Skip to content

Special Music Programs

Due to COVID-19, programs have been postponed and availability is to be determined. The following is for your information for when the tours resume.

Please check with the FFN trustee handling each of the programs for further updates. All artists are looking forward to touring the U.S. again when it’s possible to do so!

Finlandia Foundation National is proud to be sponsoring appearances of three exciting musical artists, available to FFN chapters for the enjoyment of their members and, if desired, a broader community audience.

Ruusamari is based in Texas; Jussi and Nazig are from Finland.

Chapters in good standing are welcome to host one of these programs.

Ruusamari Teppo

Ruusamari Teppo presents a choice of two delightful programs she has created, built on her connection to Finnish composer Jean Sibelius: she is his great-great-grandaughter!

Sibelius at the Piano

A concert program of his most well-known music, accompanied by personal stories and information to help listeners understand the development of the composer’s musical style.

Ruusamari has access to the series of letters Jean and Aino Sibelius wrote to each other, some of which have been translated into English. Her concert format can also include selections from these letters read by a local chapter member.

Sibelius’s Music with Children

Ruusamari enjoys presenting concerts designed for children, which she has developed with her own four-year-old daughter. With children sitting around her, Teppo plays music and talks about Sibelius, including the music he wrote for his children. She is also able to present music workshops, telling stories and coaching children who bring their own instruments and play easy music together.

Ruusamari Teppo began playing piano in Finland at the age of five. After graduating from Sibelius High School, she studied in Paris for three years, and earned artist certificates from music schools in Prague and Budapest, funded by scholarships from the Finnish government. Since 2001 she has studied at the University of North Texas with Vladimir Viardo, a Van Cliburn international competition winner.

If your chapter would like to invite Ruusamari Teppo to perform a concert, FFN will cover round trip travel costs to your location. The chapter’s responsibility will be paying a $500 honorarium, plus providing local accommodation and local transportation.

For more information and to book an appearance, contact FFN trustee Betsey Norgard, at

Jussi Makkonen and Nazig Azezian

Jussi (cellist) and Nazig (pianist) will perform at a variety of locations—including several school programs—with FFN as a sponsor of the majority of the appearances. They invite you to enjoy their performance at Arizona State University, viewable below.

The tour is a continuation of the duo’s performances as part of FFN’s Finland 100 Music Program in 2017, which followed the successful Sibelius 150 Jubilee concerts of 2015. For this tour, the musicians offer three different programs:

Finnish Landscape: Jewels by Finnish Composers

This program introduces the most beautiful melodies written by Finnish composers such as Jean Sibelius, Oskar Merikanto and Heino Kaski.

Sibelius Inspiration

This program is an all-encompassing experience that transports the audience into the world that inspired Jean Sibelius through music, video, sound and light.

The Blue Bird

This program is a series consisting of beautiful, captivating melodies as well as thrilling effects. The piece can be performed either with or without an orchestra. Composed by Jonne Valtonen, it has been performed by many significant ensembles, including the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra.

Jussi and Nazig are accomplished musicians, each earning a master’s degree from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. They have performed as soloists, in ensembles, and as a duet across Europe and in the U.S.

If your chapter would like to invite Jussi Makkonen and Nazig Azezian to perform a concert, your chapter responsibility would be to pay for their local accommodations, local transportation, and a $500 honorarium.

FFN will cover their round-trip travel to your location as well as $500 honorarium. (Their total honorarium is $1,000, so FFN is subsidizing that fee and you are responsible for the balance.)

For available dates, details on the programs and booking information contact Teuvo Pulkkinen at