PERFORMERS

Tiina Sara-aho English

Tiina Sara-aho English

Tiina Sara-Aho

Tiina Sara-aho studied classical ballet and contemporary dance at Sonja Tammela ballet school in Lappeenranta. Her studies continued in Helsinki dance institute. She has danced in productions of Lappeenranta and Helsinki theaters and in dance theater Miimos. She has studied in Helsinki City Theater with Jorma Uotinen, Jill Miller and Maj Lis Rajala. With a grant from the Kordelin Foundation she participated in the dance competition of Kuopio Dance and Music Festival with a classical and a contemporary performance. She is a professional member of Finnish Dance Artists’ Union. She has taken part of numerous dance courses with for example Marianna Bogoljubskaja, Marin Veltchev and Konstantin Damianov. Tiina Sara-aho has graduated as dance pedagogue from the Theater Academy. In her job as primary school teacher dance was pushed back, only to return. Now it is deepened into a spiritual dimension as Sara-aho graduated in 2011 as instructor of meditative dance and with a Master’s Degree in theology in 2014. In her new work as instructor of meditative dance and performing artist she has created a synthesis of all her past work and life experience as well as education. A strong inner vision creates meditative peace into her work. Currently Sara-aho directs groups in different parishes and participates in church services and other events with liturgical dance.  https://www.meditatiivinenpyhatanssi.com

 

Marjukka Liimatainen English

Marjukka Liimatainen English

Marjukka Liimatainen


Marjukka Liimatainen 
graduated from Sibelius Academy church music department year 2002 (master of music). She was introduced to organ playing at the age of thirteen by the local organist Salla Palokangas. In Sibelius Academy her teacher was prof. Timo Kiiskinen. Marjukka has attended several master courses in Finland and abroad, where she was taught by e.g. Kati Hämäläinen, Olli Porthan, Kari Jussila, Pieter van Dijk, Paolo Crivellaro, prof. Luigi Tagliavini and Jon Laukvik. From year 2004 she has worked as church musician in Keski-Lahti parish (Lahti, Finland).

 

Pia Raanoja-english

Pia Raanoja-english

 Pia Raanoja

 

Pia Raanoja began her music studies with violin as her instrument at Pohjois-Kymi Music Institute in 1970. Later on she changed her instrument to singing. In 1987, she took her Master’s degree at the Sibelius Academy, where she studied under Liisa Linko-Malmio and Gunni Granberg. After this, she has attended master classes by e.g. Erik Werba, Peter Berne, Herbert Brauer, Rudolf Bautz, Kim Borg, and Ralf Gothoni. 

 

Pia Raanoja has performed as a soloist at the Finnish National Opera, the Savonlinna Opera Festival, Der Wlamsse Opera (Antwerpen), and at various regional operas in Finland, where her most important rolls have been e.g.  Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Savonlinna Opera Festival), Mimi in La Boheme, Krista in The Makropulos Affair, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof, Anna Reich in The Merry Wives of Windsor  (Finnish National Opera), Pia in Das Glas im Kopf wird vom Glas,  Un Musico in Manot Lescau (Der Wlamsse Opera), Liisa in Pohjalaiset, Serafina in Campanello di Notte, Lauretta in Gianni Schicci (regional opera houses), and Aino in Aino by Erkki Melartin, Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Opera Academy in Savonlinna), Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Rowan in The Little Sweep by Benjamin Britten (Sibelius Academy Opera Studio). 

 

In addition to opera, Pia Raanoja’s repertoire include lied music, operettas, oratorios and passions: She has sung the soprano solos in The Messiah by Händel (Tampere cathedral, Seattle), Die Schöpfung by Haydn (Kotka), The Passion of Matthew by Bach (Helsinki cathedral), Stabat Mater by Rossini (Oulu), Mass in C minor by Mozart, and  Stabat Mater by Pergolesi (Turku, Helsinki), the Kleine Orgelmesse by Haydn (Helsinki), as well as various cantatas by Bach, e.g. Ein Feste Burg ist unser Gott, and Christ lag in Todesbanden. 

 

She has sung operetta and musical songs together with Juha Kotilainen on school tours and in a chamber music play on the life of W.A.Mozart (directed by Jussi Tapola). 

