Finlandia Foundation National named Olli Hirvonen, a Finnish jazz guitarist living in New York City, Performer of the Year (POY) for 2014-15. As POY he made appearances at events organized by FFN chapters across the U.S. to encourage appreciation of Finnish and Finnish-American talent. It was the first time since the program was founded in 1996 that a jazz artist was selected as POY.
Hirvonen, who was born in Lappeenranta in southeast Finland, began studying classical guitar and piano at the age of nine. He earned a Bachelor of Music at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki in 2011 and two years later his Master of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music in New York.
Among his awards and recognition the accomplished young performer was named Pori Jazz Festival Artist of the Year in 2011. He’s appeared at that jazz festival and more than a dozen other major events including last year’s Nordic Cool at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Hirvonen releases his debut album “Detachment” this summer.
For more information about the artist: www.ollihirvonen.com