Onnea satavuotiaalle suomelle — that's how, in Finnish, one says congratulations to Finland on its centennial year. The Finnish Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Parliament of Finland on Dec. 6, 1917, but here at Classical MPR, we're celebrating just a bit early — for a couple of very good reasons.
First of all, Minneapolis plays host to this year's FinnFest USA, which begins this Thursday, Sept. 21, and includes a beautiful Finnish Expo in the lobby of Orchestra Hall. In observation of that, we've been celebrating the music of Finland all week long on Morning Glories.
Second, the Minnesota Orchestra, led by its Finnish music director, Osmo Vänskä, will be celebrating Finland's centennial year with music and musicians from the Nordic nation. Violinist Elina Vähälä (pictured at left) joins the orchestra for Jaakko Kuusisto's Violin Concerto. The concert program also includes music by Kevin Aho and — of course — Jean Sibelius.
And if that's not enough, in attendance at Friday's concert will be two highly distinguished guests: Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and his wife, Mrs. Jenni Haukio.
You can hear the live broadcast of this remarkable concert on Friday, Sept. 22, starting at 8 p.m., hosted by Brian Newhouse.