The National Nordic Museum together with the Finnish Choral Society invites you to the 46th Annual Kalevala Day Festival—Finnish Kantele: Remembering Wilho. This year’s event is virtual. 

The Kalevala Day Tradition goes back to 1835, when the national epic of Finland, the Kalevala, was published for the first time by Elias Lönnrot. The Kalevala epic played an important part in developing Finland’s national identity and Finnish language, art, and music. The first Kalevala Day was celebrated on February 28th, in 1885. The Kalevala Day celebration continues to this day in Finland with cultural events.

The Finnish Choral Society of Seattle has maintained and Annual Kalevala Day since 1976 in Seattle, hosted at the National Nordic Museum since 1982. 

This 45-minute YouTube program will feature the Finnish Choral Society of Seattle, the Evergreen Livakat Kantele players, and Arja Kastinen, kantele player and first Finnish folk musician to earn Doctor of Music at Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland.  

The program will honor the passing of Wilho Saari, Washington State kantele player and composer who received numerous awards including the Washington State Governor’s Heritage Award, the Finlandia Foundation National Performer of the Year, and the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 2006 – the highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.

Cost: Free; RSVP to receive the link in your receipt

Starting at 3:00pm on Sunday, April 24th, you can view this program here: