Viewing entries tagged
2012

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Christmas Bazaar and Christmas Carols in NY

Dec 6, 2012

The event that draws the very biggest crowd every year in the Finnish community in New York is the Christmas Bazaar held to benefit the Finnish School of New York, on the same day and in the same space as the Kauneimmat joululaulut (Christmas Carols) event held by the New York Finnish Lutheran Congregation at 83 Christopher St. This year it was held on December 1st. The day offers a chance to stock up on the coveted Fazer’s Blue and other favorite sweets, homemade baked goods, rye bread by Nordic Breads, and Karelian pastries by Northern Rye. Decorations, books in Finnish for adults and kids, knitted socks, and various gift items are also available for purchase. Many happy encounters take place among expats and other friends of Finland who haven’t seen each other for a while (or who have!) On the ground floor, a café serving traditional salmon sandwiches, pulla, rice porridge with kiisseli, etc. was up all day long.

Anna & Anders promoting FCF

Anna & Anders promoting FCF

Finally, some proper rye bread!

Finally, some proper rye bread!

The gathering in the church offers a chance for children to participate in the Lucia procession and for everyone to sing the beloved songs, accompanied by Kalle Toivio on the organ and piano. In addition, Kalle accompanied Finnish pop singer Mariko, as well as Taavi Oramo on the clarinet and singing “O Holy Night”.

The event is also a testament to enduring volunteerism in the Finnish community; on the photo, attending to the FC table, are college students Anna Matts and Anders Fransen.

Lucia procession for the kids

Lucia procession for the kids

Carols warm the heart

Carols warm the heart

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Legendary Jazz at Salmagundi Club

Nov 14, 2012

Vuoropuhelu, meaning 'dialog', is a word that came to mind, listening to the beautiful tunes exchanged between Ray Blue’s saxophone and Ethan Mann’s guitar at Salmagundi on Nov. 14. In perfect harmony and sync, these two musicians lifted the audience for a moment out of the worries caused by hurricane Sandy and the daily grind. A luxury to be in this intimate atmosphere where the audience – you, our members and guests – were respectful and attentive and let these delicate sounds sink into your soul… We need more of this!

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Emma Larsson at Salmagundi Club

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Nov 1, 2012

A handful of Finnish-speaking Swedes gathered at the Salmagundi Club to talk in their mother tongue, munch on Karelian pastries, and listen to Emma Larsson and Nick Russo. Emma is a Swedish jazz singer, educated at the Sibelius Academy, and now transplanted to New York. She performed American jazz standards in great American jazz style, accompanied by masterful Nick Russo on guitar. Some in the audience got a little teary when she decided to perform “Vem kan segla forutan vind” along with two other songs in Swedish – a debut for Emma performing in Swedish! If you missed her, go any Thursday night to hear her at Lime Leaf restaurant on the Upper West Side.

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FCF's Midsummer 5K Run in Prospect Park

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Jun 17, 2012

66 Finns and friends of Finland signed up for our Midsummer 5K run in Brooklyn's Prospect Park on June 17. The weather was perfect and the male winner was Brian Scharf of Bronxville, NY. The female winner was Elodie Pinot from France. They each won a pair of Karhu sneakers, and Elodie will get a dress from IvanaHelsinki. In addition, all the participants got T-shirts (designed by Essential Creative Agency); discount coupons for the Running Company Store and for Karhu products; and Lumene cosmetics. VOSS supplied water and Nordic Breads and Valio enabled us to make delicious and nutritious sandwiches to enjoy after the race. We thank these sponsors, as well as Sports Medicine Chelsea for their support! By popular demand have decided to redo this next year!

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FCF's 10th Anniversary

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Jun 5, 2012

Members and friends got together at the cozy restaurant of the Salmagundi Club for a 10th anniversary celebration dinner , consisting of gravlax, herring, potato salad, beet salad a la Paavo Turtiainen, baked salmon with dill cream sauce, beef stew a la chef Christian Duprey, korvapuusti and flourless chocolate cake….after consuming all this delicious food, we got a treat listening to one of the many talented jazz groups thriving in Finland: Aleksi Ranta Group.

The group consists of Aleksi Ranta, guitar and composition, Petri Rahikkala on piano, Juho Kivivuori on base and Juho Peltoniemi on drums.

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Pan-European Roma music at the Czech Center

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May 31, 2012

An appreciative record audience of over 80 people got a treat on the Upper East Side on May 31, as the beautiful hall of the Czech Center was filled with Roma tunes from different parts of Europe: the north (Finland), the center (Czech) and the south (Spain).

