About the Series
NYSTA is pleased to offer a brand new course series - an exploration of non-traditional song literature (both classical and contemporary) from around the world. We are exploring a new course format - one four hour lecture and demonstration recital course each year, with the full accredited 16 hour course culminating after four series. Due to the unusual format, we are offering each session for only $50 for NYSTA members, rather than the usual full-course price of $220. This series promises to be informative and entertaining - we invite you to join us on this journey!
About the Presentation
The Finnish national epic, Kalevala, has inspired many Finnish artists and composers since the publication of the first edition in 1835. Its publication coincided with major events in Finnish history, stemming from the emergence of the Nationalistic movement throughout Europe. The epic has since been translated into some 60 languages and deserves a closer look for its broad impact on Finnish classical music.
It has inspired many Finnish composers, as was the case with Jean Sibelius and his Kalevala-based tone poems for orchestra. Because of the strong rhythmic structure of the runo songs through which the stories are told, the epic has also had an effect on many composers’ treatment of the musical rhythm and their settings of the vocal text.
As a small population living in a comparatively sizeable area of land with vast forests and thousands of lakes, Finns feel a strong connection to nature and the Finnish landscape. This love is reflected in their music, as is the often strong spiritual connection to church. Historical and political events (long annexations to countries to the West and the East, Sweden and Russia) have left their imprints on the Finnish culture, language, and society, helping fuel the drive towards the country’s independence. This history explains the often melancholy character of Finnish music.
This presentation will address the basics of Finnish diction, give an overview of the history behind the Finnish nationalist musical movement, and examine both standard and lesser-known songs from the repertoire - culminating in a demonstration recital of this lovely, often-neglected genre of music.
About the Presenter
Finnish soprano TAINA KATAJA has received critical acclaim for performance of repertoire ranging from early to modern music. A top prize winner in numerous competitions in her native Finland and in Sweden, she has been a soloist in many premiere performances and recordings of choral works by prominent contemporary Finnish composers, including Einojuhani Rautavaara, Aulis Sallinen, Erik Bergman, and Joonas Kokkonen. She has produced and performed programs for the Finnish National Television as well as Finnish, Austrian, and German radio networks. She has been a featured soloist in festivals throughout Europe and in the US and with ensembles in Washington DC, Baltimore, and in the New York metropolitan area.