 

Pia Raanoja’s lied repertoire focuses on Finnish songs, especially on those by Oskar Merikanto. She has also performed the Maria Stuart songs by F.Schubert, the Ofelia songs by R.Strauss as well as Finnish sacred music.  She has toured for the past few years with a concert programme called “Peace for Christmas” (“Rauhaa Jouluun”) and also sung at joint concerts in Lahti, Kärkölä, Inkeroinen, Tammela, and Hämeenkyrö. These concerts will see continuation at various parishes in Lahti in the future. 

 

Since 2011, Pia Raanoja has taught music and voice in Nastola, at Kaarisilta, which is an art and day center with special tuition also in visual arts and music for people with more demanding special needs.

 

At Kaarisilta, Pia Raanoja has put together a cd called “Tuulen värein”, in which Kaarisilta graduates perform evergreen songs to the accompaniment of a professional orchestra “Hillity”. 

 

There have already been several recital concerts for this three-year musical training of which Pia Raanoja has been in charge. In 2015, a musical based on the themes of Die Zauberflöte by Mozart and with music set by Kimmo Parviainen, Taikamoinen, was performed on the small stage of the Lahti city theater. This musical fairytale was directed by Tero Porali and the music was rehearsed by Pia Raanoja. 

 

Pia Raanoja was awarded a special prize at the Timo Mustakallio singing competition in 1983 and also a third prize at the Lappeenranta singing competition in 1984.

 

Pia Raanoja has also recorded songs for both radio and television. She is also in a recording by the Savonlinna opera festival (Ääni taivaasta) and as the soprano soloist in Symphony No. 3 by Nielsen (conductor Myung-Whun Chung).

 

Monica Czausz_en

Monica Czausz_en

Monica Czaucz

 

August 9th at 2 p.m. in The Church of the Cross
Monica Czaucz is one of the most prominent names of young American organists. The Diapason magazine noted her as one of the top 20 organists under 30 in 2016. This summer Czaucz takes Finland by storm on her tour here.

Tickets 15€/ 10€ with pensioners’ card
Coffee and a meet-and-greet at 1 p.m. in the downstairs of The Church of the Cross!

Program:

(10) Sechs Stücke für Klavier,Op.118,  JohannesBrahms (1833-1897)
Intermezzo in A minor,
Intermezzo in A major

Ballade in G minor                                                          arranged byCzausz

Ballade in G minor

(12) Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV 544, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

 

(10) Arabesques, Naji Hakim (b. 1955)
Prélude
Pastorale
Libanaise
Arabesque
Litanie
Rondeau

 

(6) Häähymni, OskarMerikanto (1868-1924)

 

(5) Roulade Op. 3,No. 9, Seth Bingham (1882-1972)

 

(14) Suite,Op.70, PaulCreston (1906-1985)
Prelude
Prayer

Toccata

 

Johannes Brahms’ penultimate work for piano solo, his famous Six Pieces, Op. 118, opens with bold, arpeggiated flourishes. Dedicated to Clara Schumann and composed years after he had supposedly given up composing, the piece develops in intimate ways and teaches us of love and loss. This stormy and passionate first Intermezzo decays into the second, which may be one of the most heart-breaking themes ever written. Here, an introspective yearning will be expanded in a classical ternary – ABA – form, before leading to a Ballade in similar form. The tragic or perhaps heroic A sections of the Ballade find tranquility in the B section, though the entire piece ends in muted angst.

Johannes Brahms aptly prescribed we “study Bach: there [we] will find everything.” This late work of Johann Sebastian Bach is no disappointment. Composed during his Leipzig years, the time when he was also writing the Orchestral Suites, the French Baroque influences and inspirations of King Louis XIV and ballet can be heard, particularly in the opening gestures of the Prelude. The date of composition is unclear, but it may have been debuted at the memorial service for the Queen of Poland, fitting with the solemn mood often depicted by the key of B minor. The Prelude in 6/8 time features complex syncopated passages alternating with more straightforward sections. The Fugue features a short, stepwise subject with real answer and an impressive use of three distinct countersubjects before concluding in a hopeful B major.

