July 24 – 28, 2024

This presentation will tell the stories of several Finnish Americans composers of classical art music, based on information about the composers, their sheet music, and manuscripts found in archival collections. It will not include composers of workers music, dance music, or popular music. The following composers will be considered (listed here in chronological order): A. L. Klemi (1874-1924), Kaarlo W. Kilkka (1882-1959), Martti Nisonen (1891-1946), Boris Sirpo (1893-1967), Waino A. Mackey (1901-1959), Paul E. Karvonen (1917-1991), and Melvin Kangas (1933-2021). These composers lived in Brooklyn, NY, Cleveland, OH, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Mankato, MN, Portland, OR, and Alameda, CA. They truly represent Finnish Americans across the country. We will examine and hear some of their compositions, especially those with Finnish connections. In addition to composing, many were well-known performers in Finnish American communities.