical acclaim. Downbeat called their debut album “one of the finest and most arresting albums to come out of Europe” that year, and All About Jazz placed In the Country's latest album Whiteout (2009) on their Best of 2009-list.

Anders Holst

July 14

Anders HolstContemporary singer and songwriter Anders Holst creates distinguished and captivating music that shows roots in jazz, soul, and European pop music. Holst was born and raised in Sweden but is currently based in New York City. Writing his first song when he was ten years old, music has always been a passion for this talented Swede. But a desire to walk in his father’s footsteps made him suppress his dreams, and venture into the world of business instead. Holst moved to the United States as co-chairman of the Ross Institute. But feeling like something was missing, he decided to give up his prosperous career in strategic management counseling, and start a singing one instead at the age of 52.

In 2005, while living in New York, Holst released a smooth jazz-infused EP, Five, recorded in Sweden and Los Angeles. His second album, Romantika, came out in January 2009 and received excellent reviews from Billboard, Radio and Records, and Jazziz, among others. Romantika boasts the sound of styles varied as Alan Parsons, Seal, Sting, and Chicago. The album was recorded in Stockholm and produced and arranged by Alar Suurna, Jerker Eklund, Mats Byström, and Holst. In 2010, Holst was nominated for the American Smooth Jazz Awards in the category of “International Male Vocalist of the Year.”

In June of this year, Holst released his latest album, Soho Suite. The album has been heralded by Billboard Magazine, AOL Music, Napster, and more.

Emma Larsson

July 21

Emma LarssonFinland-residing Swede Emma Larsson is a jazz singer and composer who delivers vivid, self-penned jazz tunes with a rich, warm voice. Inspired by instrumental jazz, she creates original instrumental music that could be described as a mixture of jazz, soul, and pop.

As a young Scandinavian, Larsson has a strong interest in form and aesthetics; the stretch of her interests and influences is global, but her viewpoint is strongly individual. The make-up of her current quintet reflects this with Benito Gonzalez on piano, Finns Jonathan Rautio on saxophone and Jukkis Uuotila on drums, and Swede Christian Spering on bass.

After finishing her first degree at the Piteå College of Music with a major in jazz and pop vocals, Larsson moved to Finland in 2003. Here she recorded her first album, Irie Butterflies, while studying for her master degree in jazz studies at the prestigious Sibelius Academy.

Recorded with her quintet in Helsinki, Larsson’s latest album, Let It Go, raises the stakes of her game. Her voice shows a degree of control not common in contemporary singers. Naturally talented, Larsson has also extended the range and control of both her singing and compositions; Larsson shows that she belongs in the modern jazz idiom, with roots in the early ‘50s.

Back to top of page

Karen Bach NY Trio, feat. Ian Froman and Evan Gregor

July 28

Karen Bach TrioThis music is Nordic, the sound of Scandinavia, full of intensity and edgy interaction, free improvisation and recognizable melodies, all of which are Danish musician Karen Bach's original compositions, accompanied by Canadian born, New York-based drummer Ian Froman and American bass player Evan Gregor.

The musical relationship between Bach and Froman has developed ever since the two studied together back in 2001. Over the years, they have become professional equals as they continue to develop new music.

After a tour of Scandinavia in 2008 and a sold-out performance at Cornelia Street Café in New York in 2009, Bach and Froman will again meet on stage in New York City, this time joined by bass player Evan Gregor.

Back to top of page

centennial icon An ASF Centennial Concert Series:
Per Tengstrand presents Musical Evenings with Nordic Stars

Thursday, October 6, 2011
Additional concerts in March 2012 TBA
Each $20 ($15 ASF Members) – Dinner & a Concert rates do not apply

Per Tengstrand presents Musical Evenings with Nordic StarsSwedish pianist Per Tengstrand performs a series of concerts with distinguished guest musicians in honor of the ASF’s centennial year. The series highlights the repertoire of Scandinavian chamber music and its composers.

Wilhelm Stenhammar & His Influences: Beethoven & Brahms
October 6, 2011

Sweden’s great composer Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871-1927) is underplayed, but not underappreciated as he steadily gains popularity in concert halls across the globe. David Chan, concertmaster of the Metropolitan Orchestra, and Per Tengstrand will perform music by Stenhammar, as well as his greatest musical influences, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms.

Per Tengstrand presents Musical Evenings with Nordic StarsHoliday Concert: Future Stars
with Swedish Soprano Malin Byström

December 11, 2011

In this special holiday performance, featuring soprano Malin Byström of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2011 production of Faust, established and young, up-and-coming musicians from the Juilliard School perform traditional Scandinavian Christmas music as well as works by Edvard Grieg, Robert Schumann, and Franz Schubert among others.

This series is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

Back to top of page

New Estonian and American Music
Ensemble U:

Monday, October 10, 7 pm
Free admission

New Estonian and American Music, Ensemble U:Ensemble U: was founded in 2002 and quickly established itself as Estonia’s leading contemporary music group. U:, which is known for commissioning new music from Estonian and foreign composers, will perform works by Estonian and American composers written exclusively for the group, including world premieres by Bryan Christian and Eugene Birman as well as works from Tatjana Kozlova, Helena Tulve, Märt-Matis Lill, and Benjamin Broening. Bryan Christian's piece “Walk“ (2011) was commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University.

Ensemble U: is a group of six outstanding young musicians dedicated to contemporary music. Since its founding U: has been performing in numerous contemporary music festivals like Days of New Music in Pärnu and Days of Estonian Music, the NYYD festival (in 2005 in collaboration with Tristan Murail), Days of St. John Church in Tartu, Time of Music (Viitasaari, Finland), Baltoscandal (Rakvere, Estonia), festival Meridian (Bucharest, Romania), Gaida Festival (Vilnius, Lithuania) and Sounds New Festival (Canterbury, UK). The ensemble works without a conductor, and its members are talented young musicians, many of whom have been supplementing themselves on modern music abroad.

U: has been the first in Estonia to perform many masterworks of the present day’s most noted composers such as Boulez, Stockhausen, Murail, Donatoni, Sciarrino, Romitelli, Xenakis, Grisey, etc. In addition, U: focuses significantly on performing experimental and improvisational music, actively working to broaden the idea of different types of scores as sources of music (e.g., graphical scores, video, text, etc.). In the field of musical theatre, U: has worked together several times with Mart Kangro, one of the most internationally-renowned conceptual dance theatre artists in Estonia. Their latest collaboration with Kangro, Harmony, premiered in October 2009 at the international contemporary music festival NYYD 2009.

U: has been responsible for commissioning new music from Estonian and foreign composers. For example, Helena Tulve, Toivo Tulev, Mari Vihmand, Tatjana Kozlova, Märt-Matis Lill, Tauno Aints, Andres Lõo (Estonia), Roméo Monteiro (France), Antti Auvinen, Kimmo Kuitunen (Finland), and Benjamin Broening (USA) have all written pieces for ensemble U:. In 2009, ensemble U: released their album U: (UCD 001), consisting of selected works by Estonian composers dedicated to U:. International presentation of the CD took place as a virtual concert in the Estonian Virtual Embassy in Second Life. In September 2009, ensemble U: was honored with the music award of the Estonian Cultural Endowment for the 2008 concert season and their CD U:. The ensemble's second CD Protuberances (UCD 002), including music by Tatjana Kozlova, Antti Auvinen, Jarkko Hartikainen, Kimmo Kuitunen, and Benjamin Broening was released just two years later, in the spring of 2011.

Supported by the Estonian Consulate General in New York City, the Estonian Ministry of Culture, the Estonian Authors’ Society, and Music Export Estonia.