Petra Gelbart, who runs the Roma Music Department at NYU, had assembled a group performing Czech and Slovak Roma music: Ivan Gyokeni on violin and Rafael Rosa on guitar, with herself handling voice, piano and guitar; her two young children participated as well to everyone’s delight.

The second part consisted of Anette Åkerlund from Helsinki, who is soon to graduate from the renowned Sibelius Academy’s Folk Music Department. After singing a cappella a medley of Gypsy tunes from Finland in Romani and Finnish, she invited her mother Tuula on stage, and the two harmonized on several songs written by the Finnish Roma, accompanied by Sanna Valvanne on piano. In the last part, Anette was joined on stage by two Argentinian musicians, Cristian Puig on flamenco guitar and Sol, La Argentinita whose passionate flamenco song and dance drew multiple bravos and vigorous applause. We highly recommend following these talented New York based musicians to their next performance, and if you are in Finland, take note of the Åkerlunds!

The concert was cosponsored by the Czech Center, and we thank them for excellent cooperation! Support was received by Central Commission for Art (Finland) , Finlandia Foundation National Trust, and Suomi-seura.

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Julia Wallin Piano Recital

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Apr 11, 2012

The Finnish-born pianist, trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London and now living there, gave an impressive performance in the Parlor of the Salmagundi Club on April 11. The repertoire showcased Julia’s technical skills, as evident in the Chopin pieces, or the all-over-the-keyboard Rachmaninoff’s Moment Musical op 16. #3 & #4;  as well as tremendous sensitivity as in the thunderous Liszt Ballade nr. 2, in B minor, or in the light-as-a feather "Claire de Lune" by Debussy. Sibelius’ Kuusi is always wonderful to hear.

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FCF's Annual Meeting 2012

Mar 12, 2012

FCF's annual meeting was held on March 9, 2012. The annual report is available on the member website. Members can also request the annual report, financial statements, and other documents  by e-mailing info@finlandcenter.org. The new board as well as advisory board can be seen under Contacts.

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Amadeus Lundberg at FC

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Mar 10, 2012

Amadeus Lundberg, the Finnish King of Tango 2009, entertained at the Salmagundi Club as a special treat after Finland Center Foundation’s 10th Annual Meeting. This charismatic performer was accompanied by Olli Hirvonen Orchestra and sang well-known and beloved Finnish tangos, which inspired both Finns and the regular Salmagundi Club tango group to move onto the dance floor. This versatile vocalist showed he can do more as well, sounding like his hero Elvis in “In the Ghetto”;  reminding us of Sinatra in “New York, New York”, and showing his Roma roots with his rendition of Hortto Kaalo’s “Pyyhi tuuli kyyneleet”. JP Jofre’s talented group interspersed and ended the set in Argentinian style. Thanks to Finlandia Foundation New York Metropolitan Chapter for sponsoring Amadeus’ trip for his fabulous New York debut performance a week earlier.

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Ritva Koistinen Piano Concert

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Feb 29, 2012

On February 29, Ritva gave a concert playing Bach’s Prelude and Fugue B Flat Major BWV 890; Beethoven’s Sonata op 109; Ravel’s Sonatine and Davidsbündlertänze op 6 by Schumann. We are looking forward to a bright future for this talented and versatile pianist.

The Finnish pianist Ritva Koistinen (born in 1981) started her musical studies in the Conservatory of Joensuu, North-Carelia with Tuulikki Lehtinen and Janne Mertanen as teachers. In Sibelius Academy she studied with Juhani Lagerspetz, Ilmo Ranta, and Hanna Aho graduating as Master of Music in the year 2009. Besides classical piano, Ritva has also studied the harpsichord and baroque organ with Elina Mustonen and Petri Vuorio.

Ritva Koistinen feels that it’s vital to maintain a versatile approach to music making: her career so far includes not only concerts as a solo pianist, chamber musician, and a lied pianist but also performing with theater groups. She has also composed music for cross-genre performances. Since August 2011 Ritva has worked in Palmgren Conservatory in Pori, West-Finland, as a teacher and accompanist.

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Olli Hirvonen Performance

Feb 15, 2012

On February 15, Olli brought his band consisting of Dan Wilkins on saxophone, Jeff Koch on base, and Philippe Lemm from the Netherlands on drums, to the Salmagundi Club and played mostly Olli’s own compositions. We continue to be amazed at the quality and quantity of young talent that we are fortunate to “catch” to our little club – of which Olli and his band are a perfect example. Keep an eye out for more!

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