EVENTS 2024

On 23 January 2024 at Queen Anne’s Gate, London, to a full room of 40 members and guests, Art Expert Christina Cadogan gave a talk on Nordic art to the Anglo-Swedish and Anglo-Finnish Societies about the advent of a more modern style of painting in Sweden and Finland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This was a time of huge social, political and cultural change in Europe and we looked at how Swedish and Finnish art evolved during this period discussing, amongst others, the work of Hilma af Klint, Helene Schjerfbeck and Hugo Simberg whose granddaughter Ann Simberg was present giving us insights to her grandfather’s work. We heard how Hilma af Klint was pioneering abstract art even years before Wassily Kandinsky while she was not credited for her work during her life time. 

Christina Cadogan worked for several years at Bonhams, the auctioneers, specialising in drawings and watercolours. She has also worked for the Swedish Embassy in London advising on art and design. Christina now works as an art consultant and art dealer specialising in Nordic Art. We are grateful to Jan Ankarcrona for providing such elegant premises for the talk. 

On 9 February 2024, The Finnish Defence Attaché gave a talk about Finland’s NATO Membership to a full audience at the Allen Room at St Anne’s Church, Soho.

     

Captain (Navy) Mika Raunu addressed issues such as the reasons why the Finnish public mood switched so quickly in favour of NATO membership after so many decades of determined neutrality, how the system of national military service works and how reservists are kept up to date, with some information about the number of full-time military professionals in Finland. Before the talk we had lunch in the Great Hall of Lincoln’s Inn.

On 23 February 2024, a group of 15 members had a tour of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in Whitehall.

  

The current premises of the FCDO in King Charles Street, designed by the architect George Gilbert Scott and completed between 1868 and 1874, originally comprised four government departments. The tour included the Grand Staircase and the Muses Staircase in the former Foreign Office and Durbar Court and Gurkha Stairs in the former India Office, the Locarno Suite and the India Office Council Chamber.

We are grateful to Professor Patrick Salmon, Chief Historian at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, for showing us around one of the most spectacular public buildings in the UK.

The AGM was held on 13 March 2024 at the Residence, in Kensington Palace Gardens, chaired by Sir Paul Lever, President of the Society. H. E. The Ambassador, Mr Jukka Siukosaari, welcomed 48 members to the 70th AGM of the Society since its resuscitation after the War.

  

The formal business of the AGM included re-elections of officers and part of the Council. It was noted that the past year had been encouragingly active and also marked by fruitful cooperation with other Nordic Societies.

    

The evening concluded with the Ambassador generously hosting an excellent buffet dinner.

 

On 20 April 2024, the Emmi Maaria Ensemble performed at the Finnish Church in London. The Society had organised a musical evening through Finnish landscapes and poetry.

 

Emmi Maaria, a London-based Finnish songwriter and composer, seamlessly combines pop and folk sensibilities with classical arrangements to create something both engaging and accessible. Her music is inspired by Finnish nature and literature with stirring authenticity and timely relevance throughout.

Emmi Maaria presented her songs together with her ensemble:

Sanni Talvitie, violin

Freya Hicks, viola

Kirke Gross, cello

Aris Solomon, alto-saxophone and percussions

Please see also: Home | Emmi Maaria

On 1 May 2024, a group of our members enjoyed a wonderful concert by young performers from the Royal Academy of Music. Especially beautiful was Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, complemented with the music to the eye of the darkness of the evening gradually coming with the chandeliers emphasising the beauty of Drapers Hall – after a tasty dinner. We are grateful to The Anglo-Danish Society and The Worshipful Company of Drapers.

 

The United Kingdom Sibelius Society held a concert at Burgh House, Hampstead, London, on a beautifully sunny Sunday afternoon, 19th May 2024 with Gina McCormack (violin), Jane Hyland (cello), and Lionel Friend (piano).

   

The programme included the Sibelius Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Op.80, Nielsen’s Sonata for Violin and Piano no 2, Op.35, and the Delius Sonata for Cello and Piano of 1916. While the Romance from the Sibelius Four Pieces for Cello and Piano, Op.78, was familiar to many, the other pieces played were less well known and therefore refreshing to discover. 

We are delighted to have supported this event by selling out an allocation of 20 tickets and we remain grateful to the UK Sibelius Society for welcoming us.

Jean Sibelius (1913) by Antti Favén in the Ateneum 

The ​Kaija Saariaho Memorial Concert with The Carice Singers took place at Kings Place, King’s Cross, London, ​on Sunday evening, 2 June 2024​.

    

2 June 2024 mark​ed the first anniversary of the death of Kaija Saariaho, the highly acclaimed Finnish composer who has left an enduring mark on the world of music. In her memory, The Carice Singers perform​ed three of Saariaho’s choral milestones including her final, powerful choral work Reconnaissance.

The programme also include​d the UK premiere of Valossa (Towards the Light), a choral work by Lotta Wennäkoski, a former student of Saariaho.

The Carice Singers, founded by its artistic director, George Parris, on his 18th birthday in 2011, has carved out a unique place in the UK’s choral scene and beyond. Parris is also part of the Finnish music scene; notably he studied for a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting at the Sibelius Academy, graduating in 2021 with the highest mark for his final recital.

The Anglo-Finnish Society is proud to ​have support​ed this event having helped with securing funding after the Finnish Institute was compelled to withdraw its own funding at short notice.

​The music was beautiful and thought-provoking about issues of our time, spirituality and nature.

On 13 June 2024, Barrister Peter Hofford took a group of members for a Guided Walk in the Inns of Court, including the Temple and Chancery Lane. The weather was favourable and our Guide brilliant.