Back to top of page

Keyboard Conversations® with Pianist Jeffrey Siegel:
Concerts with Lively Commentary

Thursdays @ 8 pm, November 10, 2011, January 12, March 8, & April 12, 2012
Individual tickets: $15 ($10 ASF Members); Series pass: $50 ($30 ASF Members)

Keyboard Conversations® with Pianist Jeffrey SiegelInternationally-acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel returns to Scandinavia House for his fifth season at Victor Borge Hall. Beginning each evening with informal commentary on the music and its composers, Keyboard Conversations® offers a full performance of each work, and concludes with a brisk, upbeat question and answer session. The accessible, inviting format enriches audience understanding of classical music for the newcomer and the seasoned listener alike.

Anniversary Celebration!
Thursday, November 10, 2011

Enduring and beloved masterpieces written 100 years ago, including the colorful and exotic Preludes by Debussy, poetic short pieces by Sibelius, the enchanting Noble and Sentimental Waltzes by Ravel, and Stravinsky's Petrouchka, in the composer's stunning transcription for solo piano.

Back to top of page

Romantic Sounds from the Past
Linda Hedlund

Monday, November 21, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Romantic Sounds from the Past, Linda HedlundFinnish violinist Linda Hedlund presents a concert that includes performances of Beethoven’s Trio in E-flat major, Op. 3 for violin, viola, and cello, César Franck’s Sonata for violin and piano in A-major, Jean Sibelius’ Mazurka, Op. 81, No. 1 and Romance, Op. 78, No. 2, Armas Järnefelt’s Bereceuse, and Oskar Merikanto’s Valse Lente. Ms. Hedlund will be accompanied by pianist and composer Andy Feldbau and The Abedian String Trio.

Linda Hedlund began playing the violin at the age of five. She received a scholarship to study at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow with Sergei Kravtchenko (1995-1996) and continued her studies at the University for Music and performing Arts in Vienna with Rainer Küchl. She also studied in Berlin (Hochschule der Künste) with Uwe-Martin Haiberg (2001) and has participated at master classes with Mi-Kyung Lee, Endre Wolf, Mikhail Kopelman (Borodin Quartet), Günther Pichler (Alban Berg Quartet), Nachum Erlich, Yair Kless, and Schlomo Mintz. She also studied chamber music in Vienna with Johannes Meissl (Artis Quartet) for several years. Hedlund graduated from Vienna’s University of Music and performing Arts in 2002 (Master of Arts) and holds a Doctor of Music degree from the Sibelius Academy (Finland), where she also has been working as university assistant.

Hedlund has performed successfully as soloist and chamber musician at many prestigious festivals including the Helsinki Festival (Finland), Musica Nova (Helsinki), Grafenegg Festival (Austria), Honart Festival (Konzerthaus Wien). In this season she will perform in the U.S. in Weill Recital Hall, New York and Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago.

In June 2008 the Finnish company Fuga released her debut album with the sonatas by Franck, Saint-Saëns, and Debussy performed together with German pianist professor Oliver Kern. Other recordings include works for violin and guitar released by Classic Concert Music Group, Austria 2011. In addition to her career as a performing artist, Hedlund will also continue her academic career, this season at University of Hawai’i (2011) as visiting scholar in chamber music coaching.

Young rising star pianist and composer Andy Feldbau has been an active figure in the music world, performing concertos as orchestral soloist among others with the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, The Israeli Sinfonietta, and with the Ashdod Symphony. He has given solo recitals at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles’ Ford Theatre, London's Steinway Hall, The Juilliard School's Paul Hall, Tel Aviv Museum, and Jerusalem Theatre, as well as playing live broadcasts on WQXR in New York and on Israel Radio.

Mr. Feldbau has composed many pieces for piano, most of which he has performed and recorded. He has also created pieces for choir and piano, various solo instruments, chamber music, orchestrations, and numerous solo piano virtuoso arrangements for Broadway and Disney songs.

Mr. Feldbau recently received his Master’s degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Mr. Julian Martin, and currently studies with Mrs. Pavlina Dokovska. In 2008 he received his Bachelor's degree from the Buchman-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University as a student of Prof. Emanuel Krasovsky. Mr. Feldbau is a native of Israel and presently resides in New York.

The Abedian String Trio was founded in Vienna and had it first performance at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York, 2008/March. Linda Hedlund (violin), Taha Abedian (violist), and Matthias Gredler (cello) are outstanding international artists who perform as soloists and chamber musicians around the globe. The trio interprets works by classical and contemporary composers and will make its Carnegie Hall debut November 22, 2011, in Weill Recital hall, presented by AIM (Artists International Management NYC)..

Back to top of page



Past Concerts 2010

APAP 2010 - Northern Realms Music Showcase

Monday, January 11, 2010
First set: 2-5 pm
Second set: 7-11 pm
FREE but reservations are required: 212.847.9740
event_reservation@amscan.org

Some of the most exciting and talented folk music performers from around the world descend upon New York this January for the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters conference. Scandinavia House will host some of the best artists from the Northern regions in Victor Borge Hall as an APAP highlight, featuring performers from Norway, Sweden, Scotland, Ireland and Quebec.

Niklas Sivelöv

2:00-2:20 pm & 7:00-7:20 pm

Niklas SivelövLeading Scandinavian pianist. An improviser and composer, he has been called the Renoir of the piano. Multiple award winner: Le Diapason D’or, the Independent Music Award, Vox populi. Exclusive Hamburg Steinway Artist and recently selected as the first Swedish pianist ever in their Hall of Fame.
http://www.niklassivelov.com
http://www.myspace.com/sivelov

the peärls before swïne experiencethe peärls before swïne experience

2:30-2:50 pm & 7:30-7:50 pm

Truly a remarkable and unforgettable Contemporary Classical ensemble. They perform pithy, 5-minute works written directly for them by some of the most important living composers from Sweden and abroad. Their relaxed and direct performances transform new music concerts into eminently enjoyable and accessible events.
http://www.swinepearl.com

Back to top of page

Le Vent du Nord

3:00-3:20 pm & 8:00-8:20 pm

Le Vent du NordOne of Québec’s finest traditional ensembles combining bouncing, rhythmic fiddle styles, unique tunes, spirited step dancing and ancient songs of Québec’s rich musical heritage. First recording received a JUNO (Canadian Grammy) and second awarded a FELIX Award for Traditional Album. Multiple instruments including hurdy-gurdy.
http://www.leventdunord.com
http://www.myspace.com/leventdunord

Sofia Jannok

3:30-3:50 pm & 8:30-8:50 pm

Sofia JannokPassion and contrast define Sofia’s music. The passion and warmth in her clear, powerful voice artfully express the contrast between her indigenous Sami background and her creative cosmopolitanism. Sofia draws inspiration from wide open spaces, people, and the pulse and colours of the city.
http://www.sofiajannok.com
http://www.myspace.com/sofiajannok

Back to top of page

Nuala Kennedy

4:00-4:20 pm & 9:00-9:20 pm

Copenhagen Chamber EnsembleA mix of traditional Scottish and Irish songs sung with clarity and passion and a highly interactive live performance. This singer-flautist performs with esteemed musical collaborators, in a naturally expressive, spontaneous and engaging way. Nuala just released her second solo album, ‘Tune In’, on Compass Records.
http://www.nualakennedy.com
http://www.myspace.com/nualakennedy

Mats Öberg & Jonas Knutsson

4:30-4:50 pm & 9:30-9:50 pm

Traditional Swedish music combined with Contemporary Jazz and World. Öberg is an acclaimed, exceptionally versatile, keyboard genius possessing knock-out powers of expression. Knutsson is a bright saxophone star, equally at home in Jazz, folk and improvisation. Friends since childhood, their musical connections run deep.
http://tinyurl.com/yjmds2n

Copenhagen Chamber EnsembleThe Nordic Fiddler’s Bloc

5:00-5:20 pm & 10:00-10:20 pm

Three of the top young fiddlers to emerge on the respective folk music scenes of Sweden, Norway and Shetland Islands. First meeting through informal “sessions”, they developed a deep admiration for each other’s playing and traditions and were inspired to collaborate. The result surpassed expectations…
http://www.myspace.com/thenordicfiddlersbloc

Presented with support by Délégation générale du Québec, Honorary Consulate of Sweden, New York, On Queue Performing Artists , Scottish Arts Council, and Rikskonserter / Concerts Sweden.

