2011 Mostly Nordic Chamber Music Series kicks off Sunday

This Sunday will be the first performance in the 2011 Mostly Nordic Chamber Music Series at the Nordic Heritage Museum (3014 NW 67th St.) One Sunday each month until June, listen to music from the five Nordic countries. “This series is unique in all of North America,” Artistic Director Lisa Bergman says. “No other series presents such a spectrum of music history while remaining focused on only one of the five Nordic countries per event—a single varietal more than a blend.”

2011 Mostly Nordic Chamber Music Series Concert Schedule:

NORWAY: Sunday, February 13, 2011, 4 p.m.

“Northern Lights” featuring Knut Erik Jensen, virtuoso pianist from Norway; with Svend Rønning, violinist; and Laura Loge, soprano.

Back by popular demand, Norwegian pianist Knut Erik Jensen has performed more than seventy solo concerts throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. He has appeared as concerto soloist with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Moldova, the Trondheim Symphony and the Minot Symphony Orchestra of North Dakota. He is joined by violinist Svend Rønning, a graduate of Yale University and veteran of the international concert stage, and by soprano Laura Loge, a graduate of the Høyskolen i Stavanger Conservatory of Music in Norway. This program features works by Norwegian composers Edvard Grieg, Grøndahl, Halvorsen, Sinding, Kjerulf, Alnæs, selections of Hardanger favorites, and more.

DENMARK: Sunday, March 20, 2011, 4 p.m.

“Denmark’s Golden Age” with Jennifer Caine, violinist; Sally Singer, cellist; and Oksana Ezhokina, pianist.

This internationally renowned trio features American violinist Jennifer Caine, cellist Sally Singer from the United Kingdom, and Russian pianist Oksana Ezhokina. The program features works by Danish composers Niels Gade and Fini Henriques with an electric finale by American composer Paul Schoenfield.

ICELAND: Sunday April 17, 2011, 4 p.m.

“Floating in the Blue Lagoon” with Melkorka Olafsdottir, Icelandic flutist, and Lisa Bergman, pianist.

Icelandic flutist Melkorka Olafsdottir is the founder and principal flutist of the Isafold Chamber Orchestra in Iceland, and she has performed with Orkester Norden and the Caput Ensemble in Iceland, and the Het Nieuw Ensemble, The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in The Netherlands. She joins Artistic Director and pianist Lisa Bergman in an exotic sampling of Icelandic and international flute repertoire composed by Áskell Másson, Hugi Guðmundsson, Anna S. Þorvaldsdottir, Magnús Blöndal, Atli Heimir Sveinsson, Árni Björnsson, Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson, Hilmar Þórðarson Gaubert, and Takemitsu.

FINLAND: Sunday, May 22, 2011, **5 p.m. (Please note time change for this concert)

“Baltic Breezes” with Sean Osborn, clarinetist; Christina Valdes, pianist; Emma McGrath, violinist; Heather Bentley, violist; and Rajan Krishnaswami, cellist.

Clarinetist Sean Osborn has appeared throughout North America, Europe, and Japan as a soloist and chamber musician, and as guest principal clarinet with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and the American Symphony Orchestra. He is joined by illustrious guest artists pianist Christina Valdes, violinist Emma McGrath, violist Heather Bentley and cellist Rajan Krishnaswami. The program for various combinations of clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano features Finnish composers Sibelius, Lindberg and Crusell with samplings by Mozart and Tiensuu.

SWEDEN: Sunday, June 5, 2011, 4 p.m.

“Excuse me, does my piano count as one carry-on?” with Magnus Martensson, comedian/pianist.

In 2003, quite by accident, Swedish born conductor Magnus Martensson turned into a comedian/pianist during a concert at Victor Borge Hall in New York City. Since that time, Mr. Martensson has appeared in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Toronto, Vancouver, Buffalo, and Portland, and critics have called his act both “hilarious” and “clever.” “Very funny…Martensson made everyone bend over with laughter…” – Nordstjernan

After the concert there will be a smörgåsbord of gourmet Nordic delicacies inspired by the featured country. Single ticket prices are $40 for members, $45 for non-members (including smörgåsbord) and concert only tickets (excludes smörgåsbord) are $20 for members, $25 for non-members. Season tickets for all five concerts (including smörgåsbord) are $165 for members and $185 for non-museum members. Admission to all Nordic Heritage Museum exhibits is free to concert-goers before each performance.

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