Longtime student of French organist-composer Jean Langlais, Naji Subhy Paul Irénée Hakim was born in Beirut in 1955. Composed in 2009, the Arabesques are dedicated to his wife Marie- Bernadette Dufourcet. In the words of the composer himself: “Song and dance are at the heart of this suite for organ, which reflects the overlapping influences of jazz and Mediterranean folk music. The six movements—Prélude, Pastorale, Libanaise, Arabesque, Litanie, Rondeau—are characterized by ornamental melodies, modal harmonies, irregular meter and an expressive quality inspired by joy.”

Pioneer of Finnish organ music in the early twentieth-century, Frans Oskar Merikanto was born to Frans Ferdinand Kanto, and ultimately changed his name in 1882. “Meri,” meaning “sea,” refers to his journey from Vaasa to Helsinki. He studied in Leipzig and Berlin before seeking to broaden his education. Between 1900 and 1907, he traveled internationally for concerts and study, encountering the likes of Guilmant, Widor, and Vierne, and befriending the most celebrated organ virtuoso and composer of the time, Marco Enrico Bossi. Merikanto’s work is often influenced by Finnish folk song, and unlike Jean Sibelius who mostly appealed to the upperclass, he sought to make music accessible for all people. In the majestic Häähymni, Merikanto juxtaposes dramatic outer sections with a flowing inner section that builds in excitement before returning to familiar material.

Composed about the same time as Häähymni, we compare the sounds of early twentieth-century Americana in one of Seth Bingham’s first compositions, Roulade. Bingham was an acclaimed performer and teacher, serving as organist at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, USA, for nearly forty years (1913 to 1951). In this beloved scherzo-like piece, we encounter florid running passages, bold trumpet calls, effortless counter-melodies, and a heavenly interior section.

Today’s program closes with the lone work of another New York City composer. Born to Sicilian immigrant parents under the name Guiseppe Guttoveggio (literally: “good vegetable”), Paul Creston changed his name in the hope of greater recognition. Self-taught as a composer, he possessed remarkable drive and overcame many hardships, including dropping out of high school to help support his family.

Fierce rhythmic emphasis and modern American tonality make his music refreshing, often featuring unusual instruments like saxophone and marimba. His Suite, Op. 70 incorporates many seventh and ninth chords, sounding at times much like Hollywood movie music. The gestural Prelude incorporates snippets of fughetta and toccata, maintaining interest throughout. Luscious yet sparse harmonies characterize the Prayer, a quiet petition for help. An extroverted Toccata follows, displaying strength, facility, and effervescent triumph.

—-

A true rising star among young classical musicians, Monica Czausz has quickly made a name for herself as one of the finest young American organists on the scene today. She was recognized as one of the top 20 organists under 30 in the May 2016 issue of The Diapason for her “superior accomplishments, leadership, creativity, and innovative thinking”. She has also received first prize in numerous competitions, including the 2015 American Guild of Organists Regional Competition for Young Organists (Region VII: Southwest), 2015 Schweitzer Competition in the Young Professionals’ Division, the 2013 William C. Hall Competition, the 2012 L. Cameron Johnson Competition, and the 2011 Oklahoma City University Competition.

Monica recently performed at the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Regional Convention of the AGO in New Jersey, the 2017 Southwest Regional Convention of the AGO in Dallas, and the 2017 Northeast Regional AGO/National RCCO Convention in Montréal. Also during the summer of 2017, she was featured in her third consecutive OHS convention, headlining in a full-length evening performance. In 2016 she performed at the AGO National Convention in Houston Texas, both for Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral, and as a “Rising Star,” where she gave “a fabulous performance that displayed artistic mastery far beyond her years” according to The American Organist. In her performance at the 2016 Organ Historical Society National Convention in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, she was said to have “played with great flair” (The American Organist). In 2015, she was featured at the OHS National Convention in Western Massachusetts, the AGO Regional Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, and the East Texas Organ Festival in Kilgore,

where The Tracker reported, “this young lady just blew us all away.” During the summer of 2016, she accompanied the Christ Church Cathedral Choir on tour to England where they fulfilled residencies at the Cathedrals of St. Paul’s (London), Durham, and Bristol. She has recently performed at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Merrill Auditorium in Portland Maine, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Broadway Baptist Church of Forth Worth, St. Paul’s Chapel at Trinity Wall Street, and the Eccles Festival at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City. Upcoming programs for the 2018-19 season include performances at Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Spivey Hall in Morrow Georgia, and Fresno State University for the International Philip Lorenz Keyboard Festival. Monica’s performances have been broadcast on Pipedreams, WRTI Philadelphia, 91.7 Houston, and KTRU Rice Radio.