Back to top of page

A Musical Visit from Scandinavia: Copenhagen Chamber Ensemble

Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 7 pm
$15 ($10 ASF members)

Copenhagen Chamber EnsembleReflecting a refined combination of tradition and versatility, the Copenhagen Chamber Ensemble specializes in chamber, traditional, and new music. The group’s members come from diverse musical backgrounds and hold numerous solo positions in leading Danish professional orchestras such as The Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Founded in 1978, the ensemble will perform works by Swedish composer Lillebror Söderlundh and Danish composers Erik Norby and John von Daler. Mixing old and new, classical baroque pieces by Vivaldi, Bach, Telemann, and Handel will be presented along with the contemporary pieces.

A Musical Visit from Scandinavia is co-presented with the Danish American Society.

New York Scandia Symphony

Thursday, February 11, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members; FREE to students with a valid ID)

New York Scandia SymphonyDorrit Matson, Music Director and Conductor, leads the New York Scandia Symphony in a CONCERTO PROGRAM featuring three soloists: Bjarke Mogensen, accordionist in the US premiere of Concerto Piccolo for Accordion Solo and Strings by Anders Koppel. Lisa Hansen, flutist, in the Baroque Concerto for Flute and Strings by Johan Helmich Roman; and Frank Foerster, violist, in his own Suite of Scandinavian Folk Melodies for Viola and String Orchestra. Norwegian composer Johan Svendsen will be featured on this program, as well as Danish composer Poul Schierbeck , who will be celebrated with a US premiere of his composition I Danmark er jeg fodt and Largo for String Orchestra.

For over twenty years New York Scandia Symphony has delighted New York City listeners with its warm and vibrant tone, a lovely clarity of expressive detail as well as interesting and exciting programs. It has a valuable mission to present imaginative and creative multicultural programs of music by classical, romantic and contemporary Scandinavian composers, introducing previously unknown and seldom performed compositions to American audiences. With up to 90% of its repertoire presented as US premieres, the orchestra revives and preserves the works of significant classical composers that might not otherwise have been brought to the attention of the American public.

Sponsored by The Royal Danish Academy of Music.

Back to top of page

NYNDK
The Hunting of the Snark CD Release

Saturday, February 20, 7:30 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members; FREE to students with a valid ID)

NYNDK on myspace

NYNDK - The Hunting of the SnarkTransatlantic jazz collective NYNDK returns to the scene with The Hunting of the Snark – an album that sets (mostly) modern 20th century classical composers’ works to post-modern jazz music. As such, listeners are treated to engaging versions of Charles Ives’ The Cage, 1,2,3, and Remembrance, Edvard Grieg’s Adagio (from Piano Concerto in A Minor), a Per Norgard serial composition – Voyage Into the Golden Screen and several others, including the title track by Arne Nordheim and pieces composed by members of the group and named after each of the composers whose work has been utilized. Guest drummer Tony Moreno also makes an appearance with the collective.

Does the use of these composers’ work really fit in with modern jazz? The answer is a resounding yes, as the arrangement of these works are mind-bending, multi-layered and offer an introduction into some interesting compositions while also engaging the senses in the present. The Hunting of the Snark is yet another revolutionary recording from NYNDK that takes chances, and cements their status as some of the most innovative jazz artists working today.

NYNDK: The Hunting of the Snark CD ReleaseNYNDK brings together musicians from New York (NY), Norway (N), and Denmark (DK), uniting three places that have significant roles in jazz history. Established in 2003, its founding members are Danish pianist Søren Møller, Norwegian saxophonist Ole Mathisen, and New York trombonist Chris Washburne. Their decision to form this collaborative was inspired by their own experiences of the truly international nature of jazz. Jazz has become a global phenomenon and NYNDK embodies this development, bringing to the mix a combination of refined Scandinavian cool with aggressive New York heat, spiced with a progressive post-modern sensibility.

Presented in conjunction with the Consulate General of Denmark, New York and the Danish Arts Agency’s DaNY Arts.

Back to top of page

The Music of Schumann & Gade
Presented by Mannes College: The New School for Music

Thursday, March 25, 7 pm
FREE, no tickets or reservations required; seating is first-come first-served

This concert is a special presentation by the Mannes College Piano and Voice Departments, exploring the music of Robert Schumann and Niels Gade, featuring such pieces as Schumann’s Arabesque in C major for piano, op. 18 and Gade’s Violin Sonata. Since 1999, Mannes College of Music has presented a series of year-long music festivals, each with a different unifying theme featuring gifted young artists, distinguished faculty, and renowned guests.

Nordic Sounds, Latin Flavor

Friday, April 23, 7:00 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members; FREE to students with a valid ID)

Nordic Sounds Latin FlavorSwedish guitarist Celia Linde is acclaimed for her personal style, her captivating temperament and for her wide range of musical interpretations. Linde will perform her unique variations of music from Swedish folk tunes, contemporary Latin American and Spanish music, to her own classical compositions. Touring frequently throughout Europe, the U.S., Canada, Finland, Scandinavia, Russia, and Turkey, she is often the featured artist on National Swedish Radio-Television and has also been profiled on the BBC, Denmark’s Radio, Turkish Radio-Television (TRT) and New York’s WNYC and other international radio stations.

Back to top of page

Out of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics

April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1 & August 5, all sets begin @ 7 pm
$10 ($8 ASF Members)

Scandinavian music is having a moment. Sigur Rós, Björk, Fever Ray, Lykke Li, Peter, Bjorn and John, The Raveonettes, Mew, Annie, Sondre Lerche. These are just a sampling of the current Nordic heavyweights on the indie charts, but the next wave of Nordic bands is upon us. Renowned in their homelands and on the cusp of breaking through in the U.S. these fervent musicians will undoubtedly join the chart-topping ranks of their established peers. They may have disparate styles, but what connects them is a love of sound, an artistry of live performance, and above all, a devotion to invading your listening space.

Out of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics is a uniquely selected series of musical performances the first Thursday of the month from April through August, headlining a myriad of fresh Nordic musicians that features one-off and premiere performances. Through subtle and deft curating of distinctly different styles of music, Out of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics will satiate your craving for innovative and compelling new indie rock from the Nordics.

Export Music SwedenMusic Export NorwayOut of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics is made possible in part by the Consulate General of Denmark, New York; the Consulate General of Finland, New York; the Honorary Consulate General of Sweden, New York; Iceland Naturally; Music Export Finland; Music Export Norway, and Export Music Sweden.

Out of Scandinavia/Out of Context: New Indie Rock from the NordicsHanne Hukkelberg

Thursday, April 1, 7 pm

Norwegian singer-songwriter Hanne Hukkelberg started singing and playing instruments as a child in her home town of Kongsberg, Norway at the age of 3 and later played in various jazz, pop and rock groups as well as a doom metal band. A graduate of the Norwegian Academy of Music, she has gained a reputation as a powerful live performer.

Blood from a Stone is Hukkelberg’s third album. In part inspired by her past as a member of various rock and metal bands (especially their live incarnations) and in part by her 80 indie/rock albums, Hanne acknowledges that the likes of Sonic Youth, Cocteau Twins, Pixies, Einstüerzende Neubauten and P.J. Harvey have all exerted an influence over her new songs, while one can also detect traces of Siouxsie & The Banshees at their most oblique and many other new wave/post punk outfits.

Samuli PutroSamuli Putro

Thursday, May 6, 7 pm
$10 ($8 ASF Members)

Samuli Putro, the longtime front-man of the Finnish rock band Zen Café, with whom he experienced years of chart-topping success, is a singer/songwriter who made his blockbuster solo album debut in 2009.

