LISBON – Kantele Laulu Inc., a nonprofit organization promoting awareness of the kantele, the national instrument of Finland, will present a concert featuring professional musicians from Finland Friday, Aug. 8.

Among the performers are Vilma Timonen, Topi Korhonen, Anna-Karin Korhonen and Erkki Okkonen. The Maine Kanteles, a local ensemble, will also perform at the 7 p.m. concert at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church.

Refreshments will be served, and there is a suggested donation of $5 to $10. The concert is a highlight of the Maine Kantele Institute, a weeklong course providing instruction in kantele playing and Finnish folk music.

Timonen is on the faculty at Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, one of the most prestigious music institutions in Europe. She has performed in the United States, Tanzania, Venezuela, Colombia and Japan. Her most current project is the Vilma Timonen Quartet, which incorporates elements of contemporary jazz with traditional kantele music.

Topi Korhonen has been one of the leading guitarists on the new Finnish folk music scene for more than 10 years. His influences range from Finnish traditional folk music to bluegrass, from classical to African, from gypsy-jazz to hard rock and everything in between. He teaches guitar and various ensembles at Sibelius Academy.

Anna-Karin Korhonen graduated from the department of piano music at Sibelius Academy with a master’s in music in 2007. She teaches kantele, ensemble playing, free accompaniment and improvisation in many music schools, including the Sibelius Academy. Her band Avertere is currently finishing its first album, performing instrumental music composed by Korhonen.

Okkonen is a double-bassist and producer for Loiskis, an orchestra of children’s music, and performs regularly with Mikko Perkoila. Okkonen is also a sound engineer, a luthier (building traditional and experimental instruments) and a teacher of classical double-bass pedagogy.

Since 2001, The Maine Kanteles has played traditional and contemporary folk music from Finland and America. The only ensemble of its kind in the eastern United States, the Maine Kanteles has performed in New England, Canada and Finland.

For more information, contact Sarah Cummings-Ridge at 657-6494, via e-mail [email protected] or at

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