Monica graduated in May of 2019 with Artist Diplomas in both Organ and Harpsichord Performance from The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she studied with Alan Morrison and Leon Schelhase, respectively. In May of 2017, Czausz graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, Texas, where she completed a five-year combined Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree program in Organ Performance. Here she studied with renowned professor Ken Cowan and, upon graduation, was awarded the Undergraduate Distinction in Research and Creative Work. From September 2015 through July 2017, she served as full-time Cathedral Organist at Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal) in Houston, Texas, under the leadership of acclaimed director Robert Simpson.

Monica Czausz is under the exclusive management of Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc.

Marjukka Liimatainen

Marjukka Liimatainen

Marjukka Liimatainen graduated from Sibelius Academy church music department year 2002 (master of music). She was introduced to organ playing at the age of thirteen by the local organist Salla Palokangas. In Sibelius Academy her teacher was prof. Timo Kiiskinen. Marjukka has attended several master courses in Finland and abroad, where she was taught by e.g. Kati Hämäläinen, Olli Porthan, Kari Jussila, Pieter van Dijk, Paolo Crivellaro, prof. Luigi Tagliavini and Jon Laukvik. From year 2004 she has worked as church musician in Keski-Lahti parish (Lahti, Finland).

Ilkka Hämäläinen

Ilkka Hämäläinen

Ilkka Hämäläinen has sung at the Finnish National Opera since 2012 both as a soloist and as a member of the choir. He is also a sought-after artist in the Finnish regional operas and sings as a soloist at the Savonlinna Opera Festival.

Ilkka Hämäläinen masters a huge variety of different music styles. This ability of his is remakable even on an international level.

He started his career as a young pop and rock´n´roll singer. Nowdays his repertoire includes over 80 roles in musicals, operetta and opera.

Next season he will be singin at the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow when the Savonlinna Opera Festival brings their opera Otello there. He will also continue performing at the Finnish National opera, where his lead role of Andrew Lloyd Webber´s Phantom of the Opera has got rave reviews. In addition to this he sings the role of Andres in Alban Berg´s Wozzeck.

In 1997 Hämäläinen won the operetta competition ”Kultainen Silinteri” (Golden Tophat) in Turku.

He has recorded e.g. Orthodox choir music as a soloist of the Uspenski Cathedral Male-voice choir.

Erkki Korhonen_en

Erkki Korhonen_en

Pianist and conductor Erkki Korhonen graduated in piano from the Sibelius Academy in 1983. He rounded out his education with several teachers and specialized in opera repertoire. Korhonen has taught at music institutes and conservatories all over Finland and has been teaching piano and chamber music in the Sibelius Academy where he in 1989 was appointed lecturer of répétiteur studies. Erkki Korhonen was invited to the International Opera Festival in Zurich in 1997. He was recently invited to hold master classes at Weimar Lyric Opera Studio and the Conservatory of Shanghai. Erkki Korhonen has performed in Europe, Israel, India and North America and has made numerous radio and TV recordings.

Erkki Korhonen has served as General Director of the Finnish National Opera in 2001-2007, as Vice President of the Sibelius Birth Town Foundation 2011-2017 and Vice President of the project team for the Sibelius 150th anniversary. Korhonen has been the artistic director of the Organ Night & Aria Festival since the autumn of 2016.

Erkki Korhonen has been awarded the music prizes of the cities Hämeenlinna and Helsinki and Sibelius Birth Town medal and the Pro Finlandia medal.

 

Pilvi Äikäs

Pilvi Äikäs

”Dramatic mezzo-soprano Pilvi Äikäs was born in Ilmajoki. She has graduated from Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Music, in 2008. Pilvi has continued her singing and acting studies both in Finland and in Germany with different teachers and in several master courses. She has been member of Savonlinna Opera Festival Choir since 2004 and has also performed in Helsinki Festival and in productions of Lahti Opera Association. Pilvi works as a singing teacher, performs operatic and lied repertoire with several pianists and also sings as an oratorio soloist .”