Born on August 21, 1970, in Helsinki, he co-founded Zen Café in 1992. The band includes Kari Nylander (bass) and Pete Parkkonen (drums), in addition to Putro (vocals, guitar). Zen Café made their album debut in 1997 with Romuna. Subsequent albums include Idiootti (1998), Ua Ua (1999), and Helvetisti Järkeä (2001). Zen Café then hit number one with each of their next three albums, Helvetisti Järkeä (2001), Vuokralainen (2002), and Jättiläinen (2003); moreover, these albums include the Top Ten hit singles Aamuisin, Piha Ilman Sadettajaa, and Tavallaan Jokainen On Surullinen. The latter-day albums Laiska, Tyhmä Ja Saamaton (2005) and Stop (2006) were similarly successful, hitting number two and one, respectively.

Well known for his longtime frontman status in Zen Café, Putro made his blockbuster solo album debut in 2009 with Elämä On Juhla. Yet another in a long line of chart-topping albums for Putro, Elämä On Juhla includes the singles Elämä On Juhla, Älä Huuda Mulle, and Mitäpä Jos.

HuntsvilleHuntsville

July 1

Norwegian band Huntsville delves into an adventurous crossbreed of rock, drones, country, jazz and electro-acoustic improvisation featuring Ivar Grydeland (guitars, banjo, and pedal steel guitar), Tonny Kluften (electric bass, double bass, bass pedals) and Ingar Zach (percussion, tabla machine, sarangi box, sruti box, drone commander).

After their debut For The Middle Class (Rune Grammofon, 2006) Boston Weekly wrote, “armed with a banjo, a double bass, a pedal steel, a bizarre tabla machine, shruti boxes and a fondness for freeing folk from its folk songs — from Santa Fe to Bombay.”

Huntsville’s unexpected sounds and textures, allied with echoes of traditional genres in a radical new conceptual language have been described as abstract drone Americana and yoga country. Rock-A-Rolla (UK) wrote, “…they alternate between brief Americana-esque instrumentals and lengthier excursions into fast, fluid motion, attaining trance-velocity like some rare amalgam of Miles Davis, Steve Reich and early Tortoise.”

On their second album, the double release Eco, arches & eras (Rune Grammofon, 2008), they dig even deeper into their striking and original sound world – this time with riffing electric guitars, hard-hitting drums and their secret weapon: a drone commander. During the making of Eco, arches & eras, Norwegian singer Sidsel Endresen joined in on one track, while guitarist Nels Cline and drummer Glenn Kotche (both of Wilco) visited Huntsville on an hour-long track captured live in 2007.

Back to top of page

Jaerv & Thinguma*jigSaw

Tuesday, April 13, 7 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Jaerv and Thinguma*jigSawJaerv on myspace
Thinguma*jigSaw on myspace

Scandinavian folk music today isn’t what it once was. With urbanization and modern innovations such as TV, radio, records, and CDs, traditional music faded in the 20th century. The folk music scene has reemerged and today is revitalized and diverse, splitting roughly into two areas: acoustic and electric, with experimentation of varying degrees happening at both ends of the spectrum. Occasionally avant-garde, but consistently accessible, one can still hear the traditional Nordic folk styles woven into the richly-textured musical tapestries of these innovative musicians.

Jaerv is a Swedish quintet, playing extroverted, vigorous, and heartfelt folk music with influences from both jazz and pop music. Together, the five members have created a homogeneous, vivid sound that has, over a short period of time, established the group on the folk music scene as well as in many other forums. Rooted in several different musical traditions, Jaerv offers a varied stage performance where vocal, five-voiced tunes blend in with energetic dances and free improvisations. Their concerts have been broadcast, both on Swedish national radio and abroad and the band has toured extensively over the last three years.

Jaerv and Thinguma*jigSawThinguma*jigSaw is a Norwegian duo playing what they call “splatter-folk” on banjo, musical saw, flute, melodica, and vocals. Their music is influenced by British folk, Appalachian ballads, art/cult/horror-films, and the literary musings of Samuel Beckett, Edgar Allan Poe and James Joyce. Thinguma*jigSaw has existed for two years, released their album (awakeinwhitechapel) on the Irish cred-label Deserted Village, and has toured extensively in Europe and the U.S., doing gigs together with the Tiger Lillies, Meg Baird, Samara Lubelski and Castanets, among others. Thinguma*jigSaw has rapidly become a highly beloved live-phenomenon, stunning audiences wherever they play: Time Out London ranked them as one of 2008’s live highlights, next to Bon Iver, and New York Post described their live-performance as “deeply unsettling, yet strangely comforting.”

Back to top of page

Jeffrey SiegalKeyboard Conversations® with Pianist Jeffrey Siegel: Concerts with Commentary

Internationally-acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel returns to Scandinavia House for his third season at Victor Borge Hall. Beginning each evening with commentary on the music and its composers, Keyboard Conversations offers a full performance of each of the works, and ends with a short and lively question and answer session. The accessible and inviting performance format enriches audience understanding of classical music, for both the newcomer and seasoned listener alike. Each concert is followed by a reception.

Musical Pictures

Thursday, April 15, 2010, 7:30 pm

This concert features picturesque music inspired by visual stimuli: Rachmaninoff's festive Etude Tableaux in E Flat, Opus 33, Debussy's colorful Fireworks, the beloved Rustles of Spring by the Norwegian composer Christian Sinding, the evocative May Night by Finland's Selim Palmgren, and the famous and fascinating Pictures at an Exhibition by the Russian master Modeste Mussorgsky. A “Getting Behind the Pictures” discussion will make listening to this popular work even more rewarding.

Three Great “Bs” – Bach, Beethoven & …Barber!

Thursday, November 18, 2010, 8 pm

Featuring Bach’s rhapsodic, romantic Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, Beethoven’s stormy Appassionata, and the lyrical, dramatic works of American composer Samuel Barber, whose 100th birthday is celebrated in 2010.

Back to top of page

An ASF Centennial Concert Series:
Per Tengstrand presents Musical Evenings with Nordic Stars

Tuesday, May 3 & Thursday, May 19, 8 pm
Each $15 ($10 ASF members)

Per Tengstrand presents Musical Evenings with Nordic StarsPianist Per Tengstrand, one of Sweden’s leading musicians and winner of many international awards (Long-Thibaud, Cleveland, and Geneva competitions), is the artistic director of a series of concerts with distinguished guest musicians in honor of the ASF’s centennial year. Beginning this spring, the series highlights the repertoire of Scandinavian chamber music and its composers and performers.

Grieg, Alfvén and the Scandinavian Joie de Vivre

May 3

In this opening concert, Tengstrand is joined by acclaimed musicians pianist Shan-shan Sun, violinist David Coucheron, and the Choral of the Swedish Church to perform Hugo Alfvén’s Swedish Rhapsody for Piano Four Hands, Edvard Grieg’s Violin Sonata and songs for choir, and choral works by Jean Sibelius and Einojuhani Rautavaara.

A Tribute to Esa-Pekka Salonen

May 19

When Esa-Pekka Salonen asked Per Tengstrand to perform his piano work Dichotomie at the Salonen-festival in Stockholm, it was in a program that the Finnish composer and conductor had put together to show his influences and favorite works. This evening, a tribute to the Finnish master, will use exactly the same repertoire! It is, needless to say, a beautifully composed program, with some of Salonen’s best works as well as music by Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. A unique opportunity to get closer to one of the master musicians of our time.

This series is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

Back to top of page

The Scandia String Quartet

Thursday, May 13, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members; FREE to students with a valid ID)

The Scandia String QuartetFounded in 2005 and the initiative of the four principal string players of the New York Scandia Symphony, the Scandia String Quartet will perform a vibrant selection of quartets by Grieg, Sibelius, Weyse, Nielsen, and Langgaard. Since its inception, the quartet has been the solid foundation of the Scandinavian Music Festival held in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan in June. Like the Scandia Symphony, the Scandia String Quartet is dedicated to performing and recording music of the Scandinavian countries and composers, introducing previously unknown and seldom performed compositions to American audiences.

