In no other hands does the accordion sound as beautiful as those of Maria Kalaniemi, and it is to this great lady of Finnish folk music that the honour of opening this accordion series goes. It all began at the age of eight, when she was given an accordion by her grandmother, whereupon she rapidly and effortlessly made the Finnish folk song her own. A little later, she set about acquiring a thorough classical training. Completing that, she returned to her first love, absorbing herself in Finnish folk music at the Sibelius Academy, where she has since become one of the institution's most influential teachers.
Maria Kalaniemi is much more than just a brilliant accordionist, however. She is also an inspired improviser and composer of keenly sensitive melodies, and possesses a voice which, incandescent as the Northern Lights, sings straight to the heart. Heavenly.
During this concert, she combines numbers from her first solo album - 'Bellow Poetry' - with folk songs from her most recent CD 'Vilda Rosor' (Wild Roses). On this CD she explores her Finnish and Swedish roots, and it shot to Number 2 on the European hit parade of world music. She is accompanied by her companions Olli Varis on guitar and Eero Grundström on harmonium and harmonica.