Picture by Tarmo Valmela

Aurora Ikävalko

Aurora Ikävalko

Aurora Ikävalko

Aurora Ikävalko has worked since 2008 in Church of the Cross in Lahti as cantor focused in singing.  She has been an additional singer in the chorus in the National Opera in Finland. As well she performed in the Opera Festival chorus in Savonlinna. Aurora has besides the cantor work performed chamber music , sung  ensemle projects  and solo concerts which  theater directors have dramatized.

Miikka Kallio

Miikka Kallio

Miikka Kallio

Miikka Kallio is a talented jazz pianist and jazz organist living in Lahti. He is especially well-known as the leader of his Miikka Kallio Band. Miikka is also a very popular composer, especially in Russia. His  compositions have been played by  musicians of e.g. St. Petersburg Philharmonia, Mariinski  Theater and St. Petersbourg Conservatory since 2005.

Mika Pohjoinen

Mika Pohjoinen

Mika Pohjonen, tenor – A native of Finland, was born in 1973.

He initially studied singing at the Lahti Conservatory as a student of Terttu Isosaari and later with opera singer Kalevi Koskinen.

In years 1998-2002 his vocal teacher was opera singer Kai Valtonen and since 2003 he has studied under professor Irina Gavrilovici.

In 2003 he won the Kangasniemi singing competition and got third prize in the renowned Finnish singing contest of Lappeenranta and was a semi-finalist at the Competizione dell’Opera in Dresden.

After his engagement as a first tenor in the choir of the Finnish National Opera since 1998, Mr. Pohjonen has been engaged as a permanent soloist in Finnish National Opera since 2003.

Mika Pohjonen has had several  engagements in Opera Houses in the Europe and he has been singing as a tenor soloist with  various  Symphony Orchestras all over the world.

He has given numerous recitals around Finland with repertoire such as solo songs by Oskar Merikanto, the most popular Italian tenor songs,  spiritual church hymns and Christmas carols.

LSP Concert Band

LSP Concert Band

The LSP Concert Band is a brass band of 20-30 players. The band was originally established in 1949 under the name of the Lahti Parish Boys’ Marching Band. The band plays all kinds of music such as wind music, light classical, spiritual music, march music, rock and pop music.

Siina Hirvonen

Siina Hirvonen

Siina Hirvonen(1977) is a music pedagogue / music kindergarten teachergraduated from the Helsinki University of Applied Sciences Stadia in 2003. She has worked as an infant music teacher at the Helsinki Conservatory of Music, the Pirkanmaa Music Institute, the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare (MLL) in Kangasala and in Vesilahti, the Kankaanpää Music Institute and Maija Salo’s Music School.

Siina has further been involved in the planning and production of various children’s concerts and events, as well as recordings, songbooks and a teacher’s guidebook for the ABC-book.

Since 2007 Siina has also produced children’s programs for the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s (YLE) channel 2. Siina is known for hosting Pikku Kakkonen’s Music Monday Shows (2008-2014) and numerous music series.

Siina was awarded the national Pedagogue of the Year 2010 prize for her distinguished work for children’s music and cultural education.

Currently, Siina completes her postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Music Education of the Sibelius Academy, makes music programs for television and acts as a freelance musician giving concerts all around Finland, e.g. with Siina and her Magic Radio (Taikaradio) children’s music orchestra. Furthermore, she acts as an adult educator and music educator. Siina has worked with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Savonlinna Opera Festival and the Oulu Symphony.

Risto Saarman

Risto Saarman

Risto Saarman has been a lecturer of singing at the Lahti Conservatory since 1996. Risto Saarman has graduated from the Sibelius Academy and was employed by the Finnish National Opera in 1979-1999. He has performed as a soloist with all professional orchestras in Finland as well as at numerous music festivals. He has performed abroad in nine European countries.

Orivesi All Stars – The biggest Folk Music Collective in Finland!

Orivesi All Stars – The biggest Folk Music Collective in Finland!

Orivesi All Stars – The biggest Folk Music Collective in Finland!