The quartet has undertaken several premieres of works by living composers from Scandinavia and of music relating to Scandinavia. The Scandia String Quartet has appeared at a number of concerts and events and has collaborated with soloists and composers of Scandinavian descent, as well as with other members of the New York Scandia Symphony.

ADDED CONCERT!
The Iceland String Quartet

Friday, May 14, 8 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members; FREE to students with a valid ID)

The Iceland String QuartetThe principles of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Sigrún Eðvaldsdóttir, Sif Tulinius, Helga Þórarinsdóttir, and Bryndís Halla Gylfadóttir are all central players in Reykjavík's lively music scene. The quartet makes its first appearance at Scandinavia House this May to perform a string quartet by Johannes Brahms, Antonín Dvořák's American quartet, a new piece by Icelandic composer Þorður Magnússon, as well as a selection of Icelandic songs.

www.sinfonia.is

Back to top of page

Nordic Midsummer Celebration
with CALLmeKAT, Samuel Hällkvist & Sæunn Þorsteinsdóttir

Monday, June 21, Doors 6:30 pm/Concert 7 pm
$15 ($12 ASF Members)

Midsummer, also known as the summer solstice, is the longest day of the year, but Scandinavians know it as “the day that never ends.” It is also a day of non-stop celebration extolling the Sun’s path around the earth. Join us for our annual Nordic Midsummer Celebration, featuring music from Copenhagen-based musician CALLmeKAT, Swedish guitarist Samuel Hällkvist, and Icelandic cellist and former ASF Fellow Sæunn Þorsteinsdóttir.

CALLmeKAT

CALLmeKATCopenhagen-based musician CALLmeKat (Katrine Ottosen) is known for her distinctly Scandinavian sound: melancholic, dreamy pop. Written, performed, recorded and produced by Ottosen herself, the warmly-received I’m In A Polaroid – Where Are You EP (2008) combined sounds from sampler keyboards, home-brewed percussion, vinyl samples, birds, Dictaphone and vocal recordings, mixed and mastered by Icelandic producer Valgeir Sigurðsson (Björk, Múm, Sigur Rós). In November 2008 Ottosen released her full-length debut Fall Down on her own label Pixiebooth, in collaboration with Playground Music.

In 2009 CALLmeKAT played numerous critically-acclaimed shows, received an Underground Music Award for “Best Alternative Act,” and was granted one of the Danish Art Council’s prestigious grants for young, talented artists with international ambition and potential.

Based in New York since early 2010, she is collaborating with Joe Magistro (Prophet Omega) on her international debut When Owls Are Out, which will consist of reworked and remixed material from Fall Down. She also made an appearance at the 2010 SxSW Festival, where she was featured live on NPR’s All Things Considered. As of late she has appeared on both Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton’s (NPR) “Who We Liked-list” from this year’s SxSW with the words “Outstanding voice, delicate music” and “Just mesmerizing.”

Samuel Hällkvist

Samuel HällkvistSamuel Hällkvist is a Swedish guitar player living in Copenhagen, Denmark. With hints of jazz, country, metal, and noise Hällkvist’s music is an expression of a boundless world. A world where extremely different genres, geographic variety and, above all, the unexpected meet without restrictions and are conveyed with sincerity, passion and brilliant technique.

Born in the province of Dalarna, in the village of Gustafs, Hällkvist grew up with hard rock and metal influences; however a chance encounter with a jazz record changed his life. He started playing the guitar and was admitted to the jazz program at Skurup’s folk high-school, and eventually completed his studies at the Malmö Academy of Music.

In 2010 Hällkvist was appointed Jazz in Sweden-artist 2010, a prestigious award that Caprice Records and Concerts Sweden have given annually since 1972, comprising an album release, a launch, and a tour in Sweden and abroad during 2010. Today, Hällkvist lives in Copenhagen and plays with bands such as Television Pickup, Rhododendron String Band and 15,5, while focusing on the new group Samuel Hällkvist Center and the launch of their first album.

Sæunn Þorsteinsdóttir

Sæunn ÞorsteinsdóttirPraised as “charismatic” in The New York Times, Icelandic cellist and former ASF Fellow Sæunn Þorsteinsdóttir has appeared as a recitalist and chamber musician across the U.S., Germany, France, Poland, Italy and her native Iceland. Þorsteinsdóttir has garnered numerous top prizes, including most recently the Zara Nelsova Prize in the 2008 Naumburg International Violoncello Competition in New York.

An avid chamber musician, Þorsteinsdóttir has collaborated in performance with Itzhak Perlman, Kim Kashkashian, the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players and the Cavani String Quartet in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her collaborative performances have been also been featured on WQXR New York as well as Icelandic National Radio. Also an advocate of new music Þorsteinsdóttir has premiered dozen of works and frequently performs at venues in New York such as The Stone and Le Poisson Rouge. Along with the masterpieces of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Þorsteinsdóttir is constantly inspired by contemporary works.

Þorsteinsdóttir received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music with the highest honors of accomplishments in both cello and chamber music. She continued studies at The Juilliard School, completing a Master of Music degree in 2008. A native of Reykjavík, Iceland, Þorsteinsdóttir now lives in New York City. She plays on a cello made in Milan, Italy circa 1790.

Out of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics

The first Thursday of the month July & August @ 7 pm
$10 ($8 ASF Members)

Out of Scandinavia is an on-going uniquely selected series of musical performances the first Thursday of each month, headlining a myriad of fresh Nordic musicians that features one-off and premiere performances. Through subtle and deft curating of disparate styles of music, Out of Scandinavia will satiate your craving for innovative and compelling new indie music from the Nordics.

Export Music SwedenMusic Export NorwayOut of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics is made possible in part by the Consulate General of Denmark, New York; the Consulate General of Finland, New York; the Honorary Consulate General of Sweden, New York; Iceland Naturally; Music Export Finland; Music Export Norway, and Export Music Sweden.

HuntsvilleHuntsville

July 1

Norwegian band Huntsville delves into an adventurous crossbreed of rock, drones, country, jazz and electro-acoustic improvisation featuring Ivar Grydeland (guitars, banjo, and pedal steel guitar), Tonny Kluften (electric bass, double bass, bass pedals) and Ingar Zach (percussion, tabla machine, sarangi box, sruti box, drone commander).

After their debut For The Middle Class (Rune Grammofon, 2006) Boston Weekly wrote, “armed with a banjo, a double bass, a pedal steel, a bizarre tabla machine, shruti boxes and a fondness for freeing folk from its folk songs — from Santa Fe to Bombay.”

Huntsville’s unexpected sounds and textures, allied with echoes of traditional genres in a radical new conceptual language have been described as abstract drone Americana and yoga country. Rock-A-Rolla (UK) wrote, “…they alternate between brief Americana-esque instrumentals and lengthier excursions into fast, fluid motion, attaining trance-velocity like some rare amalgam of Miles Davis, Steve Reich and early Tortoise.”

On their second album, the double release Eco, arches & eras (Rune Grammofon, 2008), they dig even deeper into their striking and original sound world – this time with riffing electric guitars, hard-hitting drums and their secret weapon: a drone commander. During the making of Eco, arches & eras, Norwegian singer Sidsel Endresen joined in on one track, while guitarist Nels Cline and drummer Glenn Kotche (both of Wilco) visited Huntsville on an hour-long track captured live in 2007.

