Internationally-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.