OAS or Orivesi All Stars is a folk music collective basically open to any player with basic playing skills founded to promote the discovery, learning, experience and sharing of musical joy. The age of the members varies from 8 to 85 years, the geographic coverage at least on the axis of Germany-Oulu-USA and the group does not distinguish between amateurs and professionals. The only goal is to produce nice and meaningful music together in a good spirit and to let it be seen and heard!

The band was founded at the traditional Orivesi folk music courses in December 2011 and was headed by Antti Järvelä and Reetta Kuisma.

Pierre Queval

Pierre Queval

Pierre Queval was born in 1988. He has studied at the Nantes and Saint-Maur-des Fossés Conservatories (France), with Michel Bourcier, Eric Lebrun and Pierre Pincemaille, then he went to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris to study with with Michel Bouvard and Olivier Latry for the organ, with Thierry Escaich, Lasalo Fassang, Philippe Lefèbvre and Jean-François Zygel for organ and piano improvisation, and Pierre Pincemaille for the counterpoint. He got a master’s degree in each discipline.

Titular organist of the Cavaillé-Coll organ in St. Ignatius Church in Paris since 2014, Pierre Queval is the seventh ”young artist in residence” at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans (US) from November 2015 to April 2016.

He is performing in many prestigious places in France and abroad (US, England, Italy, Finland).

In Paris, he plays recitals to Notre-Dame, Saint-Sulpice, Saint-Eustache, Sainte-Clotilde, Saint-Denis, La Trinité, Saint-Séverin, Saint-Thomas d’Aquin… and participates to several festivals such as Radio-France et Montpellier/Languedoc-Roussillon, La Roque d’Anthéron, La Chaise-Dieu, Annecy Classic Festival, Toulouse les Orgues, Lyon Orgue en Jeu, Chartres, Saint-Malo, Carcassonne, L’Alpe d’Huez…

Pierre Queval also regularly plays the piano or the organ to accompany silent films and movies.

He has founded the Meigma Trio with the flautist Charlotte Berthomé and the violonist Mathilde Gandar.

Heikki Ruokonen

Heikki Ruokonen

Heikki Ruokonen (born 1958) is a freelance musicien, cantor organist, choir dirigent, pianist. He has worked in music occupation e.g. in Lahti, Hollola, Helsinki and since 1990 in Järvenpää. Ruokonen is the leader of the Prima Vista mixed choir of young adults  in the parish of Järvenpää. The choir has performed  e.g. in the rock oper  Jesus Christ Superstar as theater and concert version in Helsinki and Järvenpää.

The chorus performed in Finlandia House in Helsinki 2003 including south american music with composer Ariel Ramirez and orchestra. Next year the chorus gave a concert in ”Sea ad Music” festival at the Gulf of Finland.

Heikki Ruokonen is at his best improvisation; e.g. film music themes and the variations. In year 2017 Ruokonen performs in Sodankylä film festival (in northern Finland) and plays film music at organ in Sodankylä church. Some years ago Ruokonen improvised the music to Metropolis film by Fritz Lang in Agricola church in Helsinki.

Anna-Mari Yrjänä

Anna-Mari Yrjänä

Anna-Mari Yrjänä (b. 1968) is a versatile musician from Kankaanpää who performs as pianist, organist, singer and cembalist as well as accordionist and harmonium player in folk-music bands. She is especially fond of chamber music and accompanying singers, instrumentalists and choirs. She has often assisted various orchestras as a continuo player.

Anna-Mari Yrjänä studied organ at the Sibelius Academy under the guidance of professor Kari Jussila and completed her A-degree with excellent marks in 1996 and the supreme 3-degree in organ improvisation with Harri Viitanen as her teacher. She has further rounded out her studies at several master classes (L.F. Tagliavini, J. van Oortmessern, W. Rübsam, L. Lohmann, H. Vogel).

Since 2012 Anna-Mari has worked at the Kankaanpää Music Institute teaching piano and free accompaniment. Before that she worked as a church musician in, inter alia, the parishes of Kankaanpää and Ikaalinen. She is also active in folk music organizations. Her hobbies include singing in Pori’s Bach Choir and dance sport.