Back to top of page

Nordic Summer Jam

Thursdays in July (starting July 8), Doors 6:30 pm/Concert 7 pm
$10 ($8 ASF Members)

Experience an unforgettable taste of Scandinavian artists in concert in Volvo Hall while enjoying our outdoor garden terrace this summer. A favored alternative to the usual midtown “happy hour,” Nordic Summer Jam presents an eclectic selection of musicians and repertoires accompanied by refreshments by Smörgås Chef Restaurant @ Scandinavia House.

Double Bill:
Tom Hayes
Nick and Casey

July 8

Nordic Summer Jam: Tom HayesBorn and raised in Ireland, Tom Hayes has been making music since before he could talk. At the age of five he found an old guitar at home and wouldn't put it down. By the age of twelve was working as a professional guitarist for acclaimed Irish bands. He spent the next eight years touring at home and throughout Europe. Soon he began work on his own music, evoking the lyrical and musical styles of Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake. Trained in an ancient Irish style of A Capella singing known as Sean-Nos, Tom mixed together a blend of the contemporary and traditional, finding a unique sound, with its roots in rock and soul, as well as folk.

After living in London for some time, Tom moved to New York in 2005. He soon found a welcome home within the city's music scene, cultivating a dedicated following. In recent months he has collaborated with prolific artists and platinum-selling writers such as Boots Ottestad, Ryan Star, and Wynter Gordon. Tom has also begun work on his debut record set for release this fall. His unique voice and style have won him the praise of numerous press and musical greats such as Jimmy Webb. In a recent review, the New York Examiner had this to say: “With succulent melodies played under perforating lyrics and a voice that is almost a ghost of musicians past, Hayes produces a smooth tone in the vein of vintage soul. Raw talent as such cannot be hidden for long.”

Nordic Summer Jam: NICKCASEYNick and Casey are singer/songwriters Casey Spindler and Nicholas Webber. Their recent work includes: scoring the Leaky Tent short film Goldstar, Ohio (Bill Irwin, Mercedes Ruehl, Michael Stuhlbarg and Alison Pill); licensing their song Man Of Obstacles to the upcoming CinemaLab/Mega/IFC film Falling Awake; and appearing on Fox Network's Fearless Music.

Nick and Casey recently finished their first, full length, studio album, Can't Reason Through Love, with Grammy-winning engineer and producer Chris Shaw (Bob Dylan: Love and Theft, Modern Times; Lou Reed; Wilco; Jeff Buckley). The release is scheduled for fall of 2010.

They are currently backed by bassist Tim Luntzel (Bright Eyes, Rosanne Cash) and drummer Dan Rieser (Norah Jones, Marcy Playground).

Nick and Casey are based in Brooklyn and can be seen at The Living Room every third Sunday of the Month at 9 pm for the year of 2010.

Benedicte Maurseth

July 15

Benedicte MaursethNorwegian Benedicte Maurseth performs both as a Hardanger fiddler and traditional vocalist. The old tunes from Hardanger form an important part of her repertoire. These are often lyrical and complex, and many of them have been preserved in their original form. She evokes a deep, warm tone in these fiddles by using gut strings and a baroque bow.

Maurseth holds a degree from the Ole Bull Academy. She learned to play the Hardanger fiddle mainly from master fiddler Knut Hamre, but also studied with Stein Versto and Leif Rygg. In the past few years she has also studied with baroque musicians such as Bjarte Eike and Peter Spissky. Maurseth collaborates with a number of musicians who work in various genres, especially at the point of intersection of folk and baroque music, as well as with more improvised music and new music.

In 2006 she and Hamre released the album Rosa i botnen, which could be said to have introduced the concept of “early fiddle tunes.” Because she has used the old style of fiddling, the earliest tunes have regained a dimension that had gone missing long ago. In 2007 Maurseth received the Young Folk Musician of the Year award, INTRO-Folk (Concerts Norway's competition for launching new talent).

Amalie Bruun

July 22

Amalie BruunAmalie Bruun is a 24 year-old Danish award-winning singer/songwriter. Singing on the streets of Berlin, Barcelona and Paris, Bruun also worked as a professional songwriter in Sweden - the “pop capital” of Scandinavia - providing material for the Swedish winner of Idols.

Presently a resident New Yorker, Bruun works on her career as a solo-artist and her talent has by no means been kept under wraps: MTV U.S. are eager to blog about her, the debut-EP Housecat spawned much interest among U.S. major labels and she recently played live on the Fox TV show Fearless Music. She has rapidly become part of the higher echelons of the New York music scene and her songs have been licensed for TV shows, commercials and movies.

The music of Bruun is somewhat akin to the chilly, dramatic pop songs of Tori Amos, but with an urban attitude and a ragged coolness that is reminiscent of smoke-filled alleyways, run-down rock clubs and of 60s icons like Nico and Francoise Hardy. She plays the glockenspiel, guitar and piano with clear, yet forceful vocals, unmistakable ear for catchy melodies and adventurous take on style and arrangement, playing everything from chair to coffee beans.

The brand-new single Branches was just released through the young Copenhagen-based indie pop label EasyTiger.

Naja Rosa Koppel

July 29

Naja Rosa Koppel with Nikolaj HessA child of music, Danish songstress Naja Rosa Koppel was born into a family of many songs and stories. Her mother and father, Annisette and Thomas Koppel, lead members and founders of the legendary Danish rock group The Savage Rose took her on the road before she was even born. Growing up in the south harbor of Copenhagen, Koppel was singing and writing songs from an early age and went on to sing background vocals in her parents’ group for almost a decade. As a part of The Savage Rose she also landed two of her own compositions on their 2008 Danish Music Award-nominated release, Universal Daughter and wrapped a European tour with the band in the fall of 2008.

In 2009 Koppel finished her debut album, NAJA ROSA, with all songs written and composed by her, in a little analog Copenhagen studio. The record was mixed by renowned producer Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Nada Surf, Apples in Stereo) at his Trout Studio in Brooklyn.

The sound may be reminiscent of beatnik rock and blues from the 50s through the 70s, but there is also a great depth to the album’s sound. Similar to the moodiness of a Tarantino soundtrack, Koppel’s vocals are deep, soulful and pure. Full of life and often with a wink of humor, her strong, melodic songs can take you from a rocking Saturday night to a bluesy Sunday afternoon.

Out of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics

Ongoing, the first Thursday of each month, doors 7 pm/concert 7:30 pm
$10 ($8 ASF Members)

Out of Scandinavia is an on-going series of uniquely selected musical performances the first Thursday of each month, headlining a myriad of fresh Nordic musicians that features one-off and premiere performances. Through subtle, deft curating of disparate styles, Out of Scandinavia will satiate your craving for innovative and compelling new indie music from the Nordics.

Export Music SwedenMusic Export NorwayOut of Scandinavia: New Indie Music from the Nordics is made possible in part by the Consulate General of Denmark, New York; the Consulate General of Finland, New York; the Consulate General of Sweden, New York; Iceland Naturally; Music Export Finland; Music Export Norway, and Export Music Sweden.

Double Bill:
Hannah Schneider; Songs for Wendy

October 7

Hannah Schneider
Hannah SchneiderCopenhagen-based artist Hannah Schneider grew up in a family of classical musicians, and naturally started to play both the piano and the violin at age five. Her love of piano soon turned into a great fascination with small synths and keyboards, and inspired Hannah to start composing at the age of 13. Since then she has written songs, gone to the music conservatory in Copenhagen, and performed in various groups all over Europe.

In 2009 she was signed to Mermaid Records/Sony BMG, and her self-titled debut album came out in September 2009. It was well received both by the radio stations and the press, who called Hannah “a rarely skilled pop songwriter, who manages to put herself at stake” and predicted her international success.

Hannah has co-written songs with many internationally acclaimed songwriters, such as Jeff Cohen (Teitur, Macy Gray), Itaal Shuur (Jewel, Maxwell) and Kim Richey, with whom she wrote the song The Absence of Your Company that was featured on Grey’s Anatomy.

