NEW YORK MILLS -- On tour in the United States, the Karelian Folk Music Ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 10, in the New York Mills City Ballroom.
The Karelians are performers from Russia, well versed in the traditional songs and music of Russian Karelia. Karelia is a region north of St. Petersburg that includes both sides of the Russian/Finnish border and is a meeting place of Eastern and Western traditions.
The Karelians sing in Russian, Finnish and Karelian, as well as perform instrumental music on accordions, mandolin, kanteles, wooden flutes, shepherd's horn, bowed lyre (jouhikko) and scythe. Their music includes everything from the delicate tunes played on Finnish harps and robust dance music with accordions to powerful Russian songs sung without instruments.
Following a 1999 concert in Portland, Ore., one audience member wrote, "I enjoyed the humor of the group. One felt they enjoyed themselves as much as we did. This concert was just plain fun!"
The performers of the Karelian Folk Music Ensemble are Igor Arkhipoff, Alexander Bykadoroff and Arto Rinne.
Arkhipoff is a graduate of the Petrozavodsk Conservatory of Music. He has been a featured presenter in the Petrozavodsk State University Folk Ensemble "Toive" and is now its musical director. He is also the music historian and bell ringer for the island museum of Kizhi, the director of a Finnish choir "Inkeri" and is on the music staff of PSU.
Bykadoroff is a graduate of Petrozavodsk Conservatory in choral conducting. He has been a choir director and an orchestra conductor of the Karelian national folk ensemble "Kantele." As a child he performed piano in competitions as a child prodigy and since then has added many other instruments, including bass, guitar, jouhikko, kantele, saami drum and scythe. He is a composer and music arranger and is currently the musical director of a folk group "Myllarit." With Myllarit he has toured Russia, Finland, the United States, Scotland and Germany.
Rinne is also a PSU graduate and was also a member of "Toive." He started his musical career as a singer in a boys' choir when he was 6. He sings and plays many instruments, including mandolin, harmonica, and five- and 10-stringed kanteles. Rinne is also part of the folk group Myllarit.
This event is being presented by the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center and is sponsored by Carl Peltoniemi Law Office and Finn Creek Museum. Call the Cultural Center at 385-3339 for more information.
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