Nikos Spanatis

Nikos Spanatis

Nikos Spanatis, Countertenor

Countertenor Nikos Spanatis has performed in great Concert Halls in Greece, in International Festivals and has appeared in European Countries in Art Projects, in recitals and in Chamber Music Concerts. He collaborates with renowned orchestra Brussels Virtuosi and their creator and famous flautist Marc Grauwels and Estonian Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta and has collaborated with Swedish Chamber Orchestra ‘Musica Vitae’, Estonian Baroque Ensemble ‘Floridante’ and all major Greek orchestras under the baton of Tiberiu Soare, George Petrou, Vassilis Christopoulos, Miltos Logiadis, etc. He was born in Frankfurt. He has studied advanced music theory, trumpet and piano. He has studied singing with Aris Christofelis, Roza Poulimenou in the Department of Music Studies, Ionian University and soprano Mata Katsouli in Philippos Nakas Conservatory where he was awarded with a Diploma in Classical Solo Singing (1st Prize & first class honors). He has performed works of Greek composers such as Dimitris Maragopoulos and Nikos Mamagakis and has done recordings for the Greek Classical Radio – Third Program, for labels MDG and IDAIA, and of Dimitris Papadimitriou’s ”Aesop’s fables”. He has collaborated and been sponsored by TV5MONDE francophone international channel and Tricolore News. Nikos Spanatis has received warm reviews from Greek and international Press, such as, ”…his velvet, hedonically dark-colored voice enchantingly conversed with the flute of Marc Grauwels…” (The Journalists’ Daily), ”…sings with a lovely tone… and brings energy to his recitatives…”(Voix des Arts), among others. He is a PhD Candidate in Ionian University Department of Music Studies and Artistic Director and Singing Teacher at National Conservatory, Ymittos.

Eleni Keventsidou

Eleni Keventsidou

Eleni Keventsidou, Organ

Eleni was born in Athens and started playing the piano at the age of 9 with Kate Trulli at the Athens National Conservatory. She graduated in 1995 with a unanimous First Prize. At that time Eleni was also studying Greek Literature (Linguistics) at the National Republic University of Athens. In 1998 Eleni was awarded a three- year scholarship by the “Friends of Music Society” in order to study the organ with Nicolas Kynaston in the Athens Concert Hall. Studying organ music with Nicolas Kynaston and David Titterington at the Royal Academy of Music Eleni graduated from the Postgraduate Performance Course in 2004 with Distinction and has also studied privately with Johannes Geffert, Head of Church Music Studies at the Cologne Hochschule. Eleni has performed as a soloist at the Athens Concert Hall, Bonn-Beuel, Dussel­dorf, Himmerod Abbey (Germany), All Souls Langham Place, Ciutadella Cathedral (Menorca), Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Bath Abbey, Huddersfield Town Hall, Cambridge Festival, St. Dominic’s Priory, Temple de Foyer (Paris), Bristol Cathedral, York Minster, Reading Town Hall, Bergen Organ Festival. As a chamber music player Eleni has performed at St. Martin in the Fields, the Dutch Church London, the Evangelist Church of Katerini (Greece), the Athens Spring Organ Festival and the Athens Megaron with the Capella Istropolitana, the Athens Ra­dio Orchestra and the Athens Camerata. In 2003 Eleni has been awarded a scholarship from the Alexander S.Onassis Scholarship Foundation. In 2004 she was awarded the ‘Margaret and Sydney Lovett Organ Prize’ and the ‘United Music Publishers Ensemble Prize’ (London-Royal Academy). In 2007 she was awarded the Artistic Director’s Prize at Mikael Tariverdiev Inter­national Organ Competition in Kaliningrad, Russia. In 2005 Eleni participated in a joint recording project with the Royal Academy of Music and the Southwark and South London Organ Society, playing at the Royal Festival Hall. In February she participated in a CD recording of English Choral music with the Rugby School Choirs. Eleni has been Organist-in-Residence at Tonbridge School, Bilton Grange School and Bishops Stortford College. Currently she teaches piano at Kent College, East London Music Service and piano- organ at Rugby School. Eleni ob­tained her PhD in Organ Performance of Max Reger’s Variations Op. 73 on a full studentship at Christ Church University, Canterbury in 2016.