Inspired by the great number of current Scandinavian artists like Lykke Li and El Perro del Mar, Hannah Schneider creates melancholic and playful pop, crafted with a love for the singer/songwriter tradition and a fascination with electronic sounds and samples.
Listen to Hannah Schneider on MySpace

Songs for Wendy
Song for Wendy is the latest collaborative project between Danish singer/songwriter Mads Mouritz and Icelandic singer Dísa. Beneath the undemonstrative title one finds a number of interpretations of poems from the anthology Poem for the Day collected by the very popular lyricist Wendy Cope. The lyrics, which revolve around love and are from the 18th to the 20th centuries, are turned into stripped and romantic duets by Mouritz and Dísa.

During the intermission, we screened a world premiere of sorts of Efterkids - a musical collaboration between Denmark's Efterklang and the Special Music School here in New York City. Thank you to Thomas Husmer (the drummer from Efterklang) who personally introduced the project and presented two shorts music videos. Visit www.Efterkids.com to learn more.

Double Bill:
Feldberg; Christine Owman

December 2

Feldberg
FeldbergIcelandic duo Feldberg was formed in January 2009 by Eberg (Einar Tönsberg) and Rósa Birgitta Ísfeld. Featuring the bluesy, soulful sound of Ísfeld’s vocals, Feldberg creates music that is a combination of electronic, acoustic, folk and percussion elements, while maintaining a pop sensibility. The award-winning track Dreamin’ from their album Don’t be a Stranger (Cod Music, 2009) is featured on the much-coveted 2010 Kitsune Maison Compilation 9 Set.


Christine Owman

Christine OwmangAfter the release of her first album Open Doors (Revolving Records, 2003) Christine Owman – half-Swedish and half-Danish – started experimenting with sounds, noise, instruments, effect pedals and different ways to record. The flaws and restrictions she encountered in that process became the strength of her sound and a contrast to the flawless, super-produced, and compressed MP3s of today.

Inspired by visual art, documentaries, and films Christine Owman also makes movie projections for all of her songs: “...They are another perspective of my music. And the contrasts they make express another side of me.”

She is known for her captivating and unconventional performances and music that is a dichotomous blend of dreamy folk and raw distortion, reverb, bass and noise expressed through clever, uninhibited lyrics. With comparisons to Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, Björk, Portishead, and Air, Owman is a young woman eager to express herself without the limitations of conventional boundaries.
Listen to Christine Owman on MySpace

Double Bill:
Snorri Helgason; Lau Nau

January 6, 2011

Snorri Helgason
Snorri HelgasonLeading Icelandic singer-songwriter Snorri Helgason’s songs are a fusion of soulful folk, energetic chorus-pop, somber ballads and glam-funk. Confessional, sincere and well-crafted, his music is performed with intensity and powers all of his own.

Helgason has been on the Icelandic indie-pop scene for years through his band Sprengjuhöllin. Sprengjuhöllin released two critically and commercially acclaimed albums, topping many year-end lists, winning Helgason an Icelandic Music Award for Best Song in early 2008, and reaching platinum and gold status respectively.

When Sprengjuhöllin went on hiatus in early 2009, Helgason decided to record a solo album that focused on the folk and soul music influences at the center of his musical tastes. Entitled I’m Gonna Put My Name on Your Door (Borgin/Kimi Records, 2009), his solo debut album was released last fall to raving reviews and critical acclaim.
Listen to Snorri Helgason on MySpace

Lau Nau
Lau NauLau Nau is a free-spirited Finnish artist. Since the release of her celebrated debut full length Kuutarha (Locust Music, 2005), Lau Nau has enjoyed considerable recognition for her intimate and playful blend of ethnic tinged folk songs with curious and intuitive sounds conjured from familiar and exotic sound sources.

In their 8.0 review, Pitchfork praised Lau Nau’s unique combination of edginess and warmth on Kuutarha: “(Lau Nau) manages to take a million-and-one risks while keeping things subtle, understated, aesthetically intriguing and emotionally resonant.” Stop Smiling magazine praised the album for its “natural beauty, isolation and mystery” and the Chicago Reader called the album “diverse and exotic, with a dying-campfire vibe” echoing a generally held sentiment among critics and fans alike that with Kuutarha, Lau Nau had tapped into something uniquely foreign yet emotionally rich, vital and rewarding.

In May 2008, Lau Nau’s long-awaited follow up, Nukkuu, saw its release on Locust. A part of a continuum of sorts, Nukkuu travels the outer pathways of sound similar to those heard on Kuutarha. The beauty, mystery and daring of her debut are traits that run through the main veins of Nukkuu but there is an almost unavoidable sense of contentedness amidst the tide of musical abstraction that brings the listener one step closer to her interior sound world.

As a live performer, Lau Nau has enjoyed opportunities to perform in a wide array of venues from small informal spots like Massachusetts’s Montague Bookmill and Westers Gallery on Kemiö Island, Finland to larger spaces like Stockholm’s Kulturhuset and New York’s Anthology Film Archives. In recent years, her rare and special live shows have earned her a special place among a legion of fans. This was further cemented when a Lau Nau performance during her 2005 North American tour was counted among The Wire magazine’s “60 Concerts That Shook the World” in its February 2007 issue.

Lau Nau has been an active presence in the Finnish underground for the last decade playing in groups like Kiila, Hertta Lussu Ässä, Päivänsäde, Avarus and the Anaksimandros, organizing concerts, publishing a magazine, and running a handful of small labels starting with POK and, more recently, the Peippo label.
Listen to Lau Nau on MySpace

Back to top of page

Keyboard Conversations® with Pianist Jeffrey Siegel Keyboard Conversations® with Pianist Jeffrey Siegel:
Concerts with Commentary

Thursdays @ 8 pm, November 18, January 27, 2011 & April 21, 2011
Individual tickets: $15 ($10 ASF members); Series pass: $35 ($20 ASF members)

Internationally-acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel returns to Scandinavia House for his fourth season at Victor Borge Hall. Beginning each evening with informal commentary on the music and its composers, Keyboard Conversations® offers a full performance of each work, and concludes with a short, lively question and answer session. The accessible, inviting format enriches audience understanding of classical music for the newcomer and seasoned listener alike.

Three Great “Bs” – Bach, Beethoven & …Barber!

Thursday, November 18, 8 pm

Featuring Bach’s rhapsodic, romantic Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, Beethoven’s stormy Appassionata, and the lyrical, dramatic works of American composer Samuel Barber, whose 100th birthday is celebrated in 2010.

Back to top of page

Annual Holiday Concert featuring the Scandia Brass Quintet

Sunday, December 12, 4 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)

Join Scandinavia House in a special concert that celebrates the magic of the holidays in Scandinavia, featuring classical Nordic Christmas music and American holiday favorites.

The Scandia Brass Quintet will perform traditional Christmas music representing all five Nordic countries including selections by Finnish composers Jean Sibelius, P.J. Hannikainen, and Armas Marsaalo, Danish Christmas carols arranged for brass by Danish composer and professor Jan Maegaard, and traditional Norwegian and Swedish holiday dance music that captures the spirit of the holidays with Per Horberg’s Julpolska.

The quintet will also play from their traditional holiday repertoire, featuring David Uber’s Christmas Carol Suite, Arcangelo Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, and Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride, among other popular selections.

The Scandia Brass Quintet is comprised of the principal brass players of the New York Scandia Symphony. Like the Scandia Symphony, the quintet specializes in the performance of Scandinavian, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary music. Alex Holton and James Ross, trumpets, are both members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Peter Reit, French horn, is the principle in the Broadway musical Phantom of the Opera and also plays in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Timothy Albright, trombone, also performs with the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s, and Morris Kainuma, tuba, regularly performs with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Back to top of page



Past Concerts 2009

Summer Jazz 2009

As the Manhattan skyline slips into magic hour, sip a sumptuous cocktail while enjoying an intimate concert held on Scandinavia House’s garden terrace. A favored alternative to the usual midtown “happy hour,” Jazz House presents an eclectic selection of Nordic ensembles and repertoires accompanied by refreshments from Smörgås Chef’s terrace cocktail bar.

