Concerts held in Victor Borge Hall – named in honor of the legendary Danish entertainer and in recognition of his generosity to Scandinavia House – are supported in part by The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, The Louise and Karl Andrén Fund for Musical Performance, The Victor Borge Hall Endowment Fund, and The Dunard Fund.
Saturday, May 9, 7 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)
Esteemed Finnish Sámi joik singer Ulla Pirttijärvi-Länsman and her ensemble Ulda present a concert of Sámi joik music, expressing the rich traditions of Sámi culture through contemporary folk music.
About Ulla Pirttijärvi & Ulda
Ulla Pirttijärvi-Länsman is a Sámi joik singer from Angeli, Finland. She began her career with the musical group Angelin Tytöt, but left soon after to pursue a solo career. She now performs contemporary arrangements of traditional joik music with the ensemble Ulda.
Founded by Pirttijärvi-Länsman in 2009, Ulda is devoted to expressing themes of Sámi culture and the north.
The ensemble has traveled extensively in the Nordic countries, continental Europe, and Russia and currently features Ari Isotalo, drums and percussion; Marko Jouste, strings, vocals, and percussion; Ulla Pirttijärvi-Länsman, vocals, percussion; and Mikko Vanhasalo, wind-instruments, vocals, and percussion.
In 2012 the trio released their first album, Ulda, to critical acclaim. Ulda's newest album Roijk will be released spring 2015.
Co-presented by the American-Scandinavian Society of New York.
Thursday, May 14, 7 pm
$25 ($20 ASF Members)
Swedish pianist and artistic director Per Tengstrand – now in his fifth season of musical programming at Scandinavia House – performs a series of concerts with a focus on a chamber music repertoire, highlighting distinguished composers and musicians.
Award-winning author and composer Jan Swafford visits the Music on Park Avenue series to mark the occasion of his newest book Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) and discuss Ludwig van Beethoven's music and life with Per Tengstrand.
The evening includes music by Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, and W.A. Mozart, with Tengstrand at the piano.
About Jan Swafford
Jan Swafford's music has been played around the country and abroad by ensembles including the symphonies of St. Louis, Indianapolis, and the Dutch Radio; Boston's new-music groups Musica Viva, Collage, and Dinosaur Annex; and chamber ensembles including the Peabody Trio, the Chamber Orchestra of Tennessee, and the Scott Chamber Players of Indianapolis.
Also a well-known writer on music, Swafford is the author of biographies on Charles Ives (W.W. Norton, 1996), Johannes Brahms (U.S.: Knopf, 1997; U.K.: Macmillan, 1998), and Beethoven (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). His journalism appears regularly in Slate, The Guardian, The Independent, among others. Swafford is a long-time program writer and preconcert lecturer for the Boston Symphony and has written notes and essays for the orchestras of Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, and Toronto.
About Per Tengstrand
Per Tengstrand (b. 1968, Växjö) is a Swedish pianist and artistic director of Music on Park Avenue: Evenings with Pianist Per Tengstrand at Scandinavia House. He began playing the piano at six years old and entered the Malmö Academy of Music at age 16, studying under Hans Pålsson. In 1985 Tengstrand was accepted at the Conservatoire de Paris in the class of Dominique Merlet. He continued private studies with Dominique Weber and Romuald Sztern to prepare for international piano competitions.
Tengstrand has received numerous honors and awards, including First Prize at the 1997 Cleveland International Piano Competition. He was named a laureate of the Geneva Competition (1996) and a laureate of the Paris International Long-Thibaud Competition (1996). Tengstrand was the recipient of the 1997 Anders Wall Foundation Scholarship and was awarded the 1999 Musician Award by the Swedish Arts Grants Committee. While at the Conservatoire de Paris, Tengstrand received the Premier Prix, Premier Nommé, and the Prix Spécial du Jury and was awarded the Prix de Virtuosité at the Geneva Conservatory. In 2005 he was decorated with the "Litteris et Artibus" Medal by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden for outstanding service to the arts. He is also the recipient of the 2014 Lunds Studentsångförenings Solistpris (LSS) Award, one of Sweden's biggest musical awards.
Recent career highlights include performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat majorduring Neeme Järvi's final subscription concerts with the New Jersey Philharmonic; performances with the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap; the Residentie der Leonard Slatkin; and the Madison Symphony Orchestra, under Edo de Waart. Tengstrand has recorded the complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas for his Mindfeel label.
His 2014-15 concert season includes engagements with Norddeutsche Radio Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig; the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva, Switzerland; and the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tengstrand makes his home in Princeton, New Jersey with his wife and collaborator, pianist Shan-shan Sun. They comprise the Tengstrand-Sun Piano Duo, which has enjoyed great success following their first prize at the 2003 Murray Dranoff International Two-Piano Competition. The duo has released three CDs on the Mindfeel label, and he has recorded a solo CD for ProPiano of Alexander Glazunov's The Seasons (1900) and his Konzertwalzer (a world premiere).
The 2015 Music on Park Avenue concert series is supported in part by a generous grant from The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation and a grant from Christina Lang Assael and The Assael Foundation.
Thursdays @ 8 pm, May 7, 2015
$25 ($20 ASF Members)
Internationally acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel returns for his eighth season of Keyboard Conversations® 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.
An evening featuring J.S. Bach's joyful Toccata in D major, BWV 912 (1710); Ludwig van Beethoven's genial Piano Sonata No. 24 in F-sharp major, Op. 78 (1809) and the humorous 7 Variations on “God Save the King,” in C Major, W00 78 (1803); and Johannes Brahms' lilting 16 Waltzes, Op. 39 (1865), moving 3 Intermezzi, Op. 117 (1892), and the virtuoso Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 35 (1863), based on the famous Caprice No. 24 in A minor by Niccolò Paganini (1802-17).
Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Concerts with Lively Commentary is made possible in part by a grant from The Evelyn Sharp Foundation.
Ongoing, 5 – 10 pm (Last seating @ 9 pm)
$41 per person ($36 ASF Members)
Pairing top-notch Scandinavian cinema and music with fine Nordic cuisine, Smörgås Chef @ Scandinavia House continues its popular Dinner & a Concert prix-fixe 2-course dinner menu. Available from 5 to10 pm (the last seating is at 9 pm), this ongoing offer features a selection of favorite dishes including herb-roasted chicken, cured gravlaks and Swedish meatballs, and include one admission to that evening’s concert.