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Past Performers of the Year

Ida Metsberg

AS POY 2023, singer/songwriter Ida Metsberg traveled the U.S. with her guitar, sharing her original, moving lyrics and music, Finnish tunes, and her wry sense of humor.

Click on the image at left to learn a bit about the Finnish talent who now calls New York City home. Learn more at her website:

Click on each past POY for more information about the artist. Some have expressed interest in appearing at FFN chapters. The information provided here is for the convenience of the chapters and their program planners. FFN offers no financial or other assistance in hosting a past POY. All booking arrangements and agreements are strictly between the host chapter and the talent.

Eeppi Ursin


FFN has selected award-winning jazz vocalist Eeppi Ursin as Performer of the Year 2022. Eeppi sings in English and Finnish, and accompanies herself on piano.

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Kent Washburn


Kent has in his repertoire a host of Finnish musical experiences. The wide range of Finnish orchestral music that he transcribed for organ includes traditional folk music, patriotic marches and songs.

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Juli Wood


Jazz saxophonist Juli Wood was in great demand as FFN Performer of the Year, traveling across the country and even to Anchorage, Alaska during her term as POY, which began in September of 2018.

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Pirjo Polari-Khan


Pirjo is an entertaining storyteller who will share her poetry, songs and humor with the young and young at heart at FFN chapters across the U.S.

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Sara Pajunen


Finlandia Foundation National named violinist and composer Sara Pajunen of Minnesota as 2015 Performer of the Year (POY).

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Olli Hirvonen


Finlandia Foundation National named Olli Hirvonen, a Finnish jazz guitarist living in New York City, Performer of the Year (POY) for 2014-15.

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Marja Kaisla


Pianist Marja Kaisla of Philadelphia was FFN Performer of the Year for 2013 through August of 2014.

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Maria Kizirian Voltaine


Maria is a Finnish-American pop singer/songwriter/producer and multi-instrumentalist. She started playing violin at the age of 4, piano at 8, and finally, singing in her early teens.

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Wilho Saari

Wilho Saari


The tradition bearer of the Finnish Kantle, Naselle, Washington can trace the love of kantele playing back five generations in his family.

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Finn Hall


Finn Hall is a group of musicians from Oakdale, Minnesota, dedicated to preserving and performing the feel and sounds of the old Finn Halls.

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Terhi Miikki-Broersma


Ms. Miikki-Boersma is a multi-talented musician from Lyndon, Washington, who earned a Master’s Degree in Music at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and worked full-time as a cantor-organist before moving to the United States.

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Bert Stromholm & Brent Buswell


Bert Stromholm of Pompton Plains, New Jersey, is an exceptionally talented accordion player and entertainer and has been performing and playing dances since his youth either alone or as a member of various bands. Brent Buswell of Donegal, Pennsylvania, graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in professional music.

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Maria Männistö


Maria Männistö of Bellevue, Washington, is commended as one of the finest young sopranos in the Pacific Northwest with versatility in different styles ranging from medieval chant to jazz and rock-n-roll.

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Vocal duo from New York City

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Richard Koski


Two-row diatonic button accordionist from Trumansburg, New York

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Vicki Gornick


Organist from Chrisholm, Minnesota

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Craig Randal Johnson


The Minneapolis musician’s program, “Piano Music from Finland,” features the works of significant Finnish composers from the national romantic period to the present. Johnson includes, among others, the music of Sibelius, Madetoja, Kuula, Rautavaara, Bergman and Tuhkala. He closes with Finlandia.

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Koivun Kaiku

Koivun Kaiku


Koivun Kaiku means “Echo of the Birch.”

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Morja Soria

Merja Soria


Merja Soria was the inaugural artist in the FFN Performer of the Year touring program. The Finnish native received a Masters Degree in Music at Sibelius Academy, and taught Finnish music at San Diego State University and the University of San Diego.

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