Schedule:

TESLA (Sweden)July 9, 2009 - TESLA (Sweden)
Tesla is a trio of three highly acclaimed Swedish instrumentalists: Staffan Svensson, trumpet, Owe Almgren, bass and Ebba Westerberg, percussion. Ebba Westerberg draws on a mixture of Scandinavian folk melodies, African rhythms, as well as contemporary music. The collectively improvised work takes the music in many directions, feeling both intimate and groovy.
http://www.myspace.com/ebbawesterbergtesla

Varg Veum – Woman in the Fridge (Varg Veum – Kvinnen i kjøleskapet)July 16, 2009 - Jostein Gulbrandsen (Norway)
Jostein Gulbrandsen grew up in Norway and started playing the guitar at the age of nine. His first CD as a band leader was released to critical acclaim in both Norway and the U.S. Using a mixture of electric, acoustic and fretless guitars, his music melds both American elements of jazz and reflects his Nordic roots.
http://www.myspace.com/josteing

Back to top of page

Björn Thoroddsen (Iceland)July 23, 2009 - Björn Thoroddsen (Iceland)
Recently awarded the Icelandic Music Award for Jazz Performer of The Year in 2003, Björn Thoroddsen adds layers of enrichment to his compositions with his innovative guitar playing. His new melodic arrangements cover a wide range of sounds and moods, from haunting to playful.
http://www.bjornthoroddsen.is/

Tine Bruhn (Denmark)July 30, 2009 - Tine Bruhn (Denmark)
Jazz vocalist Tine Bruhn moved to New York City in 2001 after having graduated from Berklee College of Music. In NYC she has made quite an impression with steady concerts at Zinc Bar - one of the city's major jazz gems - and with the recent release of her debut CD “Entranced”. She performs jazz with R&B elements and the brilliant rhythm section consists of Daniela Schächter (piano), Oleg Osenkov (bass) and EJ Strickland (drums).
http://www.tinebruhn.com/live/

Back to top of page

Biogen

Friday, October 9, 2009
The concert was preceded by the screening of Electronica Reykjavík/Rafmögnuð Reykjavík.

BiogenPushing the limits of expression and identifying with specific (at times obscure or experimental) musical genres, Biogen has been a defining influence on the Icelandic electronic music scene since the early 1990s, first as a member of hardcore breakbeat outfit Ajax and later as Biogen and Babel. Biogen was a founding member of the Thule record label and has produced remixes for Múm and Sigur Rós.

http://www.myspace.com/biogenmusic

Scandinavia Rocks: A Family Concert with Adam Heldring and The River Phoenix

Friday, October 23, 4 pm
FREE. All ages.

Scandinavia Rocks: A Family Concert with Adam Heldring and The River PhoenixScandinavian music acts unite in exclusive acoustic family concert at Scandinavia House. The River Phoenix from Bornholm, Denmark and Adam Heldring from Eskilstuna, Sweden connected and found that they both were dreaming of going to New York in the end of October for the annual CMJ Music Marathon.

Scandinavia Rocks: A Family Concert with Adam Heldring and The River PhoenixThe two acts want to cross the Scandinavian boundaries between Sweden and Denmark as well as the different music genres and bring this package to a new audience – the kids of New York. Combining forces and overlapping each other musically, they strip the music down to soft, acoustic sets to be performed for families and children of all ages.

For more information and free music downloads:

Adam Heldring - Needed To Break Down [mp3 for free posting]
http://www.saturdayenterprise.com/secret/mp3/adam_heldring-needed_to_break_down.mp3
Web: www.adamheldring.com
Myspace: www.myspace.com/adamheldring
Official CMJ show: Oct 20, 9:30pm, Googie’s Lounge

The River Phoenix - 5 Wheel Drive [mp3 for free posting]
http://www.fanatic.se/saturday/the_river_phoenix-wheel_drive.mp3
Web: www.theriverphoenix.dk
Myspace: www.myspace.com/theriverphoenixband
Official CMJ show: Oct 23, 10pm, Wicked Willy’s

Back to top of page

Jeffrey SiegalKeyboard Conversations® with Pianist Jeffrey Siegel: Concerts with Commentary

Internationally-acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel returns to Scandinavia House for his third season at Victor Borge Hall. Beginning each evening with commentary on the music and its composers, Keyboard Conversations offers a full performance of each of the works, and ends with a short and lively question and answer session. The accessible and inviting performance format enriches audience understanding of classical music, for both the newcomer and seasoned listener alike. Each concert is followed by a reception.

Chopin for Lovers

Thursday, November 12, 7:30 pm

This season the musical world will be celebrating the 200th birthday of Frédéric Chopin, one of the most romantic figures in music history. Chopin wrote almost exclusively for the solo piano and Mr. Siegel will discuss and perform some of Chopin's most beloved compositions, each inspired by a different woman in the composer's life. The program will include the vivacious Waltz in E Flat, the poetic Larghetto from the Second Piano Concerto, four of the dynamic Preludes from Opus 28, the Minute and Farewell waltzes, and the tempestuous Scherzo No. 3. Bring a significant other and enrich your lives with some of the most inspired romantic music ever written.

Northern Lights

Thursday, January 21, 2010, 7:30 pm

This concert brings you music from composers of the far North. Siegel performs Johannes Brahms’ fiery Allegro Maestoso from his early Piano Sonata No. 3, as well as the brooding and reflective Intermezzi, which was written toward the end of the composer's life. The piano music of Sibelius is little known and rarely played – the Finnish composer’s charming Snapdragon and the passionate Romance will be welcome musical discoveries. The Danish master Carl Nielsen wrote magnificent short pieces for the piano, such as the Spinning Top, as well as the charming Humoreske Bagatelles. To conclude there will be the Evening in the Mountains, Summer Evening, and the glorious, rousing Norwegian Dances of Edvard Grieg.

Back to top of page

HammerfallHammerfall!
A Concert of New Danish Music and Stockhausen’s Kontakte

Friday, November 20, 7 pm
$15 ($10 ASF members)

This concert presents the music of Danish composer Niels Rønsholdt, a leading voice in the new generation of Scandinavian composers, performed by violinist Ethan Wood, saxophonist Zach Herchen, pianist Stephen Drury and percussionist Mathias Reumert. In Rønsholdt‘s works live musicians, electronics, video, and elements of theatre are mixed in a highly original and sometimes explosive cocktail. In addition to the works of Rønsholdt, percussionist Mathias Reumert and Stephen Drury perform Karlheinz Stockhausen’s masterpiece for piano, percussion, and 4-channel tape, Kontakte.

Sponsored by the Danish Arts Agency’s DaNY Arts.

A Family Lucia

Saturday, December 5, 1 pm
$10 ($8 ASF members), ages 5+

A Family LuciaGet into the holiday spirit with the classic tale of light, hope, and inspiration at Scandinavia House’s annual Family Lucia program. Swedish singer Eva Engman tells the story of Lucia, the third-century saint. On the dark days of the year Lucia is portrayed in a white robe with a crown of candles symbolizing the light that will return after the long, dark Nordic winter. Children and adults alike will enjoy Saint Lucia’s story and the magical music performed by the children’s choir.

Scandinavian Chamber OrchestraAnnual Holiday Concert
Featuring ensemble with members from The Scandinavian Chamber Orchestra of New York

Sunday, December 13, 4 pm
$25 ($15 ASF members)

The Scandinavian Chamber Orchestra of New York returned to Scandinavia House for its annual holiday concert. Led by its founders Per Tengstrand and Magnus Martensson, SCO performed classical works along with traditional Scandinavian Christmas music in a special concert that celebrated the magic of the holidays in Scandinavia.

Back to top of page