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.
Thursday, July 9, 7 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)
As part of their 2015 North American Tour, Norwegian a cappella ensemble Røyst Trio visits Scandinavia House this July to inspire New York audiences with their original and playful arrangements of traditional Norwegian folk songs.
Performing original music written and arranged by the members of the group, the trio consists of Kari N. Bleivik, Cecilie Giskemo, and Maria Jardardottir. Each individual's sound, together with the others, creates a unique vocal texture and varied collection of compositions. The trio's music represents a contemporary and collective fusion of improvisation and elements drawn from world music, modern jazz, and folk music.
About the Røyst Trio
Since their founding in 2002, Røyst Trio has toured in their native Norway, as well as in England, Germany, Finland, the U.S., Mexico, and Zimbabwe. For ten days in July 2015 the trio will tour New York in the U.S. and Toronto, Ottawa, and Hamilton in Canada. Through their concerts and workshops they endeavor to motivate local communities to start vocal-based ensembles, which demand neither significant technical equipment, nor physical space, nor talent to function as a positive and creative activity in everyday life. Additionally the tour aims to garner interest in acoustic a cappella music and the value that this musical form of composition and performance establishes.
Combined with their international tour agenda, Røyst Trio has continuously placed great emphasis on running workshops for both amateur and professional performers and teachers. Through exploratory and interactive means and concepts, these workshops promote the artistic and cultural value of a cappella music, as well as the spontaneous opportunity humans possess to create music together.
Røyst Trio has also widely collaborated with world-class musicians and composers and participated in leading festivals and projects including the Nynorskfestspela (2005); Ian Ballamy and Thomas Strønen (2007); the Harare International Festival of Arts (2010); Laura Cole (2013); Dave Kane, Andy Wood, Rommi Smith, and Jason Hird (2013); and Matthew Bourne, Joost Hendrix, Simon Beddoe, Seth Bennett, Oliver Dover, and Tom Sidebottom (2013). In 2013 the ensemble qualified as finalists in the Tampere Vocal Ensemble Contest.
In 2005 Røyst Trio independently released Nordic Initiative – their debut album. In November 2014 the trio recorded three pieces that will form an EP to be released summer 2015.
Tuesday, July 21, 7 pm
$15 ($10 ASF Members)
Hailing from the south of Sweden and the south of Senegal, celebrated duo Sousou & Maher Cissoko present an energetic evening that mixes traditional West African and Swedish music in a unique fusion of reggae, mbalax, folk, soul, and the blues.
About Sousou & Maher Cissoko
Swedish/Senegalese pair Sousou & Maher Cissoko is defined by their expressive singing and rhythmically-rocking music. Together with their band, comprised of well-known artists from Senegal and Sweden on kora, guitar, percussion, and bass, the combination of their rhythmic energy and intimate vocals makes their music unforgettable and has established Sousou & Maher Cissoko as a well-known duo on many different stages in Scandinavia and from world music to large pop music festivals.
Sousou grew up in southern Sweden and fell in love with the kora, a West African stringed instrument, at an early age and later traveled to Gambia at 19 to study West African Mandinka traditions. Maher Cissoko was born into a well-known griot family from Casamance, Senegal, and learned to play the kora at an early age, embellishing the tradition of the art of the kora and developing his own explosive and danceable style.
Since the release of their albums Adouna (Ajabu!, 2008) and Stockholm-Dakar (Ajabu!, 2011) they have toured in Scandinavia, South Korea, Senegal, Mali, Tanzania, and South Africa, performing at events including Way Out West, the Peace & Love Festival, the Gwanju World Music Festival, Sauti za Busara Festival, Festival Sur Le Niger, and have been supporting big-name artists including Toumani Diabate, Bassekou Kouyate, and Amadou & Mariam. They have performed several times on Swedish and Senegalese National Television and Radio. In 2014 the released Africa Moo Baalu(ARC), their most intimate album to date, in 2014 and are touring and playing at festivals in Canada this July.
Sousou & Maher Cissoko have been nominated for several awards, including Newcomer of the Year (2010), Band of the Year (2011), and Album of the Year (2012) at Sweden's World Music Awards. Their achievements have also been awarded cultural grants by the City of Stockholm and supported by the Swedish Arts Council and the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.
Thursday, August 20, 7 pm
Renowned Danish baritone Thomas Storm, accompanied by pianist Tanya Gabrielian, presents a festive evening of music that celebrates the 150th anniversaries of Denmark and Finland's most prolific composers – Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) and Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) – and highlights some of their most important and beloved works from the Romantic and post-Romantic song repertoires all indicative of national heritage and identity.
Among the works are Nielsen's Five Texts by J.P. Jacobsen, Opus 4 (1891), I know a lark's nest/Jeg ved en Lærkerede (1923), Look! The sun is red, mum/Solen er så rød, mor (1926), and John, the Roadmender/Jens Vejmand(1909), along with Sibelius' Come away, death/Kom nu hit död and Hey oh, the wind and the rain/Hållilå, uti storm och i regn from Twelfth Night/Trettondagsafton, Op. 60 (1909) and selections from 5 Songs, Op. 37
About Thomas Storm
Thomas Storm received his education from the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music Odense and graduated from the Royal Danish Opera Academy in Copenhagen in 2011, where he studied under Professor Kirsten Buhl Møller. Storm has also studied privately with Gregory Lamar in New York and worked with coaches such as Michael Eliasen, Fiona McSherry, Rachel Andrist, Neville Dove, James Johnson, and Philip Langridge.
Since his debut at The Royal Danish Opera in 2009 as Schaunard in La Bohéme, Storm has established himself as one of the most sought-after Danish baritones and has performed all over Denmark, including Moralés in Carmen, Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief, and Le Geolier in Les Dialogues des Carmélites at The Royal Danish Opera. At the Funen Opera in Odense he has performed modern pieces including Orpheus 68 and Dr. Jekyll's lawyer, as well as traditional repertoire, including Enrico Ashton in Lucia di Lammermore, Danilo in The Merry Widow, Il Conte in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte.
In 2013 Storm was appointed the Carl Nielsen Artist by the Odense Symphony Orchestra and performed Nielsen's Symphony No. 3 "Sinfonia Espansiva," Op. 27, FS 60 (1910-11) and a number of recitals featuring the composer's work that were broadcast live on Danish Radio.
Storm has received numerous prizes and grants, among them the Reumert Talent Award in 2013 for his interpretation of Guglielmo in W.A. Mozart's Così fan tutte, The Léonie Sonning Music Prize (2012), The Funen Opera's prestigious Lars Waage Prize (2012), and the Aarhus Summer Opera Prize.
About Tanya Gabrielian
Lauded by The Washington Post for her “strikingly poised nobility” and “commanding presence,” pianist Tanya Gabrielian has captivated audience worldwide with her gripping performances. Gabrielian has performed on four continents in acclaimed venues including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, Sydney Opera House, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, and the Salle Cortot in Paris, and with such orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, London Sinfonia, and the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra.
Gabrielian rose to international acclaim with first prizes in the Scottish International Piano Competition (2004), Aram Khachaturyan International Piano Competition (2003), and the Pro Musicis International Award. Recent performances include performances in Carnegie Hall in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, Edinburgh International Festival, and a return recital engagement at Wigmore Hall in London. Her London debut performance at the Southbank Center, sponsored by the Philharmonia Orchestra, was chosen as “Performance of the Year” by Seen and Heard International, and she has been featured on the cover of the magazine Clavier.
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Denmark in New York, the Consulate General of Finland in New York, and the American Scandinavian Society of New York with additional support provided by The Funen Opera/Den Fynske Opera, Solistforeningen af 1921, and the Augustinus 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.